NJPAC Announces New Season

NJPAC Announces New Season

New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the country's most diverse arts presenter, announced a sensational opening lineup for the 2018-2019 season, an adventurous range of more than 150 attractions - Bollywood to ballet, hip-hop to K-pop - for every kind of audience.

"We're always keen to find the next great thing for audiences," said NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber. "We're delighted by what's on offer today and even more excited by the shows in the pipeline. NJPAC may be formally announcing a season, but we're always 'announcing' because every week concerts or events are being added."

For one example, dance programming has been expanded to include companies representing modern, post-modern, ballet, African and hip-hop stylings. As a result, said Schreiber, the house "draws a United Nations of constituents more than any other art form. We find that the dance audience is a true reflection of our community."

A robust initiative to raise NJPAC brand awareness by creating touring attractions and programming performances at outside venues will be especially visible in the upcoming season.

An NJPAC dance commission, "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" will repeat its previous success by embarking on another international tour of more than 40 cities, including Newark, said Executive Vice President and Executive Producer David Rodriguez. Featuring special guest MC Kurtis Blow, this holiday mash-up returns to the Arts Center on Dec. 14. For those who prefer pointe shoes and the stylized elegance of classical ballet, "The Nutcracker" presented by the State Ballet Theatre of Russia (Dec. 16) shimmers with snowflakes and sugarplums, as it was originally produced at St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre. Tchaikovsky's beloved score serves both of these works in very diverse and entertaining ways - and both presentations take place on the same weekend.

"We'll be launching two additional tours," Rodriguez continued. "'Showtime with Shakespeare,' based on the famed Magic Tree House book title for schoolchildren, will tour for six weeks in the spring of 2019 and 'Jazz in the Key of Ellison,' sponsored by Audible.com, will tour to cities including Chicago and San Diego, also in 2019." A words-and-music program about the musical life of writer Ralph Ellison, "Jazz in the Key of Ellison" was first presented at NJPAC as part of last year's TD James Moody Jazz Festival.

NJPAC's partnership with national real estate developer Madison Marquette, forged last year, has resulted in a stream of bookings facilitated by NJPAC in the historic seaside resort of Asbury Park. The city's Convention Hall and Paramount Theatre, both landmark venues owned by Marquette, will be the sites for many 2018-19 entertainment choices, with over a dozen artists booked by NJPAC, such as John Cleese hosting a screening of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (July 20), the live stage version of "The Price Is Right" (Oct. 20), and celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (Dec. 6), among others. The alliance with Asbury Park also provided the opportunity for NJPAC's Arts Education and Community Engagement departments to conduct arts training, such as dance master classes, and literacy programs for students and families.
Here are other highlights of NJPAC's 2018-19 season:

The Seventh Annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival
An event that draws tens of thousands of jazz fans to the NJPAC campus - and to other Newark venues - the festival this season opens with the jazz vespers series at Bethany Baptist Church (Nov. 3) featuring the Roy Hargrove Quartet in a free concert (one of a dozen free jazz vespers concerts sponsored by NJPAC throughout the year). Just a few of the can't-miss headliners at this edition of the TD James Moody Jazz Festival include "BiRDMAN LiVE," jazz drummer Antonio Sánchez performing his score to accompany a screening of Alejandro González Iñárritu's Oscar-winning film (Nov. 8); the inspired teaming of jazz vocalists Gregory Porter and Dianne Reeves (also Nov. 8), and a salute to Latin jazz, "Congas y Canto" (Nov. 9), with Sheila E., Eddie Palmieri, Tito Nieves and a big band led by multi-Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride, NJPAC's Jazz Advisor.

Look for "Guitar Passions" with Sharon Isbin, Romero Lubambo and Stanley Jordan on Nov. 9; a tribute to the music of Jerome Kern on Nov. 10; multi-instrumentalist Marcus Miller with friends including saxophonist David Sanborn, also Nov. 10, and the premiere of Ogresse, a song cycle commissioned by NJPAC from Grammy-winning jazz vocal sensation Cécile McLorin Salvant on Nov. 16. The festival concludes on Nov. 18 with the annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition for female and male singers, a "stars of tomorrow" showcase featuring five finalists. The competition is among the most well-known and impactful in the industry for vocalists, attracting more than 800 applicants annually and more than 2 million website hits. Past winners and competitors, such as Jazzmeia Horn, Cyrille Aimée and Deelee Dubé, have begun successful careers in the music industry.

