Be There And Hear Montclair Orchestra Make History! Inaugural Concert Sunday, 10/22 (VIDEO)

BY  |  Friday, Oct 20, 2017 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

When you hear the opening notes of Verdi’s “La forza del destino” performed at the inaugural concert of the new Montclair Orchestra, you will be hearing history in the making.

The original “Montclair Orchestra” was established in 1922, but the ensemble later merged with other groups in the region, eventually moving to Newark and becoming what is today the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Since then, a permanent orchestra has never been re-established — until now.

The Montclair Orchestra launches its inaugural season with “Operatic Connections,” this Sunday, October 22 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair.

Montclair Orchestra musical director David Chan

The program, inspired by opera and song and featuring Verdi, Mozart and Mahler, is a nod to Montclair Orchestra’s Musical Director David Chan, who is also concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Internationally acclaimed soprano Ying Fang will join the orchestra for the finale to Mahler’s pastoral Symphony #4.

Ying Fang

Chan, who is is in his 17th season as leader of the MET Orchestra, is also a brilliant violinist who enjoys a diverse career as soloist, conductor, chamber musician, and teacher. His concerts have taken him to leading stages in North America, Europe, and Asia, appearing as soloist with such conductors as James Levine and Fabio Luisi.

Chan conducts Montclair Orchestra at first rehearsal at Montclair State.

Last weekend, the Montclair Orchestra, under Chan’s direction, had its first rehearsal at MSU’s John J. Cali School of Music (listen to them hit those very first notes in the video below). The efforts of Montclair Orchestra president Andre Weker, some 18 months in the making, and with community support and collaboration with some of the best orchestral training schools and the best orchestras in the country, culminates with this opening performance on Sunday, at 7pm.

With members of the NJSO, MET, NY Philharmonic, and students from MSU, Rutgers, Juilliard, Mannes, and Manhattan School of Music all performing together, this performance is one of a kind and expected to sell out. Don’t take a chance waiting on line for tickets at the door; buy yours here. You don’t want to miss this moment.

Jazz House Kids Turns 15! Star-Studded Concert + Gala, October 24 at NJPAC

BY  |  Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 11:12am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Jazz House Kids, Montclair’s nationally recognized arts organization with a mission to transform young lives through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship, is celebrating its 15th anniversary in style with a star-studded gala concert and dinner at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.

The evening will feature rising singer-songwriter and 2016 GRAMMY nominee Andra Day, six-time GRAMMY-winning sax legend David Sanborn, GRAMMY-nominated “Queen of Percussion” Sheila E., NEA Jazz Master and nine-time GRAMMY-nominated pianist Kenny Barron, and virtuoso bassist, composer and bandleader Christian McBride. McBride, artistic chair of JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, serves as the evening’s musical director.

Hosted by actor Gina Gershon, musical highlights include the debut of the Jazz House Alumni Big Band, a group of talented JAZZ HOUSE KiDS graduates who have continued honing their musicianship through college and beyond. JAZZ HOUSE KiDS’ mission will come to life as current students hit the stage: keyboardist Matthew Whitaker, a recent winner on “Showtime at the Apollo;” Jazz House Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles; and the JAZZ HOUSE KiDS Music Club from the John F. Kennedy School in Newark all will perform.

The evening will feature special tributes to two jazz luminary honorees: legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes and visionary jazz keyboardist McCoy Tyner. The JAZZ HOUSE KiDS Community Champion award will be presented to Montclair residents Janet Shapiro and Phillip Bryd for their longstanding support of the organization’s Give an Instrument program. Two annual student awards also will be announced: the James Moody Jazz Scholarship for New Jersey and the RS Berkeley Musician of Distinction Award.

Tickets to the JAZZ HOUSE KiDS Turns 15 celebration can be purchased with a package that includes a pre-concert cocktail reception at 5:30pm hosted by the 15th Anniversary Jazz Orchestra Circle, and a post-concert dinner party with a live auction in NJPAC’s dazzling lobby. For more information, visit or call 973-744-2273. Individual, concert-only tickets are available through NJPAC.

