Top 12 NJ Arts Events of the Week: TD James Moody Jazz Festival, Remember Jones, more

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Gladys Knight will perform at NJPAC in Newark as part of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, Nov. 12.

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. 9, 7:30 p.m.: The band Ranky Tanky — which hails from the Charleston, South Carolina, area and specializes in the traditional Gullah music of that region — is double billed with singer Lisa Fischer at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater.

Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.: Cuban singer Omara Portuondo, of Buena Vista Social Club fame, will perform at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater as part of her farewell tour.

Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Vocal group Take 6 will perform with tap dancer Hillary-Marie at Victoria Theater at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater. Hillary-Marie will also duet with beatboxer Mark Martin; according to the NJPAC website, the show will explore “the creative possibilities of voice and body.”

Nov. 12, 7 p.m.: Gladys Knight will perform at NJPAC’s Prudential Hall, with Davell Crawford opening.


Nov. 12, 3 p.m.: Pianist Abdullah Ibrahim will perform with his trio at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater.

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.”

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



Here is a roundup of other arts events taking place around New Jersey, through Nov. 16.


• Remember Jones and guests will perform The Who’s landmark Tommy album in its entirety, Nov. 10-11 and 17-18 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 12 and 19 at 3 p.m. at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal. Guests will include Glen Burtnik of The Weeklings as Uncle Ernie, Jeff Kazee of Southside Johnny’s Asbury Jukes as The Pinball Wizard, and JaQuita May as The Acid Queen. This will not be a production of the musical “The Who’s Tommy,” which ran on Broadway from 1993 to 1995 and has been presented elsewhere since then. This will be a concert version of the 24 songs on The Who’s 1969 double album.

The Zion Lutheran Church in Rahway will host a “NJ Songwriters in the Round” benefit for the WhyHunger organization, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m., with Joe D’Urso, Seth Saltzman, Jon Caspi, Sharon Lasher, Bobby Mahoney, Bob Polding, Jake Thistle, Helen O’Shea and Stella Mrowicki.

The Highline String Quartet will perform string-quartet versions of Taylor Swift songs in a candlelight concert, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City.

Reagan Richards of the country-rock duo Williams Honor will present a show titled “With Love, Reagan: Songs From the Great American Songbook,” Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at The Underground at the URSB Carteret Performing Arts & Events Center.



The Outpost in the Burbs will present “Carousel of Time: A Joni Mitchell 80th Birthday Tribute” — featuring performances of Mitchell’s songs by Deni Bonet & Chris Flynn, Emily Grove, Mary Lee Kortes, Heather Maloney and Jesse Terry — Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Montclair. (Mitchell turned 80 on Nov. 7; this show takes its title from a phrase in her classic song about the passing of time, “The Circle Game.”)

Grove will also present her own Mitchell tribute, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at The Vogel at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank.


Cape May Stage will present “A Tuna Christmas” from Nov. 15 to Dec. 30. Written by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, this 1989 play is set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas, and, according to the Cape May Stage website, is a “satirical look inside the workings of a small town at Christmas.” Two actors will portray more than 20 Tuna residents.

The Black Box Performing Arts Center will present “Edward Albee’s State of the Union: A Fundraiser Workshop Presentation” at the Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, Nov. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. The evening will consist of two Albee-written one-act plays, “Marriage Play” (1987) and “Counting the Ways” (1976), as well as a monologue, “The Perfect Marriage” (2006).


Theatre of Light, a free, multicultural event to be presented by the Mayo Performing Arts Center at Vail Mansion Plaza in Morristown, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m., will focus on light as “a symbol of hope, peace, unity, truth, joy, happiness and more,” according to the Mayo website, and will feature dancing, puppets, music, ice carving and craft making, in addition to the light displays.


Comedian Paul Mercurio will present his “Permission to Speak” show, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. at the Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University in West Long Branch. In this show, Mercutio shares the stage with audience members, who are invited onstage to tell stories about their own lives.

“Triplets of Belleville” will be performed with live music at Montclair State University, Nov. 16.


The Peak Performances series at Montclair State University will present the 2003 animated comedy “Triplets of Bellville” at the Kasser Theater, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m., with live music by Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville. The orchestra will be conducted by Benoît Charest, who composed the music for the Academy Award-nominated (Best Animated Feature, Best Original song for “Belleville Rendez-vous”) film.


Writer Suleika Jaouad and her husband, musician Jon Batiste, will appear at an evening of music and conversation titled “The Beat Goes On: Healing From Cancer Through Music,” with journalist Deborah Amos moderating, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University. Jaouad has written extensively about her battle with cancer and, according to the Princeton website, the event will feature “live performance of works meaningful to Suleika’s recovery (and discussion) about music’s role through illness and how they have managed to convert isolation into art.”


“The Great Gatsby” at Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. (Through Nov. 12)

“Westphalia” at Luna Stage, West Orange. (Through Nov. 12)

“Funny, Like an Abortion” at Mile Square Theatre, Hoboken. (Through Nov. 12)

“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)


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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