Centenary Stage Company to Celebrate Jazz & Puppetry in January

Halfway through the 2013-2014 season, and Centenary Stage Company is still bringing a diverse selection of entertainment to Northwest New Jersey. CSC's annual Jazz Fest takes an international spin with one of the world's leading jazz musicians coming in from Moscow, a performance with a Latin flair, and a group fusing together world rhythms and sounds in The Lackland Center. And it all begins with a family show filled with puppetry and music.

The Catskill Puppet Theatre returns as part of CSC's Family Fun Series with a brand new show for Hackettstown audiences on Sunday, January 12th at 2 p.m. Willow Girl is the story about a young Chinese girl who immigrates to the American frontier and faces discrimination in a swirl of other immigrants and cultures. But she possesses special gifts. She has been taught the healing power of plants and has a secret friend, the mysterious spirit who inhabits a beautiful Willow Tree. This rod puppet show features a larger-than-life, gracefully animated Willow Tree and is a wonderful blend of humor, mystery, drama and magical effects. It is illustrated with a combination of original and traditional fiddle music. Catskill Puppet Theatre will also host an optional workshop after the show where children can build their own puppets and play along on stage.

Kicking off this season's Jazz Fest is Igor Butman's Moscow Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, January 11th at 8 p.m. Igor Butman, now Russia's top jazz personality, is not only the artistic director of the country's best jazz club, he also leads the hottest jazz orchestra in Russia. The band has evolved into Russia's best touring hardcore jazz unit. Butman`s marvelous coalescence of soul, sound and technique drew praise from President Bill Clinton, one time tenor man, at a state dinner hosted by Vladimir Putin at the Moscow Kremlin. Clinton stated, that Igor Butman "may be the greatest living jazz saxophone player, who happens to be a Russian."

Tizer Jazz Band brings Saturday, January 18th at 8 p.m. Over the past few years, Tizer-a 2011 nominee for "Jazz Group of the Year"-has taken their multi-faceted world fusion vibe around the globe, galvanizing thousands. Tizer has a multi-genre, multi-national appeal that expands beyond just jazz enthusiasts. Their diverse resume includes performance slots alongside musicians like Jethro Tull, Isaac Hayes, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Babyface, Bruce Hornsby and Robin Thicke. They bring an intensity with expansive arrangements and exciting soloing to each concert.

And wrapping up this year's Jazz Fest is the legendary Sammy Figueroa and his Latin Jazz Explosion on Saturday, January 25th at 8 p.m. Sammy Figueroa has long been regarded as one of the world's great musicians. Well-known for his versatility and professionalism, he is one of the few percussionists equally comfortable in a multitude of styles, from R & B to rock and pop to bebop, Latin to Brazilian, and New Age.

Catskill Puppet Theatre tickets are $20 for adults and $17.50 for children under 12, when purchased in advance. The post-show workshop is $18.50 for participants.
Igor Butman Moscow Jazz Band tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children under 12, when purchased in advance.
Tizer Jazz Band tickets are $22.50 for adults and $15 for children under 12, when purchased in advance
Sammy Figueroa tickets are $22.50 for adults and $15 for children under 12, when purchased in advance.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.centenarystageco.org<http://www.centenarystageco.org/>, at the CSC Box Office in The Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave in Hackettstown, or by calling 908-979-0900. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday 1-5 p.m. (Closed on Mondays in December only), and 2 hours prior to performance times. CSC also operates a second Box Office during the season at 217 Main Street in Hackettstown open Monday through Friday 3-6 p.m.

The 2013-14 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, and CSC sponsors, including Premier Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank, Bronze Sponsors The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and Wells Fargo Bank, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

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