Ramsey Lewis, Neil Berg's 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY, Lydia Johnson Dance and More Set for SOPAC's 2014-15 Lineup
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has announced its 2014-15 performance schedule through February 2015. Please note that performances are added throughout the season.
FRI 9/13 at 8PM - RAMSEY LEWIS: IN PERFORMANCE & CONVERSATION
Composer, pianist, and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis has been referred to as "the great performer," a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which showcase his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. Ramsey Lewis first captivated fans with his first album Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing by the Ramsey Lewis Trio in 1956. By 1965, he was one of the nation's most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with "The In Crowd," "Hang On Sloopy," and "Wade In The Water."
Ramsey Lewis is a three-time Grammy Award winner and has seven gold records to his credit. In 2007, he was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.
SUN, 9/14 at 7:30PM - JOHN HIATT
Roots, Americana, Singer-Songwriter
As one of America's most respected and influential singer-songwriters, John Hiatt tours in support of his new album Terms of My Surrender. His songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt ("Thing Called Love"), Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash (the #1 country hit, "The Way We Make A Broken Heart"), Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, and Linda Ronstadt. He earned a Grammy Award nomination for his album Crossing Muddy Waters, and B.B. King and Eric Clapton shared a Grammy for their album Riding With The King, the title track from which was a Hiatt composition. In 2007, John Hiatt was honored with his own star on Nashville's Walk of Fame and his legacy was even further cemented with a pair of accolades in the fall of 2008: the Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in September, and his October induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
SAT 9/20 at 8PM - EagleMania
Classic Rock, Tribute Tickets: $20-$35
EagleMania has emerged as the greatest Eagles tribute band, thrilling audiences up and down the East Coast since their inception. The music of the Eagles appeals to a wide variety of age groups, and the combination of heartfelt ballads, rock anthems laden with guitar harmonies, and the unmistakable sound of vocal harmonies as only the Eagles can do, has propelled the band's music for the past 40-plus years, positioning the Eagles as one of the most successful and most popular bands in music history.
SUN 9/21 at 2PM & 6:30PM - MICHÉAL CASTALDO - A MUSICAL CELEBRATION OF THE ITALIAN SPIRIT
Presented by Investors Bank and Majestic Castle Music
Award-winning Italian tenor and songwriter, Michéal Castaldo will perform classic Italian tunes like "O Sole Mio," "Con Te Partiro" (made famous by Andrea Bocelli), and his chart-topping original song, "Pray'r, " as well as American hit songs sung in Italian, such as "Nights in White Satin, " and "Hotel California" sung in the Calabrian language. This multimedia show will feature dancers from the New York City area, performing vibrant dance routines to complement each song performed by Castaldo, accompanied by The John J. Cali School of Music Strings of Montclair State University, NJ. Michéal Castaldo has entertained audiences across the USA, Canada, and Europe with rousing renditions of classic Italian songs. With a voice that soothes the soul, Castaldo's performances are enchanting, heartfelt, and authentic. His stories in between songs share moments from his Italian upbringing, tidbits about his musical journey, and insight that went into his song choices.
FRI 9/26 at 8:00PM - THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER: LIVING ROOM SESSIONS
The legendary Manhattan Transfer is one of the most important and innovative vocal groups in the history of popular music. The quartet's rich harmonies have earned them dozens of Grammy Awards and collaborations with Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Phil Collins, James Taylor, and many more. The Manhattan Transfer became the very first group to win both Pop and Jazz Grammy Awards in the same year - Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Boy From New York City," and Best Jazz Performance, Duo or Group for "Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)," both from their sixth studio album, Mecca for Moderns.
SAT 10/04 at 8:00PM - BOBBY COLLINS
Always the funniest guy in the room, Bobby Collins is a show-business institution who has made millions laugh across the country. A native of New York, Collins was literally born into comedy when his father named him for his favorite comedian, Bob Hope. The audience at a Bobby Collins show is half the fun. Many of Collins' enthusiastic fans have been following him for years and know by heart some of his classic bits ("...on the inside!"). But, Bobby keeps it fresh with new everyday-life observations and his travels. Over the years, he has hosted VH-1?s "Stand Up Spotlight;" toured with Cher, Julio Iglesias, Dolly Parton and Tony Bennett, among others; and released six comedy CDs.
