Monday, January 22, 2018

POP-UP EXHIBITION OPENS THIS WEEK IN JERSEY CITY

AMERICAN DARK AGE
SAM PULLIN & DOMINIC SANSONE


WHEN: There will be a talk on Art & Politics with Amy Wilson on February 20, 7:00-8:00 pm. The closing and artist talk with Sam Pullin and Dominc Sansone will take place on February 24, 7:00-9:30 pm
WHERE: 313 gallery, 313 3rd Street, Jersey City
For more information about American Dark Age, contact Allison Remy Hall at info@nosucharts.com.

As America enters its Dark Age, artists Sam Pullin and Dominic Sansone explore the degradation of society and its institutions. Featuring interactive installation, sculpture and painting, American Dark Age calls attention to economic and structural violence, government corruption and the catastrophe of civic disengagement.

Sam Pullin is a Jersey City native and multimedia artist. His work centers around concepts of urban life, social decay, and the position of human beings in the broader universe. Pullin has painted a number of murals in Jersey City and exhibited regularly in the Tristate Area. He is currently part of the ESKFF Residency at Mana Contemporary.

Dominic Sansone is a Chicago-based sculptor. Using in a variety of mediums, Sansone’s work focuses on the military industrial complex and its interaction with daily life. He has exhibited extensively across the country, and is currently an artist at the International Sculpture Center + Mana BSMT residency at Mana Contemporary.

Amy Wilson is an artist and educator at the School of Visual Arts in the Visual & Critical Studies program. She has exhibited nationally, and recently received critical acclaim for her NJ political fiber works. She will join the exhibition on February 20 at 7:00 pm for a talk on Art & Politics.

REVIEW: APPLAUSE, SMILES GREET TRIPLE PLAY IN DAVE BRUBECK TRIBUTE @ THE BICKFORD THEATRE

By Jane Primerano

It must be difficult for the offspring of a legend to carve his or her own space in the same profession, but to hear Chris Brubeck play piano you wouldn’t think he had a moment’s hesitation about filling the shoes of his father, Dave.

Chris Brubeck brought his group Triple Play to the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morris Township on Saturday, January 20, to an audience, many of whom looked of an age to have appreciated his father. At the first notes of “Take Five,” the crowd erupted in applause and smiles and the pleasure didn’t stop for two hours.

Triple Play consists of Brubeck on piano, bass and trombone; Joel Brown on guitar, and Peter “Madcat” Ruth on harmonica, jaw harp, and percussion.

While they did play some of the elder Brubeck’s classics, Triple Play ventures into folk and blues with the same precision and grace they use to attack the old standards of jazz.

And Chris charms the audience with anecdotes about the songs.

“Blue Rondo a la Turk” came to the elder Brubeck while listening to some indigenous Turkish music. He was entranced by the 9/8 rhythm, but decided to add in the blues in his creation.

Dave Brubeck traveled a great deal during his career, his son explained. “The Eisenhower Administration used to send jazz musicians around the world to show off American freedom.” This is how Dave managed to combine Polish and Japanese influences in “Unsquare Dance.”

They also played “Polly,” named for a little girl who lived near the Brubecks in Wilton, CT. It is written in two keys at once, sometimes three, known as polytonality.

Chris Brubeck and Madcat Ruth met through a mutual friend while in high school. Chris was studying classical music at Interlocken Arts Academy in Michigan and a girl he knew from Chicago also knew Madcat.

“We immediately made plans to play rock and roll and get famous and tour the world and have hit records,” Chris said. “A couple of those things happened.”

He met Joel 25 years ago, playing classical guitar, and asked him if he wanted to play jazz and blues.

Brown teaches at Skidmore, where Chris was asked to adjunct 15 years ago. They brought Brown’s father, a clarinetist, and Dave Brubeck, then 90, to a hall near the Saratoga Springs school for a concert.

