Symphonic music, tap, R&B, modern dance, American Song and all that jazz, performed by an array of artists beloved by audiences around the world, will be experienced for one night only in “NJPAC@20: Friends in Concert!” on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). This special occasion Saturday, September 23, 2017 7:00 PM in Prudential Hall celebrates the Arts Center’s 20th anniversary season (2017-18.)
A roster of extraordinary musicians and dancers was selected from among the Arts Center’s many friends who have appeared with acclaim on its stages over the past two decades:
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. NJPAC’s longtime Resident Dance Company is under the artistic direction of Robert Battle. Founded by Alvin Ailey in 1958, AAADT celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage. The company has performed for 20 seasons at NJPAC. Judith Jamison, the company’s Artistic Director Emerita, is a Director Emerita of NJPAC’s Board of Directors.
- Paquito D’Rivera. The winner of 14 Grammy Awards, Paquito D’Rivera is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. A clarinetist and saxophonist, he has recorded more than 30 solo albums and is the recipient of the NEA Jazz Masters Award and the National Medal of the Arts, as well as the Living Jazz Legend from the Kennedy Center. D’Rivera has performed on NJPAC’s mainstage and has participated in NJPAC’s arts education programs.
- Michael Feinstein. The host of public television’s “American Songbook at NJPAC” has built a dazzling career over the last three decades, bringing the music of the Great American Songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations to his Emmy-nominated PBS specials, his acclaimed NPR series and concerts spanning the globe – his work as an educator and archivist define Feinstein as one of the most important musical forces of our time.
- Lisa Fischer. The Grammy-winning, longtime vocalist with The Rolling Stones, called “enriching,” “exciting” and “transcendent” by The Minneapolis Star Tribune, showcased her virtuosity in the 2013 documentary “Twenty Feet from Stardom.” On tour with her band Grand Baton, “she brought down the house in the single best show I’ve seen in the many years I’ve visited Birdland,” raved a writer for The New York Times. Fischer recently performed as part of a tribute to Sarah Vaughan and the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, both at NJPAC.
- Savion Glover. A Tony-winning choreographer and legendary tap dancer, Savion Glover began his Broadway stage career as “The Tap Dance Kid” and most recently created the dances for “Shuffle Along.” A Newark native, he has enjoyed starring roles in “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk,” “Black and Blue” and “Jelly’s Last Jam,” among many other shows. He is NJPAC’s Dance Advisor and member of the Board of Directors.
- James Monroe Iglehart. Currently on Broadway in “Hamilton” (as Thomas Jefferson and Marquis De Lafayette), James Monroe Iglehart is best known for his show-stopping portrayal of Genie in Disney’s hit Broadway musical “Aladdin,” for which he won the Tony and Drama Desk awards. He originated the role of Bobby Dupree in Broadway’s “Memphis” and has been seen in “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Gotham” and “The Good Wife.” Iglehart has performed both on NJPAC’s mainstage and at benefit events for the Arts Center.
- India. India is a Puerto Rican singer of salsa and house music. “The Princess of Salsa” began her career in the freestyle genre when her talent sparked the interest of Latin musician Eddie Palmieri, who produced her first salsa album. She has been nominated for both Grammy and Latin Grammy awards and won a Latin Grammy for Best Salsa Album. India has appeared in the past at NJPAC Galas.
- Christian McBride. A five-time Grammy winner, bassist and composer Christian McBride is Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz Festival and NJPAC’s Jazz Advisor. He has logged more than 300 dates as a sideman and released albums as a leader since 1995. Sting, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Roy Haynes are just some of the many jazz superstars he has worked with on stage and in the studio.
- The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Led by Music Director Xian Zhang, the NJSO embodies vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the orchestra’s superb musicians. The NJSO, which is the Arts Center’s Resident Orchestra, was a highlight of NJPAC’s opening night festivities in 1997.
“The response of all these artists and friends to join in celebrating the Arts Center’s 20thanniversary season has been nothing short of amazing,” said David Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Executive Producer.
Also appearing in the program will be students of NJPAC Arts Education’s music and theater departments, “giving the audience a glimpse of young talents who may someday return to our stages as professional artists,” Rodriguez added.
Tickets ($50) may be purchased through njpac.org, by phone at 1-(888)-GO-NJPAC (466-5722) or at the NJPAC Box Office, One Center Street in downtown Newark.