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Announcing Preliminary Jazz 2024-25 Season At New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ


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Tickets Go on Sale Friday, May 10, 2024, at 10:00 a.m.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center
1 Center Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(888) 466-5722

Free-$149. To purchase, contact NJPAC at 1.888.466.5722 or visit NJPAC.org.

SUN 9.29 @ 7:00 p.m.
Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock – piano

14x GRAMMY winner Herbie Hancock returns to NJPAC in a highly anticipated one-night only concert. The last time he graced the NJPAC stage was in 2017 as a special guest with the Wayne Shorter Quartet.Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Now 70 years into his astounding cross-genre career, he’s one of the most acclaimed and honored musicians of our time. Along with his phenomenal band, he takes audiences on an unforgettable musical journey that’s inventive, playful and profound. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while maintaining his unmistakable voice. With an illustrious career spanning five decades, multiple GRAMMY Awards including Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters and a Lifetime Achievement Award, an Oscar, NEA Jazz Master, and Kennedy Center Honors awards, and more, he continues to amaze audiences across the globe. Tix: $69-$149. Tickets are already on sale for this concert only.

SUN 10.06 @ 7:00 p.m.
Meshell Ndegeocello No More Water: The Gospel of James Baldwin NJPAC debut

Meshell Ndegeocello – vocals + bass

Celebrating her first performance on the NJPAC stage, the 2024 GRAMMY winner for Best Alternative Jazz Album, iconic bassist, singer, rapper, and composer Meshell Ndegeocello hardly needs an introduction. She has collaborated on tracks with everyone from The Rolling Stones, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, and Madonna to John Mellencamp, the Indigo Girls, and Gov’t Mule, and her music has been heard on motion picture soundtracks including How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Love and Basketball, and The Hurricane. She singularly bridges the worlds of rock, funk, neo-soul, Hip Hop, and jazz. With her newest recording from the legendary Blue Note label, No More Water: The Gospel of James Baldwin, Ndegeocello explores one of civil rights thought-leader James Baldwin’s most powerful themes: It is our inner struggle that is truly universal to all people. This concert ispart church service, celebration, testimonial and call to action—a genre-bending, multimedia invitation to reflect, revolutionize and transform. It’s the work of an uncompromising artist at the height of her creative powers. Tix: $59-$89.

FRI 11.15 @ 7:30 p.m.
Tyshawn Sorey Trio (featuring Aaron Diehl and Harish Raghavan)and Sandbox Percussion East Coast premiere

Tyshawn Sorey – percussion
Aaron Diehl – piano
Harish Raghavan – bass
Sandbox Percussion – percussion

2024 marks the Centennial of the birth of jazz pioneer Max Roach (1924-2007). His legacy and music are explored in this unique concert led by breakout percussionist Tyshawn Sorey. A MacArthur Fellow, Pulitzer Prize winner, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, Sorey grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and attended Newark Arts High School. As a teenager, he participated in NJPAC’s very own JAZZ FOR TEENS program. Coming full circle, this Nov 15th performance marks his NJPAC debut as a leader. He will lead his all-star Trio comprising pianist Aaron Diehland bassistHarish Raghavan, followed by the GRAMMY-nominated chamber percussion quartet Sandbox Percussion(Ian Rosenbaum, Jonny Allen, Terry Sweeneyand Victor Caccese). The two groups will perform their own sets highlighting Roach’s impact across musical worlds. Then, they’ll join forces for the East Coast premiere of a new work co-commissioned by NJPAC, a through-composed multi-movement piece paying tribute to Roach’s groundbreaking M’Boom ensemble. Tix: $65.

SAT 11.16 @ 7:30 p.m.
Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux – vocals

Jazz fans will be delighted to experience Madeleine Peyroux live in this intimate performance. With her sweet-and-smoky voice, the beloved jazz vocalist breathes magic into timeless standards and self-penned originals. This program highlights a variety of songs from across Madeleine’s discography, a living testament to her artistic metamorphoses and the evolutions yet to come. Tix: $59.50-$99.

