Top 20 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Randy Newman, Lauryn Hill, more


Randy Newman performs at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, Sept. 15.

Here’s a guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through Sept. 18.


• Randy Newman released Dark Matter, his first album of new songs in nine years. in August. On it, he turned his sharp satirical eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin (see video, below), among other subjects, though it’s not all dark. “Sonny Boy,” for instance, is a heartfelt tribute to legendary bluesman Sonny Boy Williamson. The Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown will present “An Evening with Randy Newman,” Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.

Lauryn Hill and Nas, who performed together on the 1996 hit “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That)” and teamed up for a tour in 2012, are hitting the road together again, and will make their only New Jersey stop at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. Reggae artist Chronixx and the comedian Hannibal Buress will also perform.

Willie Nelson has put together his own touring festival, titled Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival and featuring different lineups in every city. It comes to the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m., with Nelson, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, The Avett Brothers, Nelson’s son Lukas with his band Promise of the Real, and Particle Kid.

Stone Pony house promoter Kyle Brendle, who has helped organize countless benefit concerts over the years, had to have spinal surgery earlier this year, and needs some help paying his medical bills. So the club will host a Friends Helping Kyle benefit, Sept. 16, with performances by Holme, Bobby Bandiera, Secret Sound, Colossal Street Jam, Karen Phillips, The Sandy Mack Band and Mad Kings (with Jimmy Law). Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Remember Jones will host and perform at an evening of music from the 1998 pop-hits compilation album Now That’s What I Call Music, Vol. 1 — featuring songs by The Spice Girls, Janet Jackson, The Backstreet Boys, Fastball, Lenny Kravitz and others — at House of Independents in Asbury Park, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. Other performers will include The Shady Street Show Band, Brielle Von Hugel, The Mad Feather Group, Bre Cade, Chris Rockwell, Kayla Dillon and Ashley Markowitz.


• The Weight Band, featuring guitarist Jim Weider (who replaced Robbie Robertson in The Band in 1985) and other musicians who worked with members of The Band in various side projects, will perform the music of The Band at Roy’s Hall in Blairstown, Sept. 15 at 8:30 p.m.

Todd Sheaffer, frontman for two bands well known to fans of Jersey roots-rock — Railroad Earth and From Good Homes — is on a rare solo tour that will bring him to the Salt GastroPub in Stanhope, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. and Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. He will also return to New Jersey for a show at The Saint in Asbury Park, Oct. 22.

The Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair has a lot of established stars booked for its fall season, including Nick Lowe (Oct. 14), Marc Cohn (Oct. 20), Ian Hunter (Nov. 17) and Bettye LaVette (Dec. 22), but will kick off the season with a show in its “New Voices” series, featuring singer-songwriters Anthony D’Amato and Lily Vakili, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.


Opera Theater of Montclair presents a fully staged production of Gioachino Rossini’s “La Cenerentola” (“Cinderella”) — updated to the Roaring ’20s — at the United Way Theater in Montclair, Sept. 15 and 22 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 16 and 23 at 4 p.m. The opera will be sung in Italian with English supertitles, and is recommended for ages 7 and up.

The Bay Atlantic Symphony will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the landmark Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album with “Classical Mystery Tour,” a concert of Beatles music at the Music Box at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. The show will be part of the Symphony’s 2017 Gala, which will also include a pre-concert dinner and a post-concert dessert reception with the artists at the Borgata’s Conference Center.

Jon Faddis will perform with the NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band on Sept. 15.


The fifth annual New Jersey City University Alumni Jazz Big Band concert takes place at J. Owen Grundy Pier at Exchange Place in Jersey City, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. Richard Lowenthal will conduct, trumpeter Jon Faddis and singer Cyrille Aimée will appear as special guests, and the concert’s theme will be a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich and Thelonious Monk, who were all born 100 years ago, in 1917. There will be no admission charge.

