Monday, November 18, 2019

“Iraqi Maqam and Religious Rituals” @ Rutgers-Newark, Nov. 19


“Heroes of the World”: JCTC Gallery Showcases Greenville Mural & Artists


WHEN: November 21, 6:00pm-8:30pm
Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue, Jersey City

Jersey City may be known for its many murals, but rarely do we find out about the artists who create them. That’s about to change when Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) showcases the young talent behind the city’s newest public art display, Heroes of the World.

Heroes of the World, a socially-engaging mural located at 1 Ocean Avenue in the Greenville neighborhood of Jersey City, depicts a wide and diverse range of trailblazing personalities and historical figures. This one-of-a-kind, 200-foot-wide, public work of art—the longest mural in Jersey City—was created by a hand-pick team of aspiring Jersey City artists through the Jersey City Summer Youth Mural Arts Program 2019.

JCTC Presents Heroes of the World event is part of Stories of Greenville, a neighborhood revitalization project conducted by JCTC in conjunction with I Love Greenville Community Plan/Greenville Community Partnership.

JCTC Presents Heroes of the World is an early-evening event that utilizes both the art gallery and black box theater at Merseles Studios. In addition to screening a short documentary on the mural, the preliminary sketches and paintings of each historical figure featured on the mural will be exhibited. JCTC Presents Heroes of the World is not just a revealing glimpse into the artistic process that went into one of Jersey City’s most original murals, but gives the art and the artists the exhibition experience they both deserve. (Above, right: Jersey City’s newest generation of homegrown muralists at work on Heroes of the World, the city’s newest mural located at 1 Ocean Avenue in Greenville)

“Art revitalizes neighborhoods and improves everyone’s quality of life,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “Everyone should visit the Heroes of the World in Greenville, which is a testament to what is possible with the arts. The mural shows us the leaders today’s youth look up. JCTC wants to present these young artists and their art in a gallery setting and see the talent, intelligence and creativity that went into this project.”

More than 100 portfolios by young artists were received for the 2019 mural program. The 29 artists – who range in age from 13 to 22 – selected for this six week project also underwent an interview process that fully aware of the responsibility involved – from mural conception to the hours of painstaking wall painting in the summer heat.

The program is a hands-on, intensive muralist workshop for aspiring artists. Co-instructors for the program are Duda Penteado, Jersey City-based fine artist and filmmaker and Catherine Hart, a Jersey City-based fine artist and muralist. As part of their muralist training, the students took field trips to murals in Jersey City as well as to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Above, left: Catherine Hart and Duda Penteado, Co-Instructors for the 2019 Jersey City Summer Youth Mural Arts Program)

The student artists formed small teams to work on specific sections of the wall, receiving step-by-step instruction on public art techniques, concept development, surface preparation, design enlargement, paint application, and preservation of outdoor art. In addition to completing a public work of art, the project’s objective was to instill in them a comprehensive work ethic essential to their future career as professional artists.

The students decided who would appear on the wall, selecting inspiring figures responsible for positive social, political and artistic change. “The mural is meant to inspire a dialogue within the community of Jersey City,” said Penteado. “JCTC’s mission is to inspire conversations through the arts and this mural not only aligns with that mission but we hope to take a more in-depth look at the artists and their work at Merseles Studios . Presenting a gallery show and putting the spotlight on these artists is the final step in the creation of what is truly an open-sky museum.” (Above: The heroes behind the Heroes of the World mural. This team of hand-picked young artists created Heroes of the World, Jersey City’s longest murals. The artists and their preliminary sketches and studies that resulted in this remarkable piece of public art gets the Gallery Experience.)

Some the influential personalities featured on the Heroes of the World mural: Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Fela Kuti, Helen Keller, Ai Wei Wei, Red Cloud, Florence Nightingale, Oprah Winfrey, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Frida Kalho, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, Black Hawk, and Crazy Horse.

