Monday, November 7, 2022

The 11th TD James Moody Jazz Festival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Begins This Week




The 11th TD James Moody Jazz Festival 

at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) 

Nov 8-20
sponsored by TD Bank




WHEN: November 8-20, 2022
WHERE: NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey; a short walk from the Newark Penn Station stop by Newark-bound PATH Train or Amtrak. 
(unless otherwise noted)
 TICKETS: Prices vary. To purchase, contact NJPAC at 1.888.GO.NJPAC/1.888.466.5722 or visit
Artists and schedules are subject to change


The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) announced the exciting line-up of the highly anticipated TD James Moody Jazz Festival. This year’s program offers events combining jazz luminaries in collaboration with artists known for R&B, poetry, hip hop, and so much more. 
Working with NJPAC’s jazz advisor Christian McBride, NJPAC’s executive vice president and executive producer David Rodriguez has curated a festival honoring the jazz legacy of New Jersey while looking to the future of the music. “I love Newark’s history of jazz, all the legendary musicians who came from Brick City. Celebrating that history is a vital part of this festival — but so is shining a spotlight on new voices, young artists, and collaborations that honor the deep connections between jazz and hip hop, R&B, dance and the spoken word,” says McBride.
“I’ve often said that jazz is the most democratic form of music, because in order for a great jazz performance to happen, the artists need to listen to each other, share their creativity and collaborate to create unforgettable music. Jazz is a metaphor for our democracy. When we work together, when we listen to each other, anything is possible. This year’s Moody Festival is a testament to that principle,” says John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC.
For the 11th consecutive year, the Festival is sponsored by TD Bank, which has supported the event since its inauguration, ensuring that the event annually includes free community performances and educational events, as well as mainstage concerts showcasing jazz superstars. “We know that music brings people together, and jazz, in particular, has a way of dissolving boundaries,” says Martin Melilli, Market President at TD Bank. “We believe in the power of the arts to connect us all, and we are proud to sponsor a Festival that offers everyone in New Jersey so many ways to find joy, community and inspiration.” Below is a complete schedule, along with information about the programs.

JAZZ @ NJPAC | Sponsored by TD Bank              
Tue 11.8 @ 7:00 p.m. A Beautiful Bond: A Jazz Poetry Performance Celebrating Black and Latinx Solidarity 

Reggie Workman (bass, hand percussion)
Nasheet Waits (drums)
Sullivan Fortner (piano)
Mahogany L. Browne, Aracelis Girmay, John Murillo, Willie Perdomo, Vincent Toro (poets)
Christian McBride (co-host)
Vincent Toro (co-host)
Through the evocative power of poetry and jazz, this free online event will celebrate the historic bond between African American and Latinx people, and their shared struggle for liberation. “A Beautiful Bond” was conceived by Vincent Toro, the award-winning Boricua multi-disciplinary artist, Rider University creative writing professor, and Rutgers University-Newark MFA. NJPAC Jazz Advisor Christian McBride serves as co-curator and co-host. Original poetry will be performed by: Lincoln Center Poet-in-Residence Mahogany L. Browne (Chlorine SkyWoke: A Young Poet’s Call to JusticeWoke BabyBlack Girl Magic), NEA Fellow and Whiting Award winner Aracelis Girmay (TeethKingdom AnimaliaThe Black Maria) , Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award winner John Murillo (Up Jump the Boogie, Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry) , State Poet of New York Willie Perdomo (Smoking Lovely: The Remix, The Crazy BunchThe Essential Hits of Shorty Bon BonWhere a Nickel Costs a Dime), and event creator Vincent Toro (TertuliaStereo.Island.Mosaic). The event was recorded live on June 5, 2021, in Prudential Hall at NJPAC and July 20, 2022, at Clement's Place, courtesy of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. 
This is part of NJPAC’s program, City Verses, conducted in partnership with Rutgers University-Newark. Support for this program was provided by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided by TD Charitable Foundation and Women@NJPAC. Tix: FREE. This event is virtual and takes place on NJPAC’s Facebook Live.