WED 10/08 at 7:30PM - THE WAILERS "LEGEND" 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR
Led by Bob Marley, The Wailers burst onto the reggae scene more than 50 years ago with a force never before seen and never since duplicated within in the genre, taking reggae sounds from the streets of Jamaica and delivering them to living rooms and bedrooms across the globe. Now, more than 30 years since Marley's untimely death, the world's most iconic reggae outfit will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Legend, the legendary greatest hits compilation containing songs like "Is This Love," "No Woman, No Cry," "Could You Be Loved," and "Buffalo Soldier."
FRI 10/10 at 8PM- NEW JERSEY STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS CHOREOGRAPHY FELLOWSHIP SHOWCASE
The New Jersey State Council on the Arts has designated Randy James, Lydia Johnson and Erin Carlisle Norton as Fellows for 2014. Please join us for an evening of spectacular dance by these acclaimed choreographers and their dance companies.
SAT 10/11 at 2PM - TOM CHAPIN'S FAMILY CONCERT
Kids 'N Family, Music Tickets: $15-$20 Adults | $8-$13 kids 12 and under
Tom Chapin engages hearts, minds and imaginations with witty, life-affirming original songs delivered in a sophisticated array of musical styles. In a career that spans five decades, 23 albums and three Grammy Awards, the multi-talented singer-songwriter and guitarist has covered an incredible amount of creative ground. Tom Chapin is a highly respected contemporary folk artist and a pioneer in the field of children's music. Billboard Magazine calls him "totally captivating" and "the best family artist around."
SAT 10/11 AT 8PM - CHRISTINE EBERSOLE WITH THE AARON WEINSTEIN TRIO IN "STRINGS ATTACHED"
An evening of jazzed up Broadway classics and songbook standards. For over 30 years, two-time Tony Award-winning actress (and Maplewood, NJ resident), Christine Ebersole has captivated audiences on the Broadway stage, television, films, concert appearances, and recordings. Ms. Ebersole won her first Tony Award for the smash hit revival of 42nd Street and her second Tony Award for Grey Gardens. Selected highlights of her illustrious career include Broadway revivals of Steel Magnolias, Camelot, Oklahoma, Dinner at Eight (Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations). In film, she's has appeared in Wolf of Wall Street, Amadeus, Tootsie, and The Big Wedding, among others. Ms. Ebersole has appeared at Carnegie Hall, with the San Francisco Symphony, the Boston Pops, Tanglewood, and more. She has appeared often on PBS, including her star turns in "Ira Gershwin at 100" and "The Rodgers & Hart Story."
Named a "rising star violinist" by Downbeat Magazine, Aaron Weinstein is quickly earning a reputation as one of the finest jazz violinists of his generation. As a featured soloist, Aaron has performed at world-class venues such as Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
SAT 11/1 AT 8PM- STORM LARGE, PINK MARTINI'S VOCALIST
Pop, Rock, Cabaret, Standards
Acclaimed vocalist Storm Large sings the American songbook, Broadway tear-jerkers, rock goddess anthems and some of her own gorgeous originals all delivered with a fierce personal commitment. Storm shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova. She made her debut as guest vocalist with the band Pink Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She continues to perform with the band, touring nationally and internationally, and she was featured on their CD, Get Happy. Storm has also sung with Grammy Award-winner k.d. lang, pianist Kirill Gerstein, punk rocker John Doe, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton. She debuted with the Oregon Symphony in 2010, and has returned for sold out performances each year thereafter. Storm made her Carnegie Hall debut in May 2013, singing Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with the Detroit Symphony as part of the Spring for Music festival. The NY Times called her "sensational," and the classical music world instantly had a new star.
TUE 11/04 at 7:30PM - ARLO GUTHRIE "THE SOLO REUNION TOUR...TOGETHER AT LAST"
Legendary singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie performs an evening featuring his most beloved songs. Arlo is the eldest son of America's most beloved singer/writer/philosopher Woody Guthrie and Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of The Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease. Arlo's career exploded in 1967 with the release of Alice's Restaurant, whose title song premiered at the Newport Folk Festival helped foster a new commitment among the '60s generation to social consciousness and activism. Arlo went on to star in the 1969 Hollywood film version of Alice's Restaurant, directed by Arthur Penn. With songs like "Alice's Restaurant," too long for radio airplay; "Coming into Los Angeles," banned from many radio stations (but a favorite at the 1969 Woodstock Festival); and the definitive rendition of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans," Arlo was no one-hit-wonder. An artist of international stature, he has never had a hit in the usual sense. Over the last four decades Guthrie has toured throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia winning a wide, popular following.
