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James Moody Jazz Festival Kicks Off Oct. 15

Lineup includes Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Brandee Younger and more

The Sarah Vaughan Celebration will take place on Nov. 19
Angélique Kidjo
Brandee Younger
Wynton Marsalis

From Oct. 15 through Nov. 20, the fifth-annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival will take place, presented by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J., and featuring performances by Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Omara Portuondo, Brandee Younger, Renee Rosnes and more.

The festival will kick off with a musical party celebrating Cuban singer Portuondo’s 85th anniversary and 70 years of performing professionally, with special guests including pianist Roberta Fonseca, clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen and violinist Regina Carter. On Nov. 1, Wynton Marsalis will host “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” inspired by the work of novelist Ralph Ellison, with performances by Catherine Russell, Angélique Kidjo and Talib Kweli.

Other festival highlights include, on Nov. 13, the “Cole Porter From A to Z: Celebrating 125 Years” event with two-time Tony-winner Judy Kaye; harpist Brandee Younger and her quartet on Nov. 16; “Get on Up: A James Brown Celebration” on Nov. 18, led by bassist Christian McBride; and the “Sarah Vaughan Celebration” on Nov. 19, which will pay tribute to Newark’s “Divine One,” featuring the Christian McBride Trio and vocalists Dianne Reeves, Lisa Fischer and Sheila Jordan.

Additionally, NJPAC’s Sunday jazz and brunch combo will begin its season on Nov. 20 at NICO Kitchen + Bar with a performance by pianist Renee Rosnes.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Originally Published