THU 11.21 @ 7:30 p.m.
Bethany Baptist Jazz Vespers @ 25 Honoring Rev. M. William Howard, Jr.

Nat Adderly Jr. – music director/bandleader/piano
Jon Faddis – trumpet
Vanessa Rubin – vocals
Lizz Wright – vocals

Celebrate 25 years of the Bethany Baptist Jazz Vespers Concert Series with music director and bandleader Nat Adderley Jr., jazz trumpeter and conductor Jon Faddis, jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin and jazz/gospel singer Lizz Wright. Since 2000, Newark’s historic Bethany Baptist Church has hosted free concerts that combine jazz and worship. For this special event, Jazz Vespers heads to the NJPAC stage for a look back at 25 years of praiseworthy music. The program will also honor Rev. M. William Howard, Jr., who co-founded Jazz Vespers with Newark’s First Lady of Jazz, NEA Jazz Master Dorthaan Kirk (WGBO Radio). Ms. Kirk described Dr. Howard as “a No. 1 jazz fan” to The New York Times, saying: “That’s why he started” the now-famous series. Tix: $69.

FRI 11.22 @ 7:30 p.m.
John Pizzarelli & Catherine Russell: BILLIE & BLUE EYES NJPAC duo debut

Catherine Russell – vocals

John Pizzarelli Trio:
John Pizzarelli – guitar + vocals
Mike Karn – bass
Isaiah J. Thompson—piano

Celebrating their NJPAC debut as a duo, GRAMMY Award-winning jazz vocalist Catherine Russell teams up with world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli in a stunning tribute to Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. BILLIE & BLUE EYES is musical journey featuring popular songs of Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. Dubbed “the essential duo,” they transport audiences to the glory days of jazz with masterful ease, capturing Holiday’s effortless grace and Sinatra’s cool swagger. Audiences will hear the music of Lady Day and Ol’ Blue Eyes like never before, with familiar favorites and surprising hidden gems. Pizzarelli is one of our most celebrated interpreters of the Great American Songbook. He has been hailed by The Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing Jazz.” Russell has “a voice that wails like a horn and whispers like a snake in the garden of Eden” (NPR).

FRI 11.22 @ 8:00 p.m.
Stanley Clarke Boys n the Hood world premiere

Stanley Clarke – bass

Making his NJPAC debut is bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke. In addition to being an NEA Jazz Master, multi-GRAMMY Award winner and veteran of 40+ albums, he’s also an accomplished composer of 65+ film and TV projects, including the Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It and Romeo Must Die. His score for John Singleton’s 1991 Oscar-nominated Boyz n the Hood is one of his best, including the original song “Black on Black Crime.” This iconic soundtrack is brought to life on the NJPAC stage in a special screening accompanied by live music performed at the helm of Clarke. Tix: $49-$79.

SAT 11.23 @ 6:00 p.m. + 8:30 p.m.
Dorado Schmitt and Sons: Django Festival All-Stars

Dorado Schmitt – violin
Amati Schmitt – guitar
Samson Schmitt – guitar
Ludovic Beier – accordion and accordina
Francko Mehrstein – rhythm guitar
Gino Roman – double bass

The Django Festival Allstars honor legendary Romani-French guitarist Django Reinhardt and his unique style of 1930s gypsy jazz, also known as “hot jazz.” The Django Festival Allstars have grown into a brilliantly cohesive group of star musicians who've taken America by storm, performing at top concert halls and festivals to standing ovations. Guitar, violin, double bass and accordion will get audience members’ hearts pumping with swinging rhythms, fiery solos and awe-inspiring technical prowess. It’s a family legacy for group leader Dorado Schmitt, who plays alongside talented sons Samson and Amati and cousins Francko Mehrstein and Gino Roman. “Sensational... Standout performance... Hardest swinging band at the Newport Jazz Festival” (Downbeat Magazine) Tix: $49.