THU 11/06 at 7:30PM - JEFFERSON STARSHIP
Jefferson Starship, founded by Rock Hall of Fame inductee Paul Kantner (who also founded Jefferson Airplane) and David Friedberg (who also founded Quicksilver Messenger Service), soar into their 40th year, carrying one of rock music's greatest legacies and halcyon repertoires. The group's music is the soundtrack of a generation including the smash hits "Somebody to Love," "White Rabbit," and "We Built This City." Recent television specials on PBS and HDNet have only furthered the legendary band's following. As genuine American good will ambassadors, they have appeared in 30 countries on 4 continents, including Brazil, Japan, Israel, and Serbia at the invitation of the American Embassy.
FRI 11/07 at 8PM - RALPHIE MAY Comedy Tickets: $24-$49 Since his debut on the very first season of "Last Comic Standing," audiences just can't get enough of this larger-than-life comedian. Ralphie May has a no nonsense point of view and the ability to connect with diverse audiences by pointing out society's hypocrisies. Ralphie doesn't shy away from touchy topics or ethnic jokes, nor does he bite his tongue when society suggests, because he sincerely believes that as long as what he's saying is true, people need to hear it. Voted one of Variety Magazine's "10 Comics to Watch," Ralphie recently released his record-setting fourth one-hour special for Comedy Central titled "Too Big To Ignore," proving that his relatable comedic genius is in higher demand than ever.
SAT 11/08 at 8PM - DAVID BROMBERG BIG BAND Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, Big Band
Tickets: $43-$70 With a stage full of incredible talent and no set list, the freewheeling David Bromberg Big Band concerts have become the stuff of legends. Bromberg's sensitive and versatile approach to guitar-playing is steeped in the folk and blues traditions. He's played with everyone, toured everywhere, and he can lead his raucous big band or hold an audience silent with solo acoustic blues. He became a first-call, "hired gun" guitarist for recording sessions, ultimately playing on hundreds of records by artists including Bob Dylan (New Morning, Self Portrait, Dylan), Link Wray, The Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, and Carly Simon.
SUN 11/09 at 7:30PM - ANA MOURA
World Music, Portugese Fado
Moura has a voice "made for melodrama...aesthetically thrilling and emotionally heartbreaking." Described by Examiner as "a torch singer with Mediterranean qualities," exquisite vocalist Ana Moura possesses a sound unlike any other in fado. Her voice strolls freely through the Portuguese tradition, flirting elegantly with pop and broadening the soul-bearing genre to stunning results. The BBC raves, "her melancholic intimacy dominates the moment it sashays out of the speakers...setting a mood of mesmerizing sorrow."
The artist released her seventh full length album, Desfado, in 2013, which was voted the Best World Music Recording of the Year by The Sunday Times of Lisbon.
THU 11/13 at 7:30PM - CAROLYN DORFMAN DANCE COMPANY: THE LEGACY PROJECT A Dance of Hope
"Emotionally "resonant." -The New York Times "Ingenious and powerful." -The Star-Ledger
Acclaimed choreographer and storyteller Carolyn Dorfman has created an exultant "dance-theatre" trilogy that joins us through our common human experience. Told through the lens of the Holocaust and its unspeakable devastation, hope inspires the journey to a land that promises new beginnings! Through trials and triumphs, families are torn apart and come together. Our deepest desires for peace, freedom and family are illuminated in this triumphant work that will make you cry, laugh, think and celebrate the capacity of the human spirit to rise above all circumstance. On the heels of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the infamous "Night of Broken Glass" the evening concludes with "Yesterday's Story is Today's Reality", a panel discussion with the artists and Seton Hall professors, clergy, and guests.
FRI 11/14 at 8PM - GET THE LED OUT "THE AMERICAN LED ZEPPELIN"
Classic Rock, Tribute
The premiere Led Zeppelin tribute band returns to the SOPAC stage! Dubbed by the media as "The American Led Zeppelin," Get The Led Out have captured the essence of the recorded music of Led Zeppelin and brought it to the concert stage for a live experience like you've never heard before. Get The Led Out is a Philadelphia-based group consisting of six veteran musicians who are intent on re-creating Led Zeppelin's songs in all their depth and glory with the studio overdubs that Led Zeppelin themselves never performed. When you hear three guitars on the album, Get The Led Out delivers three guitarists on stage. No wigs or fake English accents, Get The Led Out brings just what the audience wants...a high energy Zeppelin concert with an honest, heart-thumping intensity.
