Top 20 NJ Arts Events of the Week: Jazz House Kids, Outpost in the Burbs anniversary concerts, more

Andra Day will perform at NJPAC, Oct. 24, in a concert celebrating the 15th anniversary of Jazz House Kids.

Here is a guide to notable arts events taking place around the state, through Oct. 24.


• The Montclair-based educational organization, Jazz House Kids, will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a concert at NJPAC‘s Victoria Theater, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. Bassist Christian McBride will serve as the bandleader, and participants will include singer Andra Day, saxophonist David Sanborn, percussionist Sheila E., and keyboardists Matthew Whitaker (a Jazz House Kids alumnus) and Kenny Barron. Actress Gina Gershon will host, and the evening will include tributes to Roy Haynes and McCoy Tyner.

• The New Jersey Jazz Society will celebrate its 45th Anniversary with a concert at the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts at Drew University in Madison, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. Bucky Pizzarelli will be honored, and the show will feature saxophonist- flutist Don Braden (who will serve as music director); trombonist Jason Jackson; guitarists Ed Laub and Dave Stryker; keyboardist Tomoko Ohno; bassist Martin Pizzarelli; drummer Bernard Purdie; singers Danny Bacher, Antoinette Montague and Marlene VerPlanck; and others.

Singers Theo Bleckmann, Alicia Olatuja and Jazzmeia Horn, under the musical direction of drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., will interpret the music of Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone in a show titled “Songs of Freedom” at the Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m.

Bassist and vocalist Nicki Parrott —who some jazz fans may know for her many years with the Les Paul Trio, but who has a long list of other credits as well — will bring her own trio, featuring pianist Rossano Sportiello and drummer Eddie Metz Jr., to the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. The show is part of the theater’s Jazz Showcase series. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by midnight Oct. 19 with the word “Parrott” in the subject line.)



E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg and members of the band The Weeklings will take audience requests — likely playing Beatles songs, Springsteen songs and more — in their Max Weinberg’s Jukebox show taking place at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m.

• The music series and community outreach organization Outpost in the Burbs will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a double bill of Marc Cohn and Valerie June, plus an opening set by Ellis Paul, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at Montclair’s First Congregational Church. (For a chance to win two tickets, send an email to by midnight Oct. 18 with the word “Outpost” in the subject line.)

• Darlene Love will bring her powerhouse voice and more than a half century of performing experience to Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University in Hillside, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., as part of the Kean Stage series.

• The fourth and final show in the Makin Waves Rock Circus series takes place at Roxy and Dukes in Dunellen, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., with The Silverhounds, Coach ‘n’ Commando, Mass Folk Commons and Anthony Carrera, plus circus and burlesque acts, and a photography exhibit by Tiffany Harned.

• Skanatra, a band that specializes in Ska versions of Frank Sinatra songs, was once a staple of the Hoboken rock scene. But its shows have become few and far between. The group will perform, though, at Maxwell’s Tavern, Oct. 21 at 9 p.m.

• The Hand ‘n’ Hand Bands at the Strand benefit at the Strand Theater in Lakewood, Oct. 19 at 6:30, will raise money for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Performers will include Colossal Street Jam, The Eddie Testa Band, JoBonanno and the Godsons of Soul, the Sensational Soul Cruisers, JT Bowen, Arlan Feiles, Acoustic NRG, Jo Wymer, Richie Santa and many others.

The Dragonfly Music and Coffee Cafe in Somerville will present a benefit for Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico, Oct. 22 from noon to 5 p.m., with John Wilkey, Troy Etienne, Gerard Dutka, Joe Canzano, Peter Prasa, DDA, Keith Beck, A Halo Called Fred and others.

• And yet another hurricane relief concert takes place at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, Oct. 20, with The Revel, Owl Kill, Manta, Triple Addiction, The Shoobies and Antonio Gonzales. Doors open at 7 p.m.



• André Watts will perform with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. at Prudential Hall at NJPAC in Newark, in a program that includes Mozart’s Piano Concerto, No. 9, the “Jeunehomme”; and Beethoven’s First Symphony. The concert will also feature the premiere of Vijay Ayer’s “Asunder,” which was commissioned by Orpheus.


Members of New Jersey’s blues community are coming together for “We Are One,” a benefit for displaced victims of Hurricane Harvey, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. at Crossroads in Garwood. Performers will include Big Time Spenders, The Chuck Lambert Band, The Arthur Neilson Band, The Son Lewis Trio, The Bob DelRosso Band, The Midnight Ramblers and others.


• Carolyn Dorfman Dance and pantomime artist Grigory Gurevich will collaborate on a show titled “Under the Umbrella of Movement,” Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City. The show will include favorites from the CDD repertoire including “Keystone,” “WAVES” and “The Klezmer Sketch.”

• The Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown presents a Festival of South African Dance, featuring two traditional troupes, Gumboots and Pantsula, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m.

Ric Ocasek, art

A untitled work of art by Ric Ocasek.


Ric Ocasek of The Cars will be showing some of his artwork at the Wentworth Gallery at The Mall at Short Hills in October and November. He will appear in person at the gallery opening, Oct. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m., and the exhibition, titled “Color the Lines,” will stay up through Nov. 30. Though admission to the opening event is free, RSVPs are strongly suggested; email or call (973) 564-9776.


NJPAC in Newark will show “The Birdcage” — the hit 1996 film comedy based on the French movie “La Cage aux Folles,” and featuring Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest and others — at its Prudential Hall, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. After the film is over, Lane will speak about it.

Pianist Simone Dinnerstein and choreographer Pam Tanowitz are collaborating on “New Work for Goldberg Variations” at the Kasser Theater at Montclair State University. Simone will play the famous Bach music “in dialogue” with dancers in the piece, which will be presented Oct. 19-20 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 22 at 3 p.m., as part of the Peak Performances series.

As part of its free, monthly Late Thursdays program, the Newark Museum will observe the 50th anniversary of Newark’s 1967 unrest — called “riots” by some, “rebellion” by others — with a variety of Oct. 19 offerings, including performances by rapper-actress Rah Digga, singer-actress Frenchie Davis, dancer Storyboard P and poet Hurtjohn; a staged reading of a play, “Hawks Tavern,” set in Newark in the summer of ’67; displays of archival works from the museum’s collection made during that time; new media art and film reflecting the state of Newark today; and art projects. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the program will start at 6.

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