“Just what a 90-year-old wants, a 3-hour train ride,” Chris joked. His father was very frail, but when he sat down at the piano, it was like he lost 20 years. They recorded the show without telling their parents and as Chris was helping his father off the stage, Dave said, “I wish we had recorded this.” It turned out to be the last recording of the elder Brubeck playing.

In a nod to their own advancing years, the group played “Madelyn,” a song Brown wrote for his second grandchild.

They also played some of their favorite Mississippi party music and plenty of blues, which Brucbeck noted, is the father of rock and roll and jazz.

As a special treat, they enticed Rob Paparozza, a New Jersey-based harmonica player who plays with Steve Cropper and the Original Blues Brothers Band, for a couple of songs.

The only surprising thing about the show is there were a few empty seats. But the audience loved every minute of the performance.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County Presents First Yiddish Film Festival

YIDDISH FILM FESTIVAL

WHEN: Sundays at 2 p.m.: January 28, February 11, and March 11, 2018
WHERE:
The Jewish Heritage Museum is located in the Mounts Corner Shopping Center, at 310 Mounts Corner Drive Freehold, NJ, at the corner of Route 537 and Wemrock Road (between the CentraState Medical Center and Freehold Raceway Mall). It is on the second floor of the historic Levi Solomon Barn.
TICKETS: $10 per film, and $25 for all three films
For more information or to make a paid reservation (non-refundable), call the Museum at 732-252-6990, or visit www.jhmomc.org.

The films to be presented are all in black and white, and set in Yiddish with English subtitles.

Image result for Mamale filmMamale, will be shown on Sunday, January 28. Directed by Joseph Green & Konrad Tom, Mamale (1938) features Molly Picon, “Queen of the Yiddish Musical,” who shines as Mamale (little mother), the dutiful daughter keeping her family intact after the death of their mother.  She’s so busy cooking, cleaning and matchmaking for her brothers and sisters that she has little time for herself - until she discovers the violinist across the courtyard!  Set in Lodz, this musical comedy/drama featuring Picon’s trademark song Abi Gezunt, embraces the diverse gamut of interwar Jewish life in Poland, with its no-goodnicks and unemployed, nightclubs and gangsters, and religious Jews celebrating Succoth.

New York-born Yiddish icon Molly Picon entertained theater, radio, TV and film audiences for over seven decades (from age 6) with her song-and-dance routines while helping to popularize the Yiddish culture into the American mainstream as well as overseas. Raised in Philadelphia, she was performing from age 5 but broke into the big time with a vaudeville act called "The Four Seasons" in 1919, eventually making a comedy name for herself in the Second Avenue Theatres on the Lower East Side back in New York.  She was cast as a Yiddish Cinderella in Mamele (1938), the last Jewish film made in Poland. During one musical vignette, Picon portrays her character's grandmother in several stages of life. Such amusing, unflappable film roles would also be found in Come Blow Your Horn (1963) as an interfering Italian mother, and Fiddler on the Roof (1971) as Yente the matchmaker.

Related imageThe Cantor’s Son (Dem Khazns Zundyl) to be shown on Sunday, February 11, was directed by Ilya Motyleff (& Sidney Goldin, uncredited). The film is an American Yiddish feature film, shot near the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. It features the screen debut of singer, actor, and cantor Moishe Oysher in the title role of a wayward youth who makes his way from his Polish shtetl to New York’s Lower East Side. The film includes glimpses of the Lower East Side and the 2nd Avenue Yiddish theater marquees of the period.  While washing floors in a nightclub, he is “discovered” and becomes a well-known singer.  Ultimately, Oysher’s character returns home to the Old County and reunites with his parents and his childhood sweetheart.