SAT 11.23 @ 8:00 p.m.
Philip Bailey, Lisa Fischer, Dianne Reeves and Christian McBride Big Band

Christian McBride – bass + bandleader
Philip Bailey – vocals
Lisa Fischer – vocals
Dianne Reeves – vocals

NJPAC Jazz Advisor Christian McBride (16x GRAMMY nominee and 8x winner) and his Big Band welcome a fierce lineup of vocalists: Philip Bailey(Earth, Wind & Fire), Lisa Fischer(background singer for Luther Vandross, The Rolling Stones, Chaka Khan and Tina Turner, whose journey was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom) and NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves. It’s a star-studded prelude to McBride’s forthcoming album (TBR Spring 2025), which combines big voices with big band. Tix: $49-$89.

SUN 11.24 @ 11:00 a.m. + 1:00 p.m.
Dorthaan’s Place: Brandee Younger Trio

Brandee Younger – harp
Rashaan Carter – bass
Allan Mednard – drums

NJPAC continues Dorthaan’s Place, its popular Sunday jazz brunch series at NICO Kitchen + Bar 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 contemporary harpist Brandee Younger. A leading voice of the harp, Youngerrecently made history at the 2022 GRAMMY Awards as the first Black female solo artist nominated in the Best Instrumental Composition category for her song “Beautiful Is Black." The mesmerizing track is from her 2021 critically well-received major label debut album, Somewhere Different,that also received a 2022 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Jazz Album – Instrumental. Over her career Younger has performed and recorded across countless genres with artists including John Legend, The Roots, Lauryn Hill, Common, Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Coltrane, Ron Carter, and Charlie Haden.

There are two brunch seatings: 11:00 a.m. (music begins at 11:30 a.m.) and 1:00 p.m. (music begins at 1:30 p.m.). $29-$49 (does not include food/drink).

Sun 11.24 @ 3:00 p.m.
13th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition

Sheila Anderson – host

Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso –vocals
Christian McBride – judge
Madeleine Peyroux – judge
Bill Charlap – judge
Lisa Fischer – judge
Terri Lyne Carrington—judge

The divine Sarah Vaughan—Newark’s greatest musical gift to the world—got her start as the winner of a talent contest. NJPAC honors her legacy every year with the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, the only global jazz vocal contest of its kind, open to all genders and nationalities. This event 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. For this 13th annual “The SASSY Awards” event, WBGO Radio’s Sheila Anderson will host and 2022 SVVC winner Lucía Gutiérrez Rebolloso will perform. A panel of all-star judges—Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Madeleine Peyroux, Bill Charlap, Lisa Fischer, and Terri Lyne Carrington—will select the winner. Gifted young contestants from around the world are evaluated on vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation, and ability to swing. The winner receives a $5,000 cash prize. Past winners include Samara Joy, Cyrille Aimée, Jazzmeia Horn, Quiana Lynell, Laurin Talese, and more. For more information or to enter the competition, visit SarahVaughanCompetition.com. Tix: $39-$49.

SAT 3.08 @ 7:30 p.m.
Regina Carter: Gone in a Phrase of Air New Jersey premiere

Regina Carter – violin

Jazz violin virtuoso Regina Carter’s Gone in a Phrase of Air is a journey through America’s vibrant Black neighborhoods that were demolished in the name of urban renewal. This NJPAC performance marks the New Jersey premiere of this groundbreaking work that began in 2006 as a Jazz at Lincoln Center commissioned work. With original music, historical music, spoken word poetry and visuals, this moving performance revisits vanished communities such as Black Bottom and Paradise Valley in Carter’s hometown of Detroit; Mill Creek Valley in St. Louis; the Hayti district in Durham, North Carolina; and Chicago’s Bronzeville. Feel the vibrancy and spirit of these lost places under the masterful musical direction of Regina Carter: NEA Jazz Master, MacArthur “Genius” and Artistic Director of Geri Allen Jazz Camp, NJPAC’s jazz residency for young women. Tix: $59.


New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s anchor cultural institution, 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 11 million visitors (including more than two million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

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