The Debut of the Orchestra + Film Concert Series
The coming season features a series of three spectacular Orchestra + Film Concerts - blockbuster movies with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) performing their electrifying scores, note-for-note: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (Oct. 27), "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" (Dec. 15), and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (June 1, 2019). These wide-screen, high-definition film screenings with orchestral accompaniment have proven extremely popular with classical music aficionados who wish to introduce children to live symphonic performances.

Rare Listening Experiences in Classical Music
Three powerhouse concerts in elegant, acoustically superb Prudential Hall comprise the Bank of America Classical Series for 2018-19, the centerpiece of classical music at NJPAC throughout the season. Beginning Nov. 3, the Mariinsky Orchestra returns under the baton of Valery Gergiev, with guest pianist Denis Matsuev. On March 15, 2019, the legendary Philadelphia Orchestra, with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, performs Schubert's noble Ninth Symphony and features young pianist Jan Lisiecki in Mendelssohn's ebullient First Piano Concerto. The series concludes on May 5, 2019 with the Bell Trio: a brilliant gathering of violinist Joshua Bell, pianist Jeremy Denk and cellist Steven Isserlis. In addition, the NJSO presents more than 35 concerts and special events at NJPAC throughout the season. Subscriptions to the Bank of America Classical Series, on sale now, include a discount offer for a holiday performance of the male a cappella ensemble Chanticleer, appearing at NJPAC on Dec. 1.

NJPAC on the Air
Once again this season, you won't have to leave home to experience NJPAC. The Arts Center will again host BET's Black Girls Rock! Awards, celebrating African-American women who make a difference for others. Be on the lookout for Adam Sandler's new Netflix special, recently taped on NJPAC's main stage.

Return of the Biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
Oct. 18-21
The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, the largest poetry festival in North America, returns to NJPAC and Newark's Downtown Arts District for four days of poetry readings, performances, discussions and music. Featuring over 60 poets and musicians and more than 120 poetry events, the festival takes place at NJPAC as well as historic churches, museums and other venues within easy walking distance.

Called "Wordstock" by The New York Times, the festival's readings, performances and discussions will feature renowned poets including Elizabeth Alexander, President Obama's first inaugural poet; bestselling authors Sandra Cisneros, Claudia Rankine and Sapphire; former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera; literary legends Eileen Myles and Ntozake Shange; Pulitzer Prize winners Sharon Olds and Gregory Pardlo; and many more, including Ellen Bass, Jericho Brown, Marilyn Chin, Henri Cole, Kwame Dawes, Forrest Gander, Linda Gregerson, Terrance Hayes, Brenda Hillman, David Hinton, Marie Howe, Khaled Mattawa, Marilyn Nelson, Gregory Orr, Alicia Ostriker, Alberto Rios, Mary Ruefle, David St. John and David Young, among others.

NJ Transit is partnering with the festival to offer special $10.50 discounted roundtrip tickets to Newark from anywhere in New Jersey and New York's Penn Station when purchased with a ticket to the festival.

For information on program details, lodging and more, visit www.DodgePoetry.org.

