Top 15 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Rockland-Bergen Music Festival; Rock, Ribs and Ridges Festival, more


Jake Clemons will perform at this year’s Rockland-Bergen Music Festival.

A guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through June 26:


• The Rockland-Bergen Music Festival, so named because it takes place close to the Rockland Country, N.Y./Bergen County, N.J. border, is scheduled for June 23-25, with music at the Turning Point in Piermont, N.Y., June 23-24 at 8 p.m.; German Masonic Park in Tappan, N.Y., June 24 and 25 (beginning at 11 a.m. both days); and the ’76 House in Tappan, N.Y., June 25 at 8:30 p.m. Performers will include Jake Clemons, Joe Grushecky, John Cafferty and Beaver Brown, Jeffrey Gaines, Steve Forbert, Hollis Brown, Joe D’Urso and Stone Caravan, Neil Berg (Billy Joel and Elton John tribute), Rita Harvey (Linda Ronstadt tribute), Carter Calvert (Patsy Cline tribute), Dead Mile Dance, Finn and the Sharks, Anthony D’Amato, Tim O’Donohue & TMU, and others.

• The eighth annual Rock, Ribs and Ridges Festival, taking place June 24-25 at Sussex County Fairgrounds in August, offers barbecue food, overnight camping and lots of music, by The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Steppin’ Stones and the Farmer Phil Band, all on June 24; and Blackberry Smoke, The Outlaws, Molly Hatchet and Stolen Rhodes, on June 25.

In the summer of 2015, the four surviving original members of The Grateful Dead played their last concerts together. But later that year, three of them — singer-guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann — started playing classic Grateful Dead songs together again, along with singer-guitarist John Mayer, bassist Oteil Burbridge and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti as Dead & Company. The group performs at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., June 24 at 7:30 p.m., and the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, June 25 at 7 p.m. 

• Willie Nile — who will release a fine new album of Bob Dylan covers, Positively Bob, on June 23 — will perform at the Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts and Sciences in Loveladies, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. (with Chris Cygan opening), and is double-billed with The Smithereens at the Tarrytown Music Hall, June 23 at 8 p.m.


Richard Barone, right, and Ricky Byrd.

• Richard Barone of The Bongos and Ricky Byrd of Joan Jett’s Blackhearts will team up for a show at The Saint in Asbury Park, June 22 at 7:30 p.m., with Karen Mansfield and Bruce Tunkel joining them as special guests. The show has been described as “an evening of song trading, storytelling and troubadouring” drawing from Barone’s recent Sorrows & Promises: Greenwich Village in the 1960s album as well as his Bongos and solo material; and Byrd’s 2013 Lifer album and his new “Recovery Project” (featuring songs about recovering from drug and alcohol addiction).

• Peter Asher (of the British Invasion duo Peter & Gordon) and guitarist Albert Lee (who has performed with Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, the Everly Brothers and many others) team up for “An Evening of Song and Stories” at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club in Asbury Park, June 22 at 8 p.m.

• Gary U.S. Bonds presents at free concert at Springwood Park in Asbury Park, June 26 at 6 p.m., as part of the Music Mondays series. Laura Crisci and P.K. Lavengood open.


The Princeton Festival will mount a production of Beethoven’s only opera, “Fidelio,” June 25 at 3 p.m. at the McCarter Theatre Center.


The Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, which closed in 2015, will be back this summer, with a busy schedule of plays and concerts. The first production is “Footloose,” which has performances schedule from June 23 to July 9.

• The annual Plays in the Park series at Roosevelt Park in Edison begins June 21, with “Legally Blonde the Musical,” which will run daily through July 1 (except for July 25) at 8 p.m. On the schedule for later in the summer are “West Side Story” (July 12-14 and 16-22) and “Mary Poppins” (Aug. 2-5 and 7-12).

Have a short attention span? The Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken is presenting a One Minute Play Festival, June 24 at 8 p.m. and June 25 at 3 and 7 p.m., with new works by 26 writers.

Bill Maher performs at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, June 25.


• Bill Maher, whose use of a racial slur on his HBO show “Real Time With Bill Maher” early this month incited widespread criticism (followed by a rare apology from the outspoken Maher), will try to put the incident behind him when he performs standup comedy at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, June 25 at 7:30 p.m.


• The State Fair Meadowlands, which runs from June 22 to July 9 outside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, will include rides, food vendors and carnival games, plus other attractions such as Steve Bayner’s hypnotism show, a high dive show, racing pigs, a petting zoo and fireworks (on July 3 and 4 only). There will also be live music daily, including the fifth edition of Cousin Brucie’s Palisades Park Reunion concert, which will take place June 24 at 7 p.m. and feature Felix Cavaliere (of The Rascals), Billy J. Kramer, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Capris and The Quotations.

• The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra will present six free concerts in New Jersey parks this summer, starting June 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Oak Ridge Park in Clark. Sameer Patel will conduct the orchestra in a “Road Trip Across the USA” program that will feature John Williams’ score to Lincoln, Copland’s Rodeo and music from Beauty and the Beast. For a complete list of the free concerts, visit

• KCON 2017, an annual Korean pop culture convention, takes place at the Prudential Center in Newark, June 23-24, with vendors, exhibitions, panel discussions and other activities during the day, and concerts at night. June 23 performers will include GFriend, Highlight, KNK, SF9 and Zion.T. On the bill for June 24 are CNBLUE, NCT 127, Twice and UP10TION.

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