Top 10 NJ Arts Events of Week: TD James Moody Jazz Festival, Bob Dylan, Chicago, more

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This year’s TD James Moody Jazz Festival started on Nov. 3 and runs through Nov. 19, with shows at NJPAC and other Newark venues. Some of this week’s offerings include:

Nov. 15, 7 p.m.: The Newark Museum of Art will present a free screening of the documentary “Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues,” followed by a panel discussion with director-producer Sacha Jenkins, producer Julie Anderson, Pamela Morgan (founder and director of Women in Media) and Jackie Harris (executive director of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation).

Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.: A concert titled “The Sound of (Black) Music” will take place at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, with Vuyo Sotashe, Brianna Thomas, Charenée Wade and others. According to the NJPAC website, this show “reimagines Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘The Sound of Music’ through an Afrofuturistic lens, combining familiar lyrics and melodies with jazz, soul, funk and hip hop.”

(This show will also be presented at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m.)

Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m.: Clement’s Place will present a Jazz Jam Session, directed by pianist James Austin Jr.

Nov. 17, 7 p.m.: The New Jersey Music Educators Association’s All-State Jazz Band and All-State Jazz Choir will perform, with guest vibraphonist Stefon Harris, at NJPAC’s Chase Room.

Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.: Singers Sasha Dobson and Tahira Clayton, backed by the house band of The National Jazz Museum in Harlem (led by pianist Sean Mason) will tackle standards such as “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “The Bare Necessities” in a show titled “When You Wish Upon a Star: A Jazz Tribute to 100 Years of Disney” at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater.

(This show will also be presented at the Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College in Toms River, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.)

Nov. 18, 8 p.m.: Pianist and composer Dave Grusin will perform and be honored at a concert titled “Dave Grusin: A Life in Music” at NJPAC’s Prudential Hall. Joining Grusin at this show will be guitarist Lee Ritenour, singer Will Downing, trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonist Ernie Watts, drummer Dave Weckl, bassist Tom Kennedy and the group, New York Voices.

Nov. 18, 6 p.m.: Pianist Cyrus Chestnut will perform in a free Jazz Vespers concert at Bethany Baptist Church.

Christian McBride and Savion Glover.

Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Tap dancer Savion Glover and bassist Christian McBride will perform together and discuss “their respective creative journeys” at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater.

Nov. 19, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.: Trombonist Steve Turre and his Generations Sextet will perform at Dorthaan’s Place, the jazz brunch series hosted by WBGO co-founder Dorthaan Kirk at NJPAC’s NICO Kitchen + Bar.

Nov. 19, 3 p.m.: This year’s edition of the festival’s Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition takes place at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater, with Darynn Dean, Bianca Love, Tyreek McDole, Ekep Nkwelle and Emma Smith competing. WBGO’s Pat Prescott will host; the judges panel will include Jane Monheit, Christian McBride, Madeleine Peyroux, Al Pryor and Lizz Wright; and the 2021 winner, G. Thomas Allen, will perform.

Here is a roundup of other arts events taking place around New Jersey, through Nov. 22.




Bob Dylan — still a regular presence on the concert trail at the age of 82 — will perform in New Jersey for the first time since 2018 when he brings his Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour — named after his 2020 studio album — to Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Nov. 20-21 at 8 p.m. Dylan, 82, previously performed at NJPAC IN 1998, 2005 and 2014. He also appeared at Newark’s Symphony Hall in 1963 (when it still was known as the Mosque Theatre) and twice in 1965.

On Nov. 17, he will release The Complete Budokan 1978, a deluxe boxed-set edition of the live album that documented his first shows ever in Japan, with 36 previously unreleased tracks.

The “Decades Rock Live” series, dormant since 2006, will return with guest-filled concerts by the band Chicago, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. at Ovation Hall at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City. Chicago will be joined by Steve Vai, Robert Randolph, Chris Daughtry, Robin Thicke, Judith Hill, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram (Nov. 17 only) and the a cappella quintet VoicePlay.