The Central Jersey Jazz Festival is unique among New Jersey jazz festivals in that it takes place in three different cities, on three consecutive days. They shows are also all free. The festival begins at the Historic Court House in Flemington, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m., with Jeff “Tain” Watts,” Lezlie Harrison, Willie Martinez and Jazz House Kids. It continues on George Street in New Brunswick, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m., with the Jimmy Cobb Trio (plus Matt Chertkoff), Lucien Barbarin’s NOLA Sextet, Cocomama and the New Brunswick Brass Band. And it ends the the Somerset County Court House Green in Somerville, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m., with Davell Crawford, Claire Daly, Marion Cowings and Jazz House Kids.

Performers at the 14th annual Jazz and Brew Fest, which takes place Sept. 16 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center in West Orange, will include pianists Oscar Perez, Bill Charlap and Nat Adderley Jr.; singer Alyson Williams; trombonist Jeff Bradshaw; drummer Vincent Ector; and the Citrus youth group.


• The fourth annual Rock the Farm Music & Food Truck Festival, taking place on Grant Avenue in Seaside Heights, Sept. 16 from noon to 10 p.m., has a “Faux-Chella” theme, with many bands concentrating on the music of other groups. Performers will include Echoes (playing the music of Pink Floyd tribute), Tusk (Fleetwood Mac), Hotel California (The Eagles), The Weeklings (The Beatles), The Glimmer Twins (The Rolling Stones) and The Mike Martin Band (Johnny Cash), The Jo Wymer Band, The Sam Sims Band, The Easy Outs and Strumberry Pie. Other attractions will include a children’s entertainers, vendors, food trucks, yoga, drum circles and a dog costume contest. Proceeds will benefit the recovery community organization, CFC Loud N Clear Foundation.

As its name implies, Camp Jam in the Pines, which takes place Sept. 14-16 at the Paradise Lake Campground in Hammonton, features music and camping, as well as children’s activities and workshops on subjects such as guitar, yoga and tie-dye techniques. Performers will include Yarn, Philly Bloco, Entrain, Nik Greeley and the Operators, Caravan of Thieves, Harper and Midwest Kind, The Blue Method, Sensamotion, BD Mylo, Popa Chubby, Professor Louie and the Crowmatix, Pepperwine, Smooth Hound Smith and Ginger Coyle.


Emmy-nominated actor Richard Masur co-stars in “The Net Will Appear” — a new comedy by Erin Mallon about the friendship between a 70-year-old man and a 10-year-old girl — at the Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken, with previews beginning Sept. 13, the official opening night on Sept. 15, and the final show on Oct. 8.

Veteran theater performers Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune will team up for shows at the Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University in Hillside, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. The shows, which are part of the Kean Stage series, will feature singing and dancing by the two, both together and alone, plus storytelling and reflections upon two lives spent in the world of theater.

Charles E. Burchfield’s “Sunburst” will be part of “Weather Event,” an exhibition of his work that will be at the Montclair Art Museum from Sept. 16 through Jan. 7.


Weather is on everyone’s minds these days, so an exhibition of Charles E. Burchfield’s work that will be at the Montclair Art Museum from Sept. 16 through Jan. 7 will seem particularly timely. Burchfield was an Ohio-born painter who lived from 1893 to 1967. The exhibition, titled “Weather Event,” features more than 40 of his landscape watercolors and drawings inspired by nature in many of its manifestations. “All weather is beautiful, and full of powerful motion,” Burchfield once said.


The Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University in Union will host the Liberty Hall Dance Festival, Sept. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. Nicole Buggé, artistic director of Buggé Ballet, is organizing the festival, which will feature site-specific performances — ranging from Baroque to African to modern — by 15 dance companies from New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Contributors will include Buggé Ballet, Art of Motion, ArmadaDance Company, beat piece, BREAKTIME, Bridget Cronin, Brooklyn Contemporary Ballet Collective, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, Darrigan DeMattos, Humanistics Dance Company, Jackie McCreavy, Kennedy Dancers, Louisa Barta, Nikki Manx Dance< Project and Q&A Productions. COMEDY

Veteran comedian Dom Irrera — the Philadelphia native who was voted one of the 100 greatest comedians of all time by the Comedy Central cable television channel in 2004 — performs at the Landis Theater in Vineland, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m., with Vinnie Brand (who owns the Stress Factory comedy club in New Brunswick) opening. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to with “Irrera” in the subject line by midnight Sept. 14.)

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