Top 10 NJ Arts Events of Week: New Brunswick Heart Festival, TidalWave Music Festival, more

NEW BRUnswick heart festival


Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Aug. 18.


The third annual New Brunswick Heart Festival takes place Aug. 13 from 3 to 6 p.m., with a series of free performances and activities at Monument Square in downtown New Brunswick and other locations.

Performers will include the hip-hop, reggae and pop children’s performer Fyütch, tap dancer Omar Edwards, the Latin band Sonida Latino, the New Brunswick Brass Band, Grupo de Danza Folklórica La Sagrada Familia, and readings of the play “Love Letters” by the Thinkery & Verse theater company,

Other attractions will include arts and crafts vendors, dance classes, balloon animals, a wellness tent, a History Corner, backstage tours of the State Theatre and the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, a Princeton Ballet School open house, and children’s activities and games. There will also be a Live Art Battle, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. at Above Art Studios.


Joining the annual Barefoot Country Music Festival in Wildwood, which debuted in 2021, the TidalWave Music Festival — taking place on two stages on the Atlantic City beach, Aug. 12-14 — gives New Jersey its second major country music festival (or its third, if you count the long-running Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival in Woodstown). Morgan Wallen, Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley will co-headline, with other performers including Chase Rice, Riley Green, Lauren Alaina, Lindsay Ell and Hardy.



Another country extravaganza takes place in the northern half of the state, Aug. 13 at 5 p.m., with Kenny Chesney headlining a concert at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford that also features Dan + Shay, Old Dominion and Carly Pearce.

The Montclair Jazz Festival, which is taking place throughout much of the summer, will offer a “Block Party” with free performances by DJ Brother Mister (bassist Christian McBride, spinning records), Winard Harper & Jeli Posse, Nicole Glover and Jazz House Kids ensembles, Aug. 13 from noon to 10 p.m. at Lackawanna Plaza. The festival culminates, Sept 10, with performances by Danielle Ponder, Monty Alexander, Christian McBride & Friends, Matthew Whitaker and others.

As you may have heard, Carlos Santana collapsed onstage at a July 5 concert in Michigan, and was taken to a hospital. Heat and dehydration were blamed, and six shows were postponed, but he was back in action by July 23, and his band Santana will be featured on double bills with Earth, Wind & Fire at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m., and the Freedom Mortgage Pavilion in Camden, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m.

Here’s another great summertime double bill: Rod Stewart’s tour with Cheap Trick, originally scheduled for 2020 but postponed because of the pandemic, will come to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m., as well as the Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. Stewart turned 77 in January and released his 31st studio album, The Tears of Hercules, last year.

In a show postponed from July, The Steve Miller Band will draw from its large catalog of hits (including “The Joker,” “Jet Airliner,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Fly Like an Eagle” and “Rock’n Me”) at the URSB Carteret Performing Arts and Events Center, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. Jimmie Vaughan had been scheduled to open in July but is no longer on the bill, having been replaced by Lisa Bouchelle.


• The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first stadium tour of the United States will include a show at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m., with The Strokes and Thundercat opening. Guitarist John Frusciante, who was in the group from 1988 to 1992 and from 1998 to 2009, became a member again in 2019, and is joining frontman Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea and drummer Chad Smith on this tour. The band is planning to release a new album, Return of the Dream Canteen, in September.


The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey begins previews of “The Metromaniacs” at Drew University in Madison on Aug. 17, with the official opening night on Aug. 20 and the last show on Sept. 4. This is David Ives’ translation/adaptation of French playwright Alexis Piron’s 1738 comedy “La Métromanie” — about a poetry craze of that era — and is a “fast-paced, witty concoction of a play,” according to the Shakespeare Theatre.

Three free productions of Shakespeare’s comedy “Twelfth Night,” produced by the Westfield acting school Acting Out, will be presented at Foundation Park in Westfield, Aug. 11-13 at 7 p.m.


“Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic” at Newark Museum of Art. (Through Aug. 21)

“Maxwell Mustardo: Dish-Oriented” at Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton. (Through Sept. 4)

“For the Culture, by the Culture: Thirty Years of Black Art, Activism, and Achievement” at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Sept. 25)

“New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence” at State Museum, Trenton. (Through April 30)


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