JAZZ HOUSE KiDS: Swinging Doors Open for 15 Years

JAZZ HOUSE KiDS returns to its roots in Newark with its stylish, all-star celebration on October 24. The building blocks for the nonprofit organization were formed in the Brick City 15 years ago, against the backdrop of NJPAC and with the help of two key organizations, Prudential and WBGO. According to Melissa Walker, President & Founder of JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, “It is especially gratifying to come full circle and celebrate turning 15 and a shared mission with New Jersey’s preeminent Jazz House, NJPAC.” A jazz vocalist, Walker was asked in 2002 by WBGO to conduct a one-time workshop for a group of students and their parents from Newark Public Schools to introduce them to jazz music. “We strapped on imaginary tool belts together and built a ‘jazz house’ – the roof beams and walls raised by adding musicians and instruments one by one,” said Walker. “As a jazz vocalist, the music infused my heart and soul, and the concept of a rich gathering place of musical talent and shared promise resonated with me. A real Jazz House was born.”

Today, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS is dedicated to closing the gap in the arts by giving students an “artistic edge” and helping students cultivate the talent, discipline, skills and principles they need to play, sing, and appreciate America’s original musical art form. The four pillars of the organization’s work – music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship – foster tomorrow’s community leaders and global citizens.

Walker and her husband, Christian McBride, are seeing the legacy of JAZZ HOUSE KiDS’ work through its alumni, many of whom are taking their places as the rising new generation of jazz musicians and engaged citizens. “We are proud that 100% of our students at the Jazz House graduate from high school and go on to college,” Walker said.

Jazz House alumni currently attend or have graduated from top schools including the Berklee College of Music, Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and The Juilliard School. For the many students who do not major in music, it is often their advanced training at the Jazz House that makes them so attractive to prospective colleges. Many students have earned significant merit scholarships – more than $1.5 million since 2014.

Each year, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS works with thousands of students in the schools, at its Jazz House facility in Montclair, and in the community. The organization provides access to music education with more than 1,000 hours of annual classroom instruction in underserved school districts, and offers 20 instrumental and vocal jazz classes at the Jazz House for ages two through adult. JAZZ HOUSE KiDS also places instruments in the hands of young people who want to play but can’t afford instruments.

JAZZ HOUSE KiDS brings music into the community through 80 student performances each year. The family-friendly, “no tickets required” Montclair Jazz Festival is produced each August by JAZZ HOUSE KiDS. New Jersey’s largest, free jazz festival, it attracts 10,000+ people from New Jersey and beyond. Each year, the organization reaches 25,000 people through its events, performances and programming.

“The success of JAZZ HOUSE KiDS lies with the countless people who have contributed and committed to our dream,” said Walker. “It’s an ambitious and obtainable dream: to level the playing field for young people with little access to high caliber arts training; provide a safe harbor that sees diversity and inclusion, which we consider our greatest strength; and transform lives by helping students gain what we call the ‘artistic edge’ through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship. We know that through this commitment, we are poised to continue to grow and flourish.”

For gala tickets + more information, visit or call 973-744-2273. Individual, concert-only tickets are available through NJPAC. 100% of proceeds to support JAZZ HOUSE KiDS Music + Education mission.

Outpost in the Burbs 30th Anniversary Show: Marc Cohn & Valerie June with Special Guest Ellis Paul

BY  |  Monday, Oct 16, 2017 3:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Outpost in the Burbs presents a concert to mark its 30th Anniversary season, featuring a co-bill of Marc Cohn and Valerie June on Friday, October 20th, 2017. This concert will take place at the First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton Avenue. Ellis Paul will be the special guest opening this show. John Platt from WFUV will be the guest host for the evening.

This concert is a celebration of Outpost in the Burbs history, present, and excitement about continuing to move forward into the future as a thriving community service organization and concert venue.

