Get our newsletters

African American Museum to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month


The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM) will celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month and the history of African American music in New Jersey with “Jazz in the Sourlands,” a series of special events on Friday, and Saturday.

On Friday, SSAAM will hold a concert and wine and cheese reception at the True Farmstead, a historically Black-owned property on Hollow Road in Skillman, N.J. Guests will be invited to the National Historic Register-listed Mt. Zion AME Church to view “From Fiddlers to Jazz Bands: African American Music of the Sourlands,” a new exhibit from SSAAM.

Historian Isabela Morales will open the exhibit with a presentation on the rich history of Black fiddle-playing in New Jersey and the United States from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Special guest and SSAAM contributor, violinist Laticia Lewis will perform selections from her repertoire, including traditional African American spirituals and beloved jazz pieces.

Lewis is a composer, performer, and educator. As a professional instrumentalist with over 20 years of playing and performance, she has redefined several genres of music with unique interpretations and inspired performances. Dr. Morales is an award-winning author and historian of slavery who serves as SSAAM’s Education and Exhibit Manager.

On Saturday, SSAAM invites community members to bring their own food, drinks, and blankets to the grounds of the True Farmstead for a live, outdoor musical concert headlined by the Jonathan Ware Quartet. The quartet is a flexible consortium of members morphing from a duo to a septet. Their style ranges from funky jazz instrumentals to soulful jazz with vocals. Gia Ware will accompany the band on Saturday as a vocalist. Visitors are welcome to stroll across the lawn to view “From Fiddlers to Jazz Bands: African American Music of the Sourlands,” as well.

The opening reception will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, at True Farmstead. Hors d’oeuvres, wine and refreshments will be served. Opening reception tickets can be purchased for $40.

The Saturday outdoor concert is a BYO, blankets, chairs, food and refreshments event. It will take place from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, rain or shine. Tickets for the Saturday outdoor concert and exhibit can be purchased online for $25 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.

For information and ticket sales, visit:

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.