Thu 11.10 @ 7:30 p.m. Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective & Turtle Island Quartet 
Terence Blanchard (trumpet, synths)
Charles Altura (guitar)
Taylor Eigsti (piano)
David Ginyard, Jr. (bass)
Oscar Seaton (drums)
David Balakrishnan (violin)
Gabriel Terracciano (violin)
Benjamin von Gutzeit (viola)
Naseem Alatrash (cello)
Kick-starting the 11th annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival is trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard joined by his electric ensemble The E-Collective and acclaimed neo-classical string ensemble Turtle Island Quartet with his 2021 Blue Note release Absence—a powerful tribute to the great Wayne Shorter. Blanchard reimagines songs from across Shorter’s vast catalog and shares original music inspired by the legendary saxophonist—resulting in “a lush and dramatic soundscape that calls to mind Blanchard’s career as a successful film composer.” The New Yorker).

According to Downbeat, “Terence Blanchard has always been forward thinking, but with E-Collective he shoots straight into tomorrow adding all sorts of different types of electricity and attitude to a new set of tunes.” When he’s not wowing crowds around the world with his masterful jazz trumpet, two-time Oscar nominee and Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard is blowing audiences away with his film scores (Spike Lee films including When the Levees Broke, Malcolm X, Da 5 Bloods and BlacKkKlansman) and operas (Fire Shut Up in My Bones opened the Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season). Tix: $59-$69 @ Victoria Theater.

Thu 11.10 @ 8:00 p.m. Fantasia with Jazzmeia Horn 
Fantasia (vocals)
Jazzmeia Horn (vocals)
TBA (band)
Grammy-winning R&B superstar, actress, and author Fantasia broke onto the scene in 2004 as the season three winner of Fox’s American Idol. She was the first artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart to debut at No. 1 with her first hit single, “I Believe.” Her other chart-toppers include “When I See U,” “Free Yourself,” and “Without Me.” Fantasia will be joined by Grammy-nominated singer Jazzmeia Horn who has been praised by DownBeat for her “astounding technique,” while All About Jazz lauded her “wonderfully intuitive improvising and heartfelt phrasing.” She’s a major award winner, including first place in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition. Tix: $49-$119 @ Prudential Hall.
Sat 11.12 @ 3:00 p.m. + 7:30 p.m. Dee Dee Bridgewater and Savion Glover: Interpretations
Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocals)
Savion Glover (tap)
TBA (band)
Icons Dee Dee Bridgewater and Savion Glover come together in both solo sets and together for an evening of jazz, dance, and improvisation like you’ve never seen before. 
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, Grammy and Tony Award-winning jazz giant Dee Dee Bridgewater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists, putting her unique spin on standards, as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. Ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy-winner most recently won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee. Bridgewater’s career has always bridged musical genres. In 2017 she was the recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters Fellows Award with honors bestowed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In December 2017, Bridgewater was presented with the ASCAP Foundation Champions award acknowledging her charitable contributions. In 2018, Bridgewater received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award. 2019 brought her induction in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to music and in celebration of her CD Memphis, Yes…I’m Ready. Savion Glover is a Tony Award-winning choreographer and legendary hoofer, whose career has spanned nearly four decades. He began his Broadway stage career as The Tap Dance Kid, and continued with Black and Blue, Jelly’s Last Jam and his award-winning Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk, which garnered him a Tony Award for Best Choreography. He has performed worldwide with jazz legends including McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes and Jack DeJohnette. 

Film credits include Tap, starring Gregory Hines and Sammy Davis, Jr.; Spike Lee’s Bamboozled and George Miller’s Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two. Serving as dance advisor for NJPAC and as a member of its board of directors, he is dedicated to furthering arts education programming with Summer Intensives, established to help youth explore artistic expression. Tix: $59-$69 @ Victoria Theater.