The young artists creating the mural are: Dallas Wilkins, Bukola Adeleye, Abimalec Barreras, Maria Tejada Gonzalez, Roshard Ali, Renee Ramos, Samar Yagoubi, Claudia Gomez, Sandra Youssef Shrushti Shahajl Chavan, Maya Rumdayal, Muneeb Alam, Imani Anighoro, Ysabelle Abis, Gabrielle Terteweh, Alberto LaCava, Jonah Dunston, William Kunga Bill Luong, Zahra Khadir, LucPaul Adams, Barbara Gochis, Jorelle Rea, Weiling Pan, Gino Markocs, Nicole Issac, Maya Sanders, HiYasmine Gaskins, and Stardaysha Santos.

JCTC Presents Heroes of the World will also feature a screening of Heroes of the World, a short documentary film directed by Duda Penteado and produced by Unshakeable Productions. Click here for a trailer of the film.

Crowdfund Launches For 51st Anniversary Production of “HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical”

HAIR - The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical
Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni & James Rado
Music by Galt MacDermot
directed by Alex Ocho

OCHO MEDIA LAB, LLC is pleased to announce an Indiegogo crowdfund for a 51st anniversary edition of the hit Broadway show, HAIR - The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical*. Crowdfunding will support production and bring Hair to the stage under the direction of Alex Ocho. The musical is aiming to open Summer 2020 in Maplewood, NJ.

More information about the campaign can be found at:

Hair became the musical that defined a generation. With its depiction of hippie counterculture, groundbreaking rock ‘n roll score, coarse language, drug use and infamous nude scene — Hair challenged all conventions of musical theater. Hair premiered in 1967 at Joseph Papp’s new Public Theater for its inaugural New York Shakespeare Festival. The original Broadway production opened in 1968 at the Biltmore Theater, ran for 1,750 performances and was nominated for two Tony Awards. Hair launched the careers of Diane Keaton, Donna Summer, Meat Loaf and Melba Moore. A successful 2009 Broadway revival won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. The musical spawned hit songs such as “Aquarius”, “Easy to be Hard,” “Good Morning Starshine” and “Let the Sunshine In.”


Welcome to the “Age of Aquarius.” The year is 1967: LBJ is in the White House, The Vietnam War rages and anti-war protests erupt across the country. Hair tells the story of a new kind of community and camaraderie. Claude, a flower child, must choose between resisting the draft with his friends or submit to the pressures of his conservative parents and serve in Vietnam.

*Performance rights pending. “Hair” will be produced in arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library Inc. 560 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022


Founded in 2014, the Evan Sherman Big Band is a 16-piece ensemble of jazz veterans and New York's most dynamic young musicians. Garnering praise from audiences and critics worldwide, the big band has been featured at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Rainbow Room, Ginny's Supper Club in Harlem, The Django in TriBeca, Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night's Swing, Caramoor Jazz Festival, SteelStacks (PA), and the Perth International Arts Festival (Australia).

NEW BRUNWICK PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, 11 Livingston Avenue,  New Brunswick, NJ
TICKETS: All seats $25.00
Purchase Tickets

The hit show that had its New Jersey premiere at the State Theatre returns by popular demand!

Jersey Boys

State Theatre New Jersey, 15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick


“THE CROWD GOES WILD!” —The New York Times

They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard…and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story—a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.

Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony® and Grammy Award®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, Jersey Boys. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true.

“Sherry” • “Big Girls Don’t Cry” • “Walk Like A Man” • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” • “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”

Jersey Boys is not recommended for all ages. The show contains smoke, gun shots, strobe lights, drug references, sexual situations, and authentic “profane Jersey language,” and is recommended for ages 12+

Groups of 10+ save up to 20% — Please contact Guest Services at 732-246-7469 for discount details and to order tickets.

Chocolate & Wine — Treat Yourself! Add on a box of Thomas Sweet® chocolate and a glass of wine in the cart.

