Korean Pop music festival will return to Newark with concerts and free activities

things to do cardKCON, the world’s largest Korean music festival and culture convention will, return to the Prudential Center on June 24th and 25th with an expected 75,000 fans joining in on the festivities. This is the second year in a row that the festival will land in Newark.

The festival will include a concert portion, during which some of the most popular names in K-Pop will perform. Prior to the concerts, local high school student dance crews from five Democracy Prep Charter Schools will also give a pre-show performance.

Additionally, a series of workshops, panels, booths and a Korean marketplace with over 100 local merchants and businesses will also take place outside of the Prudential Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. That portion of KCON is free and open to the public and will feature:

  • Food workshop with Seonkyoung Longest, winner of Food Network’s “Restaurant Express”
  • Meet-and-greet with YouTube celebrities including JuNCurryAhn and DANakaDAN
  • Panel to meet the producers and cast of the documentary “Bad Rap,” which follows the lives and careers of four Asian-American rappers

The KCON festival started in the Los Angeles area in 2012, and expanded to the East Coast, via the Prudential Center, in 2015, which also saw the festival crop up in South Korea and Japan. This year, the festival will additionally expand to the United Arab Eremites (UAE) and France.

Lineup:

Friday, June 24

11:00am PANEL #1: Boy Meets Girl Meets Fate: Romance In K-Dramas

WORKSHOP: Korean 101

PANEL #2: The Return of the Secret Life of K-Pop Fans Over 30 

11:30am CONVENTION STAGE: K-Variety Games with Nutty Nomads
12:00pm TBA: Fan Sign with JuNCurryAhn
12:30pm PANEL #1: Meet & Greet with J.R.E & KennyBoySlay

WORKSHOP: Create Your Own Fansign

PANEL #2: Take a K-Drama Vacation!

1:00pm CONVENTION STAGE: Get That Look: MAMAMOO’s Solar!
2:00pm PANEL #1: From K-Pop Fan to K-Pop Professional

WORKSHOP: Korean Celebrity No-Makeup Makeup Tips With Glow Recipe

PANEL #2: Hallyu Fan on a Budget

CONVENTION STAGE: Performance by Rekstizzy

CONVENTION STAGE: Performance by Cindy Vo

3:30pm PANEL #1: All About The KCON 2016 NY Lineup

PANEL #2: Meet the Producers and Cast of “Bad Rap” 

4:00pm WORKSHOP: Simply Delicious Korean Snacks With Seonkyoung Longest 
4:30pm CONVENTION STAGE: Performance by JuNCurryAhn
5:00pm PANEL #1: Evolution of K-Pop Music

PANEL #2: KCON Ultimate Hallyu Knowledge Challenge

Saturday, June 25

11:00am WORKSHOP: The Best K-Beauty Routines for Every Skin Type

PANEL #2: How to Start Your Own Podcast

11:30am PANEL #1: Meet & Greet with JuNCurryAhn & DANakaDAN

CONVENTION STAGE: K-Variety Games with Nutty Nomads 

12:30pm PANEL #2: Banishing Blackheads to K-Drama Makeup Tips with Alicia Yoon of Peach and Lily 
1:00pm PANEL #1: Behind the Scenes with the Producers of S.M. Entertainment

WORKSHOP: Aegyo Battle

CONVENTION STAGE: Get That Look: MAMAMOO’s Solar! 

2:00pm PANEL #2: East Coast K-Spots

CONVENTION STAGE: Hallyu Trivia with KTO

2:30pm WORKSHOP: How to Treat Acne with Charlotte Cho of Sokoglam

CONVENTION STAGE: Performance by Heesun Lee

3:00pm PANEL #1: Day In A Life of a K-Pop YouTube Superstar
3:30pm WORKSHOP: Simply Delicious Korean Snacks with Seonkyoung Longest

PANEL #2: How Do You Hallyu

CONVENTION STAGE: ANX KPOP Battles & Cosplay Masquerade

4:30pm PANEL #1: Meta Dramaland: How Dramas Shape Fandoms, and Fandoms Shape Dramas
5:00pm PANEL #2: Let’s Talk About Cross Cultural Clashes in Hallyu

Dodge Poetry Festival returns to Newark’s NJPAC for 2016

In October, The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, the country’s largest celebration of poetry, will make Newark and New Jersey Performing Arts Center its home for the fourth time in a row. According to NJPAC CEO John Schreiber, the upcoming poetry festival will turn Newark’s Downtown District into a “nice little village of words” in celebration of the festival’s 30th anniversary (and the city’s 350th).

Newark’s very own “Brick City Voices” – a group of Newark’s brightest emerging poets – will take the stage alongside award-winning writer Claudia Rankine, Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Alexander, and second-term U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera during the festival. The festival, which will take place from October 20th to October 23rd, will consist of performances and readings occurring at multiple venues and cultural locations in the city, all within walking distance of NJPAC.

Festival highlights include a celebration of the late Amiri Baraka. Baraka was a participant in numerous Dodge Poetry Festivals, including the first two in Newark, and will be celebrated at Newark’s Symphony Hall on the first weekend of October 2016 to mark the start of Newark Poetry Month.

