Top 12 NJ Arts Events of Week: Montclair Jazz Festival, Central Jersey Jazz Festival, more


The 2022 edition of the Montclair Jazz Festival will feature a star-studded lineup.

Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Sept. 15.


Singer Danielle Ponder, bassist Christian McBride, keyboardist Matthew Whitaker and the all-star group Artemis will be among the performers at the Montclair Jazz Festival’s free, outdoor Downtown Jamboree, produced by the Montclair-based educational organization Jazz House Kids and taking place Sept. 10. Here is the schedule:


Downtown Jamboree at BDP Holdings Lackawanna Stage
1:30 p.m.: Jazz House Collective Celebrates Charles Mingus
3 p.m.: Ozmosys featuring Omar Hakim and Rachel Z
4:30 p.m.: Artemis featuring Renee Rosnes, Ingrid Jenson, Alexa Tarantino, Nicole Glover, Noriko Ueda and Allison Miller
6 p.m.: Christian McBride + Friends
7:45 p.m.: Danielle Ponder

Uptown at The Fullerton Stage (Bloomfield and Fullerton avenues)
1 p.m.: Matthew Whitaker
2:30 p.m.: Claudia Acuña
4 p.m.: The Cookers featuring Billy Harper, Cecil McBee, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, Billy Hart, David Weiss, Donald Harrison
5:30 p.m.: Immanuel Wilkins
7 p.m.: Monty Alexander

Midtown at The Blue Note at Sea Street Stage (Bloomfield Avenue and Seymour Street)
1 p.m.: Moody Scholars
2 p.m.: Nathan Farrell Quartet
3 p.m.: Esteban Castro Trio
4 p.m.: The Dorsey Quintet
5 p.m.: Montclair State University All-Stars
6 p.m.: Jazz House All Stars/Blue Note at Sea Band

After Party at Wellmont Theater
9 p.m.: DJ Logic


This year’s edition of the annual Central Jersey Jazz Festival will feature free shows in four cities, over three days.

Blues People, Marion Cowings (featuring AC Lincoln) and others will perform on Stangl Road in Flemington, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m.

The lineup on Livingston Street in New Brunswick, Sept. 10 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., will include the Cyrus Chestnut Quartet, the Lucy Yeghiazaryan Quintet (featuring Houston Person), the Lee Hogans Quintet and others.

Bobby Sanabria and Ascensión will headline the lineup at Town Plaza in Metuchen, Sept. 10 from 6 to 9:30 p.m., with the Metuchen High School Jazz Ensemble and students from the Metuchen Dance Centre also performing.

The festival will end with the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience, Curtis Lundy & Umoja Ensemble, the Lezlie Harrison Quartet and NJPAC Jazz for Teens students performing on the Somerset County Court House Green in Somerville, Sept. 1 from 1 to 6 p.m.

Seven-time Grammy-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker — whose career also includes work with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Bruce Springsteen and Frank Zappa — will perform with his wife, saxophonist Ada Rovatti, plus pianist Bill O’Connell, bassist Marco Panascia and drummer Steve Johns at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. Brecker and Rovatti collaborated on a 2019 album, Brecker Plays Rovatti: Sacred Bond, featuring songs written by Rovatti and played by Brecker, Rovatti and others.

• Max Weinberg and The Smithereens (featuring Marshall Crenshaw) will both perform at a free Sept. 10 concert at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, presented by the Union County Board of Commissioners. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets or lawn chairs to the 6-10 p.m. event, which will also feature Ray Andersen’s “Bowie and Beyond” tribute to the late David Bowie. The Union County website,, does not specify whether Weinberg will be presenting his Max Weinberg’s Jukebox show or performing in some other manner. But Weinberg’s own website,, does list it as a Jukebox show. Jukebox shows feature Weinberg and other musicians performing classic rock covers requested by audience members.


The Princeton Symphony Orchestra opens its 2022-23 season with concerts at the Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 11 at 4 p.m. PSO music director Rossen Milanov will conduct and Anne Akiko Meyers will be featured on Arturo Márquez’s Fandango Violin Concerto. The program also will include Joaquín Turina’s Danzas fantásticas, Op. 22; Marcos Fernández’s America (United States premiere); Ruperto Chapí’s Prelude to La Revoltosa; and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol.