Moishe Oysher born in 1906 in Lipkon (Lipcani), Bessarabia, Imperial Russia, and died November 27, 1958 in New Rochelle, New York was an American cantor and Yiddish theater actor. He is considered one of the most entertaining chanzanim (cantors) ever recorded. Some say that Oysher's voice was like the "roaring of the lion." He liked the jazz style, popular at that time, and he used similar rhythmic melodies in his prayers, respecting always the traditional Bessarabian "Doinas" and "Nussach" moods of the prayers. Oysher starred in three Yiddish films. In 1943 Oysher signed a contract with Fortune Gallo to perform several roles with the Chicago Opera Company and a fine career was foreseen, but after a heart attack he had to abandon the idea; he continued to work in radio and as a chazan and recording artist until, after other heart attacks, on the advice of his doctors, he entered semi-retirement.

Image result for The Light Ahead filmThe Light Ahead (Fishke der Krumer) will be shown in Sunday, March 11. Produced & directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, this American film made in 1939 tells the tale of impoverished and disabled lovers Fishke and Hodel dream of life in the big city of Odessa, free from the poverty and stifling old-world prejudices of the shtetl. The benevolent and enlightened bookseller Mendele helps them, turning small-town superstitions to their advantage. The Light Ahead is at once romantic, expressionist, and painfully conscious of the danger about to engulf European Jews.

The JHMOMC is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Museum is handicapped and assisted listening accessible.

NJPAC & Crossroads Theatre Company present Broadway’s hit Fats Waller musical, “Ain't Misbehavin'!”

WHEN: Thu, Feb 1,@ 8PM; Fri, Feb 2 @ 8PM; Sat, Feb 3 @ 3PM and 8PM; Sun, Feb 4 @ 3PM and 8PM
WHERE:
Victoria Theater, NJPAC, One Center St., Newark
buy tickets
Single-performance tickets are available online at njpac.org, 1-888-GO-NJPAC (466-5722) or the NJPAC Box Office, One Center St., Newark. There is a per-ticket handling charge for tickets purchased online and by phone. Artists, dates, times, venues, programs and prices are subject to change. All sales are final.
Box Office hours are here.
For groups of 9 or more, find Group Sales here or call (973) 297-5804, Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Experience the glory of the Harlem Renaissance in a musical production brimming with “contagious energy” (The New York Times).

NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company team together for an encore presentation of Crossroads’ hit 2011 production of Ain’t Misbehavin’. Two-time Tony nominee and original cast member AndrĂ© De Shields (The Wiz) returns to direct and choreograph this acclaimed production of the Fats Waller Tony Award winning musical, conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Murray Horwitz.

Immerse yourself in the energetic, exuberant and effervescent music of Fats Waller and the world of the 1920s and ‘30s, from nightclubs like the Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom to the rent parties with stride piano players banging out a new beat known as swing!

The cast includes Johmaalya Adelekan (Ragtime), Zurin Villanueva (Mean Girls; Shuffle Along) Rheaume Crenshaw (Groundhog Day) and Antwayn Hopper (Hair).

 Read more about AndrĂ© De Shields and Ain't Misbehavin'.

BERGEN COUNTY PLAYERS TO PRESENT “RELATIVELY SPEAKING” JAN 27 & 28

GID_TC (2)RELATIVELY SPEAKING

WHEN: two performances only, at 2 pm on Saturday, January 27th, and 7 pm on Sunday January 28th.
WHERE:
The Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamanck Road in Oradell
TICKETS: $11 for all performances. Student (25 and younger) rush seats can be purchased for $5 (cash only) starting 30 minutes before curtain at every performance, pending seat availability. There is a limit of one rush ticket per student.
Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets can email groups@bcplayers.org or call the main number and press #6.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling the box office at 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours. Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theatre

Something very funny is going on in Oradell. “Relatively Speaking.”

The plays were written by two playwrights with unique comic voices – the screenwriter/director Ethan Coen of the Coen brothers and Elaine May, originally of the famed comedy team Nichols & May. In the words of the New York Times, the show is “packed with nifty zingers!”

Chosen for the stage by director Paul Reitnauer III because they’re so funny and relatable, Paul says, “Anybody watching these two plays will either identify with the characters or recognize people they’ve met.”