Sat 11.12 @ 6:00 p.m. Bethany Baptist Church Jazz Vespers: Jon Faddis
Jon Faddis (trumpet)
TBA (band)
Co-presented by the Bethany Baptist Church Jazz Vespers, NJPAC begins its season-long free concert series at Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church with trumpeter Jon Faddis. Faddis is known as one of the most innovative and inspiring jazz trumpeters of our time. Marked by both intense integrity and humor, Faddis earned accolades from his close friend and mentor Dizzy Gillespie, who declared of Faddis, “He’s the best ever, including me!” Meeting Dizzy Gillespie at the Monterey Jazz Festival and then sitting in with him at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco proved to be a pivotal beginning of a unique friendship between Gillespie and Faddis, one that spanned almost three decades. Two days before his 18th birthday, Faddis joined Lionel Hampton’s band as a featured soloist, moving from Oakland, CA to New York. Shortly after arriving in Manhattan, Faddis was invited to sit in with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard; he rapidly became lead trumpeter for the band, touring the world. He soon formed his own quartet, and began directing orchestras, including the Grammy-winning United Nation Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band, the 
Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (2004-2010), the Carnegie Hall Centennial Big Band, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (1992-2002), and the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York (2003-present). Faddis has also served as guest conductor and featured guest with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
Faddis is a full-time faculty member at the Conservatory of Music, Purchase College-SUNY, where he began in 1999 as Artist-in-Residence, becoming shortly after Professor and Director of Jazz Performance. Faddis holds the first-ever honorary doctorate in Jazz from Manhattan School of Music (which he attended for about a semester when he was 18), as well as numerous other accolades and awards. Tix: FREE. This event takes place at Bethany Baptist Church located at 275 West Market Street, Newark, NJ.
Sun 11.13 @ 2:00 p.m. Jazz at Ahavas Sholom: Jazz & Equality: Beyond the Struggle
NJPAC’s Jazz for Teens ensemble will be featured at this opening exhibit at the Jewish Museum of New Jersey. The exhibit features the work of differently abled artists. This FREE event will take place at Ahavas Sholom/The Jewish Museum of New Jersey, 145 Broadway, Newark, NJ. Tix: FREE.
Sun 11.13 @ 7:00 p.m. Yellowjackets
Russell Ferrante (piano, synths)
Bob Mintzer (woodwinds, EWI)
Will Kennedy (drums)
Dane Alderson (bass)
NJPAC welcomes back the Grammy Award-winning Yellowjackets: Russell Ferrante (piano, synths), Bob Mintzer (woodwinds, EWI), Will Kennedy (drums) and Dane Alderson (bass). After 25 albums and countless sold-out tours, the longstanding jazz-fusion quartet continues to push the creative boundaries of genre and composition. One of the most popular contemporary jazz ensembles of the 1980s and 1990s, the Yellowjackets was cited by JazzTimes as "...a perfectly combustible electric-acoustic outfit whose smart, often challenging and unpredictable compositions draw from fusion, postbop and contemporary jazz." Tix: $65 @ Victoria Theater.
Wed 11.16 @ 7:00 p.m. Regina Carter and Carolyn Dorfman Dance Jazz Legends and The Power of Now! world premiere (NJPAC commission)
Regina Carter (violin)
TBA (band)

NJPAC welcomes back the acclaimed New Jersey-based dance troupe, Carolyn Dorfman Dance. This performance features the world premiere of a new work (title TBA) choreographed by Carolyn Dorfman and set to a live performance by jazz violinist extraordinaire Regina Carter. Carter is the Artistic Director of NJPAC’s Geri Allen Jazz Sumer Camp for young women and was recently awarded a 2023 NEA Jazz Master. Other Dorfman works on the program include PRIMA! set to the vibrant jazz recordings of trumpet legend Louis Prima, and Pastoral Pause, as well as the 2022 piece NOW by noted choreographer Jule D. Lane. With virtuosity, speed and depth, these artists take you on a heart-pounding roller coaster ride of life’s journeys—resulting in pure joy. According to Limón Dance Company, Carolyn Dorfman Dance is “musical, magical, and full of surprises.” Tix: $30 & $45 @ Victoria Theater.

