Top 10 NJ Arts Events of Week: BobFest, Bon Jovi concert broadcast, Chris Gethard, more

top nj arts events bobfest

Pat Guadagno and Tired Horses will present their annual BobFest tribute to Bob Dylan in Red Bank, May 23.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through May 23.


Bob Dylan will turn 80 on May 24, and on May 23, Shore music scene veteran Pat Guadagno and his Tired Horses band (named after the obscure Dylan song “All the Tired Horses”) will present their annual BobFest tribute concert at The Vogel at The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank. The concert has been taking place at the Basie’s main theater in recent years, but had to be cancelled last year because of the pandemic. The Vogel show will have the same social-distance restrictions that have been in place since the space opened in October. There will be two shows, at 3 and 7 p.m.

Montclair’s Outpost in the Burbs has assembled a great lineup for “May Your Song Always Be Sung,” a virtual tribute to Bob Dylan that will stream at 8 p.m. May 20: Nils Lofgren, Bettye Lavette, Richard Thompson, Zara Phillips, Low Cut Connie, Richard Barone, Willie Nile, James Maddock, Bill Frisell, Dan Wilson, Jeffrey Gaines, Amy Helm, Robyn Hitchcock, Lucy Kaplansky, The Kennedys, Mary Lee Kortes and Emma Swift. WFUV New York DJ Paul Cavalconte will host the show, which will benefit The Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair. It will stream on Facebook and YouTube and be available for a limited time for free on-demand streaming. Viewers will be invited to make donations to Human Needs Food Pantry via and support the artists via their respective websites.

“Bon Jovi: An Encore Drive-In Nights Concert” was taped in April and will be broadcast on May 22.


Bon Jovi presented a concert at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park in April that fans were not allowed to attend, but it was taped and will be shown nationally at more than 400 drive-in theaters and other locations, May 22, as “Bon Jovi: An Encore Drive-In Nights Concert.” For a complete list of locations and showtimes, visit

• The Jersey-based record label and promotion company, Bongo Boy, will present some free music at the White Lake Natural Resource Area in Hardwick Township (Warren County), May 22, to celebrate its 10th anniversary as well as its adoption of a trail there. Singer-songwriter Paolo Gayan from Alpha (Warren County) will perform, as will Wildcat O’Halloran, a blues musician from Massachusetts. There will also be a jam session with various musicians. The music will start at about 12:30 p.m., following a cleaning up of the trail that will begin at 11 a.m. For information about attending and/or participating in the jam session, click here.



Singer-songwriter Joe D’Urso has done some solo performing, both live and online, during the pandemic, but is reassembling his Stone Caravan band for their first show in more than a year at Crossroads in Garwood, May 21 at 8 p.m., with Jake Thistle opening.

The football field at Woodbridge High School will be the site of A Grateful Day of Hope and Music: A 1 p.m. May 22 outdoor benefit for the Woodbridge-based sobriety and recovery organization Road to Hope, with sets by Joyride (Dave Matthews Band tribute), Diamond Eye Jack (Jerry Garcia tribute), Panama Dead (New Riders of the Purple Sage tribute) and Lovelight (Grateful Dead tribute).


The May edition of the New Jersey Jazz Society’s monthly Social, taking place online May 22 at 7 p.m., will feature bassist John Lee (whose credits include Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner, James Moody and many others) with pianist Alex Collins and drummer Karl Latham. The event will be streamed for free on the New Jersey Jazz Society website,, as well as on the organization’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.


Nimbus Dance in Jersey City will present its first Nimbus Arts Festival on five different days this summer, starting on May 22 at Harborside Campus in Jersey City. There will be food trucks and art vendors starting at 1 p.m., plus works by various choreographers (including Michele Byrd-McPhee, Vernard Gilmore, Ariel Rivka Grossman, Jihyun Kim, Kyle Marshall and Derick McKoy Jr.) at 2 p.m., and Nimbus Dance’s first live performance in more than a year at 8 p.m.




Comedian Chris Gethard will present a live version of his “New Jersey Is the World” podcast, which he describes as a look at “everything great, beautiful, and awful about this state,” May 22 at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. at House of Independents in Asbury Park. He also will release a comedy special, “Half My Life,” through various streaming outlets on June 1 (see trailer below), with an album to follow.


Cicely Tyson, the Oscar-, Tony- and Emmy-winning actress who died in January, will be honored in “A Night With Crossroads,” a virtual fundraising gala for the New Brunswick-based Crossroads Theatre Company that will stream at 7 p.m. May 20. And her godson, Lenny Kravitz, will be among the participants. Actress Anika Noni Rose will host the ceremony and other participants will include TV personality Al Roker (a cousin of Kravitz) and actors Blair Underwood and Regina Taylor. Blues musician Guy Davis and students at the the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of the Performing and Fine Arts in East Orange will perform. Also, the Johnson & Johnson healthcare company will receive Crossroads’ Champion of the Arts Award, and there will be an online auction at


Since launching in September 2014,, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


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