Save on Dining — Add on dining in the cart and save $5 on gift certificates to New Brunswick's best restaurants!

Leonia Chamber Musicians Society to Feature Trailblazing Composer Amy Beach in November Concert

Harmony in Life

WHEN: November 24, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.
Presbyterian Church, 181 Fort Lee Road, Leonia
TICKETS: $20, available for purchase at the door on the day of each performance or online at Students under age 18 are admitted free. Refreshments are served after the concert, and the audience is invited to meet and greet the musicians.

The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc. (LCMS) salutes pioneering American woman composer and piano virtuoso Amy Beach in the organization's second concert of the 2019-2020 series. The LCMS presents a recognition of three composers who overcame life's struggles to write beautiful music. The society's members—Theresa Norris, flute; Marsha Heller, oboe; Roy Lewis, violin; Maggie Speier, viola; and Daryl Goldberg, cellowill be joined by guest artist violinist Janey Choi.

Amy Beach's (1867-1944) compositional excellence paved the way for acceptance in a male dominated field. Her romantic Theme and Variations for Flute and String quartet is based on one of the many melodious songs she wrote.

Englishman Gustav Holst (1874-1934), known for his great orchestral suite The Planets, composed a Terzetto for the interesting combination of Flute, Oboe and Viola. He overcame a life of illness to compose a wealth of opera, orchestra and chamber music compositions.

Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) is famously known for his musical tribute to Czech history in his orchestra piece Má vlast (My Homeland). After losing his hearing, he continued to compose one of his best works, the string quartet Z mého života (From My Life).

"In this time of unexpected violence, the LCMS' concerts offer a refuge, a community gathering to appreciate the beauty and expression of the human soul. The professional musicians of the Leonia Chamber Musicians nourish the human spirit with music," said Ms. Daryl Goldberg, President, Leonia Chamber Musicians Society.

The season closes on Sunday, March 22, 2020 at 4 p.m., celebrating Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthday with performances of the Quintet in Eb for Piano and Winds Op. 16, and the String Quartet Op. 132 in A minor. The concert takes place at the Presbyterian Church in Leonia, 181 Fort Lee Road in Leonia, New Jersey.

Holiday Concert

The Leonia Public Library presents The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society for a third annual Holiday Concert on Monday, December 9, 2019 at 7 p.m. This special concert is free and open to the community. The library is located at 227 Fort Lee Rd. in Leonia, New Jersey, and parking is available in a lot behind the building and on side streets.

Benefit Concert

The LCMS begins the new year with a benefit concert for the Leonia High School Music Department on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 5 p.m. The concert, under the auspices of Si-Yo Classically Leonia, will be held at Leonia United Methodist Church, 396 Broad Avenue in Leonia, New Jersey.

Fostina Dixon’s “The Vertical Alignment Tour” Hits Philly November 23 & December 1

One of the few female jazz instrumentalists to front her own band, Winds of Change, the saxophonist, composer, vocalist and educator’s comeback album in 2016, “Here We Go Again” has garnered complimentary reviews. The single “Vertical Alignment” released the beginning of 2019, made the Smooth Jazz Network Charts multiple weeks. This new CD Vertical Alignment, which features original materials and multiple talented musicians, is making great impressions, getting much praise with musicians, and creating a buzz in the music business. It hits the depth of your soul.

There is no holding back or compromise of interpretation or expression. Fostina’s unique improvisational style shows her experience in playing all genres of music. Her producers Al Turner and Ray Chew add even more flare to these original compositions. After a storied early career that included playing alongside such Jazz greats as Abbey Lincoln, Melba Liston, Frank Foster, James “Blood” Ulmer, Tom Browne, Roy Ayers, and playing in the Gerald Wilson Big Band, touring with Marvin Gaye, and many other experiences too vast to mention, Fostina has made significant contributions to the arts and education scenes. Fostina received a Christi Award for her contributions to promoting the arts in the community, an Outstanding Arts Educator award from the Delaware Board of Education, and an Outstanding Contributor award from the Council of Jazz Advocates for her work as an arts educator, and is the Founder and longtime Executive Director of the Wilmington Youth Jazz Band.

