New Jersey’s South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has announced it jazz concert lineup for the first five months of the new year. Scheduled shows include a monthly “In the Loft” jazz and blues series, singer Jane Monheit, Kyle Eastwood and his band, a tribute to Sarah Vaughan and more.
The venue is located at One SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ, 07079. For more details on the upcoming season, including a complete schedule and ticket information, visit SOPAC, or contact the SOPAC box office at 973-313-2787.
JAZZ IN JANUARY
SUN 1/22 @ 5PM-BLUES IN THE LOFT
Acoustic Blues With Colin John, Heath Mensher And Benoir
An accomplished, versatile musician, Colin John commands the stage with both his guitar prowess and passionate singing honed from years steeped in Memphis’ rich music community. His infectious, genre-defying style was described by the British music magazine Mojo as “ferociously entertaining funked-up R&B” and a reviewer in Akron’s Beacon Journal suggested John sounds like “Albert King channeling Steve Vai.” Heath Mensher (Vocals, Harp) and Benoir (Guitars, Vocals) have been playing together since they were children, honing their blues skills on Long Island. They formed the Suffering Blues Band with renowned Bassist Kentucky Parkis and drummer Freddie McCondichie. Performing their traditional gutbucket blues and hard funk style, The Suffering Blues Band sound was an audience favorite at the 2011 South Orange International Blues Festival.
FRI 1/27 @ 8PM-THE SOUNDS OF SARAH VAUGHAN
Tickets: $30, $40
Vocalist Rosena M. Hill (Come Fly Away, The Color Purple), trombonist Jason Jackson (Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band) and legendary jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, pay tribute to the music of Sarah Vaughan, and the musicians that influenced her sound.
JAZZ IN FEBRUARY
FRI 2/10 @ 8PM-JANE MONHEIT
Tickets: $35, $45
An extraordinarily gifted vocalist whose sincere and romantic interpretations have made her a favorite in both the jazz and cabaret worlds, Monheit has garnered numerous accolades in the past decade. Her first album, Never Never Land, was voted top debut recording by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and stayed on the Billboard Jazz chart for over a year. Subsequent albums either charted high, or in several cases, debuted at number one, and yielded two Grammy nominations in the Best Instrumental Arrangement accompanying Vocals category.
SUN 2/12 @ 5PM-JAZZ IN THE LOFT: CLAUDIO RODITI
Brazilian-born born trumpet and flugelhorn player, Claudio Roditi kicks-off the first concert of the Jazz in the Loft series at SOPAC. Known for his warm, fluid sound combining post bop and Brazilian elements, Roditi has worked with Herbie Mann, Charlie Rouse, Paquito D’Rivera and Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra. A current South Orange resident, Roditi has recorded a dozen albums as a leader and has received Grammy Award nominations for his albums Symphonic Bossa Nova and Brazilliance X 4.
JAZZ IN MARCH
SUN 3/18 @ 5PM – JAZZ IN THE LOFT: JAZZ LEGACY ALL-STAR JAM WITH JOHN LEE
Bassist, composer, educator and producer, John Lee is the co-founder of Jazz Legacy Productions and also serves as the executive director of the Dizzy Gillespie™ All-Stars and All-Stars Big Band with whom he performs regularly. A resident of South Orange, NJ, John has played in the bands of Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, McCoy Tyner, Larry Coryell, Joe Henderson, and Dizzy Gillespie. John Lee puts together a line-up of jazz artists from the area to perform in a classic Jazz Legacy All-Star Jam as part of the Jazz in the Loft series.
SAT 3/24 @ 8PM-KYLE EASTWOOD BAND
Tickets: $30, $40
Son of actor Clint Eastwood, jazz musician Kyle Eastwood has seen just as much success as his father. His second album, Paris Blue, hit number one on the French Jazz charts. An accomplished musician and composer, he has composed music for several movies that have gone on to win Academy Awards.
SUN 3/25 @ 5PM-BLUES IN THE LOFT (ARTISTS TBD)
TUE 3/27 @ 7:30PM-JAZZ KNIGHTS OF WEST POINT
Jazz’ n the Hall Presented by Seton Hall Arts Council. Bringing over three decades of musical excellence to their audiences, the West Point Band’s Jazz Knights present the best in big band favorites, popular music, and original compositions and arrangements for jazz ensemble.
JAZZ IN APRIL
SUN 4/15 @ 5PM-JAZZ IN THE LOFT: JOHN DUKICH
South Orange resident John Dukich performs an evening of Jazz Standards and International songs. A versatile performer who sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese, John captivates his audiences with rich tones and a smooth, warm delivery. John’s repertoire includes romantic ballads with moving lyrics and haunting melodies, swinging standards, smooth Bossa Novas, and popular Brazilian and South American songs less-known to audiences in the United States. His natural, easy approach to Brazilian music results from extensive visits to Brazil. His experience as an instrumentalist (trombonist) is conveyed in his phrasing and interpretation.
SUN 4/29 @ 5PM-BLUES IN THE LOFT (ARTISTS TBD)
JAZZ IN MAY
TUE 5/1 @ 7:30PM-SETON HALL UNIVERSITY FACULTY JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Jazz’ n the Hall Presented by Seton Hall Arts Council. Ever growing in popularity since its debut two years ago at SOPAC, the Seton Hall University Faculty Jazz Ensemble has become widely known by the University students and general public for its exciting performances of great historic jazz music of every style.