Top 12 NJ Arts Events of Week: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Roomful of Blues, more

jason aldean pnc bank arts center

Jason Aldean performs in Holmdel and Camden this month.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Aug. 14.


Country superstars, fellow Georgia natives and good friends Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan both have New Jersey shows this week, at different amphitheaters. Aldean brings his Back in the Saddle Tour to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m., with Hardy and Lainey Wilson opening, while Bryan will be at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m., with Dylan Scott, Caylee Hammack and DJ Rock.

Aldean will soon return to the Garden State as well, with a 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14 concert at the BB&T Pavilion.

Ross Farm in Basking Ridge, which customarily books singer-songwriters, will try something a little different this week, presenting the high-energy jump-blues band, Roomful of Blues, Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. The veteran Rhode Island-based group also will perform at the Pavilion in the Pines series at the Atlantic Shore Pines Campground in Tuckerton, Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Yes’ longtime frontman Jon Anderson is touring with students from the Paul Green Rock Academy and one of the stops will be at the Ocean City Music Pier, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. According to a press release, the show will feature “a set of Yes classics, deep cuts, mashups, and solo works, all with lush arrangements featuring choral singing, horns, and all the other benefits of having a backing band of 25 young musicians.”

From left, Curtis Stewart, Hamilton Berry, Jannina Norpoth and Nick Revel of PUBLIQuartet.

PUBLIQuartet‘s string quartet version of Mavin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” (listen below) will be on the program when the group (featuring violinists Jannina Norpoth and Curtis Stewart, violist Nick Revel and bassist Hamilton Berry) performs outdoors at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. The New York-based group will also play Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” Jessie Montgomery’s Break Away, and parts of its experimental, genre-defying 2019 project, “MIND | THE | GAP.”

The duo Acute Inflections (singer Elasea Douglas and bassist Sadiki Pierre) recently released an album with jazz versions of Bob Marley songs, titled 400, and will perform songs from it at a free concert Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m., at the Vail Mansion Plaza in Morristown. The show is part of the Mayo Performing Arts Center‘s Arts in the Community series.

Veteran cabaret singer Marieann Meringolo will present a show titled “Between Yesterday and Tomorrow” and devoted to the songs of Alan and Marilyn Bergman — the songwriting partners whose long list of hits include “The Way We Were,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?,” “Nice ’n’ Easy” and “The Windmills of Your Mind” — Aug. 4-7 at 7:30 p.m. at the outdoor Brookside Cabaret at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn.


The free Jazz in the Park series at Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank will offer top-notch artists throughout the month of August, with 7 p.m. shows by Jon Faddis, Aug. 5; “Legends & Lions of Jazz” (featuring Vincent Herring, Brandon McCue and Zach Lorelli), Aug. 12; Bernard “Pretty” Purdie & Friends, Aug. 19; and the Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band, Aug. 26. The series is presented by the Red Bank-based Jazz Arts Project.


Circle Players will present “Side by Side by Sondheim,” Aug. 6-7 at 8 p.m. at Washington Memorial Park in Dunellen. This 1976 revue features songs from “Company,” “Follies,” “Gypsy,” “West Side Story,” “A Little Night Musical” and other Sondheim projects, as well as a few songs that were written for his musicals but did not make the final cut.


News for fans of “The Howard Stern Show”: Longtime staff member Shuli Egar (who left the show earlier this year) will do standup at the Atlantic City Comedy Club at the Claridge Hotel, Aug. 12 at 8:30 p.m., and the actor Michael Rapaport, who is featured frequently on the satellite radio show, will do the same at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 13-14 at 7 and 9:30 p.m.


An annual event since 1940, the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm & Horse Show takes place at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, Aug. 7-14. In addition to the agricultural and animal attractions, there will be rides, games, music, family entertainment such as magic and juggling, monster trucks, demolition derbies, a chili cook-off, baking contests, a Collector Car Night and more.

The Middlesex County Fair, which takes place on Fern Road in East Brunswick through Aug. 8, will offer a similar mix of activities, with bands such as Asbury Fever (Aug. 5), R&B Express (Aug. 6) and After the Reign (Aug. 7) featured daily.


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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