Movie screening will reflect theme of ‘Jazz, Jews and African Americans’ exhibit



You may have missed it, but in 1985, there was a movie called “The Gig.” It starred Wayne Rogers (“M*A*S*H”) and Cleavon Little (“Blazing Saddles”) and was a comedy about a group of amateur Jewish jazz musicians who recruit an African-American bassist for a big gig at a Catskills resort.

The movie will be shown Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Jewish Museum of New Jersey at Congregation Ahavas Sholom at 145 Broadway in Newark, in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit, “Jazz, Jews and African Americans: Cultural Interactions in Newark and Beyond.” Warren Vaché, a longtime mainstay of the Jersey jazz scene who played one of the musicians in the film, will introduce the film and talk about it.

The exhibition, which runs through Dec. 13, was assembled in cooperation with the Rutgers-Newark Institute of Jazz Studies, WBGO (88.3 FM) and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The museum is open Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

Several other events are being presented in conjunction with the exhibition, as well.

Nov. 22 at 2 p.m., Wayne Winborne, executive director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark, will moderate a panel discussion titled “Jazz, Jews, and African Americans: Cultural Intersections in Newark and Beyond” with participants including John Schreiber, NJPAC’s president and CEO and a former jazz producer, and Dan Morgenstern, former director of the Institute of Jazz Studies. The conversation will be in the sanctuary of Congregation Ahavas Sholom.

The same day, from 2 to 5 p.m., Newark artist, photographer and arts educator Mansa K. Mussa will conduct a workshop for young people, “How to Make a Romare Bearden-Inspired Jazz Collage,” at the museum. And Dec. 13 at 2 p.m., pianist and writer Ben Sidran will offer a presentation titled “Jews, Music and the American Dream.”

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