Top 12 Arts Events of Week: Big Band of Brothers featuring Jaimoe, Elton John, ‘Baipas,’ more

big band of brothers

Big Band of Brothers will play jazz versions of Allman Brothers Band songs at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, Feb. 27.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through March 1.


Billed as “A Jazz Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band,” Big Band of Brothers will perform at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. The group’s debut album came out in 2019 and featured songs such as “Whipping Post,” “Statesboro Blues,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “It’s Not My Cross to Bear,” performed by a 16-piece jazz band with guest singers and instrumentalists. Its touring ensemble includes Allman Brothers Band drummer Jaimoe, Sammy Miller & the Congregation, Lamar Williams Jr. (son of the ’70s Allman Brothers Band bassist) and guitarist Drew Smithers.

Listen, below, to the group’s version of “Stand Back.”

Elton John will perform at the Prudential Center in Newark, Feb. 25.

 Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour has already stopped at the Prudential Center in Newark once, in March 2019, and a show at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford is planned for July 23, but he will also perform at the Prudential Center again, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. John has said this will be his last tour; it is currently scheduled to end in the summer of 2023 in Europe, though it is possible more legs will be added.

In an event that has become more timely than anyone anticipated, the New Jersey Youth Symphony will present a show titled “A Concert for Peace” at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., with the program including Marvin Hamlisch’s Anatomy of Peace and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, Jeremiah.

Todd Rundgren and Christopher Cross will be among the artists performing songs from The Beatles’ beloved Revolver and Rubber Soul albums, as well as their own material, on the It Was 50 Years Ago Today Tour, which will come to the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, March 1 at 8 p.m.; Sound Waves at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, March 5 at 8 p.m.; and the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. The tour will also feature Jason Scheff (formerly of Chicago), Badfinger (featuring Joey Molland) and Denny Laine (formerly of The Moody Blues and Wings).

This year’s Django a Gogo festival, celebrating the music of gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, will include two concerts at The Woodland in Maplewood. Django a Gogo organizer Stéphane Wrembel — who is widely recognized as one the world’s leading Reinhardt-style guitarists and has released five albums under the name “The Django Experiment” — will lead a show titled “The Django Experiment” at the Woodland, March 3 at 8 p.m. Other performers will include violinist Daisy Castro, guitarists Josh Kaye, Raphaël Faÿs, Sébastien Félix and Laurent Hestin, saxophonist and clarinetist Nick Driscoll, drummer Nick Anderson and bassist Ari Folman-Cohen. Then, March 4 at 8 p.m., The Woodland will host a concert titled “Django New Orleans” that will merge New Orleans and gypsy jazz musical traditions. Performers will include Wrembel along with New Orleans-based artists Russell Welch on guitar and Aurora Nealand on saxophone and vocals, plus tuba player Joe Correia, drummer Scott Kettner, washboard player David Langlois and others.

Django a Gogo will also include two shows in New York, and a guitar camp.

The Vanguard Theatre will present the Ray Charles tribute “A Portrait of Ray” from Feb. 25 to March 6.

 The Vanguard Theatre in Montclair will present “A Portrait of Ray” — a musical about Ray Charles, set at a homecoming concert in Greenville, Fla., in 1967 — Feb. 25-26 and March 3-4 at 8 p.m., Feb. 27 and March 6 at 3 p.m., and March 5 at 2 and 8 p.m. Dwayne Clark, who has appeared in “The Color Purple” and other shows on Broadway, will play Charles; Clark also co-wrote the musical’s book with his wife, Janeece Freeman Clark, who is the Vanguard Theatre Company’s founding artistic director, and who will direct.

The New Jersey Symphony will perform at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m., and at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, Feb. 27 at 3 p.m. José Luis Domínguez will conduct, and Juan Pablo Jofre will be featured on the accordion-like bandoneon on his own Double Concerto for Violin and Bandoneon (also featuring violinist Eric Wyrick). The program will also include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique,” and Farrenc’s Overture in E Minor.

The New Jersey Jazz Society’s February Virtual Social will feature The Trilateral Project (pianist Tomoko Ohno, drummer/percussionist Samuel Martinelli and bassist Marcus McLaurine) paying tribute to trumpeter Claudio Roditi, who died in 2020. Ohno, Martinelli, McLaurine and Roditi played together on Martinelli’s 2018 album, Crossing Paths. The Social will be streamed on the website as well as on the NJJS Facebook page and YouTube channel, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome.

While the Light of Day 2022 festival events will mostly be happening on March 4 or later, there is one early one this week: a 7 p.m. Feb. 26 concert at the Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point (Rockland County), N.Y., which will feature James Maddock, Guy Davis, Joe D’Urso, Jake Thistle, Loretta Hagen and Arlon Bennett.

• Major Attaway — who is best known for playing the irrepressible Genie in “Aladdin” on Broadway, and who recently co-starred in “A Jolly Holiday: Celebrating Disney’s Broadway Hits” at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn — will present cabaret shows at the Playhouse’s Carriage House restaurant, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 27 at 5 p.m.


The Oscar-nominated Puerto Rican filmmaker Jacobo Morales is also a playwright, and his love story “Baipás” will be presented, in its English language premiere, by the George Street Playhouse at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center from March 1 to March 20, with the official opening on March 4.

The State Theatre in New Brunswick will present “An American in Paris,” a musical version of the 1951 film, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m., Feb. 26 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. The musical, which debuted in Paris in 2014 and ran on Broadway in 2015, includes George and Ira Gershwin-written classics such as “I Got Rhythm,” “ ‘S Wonderful,” “But Not for Me” and “Stairway to Paradise.”



Colin Quinn will present “The Last Best Hope,” a new one-man show about the state of the country and life during the pandemic, at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m., with an opening set by Tim Gage.


Eugene O’Neill Festival (“Desire Under the Elms” and “Hughie”) at Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken. (Through Feb. 27)

“The OK Trenton Project” at Passage Theatre Company, Trenton. (Through Feb. 27)

“Ode to Joy” at Black Box Performing Arts Center, Englewood. (Through Feb. 27)

“On and Off the Streets: Urban Art New Jersey” at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Feb. 27)

“Painting in Excess: Kyiv’s Art Revival, 1985-1993” at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through March 13)

“Bruce Springsteen Live!” at Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center, Newark. (Through March 20)

“In Time and In Tide” by Armisey Smith and “Red Portraits” by Caren King Choi at Gallery Aferro, Newark. (Through April 1)

“Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 26)


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