In 2005 and 2006, “Decades Rock Live shows” featuring Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, Heart and others, plus various guest artists — Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Alison Krauss and Keb’ Mo’ were Raitt’s guests, for instance — took place at Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal (now the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino) and were taped for later broadcast on the VH1 Classic channel.


• DakhaBrakha, a dynamic quartet from Ukraine that blends elements of traditional Ukrainian music with music from other traditions — and has come to be regarded as international musical ambassadors for Ukraine since the country was invaded by Russia last year — will perform at the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m., in a show presented by the Peak Performances series.

Actor Alan Cumming and Ari Shapiro — the NPR “All Things Considered” co-host who also has sung with the group Pink Martini — will present a joint show of songs and stories, “Och & Oy! A Considered Cabaret,” Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton. “We’re both storytellers who try to help audiences better understand themselves and the world around them,” Shapiro has said. “This show lets us explore those shared ideals on stage together, through stories and songs.”


Former “Dancing With the Stars” dancer Derek Hough, who is now a judge on the show, will bring his “Symphony of Dance” show to the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.; the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Nov 30 at 7:30 p.m.; and Caesars in Atlantic City, Dec. 1 at 9 p.m. Hough will be featured in “Symphony of Dance,” as will his wife, Hayley Hough, who also has danced on “Dancing with the Stars” (under her maiden name, Hayley Erbert; they just got married in August). According to promotional material, the show “explores styles ranging from ballroom and tap to salsa and hip-hop and everything in between.”


• “Nyad,” a new movie about swimmer Diana Nyad that co-stars Annette Bening as Nyad and Jodie Foster as her best friend and coach, will be shown at the Princeton Garden Theatre, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m., with a Q&A session with co-director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi following.

The Barrymore Film Center in Fort Lee will offer a “Hitchcock in New York” series, featuring four Alfred Hitchcock-directed films set entirely or partially in New York: “Saboteur,” Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.; “The Wrong Man,” Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.; “Rope,” Nov. 18 at 4:30 p.m.; and “Rear Window,” Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.


The exterior of The Ballantine House.


• The Ballantine House, The Newark Museum of Art‘s 19th century mansion, has been closed to the public since the beginning of the pandemic. But it will reopen, with significant differences, on Nov. 17. According to a press release, the house “will offer visitors new experiences through installations that celebrate Newark’s dynamic heritage and the Black and immigrant communities that built it, while also spotlighting the Museum’s impressive contemporary art and decorative arts collections. … As visitors move through the mansion, they will learn about the Ballantine family who made their fortune in the beer industry, the Irish, British, and European immigrants who worked in or built the house, and the African American community that lived nearby.”

The three-story, 27-room mansion is adjacent to the museum’s main building, and owned and managed by the museum.

To celebrate the reopening, the museum will offer a “Community Day,” Nov. 18 from noon to 5 p.m., with free admission, carnival games, food, art-making, demonstrations and more.

More than 2 million lights will be turned on for the annual holiday-themed “Magic of Lights” drive-through light show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, which will open on Nov. 17 and run through Dec. 30. The light offerings will include a Christmas Barbie, a dinosaur-filled “Prehistoric Christmas” display and a “Tunnel of Lights,” and there will also be a Holiday Village featuring a Santa’s Workshop and other attractions.


“Pinter x2” (two works by Harold Pinter, “The Dumb Waiter” and “The Lover”) at Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken. (Through Nov. 19)

“Terri Fraser: I Am Here” at Whittemore, Tewksbury. (Through Dec. 9)

“Searching for Drama,” works by Allan Gorman at BrassWorks Gallery, Montclair. (Through Dec. 15)

“It’s Not Paint!,” works by Lisa Lackey at Hillside Square Gallery, Montclair. (Through Dec. 15)

“Dead Ringers: Portraits of Abandoned Payphones,” photographs by Amy Becker at Gallery Aferro. Newark. (Through Dec. 21)

“The Brodsky Center at Rutgers University: Three Decades, 1986-2017” at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through Dec. 22)

“Spiral Q: The Parade” at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton. (Through Jan. 7)

“Local Voices: Memories, Stories and Portraits” at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton. (Through Jan. 7)

“George Inness: Visionary Landscapes” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 30)


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