Please note that Relatively Speaking contains mature language.

In Elaine May’s George Is Dead, his new widow Doreen (Pauline Quinones of Elmsford, NY) is too hilariously spoiled and superficial to grieve.

Instead, she takes self-absorbed to a whole new level. Rounding out the cast of George is Dead are Melissa Miller of Bergenfield as Carla, Chris Caira of Closter as Michael, Michele Roth of New Milford as Nanny and Anthony Bailey of Ramsey as the Funeral Director.

In Talking Cure, Ethan Coen adapts his trademark dark-comedy, honed in such brilliant films as “Fargo” and “The Big Lebowski”, to create a bitingly funny tug-of-war between a mental patient (John Kiely of Allendale), and the therapist struggling to treat him (Ron Siclari of Oradell). (IMAGE: John Kiely and Ron Siclari. Photo by Barbara Mintz)

In addition to director Paul Reitnauer III, the Bergen County Players production team includes Steve Mintz and David Luke (Producers), Joanne Misha (Assistant to the Director), Howard Kerner (Stage Manager), Joe Lanteri (Lighting Design), Terri Caust (Costumes), Tim Larsen (Sound Design), Jack Linefsky (Sound Operator), Lawrence Laterza (Lighting Operation), Barbara Murtha (Props), Gloria Bumbaco and Rich Ciero (Stage Crew), Edie Orlando (Makeup), Barbara Mintz (Photography), Ed Gross (Publicity), Kellie Gleeson and David Luke (Program Notes) and Debbie Zika (Member at Large/Social Media).

The Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a small community theatre when it was founded in 1932; today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season.

AUDITIONS for Livingston Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition

Young Artist Concerto Competition
WHEN: Saturday, February 17, 2018, beginning at 10:30 am. 
WHERE:
Livingston Public Library, 30 Robert Harp Drive, Livingston, New Jersey.

Princeton violinist Asher Wulfman, a student of Marilyn McDonald at Oberlin Conservatory, was the accomplished winner of last year’s scholarship with his performance of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in e minor. He received not only a scholarship but the opportunity to perform  his chosen concerto, in its entirety and in concert, with what is regarded as one of the finest regional ensembles in the state of New Jersey.

As always, this annual competition is open to all legal residents of the State of New Jersey between the ages of 14 and 21. The winner receives a $1000 scholarship to further his/her music studies and will perform the winning concerto this year at the Livingston Symphony Orchestra's May 12, 2018 concert. Young artists must apply beforehand to participate in the competition and can find downloadable applications and competition procedures on the Livingston Symphony Orchestra website, www.lsonj.org.

Applications must be mailed in and POSTMARKED no later than January 31, 2018. Mail application with $50 (check or money order) nonrefundable registration fee to: Livingston Symphony Orchestra YACC, P.O. Box 253, Livingston, NJ 07039

Audition Guidelines

  • Applicants are required to prepare an entire concerto (or other work of similar stature written for solo instrument with orchestra accompaniment)
  • Audition piece must be performed from memory.
  • Piano accompaniment is required at audition. Participants must arrange for their own accompanists. Piano is on premises for the accompanist.
  • Participants will be evaluated, by a panel of three judges, on technique, interpretation, presentation, and other pertinent criteria.
  • Participants are required to provide a copy of the music to each of the judges at the time of their audition. Music will be returned to participant at conclusion of their audition.
  • Decision of the judges is final. Winner must be available to perform on May 12, 2018.

For additional information on the Livingston Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming Young Artist Concerto Competition, feel free to visit the orchestra on facebook, email scholarship@lsonj.org or phone 973-886-9525.