Thu 11.17 @ 7:00 p.m. Jazz Jams at Clement’s Place (artist TBA)
Co-presented by NJPAC and Wayne Winborne, Executive Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University-Newark, this marks the first in a series of Jazz Jam Sessions to be held during the 2022-23 school year. Held at Clement’s Place on the campus of Rutgers-Newark, this series is curated and directed by pianist and bandleader James Austin, Jr. in consultation with the Jazz Advisory Committee of NJPAC’s Community Engagement Department. Don’t miss a top-flight lineup of jazz musicians!  Tix: FREE. This event takes place at Clement’s Place located at 15 Washington Street, Newark, NJ.
Fri 11.18 @ 7:00 p.m. NJMEA All-State Jazz Band and Choir with special guest Christian McBride
NJMEA All-State Jazz Band
NJMEA All-State Jazz Choir
Christian McBride (special guest, bass)
This annual concert event, co-presented by NJPAC’s Arts Education Department and the New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA), brings together some of the very best young musicians and vocalists from across the state for a dynamic group performance. NJPAC’s Jazz Advisor and acclaimed jazz bassist/bandleader/composer Christian McBride will grace the stage as a special guest. Tix: $30 @ The Chase Room.
Sat 11.19 @ 2:00 p.m. Bethany Baptist Church Jazz Vespers on Film: Oscar Peterson: Black + White

Co-presented by the Bethany Baptist Church Jazz Vespers, NJPAC continues its season-long series at Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church with a free screening of the jazz documentary Oscar Peterson: Black + White. The film explores the life and music of Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, told through rare archival footage and interviews with jazz greats including Jon Batiste, Herbie Hancock and Branford Marsalis. Jazz aficionados won’t want to miss this story of a young piano prodigy turned legendary icon, directed by Barry Avrich (Made You Look: A True Story About Fake ArtThe Talented Mr. Rosenberg). Tix: FREE. This event takes place at Bethany Baptist Church located at 275 West Market Street, Newark, NJ.
Sat. 11.19 @ 8:00 p.m. Represent! A Night of Jazz, Hip Hop and Spoken Word
Rakim, Speech, and Chuck D (hip hop artists)
Nikki Giovanni, jessica Care moore, Sean Battle, Mayor Ras Baraka and The Last Poets (poets)
Javon Jackson (tenor saxophone)
Ravi Coltrane (saxophone)
Christian McBride (musical director, bandleader)
Christian McBride Situation
For one unmissable night, NJPAC unites the leading voices in jazz, hip hop and poetry. The legendary lineup includes hip hop stars Rakim (Paid in Full), Speech (Arrested Development), and Chuck D (Public Enemy); award-winning poets and spoken word performers Nikki Giovanni, Jessica Care Moore, Sean Battle, Mayor Ras Baraka and The Last Poets (Abiodun Oyewole, Umar Bin Hassan, and Babadon Babatunde); saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Javon Jackson; and Musical Director (and NJPAC Jazz Advisor) Christian McBride. Blaring horns and baring souls, these masterful artists exclaim their vision of justice, change, and joy.
This unique partnership between NJPAC and Rutgers University-Newark celebrates the rich historical connection between jazz and poetry, creates opportunities for public engagement, strengthens community ties through the arts, amplifies the authentic voices of the people of Greater Newark, and engages a new generation of poets, jazz musicians and teaching artists. This program is supported through NJPAC and Rutgers-Newark’s City VersesElevating Voices through Jazz and Poetry initiative, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 
Tix: $29-$89 @ Prudential Hall.
Sat 11.19 @ 3:00 + 7:30 p.m. Maria Schneider Orchestra
Maria Schneider (conductor)
TBA (orchestra)
NJPAC is thrilled to welcome back the award-winning Maria Schneider Orchestra for what has become a seasonal Thanksgiving concert. For the past quarter–century, beginning with her orchestra’s debut album Evanescence (1994), composer/conductor and NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider has developed a deeply personal way of writing for her 17–member collective; like Duke Ellington, she has tailored her compositions to highlight the individually expressive voices of her soloists. Her highly original work often blurs the lines between post-bop, classical and the avant-garde. Maria and her orchestra are fresh off of winning two Grammy Awards, “Album of the Year” award from Grand Prix de L’Academie du Jazz, Jazz Journalists Association, and NPR Jazz Critics Poll, as well as a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize for their latest album, Data Lords. Tix: $59 @ Victoria Theater.
Sun 11.20 @ 11:00 a.m. + 1:00 p.m. Dorthaan’s Place: Vanessa Rubin Trio
Vanessa Rubin (vocals)
Brandon McCune (piano) 
Kenny Davis (bass)
Winard Harper (drums)