It’s my honor to represent Fostina on this CD. She should take her place among jazz superstars. Love the sax interplay on the two vocals, “Best Is Yet To Come,” and “I’ll Always Remember.” Reminds me of the great jazz legend Grover Washington Jr. —Lloyd Z. Remick Esq.

Art and culture alert! Not-to-be-missed panel on Independent Filmmaking and screening of "Being Gladys" with panel discussion with fellow artists

Following the screening, artists who knew Gladys Grauer intimately will share the profound impact she had on their work.  Invited panelists include Ben Jones, Nettie Forne' Thomas, Danielle Scott, and others.

The New Jersey FilmMakers Lab is a  developing group that meets monthly with a twofold goal: to provide a safe space where film makers receive feed back and support as they develop their work; and to assist film makers in their quest to develop as entrepreneurs, thus turning their passion for filmmaking into a viable business. Eventually, the lab hopes to cultivate a script to screen program, supporting a collaborative relationship with industry professionals who can work with filmmakers in bringing their work to audiences.

Please join us for this free lab...the calendar follows!

Review:  Exercise from Ralph

Shooting anything can offer some issues with time management.  But, I wanted to share thoughts about editing with those of you who are experienced and those of you who are less experienced in editing.  To that end I have taken several shots from an art workshop for the mentally ill done on spec (without a defined client) in 2016.  There should be enough to do a short sequence and to experience whatever edit program you chose to use. Let’s share whatever we have on Thursday.  If you can do it on your phone, you won’t have to make an appointment with your computer.  

Here is a link to the edit software and a music resource:

Here is a link to the files:

WHERE: We will meet at Express Newark, Room 312, 54 Halsey St., Newark, NJ

Woman's Club of Englewood to Feature Hillary Viders at Literature Event

Hillary Viders' "Extraordinary Englewood"

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 25, starting at 1:00 p.m
WHERE: Woman's Club of Englewood at its historic clubhouse at 187 Brinckerhoff Court, Englewood
The public is welcome to the event.

Northern Valley Press feature writer and photo journalist Hillary Viders will be the featured speaker at a literature event sponsored by the Woman's Club of Englewood, and her book Extraordinary Englewood will be the focus of Viders' attention.

The book was published by the Englewood Historical Society. All profits from the $25 purchase price will go to the Historical Society. When the book was introduced at Englewood Library recently, more than 200 people thronged the library for the formal debut reception. A total of 78 leading Englewood community members are featured in the beautifully illustrated, graphically appealing book. Woman's Club of Englewood members featured in the book are Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Ani Kalayjian, Carol Rauscher and Charlotte Bennett Schoen.

Books will be available for purchase and signing by the author. Light refreshments, coffee and tea will be served.

A Swingadelic tribute to Johnny Mercer at Rutherfurd Hall


WHEN: Sunday afternoon, November 24, 3 PM
: Rutherfurd Hall, 1686 Route 517, Allamuchy NJ 07820
TICKETS: all general admission, $30 in advance, $35 day of show.

Swingadelic, featuring piano player and vocalist John Bauers, vocalist Vanessa Perea, tenor sax player Bill Easley and Dave Post & David Longworth on bass & drums, will perform a tribute to Johnny Mercer.

Johnny Mercer was not only an iconic figure as a lyricist and composer for the American Songbook, but he was a celebrity and entertainer throughout the 40's and 50's, with a popular radio show during the war years, had gigs with a lot of the big bands of the era, hit records of his own and was the winner of four Academy Awards for Best Song as well as two Grammys for Song of the Year.