McCarter Pub Night at Triumph Brewing Company in Princeton

WHEN: Tuesday, January 30, at 4pm before you see a 7:30pm performance of Stones in His Pockets!
WHERE:
Triumph Brewing Company (138 Nassau Street in Princeton)

Get dinner and a show for only $70! Package includes:

  • 1 ticket to the performance
  • 2 drink tickets for wine or beer (non-alcoholic beverages are free)
  • Special McCarter pint glass
  • A buffet dinner

Space is limited - Get your tickets and
reserve your spot at the party today!

LEARN MORE

HARMONIUM CHORAL SOCIETY SPONSORS “EMBODIED & EXPRESSIVE BODY MAPPING” WORKSHOP

Image result for HARMONIUM CHORAL SOCIETY

EMBODIED & EXPRESSIVE BODY MAPPING WORKSHOP

WHEN: Sunday, January 28, 2018, from 2pm until 5pm
WHERE
: Grace Episcopal Church, 4 Madison Ave at Kings Road, Madison
FEE: $35.00. 
Please register in advance at https://harmonium.yapsody.com. Professional development hours are available for New Jersey teachers. For assistance or more information, please contact manager@harmonium.org or 973-538-6969. To sign up to receive updates about Harmonium events, please CLICK HERE

Harmonium Choral Society presents a choral musicianship workshop on body mapping with clinician Heather J. Buchanan, PhD. The workshop is appropriate for all singers. 

Effective breathing is at the core of our artistry – yet it eludes many singers.  Removing the mystery and developing mastery is possible when singers have correctly mapped the structures and movement of breathing.  This session will take participants through the important steps for experiencing and teaching balanced breathing effectively to singers of all ages in the choral setting.

Body mapping is a self-inquiry somatic, mind-body education technique designed to teach musicians skills of self-evaluation and change for performing with sensory-motor integrity.  The underlying premise of body mapping is the importance of understanding the neurophysiological connections in the human body that lead to freedom of movement and the skills for embodied performing.  Body mapping is ideal for communicating crucial movement concepts related to performance with ensembles and large groups of musicians, hence the core ideal Embodied & Expressive from which musical, educational, and artistic outcomes derive.

Image result for Heather J. BuchananAustralian born conductor Heather J. Buchanan is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities in the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. She conducts both mixed-voice curricular choirs, the 170-voice Chorale (symphonic choir) and 65-voice University Singers; and two extra-curricular project-based chamber ensembles, Vocal Accord and Prima Voce (women's choir). Choirs under her direction have earned critical acclaim for their “heartfelt conviction,” “new-minted enthusiasm and vibrancy,” being a “marvel of diction, tuning and rhythm”, “impeccable dynamics and diction,” “vibrant sound,” “eloquence”, and for singing with the “crispness and dexterity of a professional choir.” During her tenure, the Montclair State University choral program has been recognized for its ongoing successful performances with world-renowned artists and celebrated professional musicians in national and international venues.

Harmonium Choral Society, based in Morris County, is one of New Jersey's leading choral arts organizations. The 100-voice choral society has been recognized for its musical excellence and innovative programming, and has commissioned and premiered works by Amanda Harberg, Matthew Harris, Elliot Z. Levine, Harmonium's composers-in-residence Mark Miller and Martin Sedek, and others.

Directed by Dr. Anne J. Matlack of Madison, Harmonium’s season consists of four subscription concerts held in December, March, April, and June, as well as numerous special events and partnerships.  Harmonium, known for its eclectic programming, choral excellence, and community spirit, sponsors commissions and musicianship workshops, as well as an Outreach Chorus that performs in schools, nursing homes, and other venues.  Harmonium sponsors an annual High School Student Choral Composition Contest, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in the 2016-17 season.  This innovative program won the prestigious Chorus America Education and Outreach Award. Harmonium has toured internationally to England and Wales, Eastern Europe, Northern Italy, Spain and Portugal, and Greece and Turkey, and most recently traveled to the Baltics in the summer of 2016.