SAT 11/15 at 8PM - NEIL BERG'S 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY
Award-winning composer, lyricist, and producer, Neil Berg brings the country's number one touring Broadway concert to SOPAC. 100 Years of Broadway recreates the greatest moments from the finest shows of the century featuring the stars of shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, CATS, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Jekyll & Hyde. These amazing performers light up the stage with songs from the hit shows in which they starred. Neil Berg presents brilliantly revived arrangements of Broadway showstopper classics as well as thrilling numbers from Broadway's newest hit shows.
SUN 11/16 AT 7:30PM- RACHELLE FERRELL
Singer-Songwriter, Jazz, Pop, R&B
Rachelle Ferrell is unquestionably one of the most dynamic talents in contemporary pop music. Very few vocal artists in the industry have Ferrell's potent combination of range, phrasing, and musicianship. Ferrell first emerged in the United States in 1992 with her R&B debut Rachelle Ferrell, a solid collection of self-penned originals that featured a striking duet with Will Downing titled "Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This." It was with the release of First Instrument in 1994 (recorded prior to Rachelle Ferrell) that audiences were really introduced to Ferrell's jazz sensibilities. Ferrell has worked with some of the top names in jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, George Benson, and George Duke.
FRI 11/21 at 8:00PM - THE WEIGHT "CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF LEVON HELM AND THE BAND"
Replicating the music of The Band is a tall order. But interpreting the music of The Band is an art. Songs that have reverberated across history for decades continue to speak to millions of us. And The Weight, a five-piece ensemble featuring Jim Weider and Randy Ciarlante from The Band, Brian Mitchell and Byron Isaacs of the Levon Helm Band and Marty Grebb, who worked with Rick Danko and Richard Manuel of The Band, remains a vehicle through which we can continue to share those stories and dance to those back beats. Come and take a load off.
SAT 11/22 at 2PM - THE MONSTER WHO ATE MY PEAS
Kids 'N Family, Musical Theatre
A highly amusing and moving musical about Danny, a boy who absolutely cannot stand to eat peas! When a crafty monster appears underneath his kitchen table, Danny is ready to make a deal... Danny agrees, if the monster will eat his peas, he will surrender any of his possessions. First, it's his soccer ball, then, it's his bike. But, when the monster raises the stakes, will Danny refuse the monster and make the difficult decision to face his own fears? Prepare to be entertained and engaged by this wonderfully written tale about the value of will power.
SAT NOV 29 at 8PM- GIANTS OF JAZZ, HONORING MCCOY TYNER
Join us at this annual celebration! Honoree McCoy Tyner will be joined by some of the greatest names in jazz in this star-studded night of music. Check www.SOPACnow.org for the most up-to-date list of musicians performing that evening. Presented by SOPAC, Village of South Orange, and the Baird.
DEC 11/06 at 2PM &7PM - GRAHAM LUSTIG'S A JAZZY NUTCRACKER
Kids 'N Family, Dance, Jazz
Graham Lustig's A Jazzy Nutcracker is 'Jumpin' with Jazz' in his adaptation of the timeless holiday classic performed by the diverse and talented dancers of Lustig Dance Theatre. It's a swinging 60s London Christmas with melodies that will set your feet tapping, colorful sets that will enchant you, and vibrant costumes that will engage you. A space-age battle scene, a local marching band, 30 young community dancers, and a dancing Santa Claus spend a night discovering the secrets of "Drosselmeyer's" magical department store and add to the spectacle of Klara's enchanting transformation! Composer Paul Undreiner has woven a delightful score that echoes the original, and is played live by a jazz sextet. Come and be transported into the fresh, fun and imaginative world of A Jazzy Nutcracker!
FRI 12/12 at 8PM - GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA IN THE CHRISTMAS MOOD
It's time to get 'In the Christmas Mood' as the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra breaks open the vault of holiday music. You'll hear the Miller Christmas classics "Jingle Bells" and "Sleigh Ride," as well as popular Glenn Miller favorites such as "In the Mood," "Moonlight Serenade," "American Patrol," "Little Brown Jug" and "Tuxedo Junction." With its unique jazz sound, The Glenn Miller Orchestra is the most popular and sought after big band in the world today! The orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world.
