Star Wars Score With a Jazz Twist on May the Fourth

New Jersey saxophonist's ensemble to take on John Williams

A short time from now in a club far, far away … unless you live near the PATH train … a New Jersey jazz musician’s ensemble is going to reimagine John Williams’ iconic Star Wars score.

Saxophonist Anthony Ware, who has performed with Dee Dee Bridgewater, J. Cole, Chinese pop star Khalil Fong, and others, will celebrate May the Fourth at FM in Jersey City. Ware’s galactic ensemble, dubbed Star Ware, is promising “Dark Side grooves” and “Cloud City swing” as they riff on Williams’ themes.

Star Wars fans have embraced May 4 as a holiday for its pun on “May the Force be with you.” The phrase “May the Fourth be with you” first appeared in 1979 in a British newspaper, but it wasn’t until 2011 that the first organized Star Wars Day event took place on that date.

Ware’s upcoming performance is part of FM’s Star Wars Day party, a joint production by the upcoming Jersey City Jazz Festival and 6th Borough Comedy Festival. The jazz festival will take place May 31 to June 19 throughout Jersey City; the event ends with a two-day free outdoor festival at the Grove PATH Plaza, located at 319 Grove St. in downtown Jersey City. RiverviewJazz.Org produces the event.

Ware performed at the festival in 2016 alongside Bridgewater. He’s also an accomplished educator, having taught at the New Jersey Jazz Institute, the Thelonious Monk Institute in Los Angeles, Dynamix in Shanghai, China, and New Jersey-based nonprofit JAZZ HOUSE KiDS. His jazz bona fides include studying at the New Jersey Jazz Institute and earning a bachelor’s degree in jazz saxophone from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts.

If you’re in Jersey City on Saturday, May 4, the Star Wars Party is set to start at 9 p.m. FM is located at 340 3rd St. Tickets cost $12, $15 at the door. Costumes are encouraged. And May the Fourth be with you.