Top 12 NJ Arts Events of the Week: TD James Moody Jazz Festival, Conan and Friends, more

Moody festival preview


A roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Nov. 6:


The TD James Moody Jazz Festival, taking place at NJPAC and other Newark venues, offers 18 events over 15 days, starting this weekend with a free Bethany Jazz Vespers show featuring trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s Quartet at Bethany Baptist Church, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.; and an evening of Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz classics and originals by the Django Festival All Stars (guitarist-violinist Dorado Schmitt and his sons Samson and Amati, along with violinist Pierre Blanchard and accordionist Ludovic Beier) plus guest harpist Edmar Castañeda, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater.

Festival performers over the next two weeks will include Dianne Reeves, Gregory Porter, Sharon Isbin, Stanley Jordan, Marcus Miller, Lalah Hathaway, David Sanborn, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Kurt Elling and the Count Basie Orchestra.


“Broadway Night” at the Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, Nov. 5, features Broadway performers performing songs from various musicals, with proceeds going to support the theater’s professional productions and community programming. There will be food and drinks at 7 p.m., and the show at 8 p.m. Participants will include Frances Ruffelle (a Tony winner for “Les Misérables”), Carlos Lopez (“Man of la Mancha”), Rebecca Pitcher (“Carousel”), Catherine Porter (“Shotgun Wedding”), Joi Danielle Price (“Mamma Mia!”) and Jonathan Rayson (“Little Shop of Horrors”).


• Elvis Costello has been remarkably prolific throughout his 41-year recording career, but went five years — his longest gap ever — before putting out his new one, Look Now. He and his band The Imposters, featuring keyboardist Steve Nieve and drummer Bruce Thomas (both of his former band The Attractions) and bassist Davey Faragher, perform at the Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m., and at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m.

Paul Simon may have recently retired from touring, but his former partner, Art Garfunkel, hasn’t, and will be at BergenPAC in Englewood, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. His latest project was a memoir, “What Is It All But Luminous: Notes From An Underground Man,” released last year. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by midnight Nov. 1, with the word “Garfunkel” in the subject line.)

Veteran singer-songwriters Livingston Taylor and Jon Pousette-Dart will share a double bill at one of New Jersey’s most unique concert venues — the Mount Tabor Tabernacle in Parsippany, a wooden, octagonal building with great acoustics, built in 1885 for use in Methodist camp meetings — Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by midnight Nov. 1, with the word “Taylor” in the subject line.)

Veteran Americana singer-songwriters Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore — who recently released a joint album, Downey to Lubbock, named after their respective hometowns — will perform at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m., with Milton opening.

• The Lone Bellow (singer-guitarist Zach Williams, multi-instrumentalist Kanene Donehey Pipkin and guitarist Brian Elmquist) performs at the Outpost in the Burbs at the First Congregational Church in Montclair, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m., with Naia Izumi opening. This show is part of The Lone Bellow’s acoustic tour. They said in a press release: “For some time now, we’ve done a mid-set performance around one microphone at our shows, and we’ve decided to make an entire night out of it. The three of us are embarking on a country-wide tour of acoustic shows in some of the most beautiful and intimate venues across the country. It will be an opportunity to try new arrangements of our entire repertoire, debut new and unrecorded songs, take requests, and hear more of Zach’s unparalleled storytelling and Brian’s incredible jokes.” (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by midnight Nov. 1, with the word “Bellow” in the subject line.)


Christoph König will conduct the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and Augustin Hadelich will be featured on violin, Nov. 1 at 1:30 p.m. at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark; Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. at the Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University; Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. at the Count Basie Center for the Arts; and Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. The program will include Britten’s Violin Concerto; Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, “Rhenish”; and Strauss’ Don Juan.



Broadway’s original “Annie,” Andrea McArdle, returns to the play, but in the role of the evil orphanage owner Miss Hannigan, at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal, Nov. 2-3, 8-10 and 15-17 at 8 p.m., as well as Nov. 3, 10-11 and 17 at 2 p.m., Nov. 4 and 18 at 3 p.m., and Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. Charles Strouse, who composed the music for “Annie” as well as other Broadway musicals such as “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Applause,” will be on hand Nov. 2 at 7 p.m., to meet fans and sign copies of his autobiography, “Put on a Happy Face.”


Taking advantage of a hiatus in his talk show, “Conan,” Conan O’Brien is on the road with a comedy show titled “Conan and Friends.” It will come to the Music Box at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m., with Rory Scovel, James Veitch, Marina Franklin and Flula Borg joining O’Brien.


The “Jersey Moves! Festival of Dance” features Nimbus Dance Works, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Victoria Theater at NJPAC in Newark. The program will include “Esther,” a retelling of the Old Testament tale; and “Memo,” which is “an exploration of collective and personal memory, set to music by Antonín Dvořák, George Rochberg and Ernest Bloch,” according to a press release. For the latter, Nimbus dancer will be joined by dancers from Newark Arts High School.


Attractions in the Free First Thursday Night series at the Montclair Art Museum, taking place Nov. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m., include a community conversation with Montclair Mayor Robert D. Jackson, revolving around the museum’s current Kara Walker exhibition; meditation; music by the Joel Zelnik Trio; a teen open space studio; knitting; and food trucks.

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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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1 comment

Kevin John Allen November 1, 2018 - 6:54 pm

Thanks, that was a really cool insight in to what’s happening locally!


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