Outpost in the Burbs is an all-volunteer nonprofit outreach organization in Montclair dedicated to building community through music, community service, and cultural events. Since 1987, the Outpost has presented more than 500 concerts by internationally known artists such as Judy Collins, Roger McGuinn, Dave Mason, Jorma Kaukonen, Jimmy Webb, Richie Havens, J.D. Souther, Dar Williams. and The Jayhawks. In addition to promoting and staffing concerts, Outpost volunteers have donated many hours of their time through programs affiliated with Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots, the Human Needs Food Pantry of Montclair, the Community Food Bank of N.J., Dress for Success, MESH (Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless), and a soup kitchen run by Outpost volunteers in East Orange, NJ. Continue Reading

Wyclef Jean Visits Montclair To Talk About Carnival III and A Homecoming Performance at Wellmont Theater

BY  |  Monday, Oct 16, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Eight years following the release of his last full-length album, New Jersey rapper and producer Wyclef Jean discussed the release of his latest work, Carnival III, at the Wellmont Theater on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee is the final album of the Carnival trilogy, The Carnival and The Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant.

“The Carnival III is a reinvention of 1997 and 2017,” Jean said. “The whole idea with this album is to cross the old generation with the new generation.”

Jean, a three-time Grammy winner, explained that while he’s still a “hardware guy” that loves to pick up original instruments, he has also developed skills in audio-engineering. As a result, Carnival III merges “hardware” with “software,” representing a combination of 1997 and 2017.
Carnival III features contributions from Emeli Sande, Lunch Money Lewis, Supah Mario and the Knocks.

Continue Reading

Ying Fang To Perform With Montclair Orchestra

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Orchestra will present soprano Ying Fang as featured soloist for its inaugural concert on October 22nd. Ms. Fang will sing the solo vocal role in the finale of Mahler’s 4th symphony on the program.

Ms. Fang is a rising star in the opera world, having performed with th Metropolitan Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Ravinia Festival in Italy, and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France. She most recently performed the soprano solo in Mahler’s 4th symphony this summer with the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Fang will be joining the Montclair Orchestra between performances at the MET Opera in New York, and National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

“Ying Fang is an incredibly talented singer, and brings a caliber of performance to Montclair that will set high standards for our organization from the very start” says Montclair Orchestra President Andre Weker. “Combined with the level of talent presented by our professional orchestra members, student fellows, and avocational musicians, the organization is poised to provide an incredible level of artistry in the inaugural concert, as well as throughout the season.” Continue Reading

Giveaway: YES featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman at NJPAC

BY  |  Friday, Sep 15, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Accept no substitutes! Don’t miss the reunion of YES bandmates Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin & Rick Wakeman at NJPAC!

This legendary progressive rock unit brings an evening of greatest hits and more. For over four decades now, the iconic albums of YES have sold well over 13 million copies in the U.S. alone. Regarded as masterpieces of progressive rock, those albums also spawned a series of durable, chart-topping hits: “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Roundabout,” “Leave It,” “Love Will Find a Way,” “Starship Trooper,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Rhythm of Love,” and a whole lot more.

We have two pairs of tickets to giveaway! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway! Outpost in The Burbs Presents Anthony D’Amato and Lily Vakili

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 13, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Outpost in the Burbs will “kick off” its 30th Anniversary season with “New Voices” artist, Anthony D’Amato, on Saturday, September 16th. This concert will take place at the First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton Avenue at 8 p.m. Tickets for this show are $20 in advance ($25 door). Montclair’s own Lily Vakili will open the show.