More 2018-19 Season Picks

  • Music programming reflects New Jersey's extraordinary diversity of cultures and communities, none better than Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City, NJPAC's free outdoor summer concert series, which draws revelers to dance under the stars on Thursday evenings in July and August. The lineup includes such eclectic artists as EPMD and Universal Hip Hop Museum on July 19, the Afrobeat band Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra on Aug. 2, salsa vocalist Frankie Negrón on Aug. 16, soul and funk saxophonist Maceo Parker on Aug. 9, and more.
  • World music offerings span the hottest K-pop from hitmakers MONSTA X (July 22) to romantic reggae with Beres Hammond and Chronixx (Aug. 10). Bollywood legend Shaan - "The Golden Voice of India" - and tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and his Masters of Percussion appear on July 28 and April 27, 2019, respectively. Latin rhythms will be conjured by the likes of Oscar D'León with special guest Tony Vega and Los Hermanos Moreno (Sept. 22), the party-starting Gipsy Kings (Sept. 23), and Mexican alt-rockers Café Tacvba with the Ruen Brothers (Sept. 25).
  • The New Jersey Speakers Series, presented by Fairleigh Dickinson University, brings an all-new, seven-lecture series to NJPAC from October to April. Among the distinguished thought-leaders on the schedule are former FBI Director James Comey (Oct. 4), biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin (Oct. 25), women's liberation icon Gloria Steinem (Nov. 29), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (Jan. 31, 2019) and comedian Jay Leno (April 25, 2019).
  • There's more to laugh about during 2018-19, thanks to a diversity of topline comedy artists like Trevor Noah (Sept. 7 and 8), Jo Koy (Sept. 14), Kathleen Madigan (Nov. 3), and Jerry Seinfeld (Dec. 7). Steve Martin and Martin Short reunite on Nov. 16 in an evening of humor and music.
  • Appearances by three remarkable but very different companies are guaranteed to grab the attention of dance devotees. The always unpredictable and innovative MOMIX brings a "greatest hits" program to Victoria Theater on Jan. 19 and 20, 2019; choreographer Rennie Harris' Puremovement ensemble presents "Lifted," a hip-hop-flavored, evening-length work on March 2, 2019, and Forces of Nature Dance Theatre performs an NJPAC-commissioned work, including a live performance by Sweet Honey in the Rock, on Dec. 15. These programs are in addition to the annual seasons by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Carolyn Dorfman Dance and Nimbus Dance Works.
  • In NJPAC's first collaboration with bestselling author Mary Pope Osborne since 2012, an original family musical will be presented on May 31, 2019 in partnership with New Brunswick's George Street Playhouse. "The Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare," based on "Stage Fright on a Summer Night" in Pope's Magic Tree House book series, is a time-traveling, hip-hop adventure set in Elizabethan England. This production will travel across the country for six weeks in 2019 to presenting organizations and schools.
  • Family productions remain key to NJPAC's mission. These programs range from popular series like "PAW Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue" (Dec. 8 and 9) to a celebration of the Chinese New Year with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company (Feb. 2 and 3).
  • NJPAC sings throughout the season with the American Song Series. This includes Mandy Gonzalez (currently in Broadway's "Hamilton") on March 30, 2019. On Sept. 15, Laura Osnes headlines a show of actresses who have played princesses on Broadway and beyond. Michael Feinstein creates a new evening based on legendary crooners, accompanied by a big band, on Oct. 28. And "Baby, Dream Your Dream: Great Women Writers of the American Songbook," a new piece that turns a spotlight on women composers and lyricists, takes place Oct. 13.
  • NJPAC's commitment to serving the community will generate events announced throughout the season, most offered at no cost to the public. Meaningful partnerships will continue with organizations and institutions throughout Greater Newark, such as the Newark History Society, which again will collaborate on a free lecture series on topics including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Sept. 17), Sarah Vaughan (Nov. 13) and Newark baseball (April 8, 2019). The Arts Center's Department of Community Engagement conducts dance workshops, "Jazz Jam Sessions" at Clement's Place in Newark, a summer family festival and an annual Kwanzaa Celebration, among many other attractions. Visit njpac.org/community for details.

How to Buy Tickets
Tickets for NJPAC's 2018-19 season go on sale FRIDAY, MAY 18.
NJPAC.ORG is the only official ticket source for performances. The box office is at One Center St., Newark, N.J. Visit njpac.org for hours of operation. To order single tickets, click to njpac.org or call 1.888.GO.NJPAC (466-5722). For groups of nine or more, call (973) 297-5804.

Attached is a schedule of NJPAC's 2018-19 season. High-resolution photos are available by clicking here. (http://pranamarketing.zenfolio.com/p132449491) View the new season here: njpac.org/season

NJPAC is grateful to its 2018-19 season series' sponsors:
Bank of America Classical Series, with support from Smart Family Foundation/David S. Stone, Esq., Stone & Magnanini; Bank of America Headliner Series; Horizon Foundation Music & Comedy Series and Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City; World Music Series sponsored by American Express; TD Bank Jazz Series and the TD James Moody Jazz Festival; American Song series at NJPAC, supported by the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the David S. Steiner and Sylvia Steiner Charitable Trust, and the Joan and Allen Bildner Family Fund; and Goya Foods Latin Programming.

NJPAC is also grateful to:
Prudential Foundation, PSEG Foundation, Merck Foundation, ADP Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and WBGO Jazz 88.3FM (TD James Moody Jazz Festival). Programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

NJPAC is a wheelchair accessible facility and provides assistance for patrons with disabilities.
One Center Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102
www.njpac.org or 888.GO.NJPAC (888.466.5722)

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., has the most diverse programming and audience of any performing arts center in the country, and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey - where Great Performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state's and the world's best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 8 million visitors (including over 1.6 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

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