To learn more about Harmonium, please visit Harmonium.org.

bergenPAC presents “Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway”

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Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway
Special appearance by bergenPAC Chamber Chorus

WHEN: SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 2018 – 8PM
WHERE
: bergenPAC, 20 N. Van Brunt Street, Englewood
TICKETS: $59-49-39
Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling bergenPAC’s Box Office at (201) 227-1030.

100 Years of Broadway recreates the greatest moments from the finest shows of the century featuring the actual 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 classics as well as thrilling numbers from Broadway’s newest hit shows.

Neil Berg is the composer/lyricist of the hit off-Broadway musical The Prince and the Pauper, which ran for two years at the Lamb’s Theater in New York City.

ChamberChorusChenoweth

bergenPAC Chamber Chorus

A group of students from the Performing Arts School at bergenPAC auditioned into the Chamber Chorus. They perform across the region at special events, as well as on the bergenPAC main stage with headliners like Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth (above, center) and Country legend Kenny Rogers.

ASPIRE PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY PRESENTS “HEATHERS THE MUSICAL,” BASED ON THE 80’S CULT FAVORITE

heathers

WHEN: Thursday, January 25, at 7:00pm; Friday, January 26, at 7:00pm; and Saturday, January 27, at 2:00pm and 7:00pm
WHERE:
George Washington Middle School, 68 Lenox Road in Wayne
TICKETS: $15
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://aspirepacheathers.brownpapertickets.com/ or contact Aspire PAC at 201-220-4933 or aspirepac@gmail.com.

If you lived through the late 80’s, “What’s your damage, Heather?!” may be one all too familiar question. The 1989 dark comedy, Heathers, which starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, quickly became a cult favorite after its release, and spawned more than a dozen catch phrases. In 2014, the movie got the musical treatment, and has also acquired a massive following.

Heathers the Musical follows the story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy and beautiful outsider who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get too comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously handsome new kid J.D. And when Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized butt...but J.D. has another plan in mind.

Heathers the Musical is by the award-winning creative team of Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness, Desperate Housewives), Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde) and director Andy Fickman (Reefer Madness, She’s the Man).

Lisa Beth Vettoso, Aspire’s Founder and Artistic Director, directs the production, which features 32 performers between the ages of 13 and 18. The doubled cast is led by Courtney Bulger and Julia DiGirolamo as Veronica, Gerald Cetrulo and Robert Scharf as J.D., Emily Moran and Gianna Trivisani as Heather Chandler, Olivia Howell and Olivia Kozlevcar as Heather McNamara, and Jillian Cetrulo and Jackie Tkaczenko as Heather Duke.

“I grew up with the Heathers, and have loved the movie for more than twenty years. The musical refreshes the material and makes the story even more relevant to the lives of teenagers today. It’s a wild ride of a show, with moments that make you laugh and cry, often at the same time,” says Ms. Vettoso.

Since 2011, Aspire Performing Arts Company has provided children and teens with opportunities to participate in theatrical productions, master classes, and Broadway trips, gaining a strong reputation along the way. For more information, you can find Aspire online at www.aspirepac.com as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

“OZ,” “HAMLET” AUDITIONS @ DOVER LITTLE THEATER

www.doverlittletheatre.org

A cyclone carries Dorothy and Toto to the magical Land of Oz.  When Dorothy’s house squashes the Wicked Witch of the East, she is ecstatically thanked by the liberated Munchkins and given permission to wear the witch’s powerful silver slippers.  From there, Baum’s lovable characters, rubber-legged Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Woodsman, join Dorothy on a journey to meet the great Oz.  While on their trek, they battle the Wicked Witch of the West, who is determined to get revenge for the death of her sister. 

Prince Hamlet has been summoned home to Denmark to attend his father's funeral. One night, a Ghost reveals itself to Hamlet, claiming to be the ghost of Hamlet's father, the former king. The Ghost claims that the old king was murdered by Hamlet's uncle, Claudius, who has since married Hamlet's mother and assumed the throne. Hamlet decides to uncover the truth for himself.