FRI 12/19 AT 8PM- CHERISH THE LADIES CHRISTMAS
Tickets: $25- $40
The Ladies perform classic Christmas carols, in their signature arrangements highlighting unique Celtic instrumentation, beautiful harmonies and spectacular step-dancing. A wonderful Christmas program complete with full band and traditional Irish step dancers.
SAT 12/27 AT 8PM- JAY AND THE AMERICANS
Tickets: $34- $54
Very few bands have ever reached the musical heights of Jay and the Americans. Greatest hits include "This Magic Moment," "Cara Mia" and more!
THU 1/08 at 7:30PM- MADELINE PEYROUX
Multi-million album seller Madeleine Peyroux has been dubbed "the 21st century Billie Holiday," and has worked with some of the greats in the music industry, including Joni Mitchell's producer Larry Klein and Steely Dan's Walter Becker. She currently as five albums to her name including Careless Love, Half the Perfect World, and her latest, The Blue Room, which climbed to number one on the Billboard, iTunes and Amazon.com jazz charts in the spring of 2013.
SUN 1/11 AT 7:30PM- DAVE MASON'S TRAFFIC JAM
Take a journey back to the greatest days of rock with Dave Mason's sight and sound experience, Traffic Jam. Mason founded Traffic with Steve Winwood while both were still teenagers, and created music that would find its way into the hearts of generations of music lovers.
SAT 1/24 AT 2PM- IVY+BEAN, THE MUSICAL
Kids 'N Family
Tickets: $22-$27 Adults | $15-$20 kids 12 and under
Ivy+Bean, The Musical, is the story of an unexpected friendship between two very different second-graders and is based on the New York Times best-selling children's books series by author Annie Barrows and illustrator Sophie Blackhall.
THU 2/5 AT 7:30PM- LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
World Music, African, a cappella
Now celebrating over fifty years of joyous and uplifting music, the late Nelson Mandela once named Ladysmith Black Mambazo the "South African Cultural Ambassadors to the World." In those fifty-plus years, the a cappella vocal group has created a musical and spiritual message that has touched a worldwide audience.
THU 2/12 AT 7:30PM- SPYRO GYRA
This legendary jazz fusion band has released over thirty albums, selling more than ten million copies throughout its storied history. Spyro Gyra works musical magic creating its own instrumental hybrid incorporating elements of R&B, Latin, Brazilian and more into an infectious sound that takes you on a creative journey like no other!
FRI 2/20 AT 8PM- HUGH MASEKELA AND VUSI MAHLASELA
World Music, Jazz, African
Two of South Africa's true freedom fighters and renowned music icons come together to honor twenty years since the end of Apartheid. Legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela, an innovator in the world music and jazz scene, and Vusi Mahlasela, simply known as "The Voice" in his home country of South Africa, connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future.
SAT 2/21 AT 2PM- SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE
Kids 'N Family, Musical
Tickets: $20-$25 Adults | $13-$18 kids 12 and under
The brilliant Emmy Award-winning Saturday morning cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math, science, and politics through clever, tuneful songs is lighting up stages all around the country and instructing a whole new generation to "Unpack Your Adjectives" and "Do the Circulations."
SAT 2/21 AT 8PM- JOHN PIZZARELLI QUARTET
John Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the Great American Songbook and beyond, bringing to his work the cool jazz flavor of his brilliant guitar playing and singing.
SUN 2/22 AT 7:30PM- LEO KOTTKE
Folk, Acoustic, Guitar
Leo Kottke is the legendary, Grammy Award-nominated, acoustic guitar virtuoso who has developed a cult following of fellow guitarists and fans over the span of a 30-year career.
THU 2/26 AT 7:30PM- ARRIVAL FROM SWEDEN: THE MUSIC OF ABBA
Arrival from Sweden is one of the world's most popular and best-selling ABBA tribute show bands and since the start in 1995, the band has toured over 50 nations. They are the only group who has the exclusive right to copy ABBA's original outfits.
SAT 2/28 AT 8PM- LYDIA JOHNSON DANCE
Lydia Johnson Dance will present recent works for the company's 10 dancers set to stunning music by Franz Schubert, Osvaldo Golijov, Mozart and the innovative jazz trio Bad Plus.
About SOPAC - Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The premier arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC-a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council's performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz N' the Hall performances and Seton Hall Theatre productions. SOPAC also presents performances by its theater company in residence, Midtown Direct Rep, and its dance company in residence, Lydia Johnson Dance. For more information, visit SOPACnow.org.