NJPAC’s NICO kitchen + bar continues Dorthaan’s Place, its popular Sunday jazz brunch series curated by Newark’s First Lady of Jazz, Dorthaan Kirk. The series made its debut during NJPAC’s 2012-13 season and has grown ever since.  “The finest in jazz is on the menu…anticipation runs high at Dorthaan’s Place, whether you’re there for the music, the food, the scene, Dorthaan, or all of the above.” (All About Jazz) 
This edition presents the Vanessa Rubin Trio. Revered as both a torchbearer and a storyteller, Vanessa’s voice exudes crystalline clarity, hearth-like warmth and playful lioness sass. The Cleveland native brings a wealth of diverse influences to the microphone, including the Trinidadian/Caribbean roots of her mother, traditional jazz by way of her Louisiana-born father, and her love of the Motown Sound…especially girl groups like the Supremes.
Tix: $49 (adult) $19 (child) each. There are two brunch seatings: 11:00 a.m. (music begins at 11:30a.m.) or 1:00 p.m. (music begins at 1:30 p.m.). This event takes place at NJPAC’s NICO kitchen + bar located at One Center Street, Newark, NJ.

Sun 11.20 @ 3:00 p.m. 11th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition
Gary Walker (host)
Regina Carter (judge)
Christian McBride (judge)
T.S. Monk (judge)
Pat Prescott (judge)
Maria Schneider (judge)
special guest artists:
Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim (vocals)
Gabrielle Cavassa (vocals)
The Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, also known as “The SASSY Awards”, has become one of the top annual vocal competitions in jazz. The SASSY Awards offers outstanding jazz singers a one-of-a-kind platform for embarking on a career in the music business—and offers audience members a chance to discover the jazz stars of tomorrow. The competition recalls the humble beginnings of legendary jazz singer/NEA Jazz Master Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) who, back in 1942, was a Newark teenager and winner of an amateur singing contest at the Apollo Theater. That memorable night helped launch the lifework of one of the most successful, influential jazz vocalists in the history of American music. Past winners of The SASSY Awards include Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, Ashleigh Smith, Arianna Neikrug, Deelee Dubé, Quiana Lynell, Laurin Talese, Samara Joy, Gabrielle Cavassa and Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim, and G. Thomas Allen. 
For one night only, this year’s Top Five finalists will compete at NJPAC in front of a live audience and before a distinguished panel of judges, including premier jazz violinist Regina Carter, NJPAC’s Jazz Advisor and multi-Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride, drummer T.S. Monk (Thelonious Monk, Jr.), NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider, and WBGO Radio personality Pat Prescott. 
Hosted by WBGO Radio’s Gary Walker, this special event will also include performances by the 2021 co-winners of the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition Tawanda Suessbrich-Joaquim and Gabrielle Cavassa, and more to be announced soon. The first-prize winner of The SASSY Awards will receive a $5,000 cash award, second-place $1,500, and third-place $500. Tix: $39 @ Victoria Theater.
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New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and 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 10 million visitors (including more than 1.8 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.