Drummer and percussionist Billy Martin of the virtuosic jam band Medeski, Martin & Wood will present a solo concert, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Box Performing Arts Center in Englewood. According to a press release, Martin, a longtime Bergen County resident, “will perform a solo set utilizing percussion instruments, found objects, voice, flutes, bird calls, and more,” and the show is “designed for people of all ages and backgrounds” and “begins an ongoing residency for Mr. Martin at The Black Box.”


This year’s edition of the free, annual Dance on the Lawn festival, taking place Sept. 10 at 3 p.m. at the Montclair Public Library, features performances by Maxine Steinman and Dancers, Nai-Ni Chen and Company, Maurice Chestnut, MORISATO, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, Bhaarat Nritya Academy, Danceworks & Co. and Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts, as well as a work choreographed by “Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer” William Ervin.

Pamela Moore’s “Tree View Wedding” is part of the “Life and Landscape: Inspired by George Inness” exhibition.


The Montclair Art Museum has a large collection of works by landscape painter George Innes (1825-1894), who lived and worked in Montclair for part of his life. And it will display many of them in a new exhibition, “Visionary Landscapes,” which will open on Sept 10 and run through June 30, 2024. This will be a “salon-style” exhibition, with paintings filling the walls, from floor to ceiling.

In conjunction with this exhibition, “Life and Landscape: Inspired by George Inness” — featuring works by about 50 Inness-influenced artists — will run at the the museum’s Vance Wall Art Education Center gallery as well as the nearby Leach Gallery at Studio Montclair, from Sept. 9 to Nov. 6. (There will be an opening reception at both locations, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m.)


Billed as a site-specific, peripatetic and immersive “theatrical exploration of real events,” “Thou Shalt Not” will be presented by Thinkery & Verse at the Assembly Hall of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in New Brunswick, Sept. 14-17, 22-24 and 29-30 and Oct. 1 and 6-8. The play explores the highly publicized 1922 murders of Edward Wheeler Hall and Eleanor Mills; Hall was working as a priest at St. John the Evangelist at the time of the murder and was having an affair with Mills, a married woman who was a member of his choir. Hall’s wife and her two brothers were indicted for the murders, but the jury decided there was not enough evidence to convict.

The Count Basie Center for the Arts will present “In Conversation With the Sopranos,” Sept. 10.


“The Sopranos” cast members Steve Schirripa (Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri), Vincent Pastore (Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero) and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) will participation in an event titled “In Conversation With the Sopranos,” Sept. 1o at 8 p.m. at the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank. Comedian Joey Kola will host the evening, in which the three actors will share memories and photos, and answer questions by audience members.

Brian O’Halloran of Kevin Smith’s “Clerks” movies, Cooper Andrews of the television series “The Walking Dead” and John O’Hurley of “Seinfeld” and “Dancing With the Stars” will meet fans at the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market, taking place at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison, Sept. 10, beginning at 10 a.m. Other attractions include more than 400 vendors, music and tattooing.

Princeton University will kick off its “Atelier@Large: Conversations on Art-making in a Vexed Era” series with a free, open-to-the-public discussion, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Richardson Auditorium featuring novelist Jennifer Egan and tap dance artist Michael J. Love, with poet (and Princeton professor) Paul Muldoon serving as moderator. According to the university’s website, the series “brings guest artists to campus to discuss the challenges they face in making art in the modern world.”


“Land of the Free” at MANA Contemporary, Jersey City. Works by Vincent Valdez, Hugo Crosthwaite and Joe Minter. (Through Sept. 17)

“For the Culture, by the Culture: Thirty Years of Black Art, Activism, and Achievement” at Morris Museum, Morris Township. (Through Sept. 25)

“New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence” at State Museum, Trenton. (Through April 30)

“And in That Place Where Flower and Flame Meet We Grow” at YES Gallery, Hoboken.


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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