What’s Happening Around Town (april 15 - 19th)

Livingston, Orange, South Orange, West Orange

By Gregory Burrus 

Being a big believer in the value of local arts, music and the community, I am a big fan of attending these events and even more importantly promoting and getting the word out on these events, the venues and of course the performers.  A driving force behind this love of North Jersey events is that a lot of very professional musicians and artist live, work and visit the area.  That means I attend many events, meet many great people and also get asked many times, what's going on in my neck of the woods. Well, every week these professionals, amateurs and students alike are doing something new and exciting.  I endeavor every week to remind you of what's coming, who the performers are and where the events are happening in and around South Orange, Maplewood, the Oranges area and beyond. 

An Evening of Jazz for Newton – Livingston, New Jersey

Image Credit: Newark Academy

Image Credit: Newark Academy

Apr 15th Fri - An Evening of Jazz for Newton - 7:30 PM - Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ.

This event features world class musicians, tenor saxophonist, Abraham Burton and trumpeter, Freddie Hendrix.  This is an annual concert designed to showcase its numerous jazz ensembles.  The venue is a beautiful location, Newark Academy, a coeducational private day school located in Livingston, in Essex County, New Jersey and serves students in sixth through twelfth grades.  Ticket donations are $10.00 and all the proceeds go directly to the families of Sandy Hook and to the Ana Grace Fund.  Ana Grace Marquez-Greene was one of the children killed in the Newtown shootings.  A great cause in a great location with some really fabulous well known professional musicians.

See event page to learn more about this event: 

Marafanyi African Drum, Dance Workshop – Orange, NJ

Image Credit: Gregory Burrus

Image Credit: Gregory Burrus

Apr 16th Sat - Marafanyi Drum, Dance and Song - 1 PM & 3 PM - Orange, NJ, Valley Arts District. 

Running once a month since last year, Marafanyi is run by three savvy business women whose mission is drum, dance and song in poetic motion. When you take the workshop, you get to have a great time learning African dance, and as you dance they impart some of the background and history of the movements you learn.  In addition to dance, you also learn how to play African drums.  Having attended and watched the sessions, you see the workshop as very therapeutic because you get to dance a lot, drum a lot and still have a great time with your neighbors.  I also support the workshops an provide a free scholarship available for a free class each month.  Contact myself or Lara Gonzalez to learn more about taking a lesson on a scholarship basis, good for one adult or child to attend the workshops for free.  Either way, it's best to register in advance for the best price.  You should also ask about the sliding scale pricing.

Get workshop access here at: 

Jazz in The Loft – SOPAC – South Orange, New Jersey

Image Credit: Gregory Burrus

Image Credit: Gregory Burrus

Apr 17th Sun - James Gibbs - 7 PM - South Orange Performing Arts Center.

James Gibbs, on Facebook as King James Gibbs III, plays regularly in around the Greater New York / New Jersey area and if you ever heard him, you know he can truly blow a horn.  James Gibbs III, whom I've seen play Trumpet and Flugelhorn, is a trumpeter, educator, composer, producer, band leader and multi-instrumentalist.  He told me he wanted his horn to talk, and he has definitely archived this mission.  This SOPAC Jazz in the Loft event showcases extraordinary musicians who live and work in the region.  It's a place where communities and artists thrive together.  This event will be a special night of music as James is bringing in the Brick City Soul Collective (BCSC) to play this event.  I hope to see you this Sunday evening, Apr. 17th.

I'll be updating you more about this special event, and you can pick up your tickets here at:

Big Band Thursday – West Orange, New Jersey

Image Credit: Gregory Burrus

Image Credit: Gregory Burrus

Apr 18 Mon - Glenn Franke Big Band - 8 PM – Suzy Ques Restaurant, West Orange, NJ.

If you love the Big Band Era and sound, then this is a treat you will surely enjoy.  A big band run by Glenn Franke really brings it big time, just like days gone by.  Many special guest stop by including the legendary Slide Hampton who was maestro for few sets.  According to Wikipedia, Locksley Wellington "Slide" Hampton is an American jazz trombonist, composer and arranger.  Described by critics as a master composer, arranger and uniquely gifted trombone player, Hampton's career is among the most distinguished in jazz.  Happening every other Monday, always an awesome time as Glenn Franke's Big Band is comprised of 16 professional NYC area musicians, and they always keep the music lively and you jumping in your seat.  Come on out, have dinner or a drink, and enjoy this free event every other Monday. 

Ricalton Jazz Tuesday – South Orange, New Jersey

Image Credit: Gregory Burrus

Image Credit: Gregory Burrus

Apr 19 Tue - Wilma Ann Jazz Trio – 8 PM – Ricalton Village Tavern, South Orange, NJ

Ricalton Village Tavern is a premier listening location and restaurant in South Orange, NJ.  With a private listening room and professional Jazz musicians, it’s a place you want to be on a Tuesday evening.  Headlining this Tuesday is the wonderful Wilma Ann.  Wilma Ann has one awesome voice that truly lit a recent 5th Annual WOAHO Afternoon of Jazz event. Wilma Ann Jazz is originally from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.  Wilma Ann crossed crystal blue waters to bless us with her dynamic vocal presence. Her voice is touched with intimate soul, softened by jazzy resonance and glorified with singing to flow smoothly through tight gospel-tinged riffs. Her music is at once romantic soul, funky, and with an occasional hip-hop edge.  She is bringing her Wilma Ann Jazz Trio to make it a truly special, free event for those coming to Ricalton Jazz Tuesday. 

Next up, more on the musicians and other local art events, and I'll be posting more - a lot more - about all these events and truly hope to see all of you there. 

#WilmaAnnJazz #ricaltonvillagetavern #ilovejazz #glennfrankebigband #jamesgibbs #sopac #suzyques #ricaltonsjazztuesdays  #inaroundsomavalley #ilovesouthorange #MarafanyiDrumDanceandSong #newarkacedmy#jazztrio #gregoryburrus

About the Writer

Gregory Burrus is a supporter of local businesses, community events, jazz, blues musicians and local art exhibitions.  On a regular basis I promote art, music, business, government and local community events through social media marketing, writing articles, blogging and photo journalism.  Gregory Burrus resides in beautiful, historic town of South Orange, New Jersey, the home of beautiful gas lamps, many historic buildings, some wonderful old trees, the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Seton Hall University, South Mountain Reservation and many gorgeous, vibrant, growing communities in the surrounding North Jersey towns and cities of Essex County.  Having fun living life while helping others. Connect with Gregory Burrus: Facebook | Google+ | YouTube | Twitter
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