Top 15 NJ Arts Events of Week: TD James Moody Jazz Festival, Rhiannon Giddens, more

fantasia njpac


Here is a roundup of arts events taking place around the state, through Nov. 10.


The TD James Moody Jazz Festival gets underway at NJPAC and other Newark venues next week, with early concerts including Fantasia with special guest Jazzmeia Horn (the winner of the festival’s Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2013), Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. at NJPAC’s Prudential Hall; and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, his E-Collective quintet and the Turtle Island Quartet, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at NJPAC’s Victoria Theater. The E-Collective and the Turtle Island Quartet were featured on Blanchard’s 2021 album Absence, a tribute to saxophonist and composer (and Newark native) Wayne Shorter.

• Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the self-titled debut album by their trio Peter, Paul and Mary (also featuring Mary Travers, who died in 2009), Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University in Hillside. The Peter, Paul and Mary album, a folk landmark, hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s pop albums chart, largely on the strength of its biggest hit, “If I Had a Hammer.”

The New Jersey Festival Orchestra presents a concert with the title of “The Good, the Better, and the Best!” and the theme of movie music combined with older classics at the Presbyterian Church of Westfield, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. David Wroe will conduct, and clarinetist Sam Boutris and soprano Maureen Francis will be featured. The program will include Morricone’s The Good, Bad, and the Ugly Suite and Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso; Verdi/Lovreglio’s Fantasy on Themes from La Traviata; and Respighi’s Pines of Rome. (Pianist Yifei Xu will offer a pre-concert talk on the music to come, at 6 p.m.)


The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University is inviting the general public to attend parts of its second annual Immersive Residency program, a series of seven residencies that feature world-class musicians and that represent, according to the school’s website, “an ongoing exploration of the ever-changing landscape of music today, introducing students and the community at large to amazing events of today and to a future that will be, at times, less traditional.”

The Nov. 8-10 residency features Carolina Chocolate Drops member and solo artist Rhiannon Giddens, whose free public events, at Leshowitz Recital Hall, will include an interview by Cali director Tony Mazzocchi, Nov. 8 at 6:30 p.m.; and a concert also featuring multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi and Montclair State students, Nov. 9 at 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required.

Opera at Florham will present a program titled “The Madness That Exists in Opera” — including madness-themed songs from operas such as “Lucia di Lammermoor” and “Othello” and selections from musical theater, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. at The Mansion at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison. Performers will include Joanna Parisi, soprano; Samuel White, tenor; and Bradley Walker, bass-baritone.

Cellist Joshua Roman, who has maintained a busy performing schedule despite suffering from long-term COVID-19 symptoms, will perform in the “Healing With Music” series at Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. The event will be hosted by Clemency Burton Hill and be titled “Living with Long COVID as a Musician: A Conversation/Concert.” The music to be performed will include Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: I. Prélude; Allison Loggins-Hull’s Stolen; George Crumb’s Sonata for Solo Cello; Mark Summer’s Julie-O; and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (arr. Roman).


In 2005, the Uruguayan singer-songwriter Jorge Drexler‘s “Al Otro Lado del Río,” featured in the movie “The Motorcycle Diaries,” became the first Spanish-language to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Drexler, who also has won seven Latin Grammys — and is nominated for eight more in this year’s ceremony, which will take place on Nov. 17 — will perform at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email with “Drexler” in the subject line to by 10 a.m. Nov. 8.)

• Beth Orton, the British singer-songwriter who is touring in support of a new album titled Weather Alive, will perform at the Outpost in the Burbs, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. with Heather Woods Broderick opening. Orton has said of the album, “This record is a sensory exploration that allowed for a connection to a consciousness that I was searching for. Through the resonance of sound and a beaten up old piano I bought in Camden Market while living in a city I had no intention of staying in, I found acceptance and a way of healing.” The show takes place at the First Congregational Church at 40 S. Fullerton Ave. in Montclair.

The band The Beagles, joined by various guest musicians, will perform the songs of Stevie Nicks, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library. There will be no admission charge.

The event is taking place in advance of a Nov. 10 appearance by Simon Morrison, a music history professor at Princeton University and the author of the new book, “Mirror in the Sky: The Life and Music of Stevie Nicks,” Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at Labyrinth Books in Princeton (with a livestream as well). Morrison will discuss Nicks and the book with Nicks superfan and Florida State University professor Mindy Gonzalez-Backen.



Singer-songwriter Karla Bonoff had hits such as “Personally,” “Please Be the One” and “Baby Don’t Go” in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and also has written songs recorded by prominent artists such as Linda Ronstadt (“Someone to Lay Down Beside Me”), Bonnie Raitt (“Home”) and Wynonna Judd (“Tell Me Why”). In 1990, Ronstadt and Aaron Neville had a Top 20 hit with their duet version of her “All My Life.” She’ll perform at the Avenel Performing Arts Center, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email with “Bonoff” in the subject line to by 10 a.m. Nov. 10.)


The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township will present “I am the utterance of my name: Divining Mary Magdalene,” Nov. 4-5 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. Created by Sylvia Milo and composer/percussionist Nathan Davis, partially while in residence at the museum’s Live Arts program, the work is described as “a new music-theater piece about the web of clashing myths, beliefs, symbols, and decrees surrounding the life of Mary Magdalene … Equal parts theater, experimental music performance, and ritual, the artists draw on a multitude of texts and sources — biblical, Gnostic, heretical, medieval, and modern — to create a drama that unfolds in seven apparitions of Mary Magdalene, portrayed by Milo.”

Milo and Davis previously brought their “The Other Mozart” to the Bickford Theatre in 2019.

Oscar- and Tony-nominated actress Kathleen Turner will present a show titled “Finding My Voice” — combining music with stories about her life and career — Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Stockton University Performing Arts Center in Galloway.

The Black Box Performing Arts Center in Englewood will present Edward Albee’s absurdist comedy “The Play About the Baby” — a Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalist in 2001 — on Nov. 10-13, 17-20 and 26-27 and Dec. 1-4.



Former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky — who released a memoir, “Jersey Breaks: Becoming an American Poet,” last month — will participate in a conversation with David Hamilton Golland, dean of The Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the university’s Great Hall Auditorium. There will be no admission charge.


The Village at SOPAC movie theater in South Orange will present three movies starring the late Chadwick Boseman — “42” on Nov. 7, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” on Nov. 8 and “Get On Up” on Nov. 9 — before the opening of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (the sequel to Boseman’s 2018 hit “Black Panther”) on Nov. 10.


“On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan” at Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. (Through Nov. 6)

“Wine in the Wilderness,” presented by George Street Playhouse at New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. (Through Nov. 6)

“Machinal,” presented by Hudson Theatre Works at Wilson School, Weehawken. (Through Nov. 6)

“Tootsie” at State Theatre, New Brunswick. (Through Nov. 6)

“Furia,” presented by Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças at Kasser Theater at Montclair State University. Part of the Peak Performances series. (Through Nov. 6)

“Richard II” at Luna Stage, West Orange. (Through Nov. 13)

“Alexis Rockman: Shipwrecks,” presented by the Princeton University Art Museum at Art@Bainbridge. (Through Nov. 27)

“American Stories: Gifts From the Jersey City Museum Collection” at Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. (Through Dec. 30)

“Thread Hijack” at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton. (Through Jan. 8)

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

“George Inness: Visionary Landscapes” at Montclair Art Museum. (Through June 30, 2024)

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