John Bauers narrates the life and times of Johnny Mercer as he and Vanessa sing the songs and tell the stories of Mercer’s life and career, including a long affair with Judy Garland.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Whitehouse Wind Symphony Presents Free Holiday Concerts Throughout Central Jersey

The Whitehouse Wind Symphony, a community band under the direction of Branchburg resident James P. Sheeley, Jr., will present four separate holiday concerts this December at various locations throughout central New Jersey. This concert series is one of the band’s most highly anticipated annual events.

Concertgoers will enjoy the band’s arrangements of classic Christmas carols such as “Good King Wenceslas,” “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Good Christian Men, Rejoice,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and “Here We Come A’Caroling.” The band will also play some favorite holiday songs such as “Jingle Bells,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Frosty the Snowman.” Children will be invited to ring sleigh bells as the band plays “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson. Audience members will also have the opportunity to sing along with the band!

The first concert of the series will take place on Friday, December 6th, at 7:30pm at Whitehouse United Methodist Church (the band’s namesake venue), located 73 Old Highway 28 in Whitehouse Station. Parking is located behind the church and on the street. The church is accessible via the elevator at the west entrance of the building.

The second concert of the series will take place on Sunday, December 8th, at 3:00pm at the historic courthouse, located at 75 Main Street in Flemington. The band first gave a holiday performance at the historic courthouse in 2011, and remains the first and only ensemble to do so in the courthouse’s 190 year history. This particular concert is made possible through the support of the Flemington Community Partnership and Mediatech Foundation. The concert is intentionally scheduled so that audience members can exit the courthouse after the concert and immediately enjoy the annual holiday parade in Flemington presented by the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce. Parking is located behind the courthouse and in several other nearby lots. The courthouse is fully accessible from the rear entrance.

The third concert of the series will take place on Thursday, December 12th, at 7:30pm at Flemington United Methodist Church, located at 116 Main Street in Flemington. This concert coincides with the Thursday Night Holiday Lights event being presented by the Flemington Community Partnership. Parking is available in several nearby lots. The church is accessible via a ramp at the entrance from Main Street.

The fourth and final concert of the series will take place on Saturday, December 14th, at 3:00pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church (the band’s rehearsal venue), located at 158 West High Street in Somerville. This church is accessible from the rear parking lot.

All of these concerts are free and open to the general public, although donations will be accepted to benefit the band, a non-profit group comprised entirely of volunteer musicians, as well as the presenting churches and foundations. 

In the event of inclement weather, the announcement to cancel any of these concerts will be made on the band’s website ( and Facebook page (

The Whitehouse Wind Symphony was founded by conductor emeritus Casey Bork on April 15, 1996. It is dedicated to presenting the best in all varieties of wind band literature. Since its founding, the band has grown rapidly, attracting experienced musicians as regular members from all over New Jersey, as well as New York City and eastern Pennsylvania. It is now comprised of approximately 50 amateur and professional musicians who perform together regularly to enthusiastic audiences throughout central and northern New Jersey. It was recently voted a finalist in the "Hunterdon Happening" list in the category of favorite musician/band. 

The Whitehouse Wind Symphony is committed to making its music accessible to all. For more information about the Symphony, including information and inquiries about venue accessibility, please send an email to

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through funds administered by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

Sensory-Friendly Astronomy Show Planned in December at RVCC Planetarium

The Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium in Branchburg presents

The Sky Above

WHEN:  Saturday, December 7, at 5 p.m.
118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ.
ADMISSION: $10 per person. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly suggested.
For additional information and to make reservations, call 908-231-8805 or visit

The sensory-friendly astronomy and music show, approximately 45 minutes in length, is specially designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum or those with developmental disabilities. Neurotypical children are welcome as well.

The program, which is presented on a kindergarten level, is appropriate for audiences of all ages. We provide a comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to everyone. During the show, the doors will remain open so children may freely leave and return if they choose. Lights will be left dim (instead of dark) and the audio will be lowered and kept at a consistent level. The show will include music, laser lights, stories, and information about the planets, the Moon and constellations. All material will be presented on a very basic level.