Top 12 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Black Potatoe Music Festival, Darlene Love, more

Willy Porter

Willy Porter will be among the performers at this year’s Black Potatoe Music Festival.

A guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through July 17:


The Black Potatoe Music Festival enters adulthood this year: The 21st edition of this annual celebration of independent music takes place July 13-16 in its usual location, outdoors at the Red Mill Museum in Clinton. Among the acts performing on two stages will be The Matt Angus Thing, Ellis Paul, Scott Sharrard & the Brickyard Band, Willy Porter & Carmen Nickerson, Nalani & Sarina, Gregg Cagno, the Mike Montrey Band, the Sharar Sisters, Jenny & the Felines, KC Cary, Experiment 34, Jann Klose and the Karl Dietel Five. The music will last from 6 to 11 p.m. July 13 and 14, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 15, and from 11:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. July 16.

One of the most intriguing pop/rock double bills of the summer, teaming Rod Stewart with Cyndi Lauper, comes to the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, July 12 at 7:30 p.m., with a show also scheduled for the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, July 25 at 7:30 p.m.

• The Moody Blues are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Days of Future Passed album — a landmark orchestral-rock work, featuring the hits “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon” — by playing it in its entirety on their current tour, which comes to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, July 13 at 8 p.m.

 The long-running, punk-oriented Vans Warped Tour comes to the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, July 15 at 12:30 p.m., with, literally, scores of acts, including Hatebreed, GWAR, Anti-Flag, The Ataris, Hawthorne Heights, Sammy Adams, CKY, American Authors, The Alarm, Dance Gavin Dance, Sick of It All, Memphis May Fire, Save Ferris, Candiria, Silverstein, Emmure, The Acacia Strain, Big D and the Kids Table, Beartooth, Valient Thorr and Alestorm.

Darlene Love


Powerhouse vocalist Darlene Love will make three free appearances in New Jersey this week, performing outdoors at the Fort Lee Community Center, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.; at Brookdale Park in Montclair/Bloomfield, July 14 at 7:30 p.m.; and at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater, July 16 at 7 p.m. (Update: The Fort Lee show has been rescheduled for July 17, and the Montclair/Bloomfield show to Aug. 2).

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (CSN, The Hollies) Graham Nash presents “An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories” at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, July 14 at 7 p.m. He’ll be backed at this show only by guitarist Shane Fontayne. He’ll be back in New Jersey, too, for shows at the Ocean City Music Pier, July 24 at 7 p.m., and the Pollak Theatre at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m.

Richard Barone will play songs from his 2016 album Sorrows & Promises: Greenwich Village in the 1960s — as well as some material from his albums as a solo act and as a member of The Bongos — July 13 at 8 p.m. at Mexicali Live in Teaneck. Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter Colin Gilmore will open and also join Barone for some songs; also helping Barone out on some material will be his frequent collaborator Nick Celeste, and Deena Shoshkes and Jon Fried of The Cucumbers.


Though best known for his ragtime compositions, Scott Joplin also wrote an opera, “Treemonisha,” and Trilogy: An Opera Company will perform it at Veterans Memorial Park in Newark, July 12 at 7 p.m.

Bill Charlap



The Summer Jazz Room series at William Paterson University in Wayne will feature live music, classic films and discussions, July 17-21. Among the attractions are “Miles Ahead,” July 17 (see trailer below); Rossano Sportiello and Harry Allen, and “Straight, No Chaser: Thelonius Monk,” July 18; Peter Bernstein with the Big Beat Big Band and “The Benny Goodman Story,” July 19; The Heath Brothers Quartet with Freddie Hendrix and “Bird,” July 20; and The Bill Charlap Trio and “In Good Time: The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland,” July 21.


 The adjective “prolific” doesn’t seem to be strong enough to describe Agatha Christie, who wrote 16 plays in addition to her 73 novels. One of those plays, “Spider’s Web,” will be presented at the Hamilton Murray Theater at Princeton University, July 13-16 and 20-23, as part of the Princeton Summer Theater series.


The second of three dance performances in this year’s Inkubate series — a collaboration between the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble and the Reeves-Reed Arboretum — will take place at the arboretum, July 12 at 7 p.m., and a feature a new work created for the site by choreographer Adam Barruch. Arboretum grounds will open at 6 p.m. for those who want to picnic.


A new exhibition, “iPadology/Abstract Expressions” opens at the West Orange Arts Center, July 12, and runs through Aug. 23. According to a press release, the show “explores how the combination of the iPad, apps, and printers can be used to create abstract images that extend the vitality and reality of photography.” Featured artists will include Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Ellen Foto, Fran McClain, Abeni Mussa and Mansa K. Mussa, and related offerings will include an iPadology workshop, Aug. 12 at noon; and an iPadology demonstration, Aug. 26 at 1 p.m.

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