Outpost volunteers will be collecting items to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey, working in conjunction with Toni’s Kitchen and other local organizations, at this show. Please donate ONLY shelf-stable food items, diapers, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. They will be transported to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and sent to the Houston Food Bank. Continue Reading

Seed Artists’ Presentation of Cyro Baptista & Banquet of the Spirits at the MPL, 9/8

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 06, 2017 11:18am  |  COMMENTS (0)


Brazilian-born Montclair resident and two-time Grammy winner Cyro Baptista is a percussion WIZARD. Innovator, tinkerer, virtuoso, master showman, a singular voice in contemporary music across more genres than you knew existed. Baptista has collaborated with everyone from Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, David Byrne and Sting to Cassandra Wilson, Wynton Marsalis, Caetano Veloso, Brian Eno and John Zorn. His group Banquet of the Spirits is an Afro-Brazilian improvisational jazz-futurist juggernaut. Or thereabouts.

What: Cyro Baptista & Banquet of the Spirits
When: Friday, September 8, 6:30-8pm
Where: Montclair Public Library, 50 S. Fullerton, Montclair
Cost: FREE

Harmony Concert, Created and Performed by Teens in Montclair, To Benefit IHN, 8/25

BY  |  Monday, Aug 21, 2017 10:00am

The Harmony Concert, a local benefit show for charities performed by tweens and teens from Montclair and surrounding areas, has been organized by Maggie Borgen, a rising freshman at Montclair High School, with help from friends, for the past three years. Every year a different charity is sponsored.

“Since there is so much animosity and stress these days, it is inspiring to organize an event that is central to community. We work in harmony, sing in harmony, and want the community to come together in harmony. It is amazing to be part of something that both gives teens a creative outlet and lets them make a difference,” says Borgen. This year’s concert is sponsoring the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), a charity that assist homeless families in the community by providing shelter and other support. Continue Reading

2017 Montclair Jazz Festival Guide: What You Need To Know (VIDEO)

BY  |  Friday, Aug 11, 2017 10:30am

The most important thing to know about the 2017 Montclair Jazz Festival? You don’t want to miss it. The biggest 1-day event in Montclair is all about music, fun, food and community. This year’s lineup features GRAMMY-Award winning headliners, regional favorites and performances on the main stage by more than 150 Jazz House Kids emerging musicians.

The all day “no tickets required” event features a Family Jazz Discovery Zone with activities for kids, a beer tent for grownups, parking shuttle, bike valet and 35+ concessions and vendors in sprawling Nishuane Park. Some 8,000-10,000 people are expected to attend.

The Montclair Jazz Festival is the brainchild of jazz vocalist and recording artist Melissa Walker. Walker is the president and founder of Jazz House Kids, a Montclair-based arts education and performance nonprofit that through 80 community concerts and the Montclair Jazz Festival reaches 25,000 people.

Award-winning bassist, composer and arranger Christian McBride, who is Jazz House Kids’ artistic chair and Montclair Jazz Festival artistic director (as well as artistic director for the Newport Jazz Festival!) will take the stage throughout the day. Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, from NBC’s “Chicago Med” and “Law and Order,” returns as mistress of ceremonies. Merkerson will be joined by WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM’s Gary Walker, as stage host.




Family Fun

Montclair Jazz Festival

Little be-boppers can groove while they play, create and enjoy story time at the Family Jazz Discovery Zone, a collaboration between Jazz House Kids, Montclair Public Library and Montclair Art Museum.


Getting There

A free Montclair Jazz Festival shuttle will run continuously from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., every 30 minutes, transporting passengers from designated parking lots to the Montclair Jazz Festival. If you decide to bike to the festival, Diamond Cycle is sponsoring free, on-site bike parking.


What To Bring

Your appetite! There will be food galore, from local restaurants and vendors, as well as a beer garden, sponsored by North Coast Brewing Company! Lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets are also permitted.


What: The 8th Annual Montclair Jazz Festival
When: Saturday, AUGUST 12, NOON – 9:00 PM (rain or shine)
Where: Nishuane Park, 48 High Street, Montclair
Cost: FREE!

Never been to the Montclair Jazz Festival?!? To see what it’s all about — check out the video below.

Baristanet is once again proud to be a media sponsor for the Montclair Jazz Festival. Come visit our tent at the festival — we would love to meet you.

Featured Comment

I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe

Links & Information

Baristanet on Flickr