They're baaaaaaaack!
Out of Order Improv Comedy: We Apologize for the Inconvenience brings the OoO group back to Dover Little Theatre for a night of unscripted laughs on Saturday, March 3 at 8pm!

WHERE: Dover Little Theatre, 69 Elliott Street, Dover

Friday, January 19, 2018

Sons of Jazz Legends Coming to the Bickford Theatre

WHERE: Bickford Theatre, 6 Normandy Hgts. Rd., Morristown

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play

WHEN: Saturday, January 20, 8:00 PM
TICKETS:
start at $45

T.S. Monk

WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 7:30 PM
TICKETS:
start at $35

Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 973-971-3706 or visiting www.morrismuseum.org/jazz-showcase. The Bickford Theatre offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Many performers are children of famous musicians but it is not always easy to carve an independent path in entertainment world. For instance, there was Frank Sinatra, Jr. or Natalie Cole. But this winter, the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey will present two sons of jazz legends who have become musical stars in their own right: Dave Brubeck’s son Chris Brubeck with his group Triple Play and Thelonious Monk’s son T.S Monk with his ensemble.

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Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play brings together three exceptional musicians whose good-time music draws on folk, blues, and jazz.

A Grammy-nominated composer and musician Chris Brubeck has been called “one of the finest jazz trombonists around today” by Downbeat Magazine and “one of the most capable electric bassists” by the Los Angeles Times. He began touring and recording with his legendary father when he was young and has gone onto international acclaim as a performer, composer, and band leader. He has worked with a diverse cross section of artists including opera stars Frederica von Stade and Dawn Upshaw, pop stars Willie Nelson and B. B. King, and jazz greats Gerry Mulligan, Stephane Grappelli, and Bobby McFerrin.

His trio Triple Play delivers an epic sojourn through American music unlike any other band today and includes Peter “Madcat” Ruth, a virtuoso musician who is considered one of the best and most versatile harmonica players in the world and singer/guitarist Joel Brown a much in-demand soloist and chamber musician.

Chris Brubeck explains that Dave was always just dad to him. “I recall a couple of experiences when I was very young that got me thinking differently about my dad. One night after a concert with the famous quartet, we went to a classic New Jersey diner where they had a jukebox. I remember sitting in the booth and noticing “Take Five” on the playlist and being amazed. The other time it hit me that my dad was famous was when the Beatles came to America. When I heard them say in an interview that they listened to Dave Brubeck, I knew that Dad was important.”

Triple Play has one foot in the jazz world and another in the blues world but their repertoire includes many famous Dave Brubeck tunes including “Take Five,” “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” “Unsquare Dance,” “It’s A Raggy Waltz,” and the beautiful “Thank You.” The rare New Jersey concert will include an appearance by their good friend, New Jersey harmonica star Rob Paparozzi.

TS Monk behind drums; photo courtesy of artist

Drummer T.S. Monk and his group will pay tribute to his famous father, Thelonious Monk, the second most recorded jazz composer (after Duke Ellington) and many of his works have become jazz standards: “Round Midnight,” “Blue Monk,” “Straight, No Chaser,” “Rudy, My Dear,” and “Well, You Needn’t” to name just a few.

T.S. got his first drumsticks from a regular visitor to their family home, Max Roach, and eventually joined his father’s trio, touring with him until he retired in 1975. Setting out on his own, Monk had two hit records with his R&B group, Natural Essence, before returning to jazz in 1992. He now heads up the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to promote jazz education, provide scholarships for music students, and promote his father’s legacy.

“Thelonious Sphere Monk was just daddy,” says T.S. Monk. “He took me and my sister, Boo Boo [nickname], everywhere, and taught me how to treat girls, spin tops, and change my sister’s diapers, among many other things. I can’t recall even one time in my life when I ever called him Thelonious, or Monk, or pop, or anything other than daddy.”

Both Dave Brubeck and Thelonious Monk were family men and raised their children well. You can see the results in these two great concerts in January and February.