Rankine, who is also the 2016 NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Literary Work, will also in a discussion with Herrera and poet Martin Espada about poetry and its place in social justice. The event, titled “The Work To Be Done: Poetry and Social Justice,” will also feature live performances of poetry and music.

Although 2-16 marks the biannual festival’s fourth celebration in Brick City, this year The Dodge Poetry Festival will unveil a historic collaboration with the renowned Academy of American Poets. This collaboration will integrate the Academy’s celebrated Poets Forum into the festival. The forum will open the festival with a reading from the Academy of American Poets’ Members of the Board of Chancellors, which include MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Khaled Mattawa.

Discounted festival tickets will be made available for Newark residents, students, seniors and teachers. For poetry lovers coming from around the state, New Jersey Transit will offer $10.50 round trip ticket vouchers for Festival participants.

When asked what Newark residents can expect from this year’s Dodge Poetry Festival and Newark Poetry Month, Gwen Moten, Executive Director of The City of Newark’s Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism office, stated that Newarkers should “get ready for a month of excitement, enjoyment and learning about poetry.”

In the words of Chris Daggett, President and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, this year’s festival will provide “something for everyone, even people who don’t yet know how powerfully poetry can speak to them.”

For information about tickets, visit www.NJPAC.org. For regular updates about the Festival, visit www.DodgePoetry.org

Tickets for Puff Daddy and the Family at Newark’s Prudential Center on sale starting May 20

entertainmentIf you missed Faith Evans bringing down the house at Symphony Hall on Friday, you can catch her again when she brings back around and brings ‘the family.’

Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs has announced that he’ll be bringing his 24-city Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour to Newark’s Prudential Center on Sunday, September 25. The tour will feature Diddy along with a who’s who of his Bad Boy roster: Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim, Mase, Mario Winans, 112, Total, Carl Thomas, The Lox and French Montana.

The show was originally billed as a “One Night Only” engagement to commemorate what would have been the 44th birthday of Bad Boy’s flagship recording artist – and Faith Evans’ late husband – Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Biggie Smalls). That show will take place at Barclays Center on Friday, May 20, and will also feature performances by Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige.

Hologram firm ARHT Media recently acquired the digital rights to Biggie’s hologram “to perform in various capacities including on-stage delivery and music videos,” according to a recent report from Billboard. While the hologram has been confirmed to appear in a Faith Evans music video, it’s not clear – at least not yet – whether the likeness will also appear on stage during the tour.

Tickets for the Prudential Center show will be available to the general public on LiveNation and TicketMaster’s websites on Friday.

‘Hip Hop 4 Flint’ event in Newark to raise money for Flint’s water crisis, discuss water issues at home

participate cardThis Saturday, April 2nd, Newark will host the closing event for the “Hip-Hop 4 Flint” fundraising event series. The global initiative brings together hip-hop artists, community leaders, youth, activists, educators, and fans to raise a target $80,ooo to purchase high-quality water systems for 250 Flint residents in the wake of the city’s water crisis. Flint-based Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church is the non-profit partner for the event.

The initiative, which was announced before the issue of elevated lead in 30 Newark schools came to light, was founded by hip-hop artist and human rights activist YoNasDa Lonewolf, who also created Hip-Hop 4 Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake there in 2010.

The Newark event will be held at the Robert Treat hotel (50 Park place), and is being organized by Du “Doitall” Kelly of Lords of the Underground and 211 Community Impact, and Marcy DePena, CEO of FORSA Media group and program director of Newark Riverfront Revival. Doitall will also perform at the event, as will Rahzel the Beatboxer, Artifacts, Rhymageddon, Newark-bred tap dancer Maurice Chestnut, and a host of other artists. In addition, Code for Newark will host a voter registration drive during the event.

Hip Hop 4 Newark will be streamed online via UStream and media partners allhiphop.com, HipHopDX and Stagehound TV.

A panel discussion entitled “Newark: What’s In Your Water?” about lead prevention and Newark’s current water issue will be held at the beginning of the event.


Tickets for Hip Hop 4 Flint can be purchased online.

Newark Entertainment Report Feb & March 2016: Headlining events in Newark

entertainmentRead below on for our selection of headlining events taking place this month at Newark’s three largest entertainment venues – Newark Symphony Hall, NJPAC, and the Prudential Center – plus a handful of additional selections. For a fuller picture of events large and small taking place in town, check our events calendar anytime at brickcitylive.com/calendar.

February 2016

 

Year of the Monkey: Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

Saturday, February 6th & Sunday, February 7th NJPAC

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Dancers and acrobats in dazzling costumes move to exotic music, bringing a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. Get close to the creative, magical powers of the Monkey King, who can transform himself into any object he wishes and crosses the Earth in a single somersault. At this performance, the Monkey King is joined by the spirit of dragons and lions as they welcome the return of Spring.

Guest artist Gu Feng, a principal of the renowned Beijing Kunqu Theatre, portrays the Monkey King, a role he has performed with acclaim throughout the world.

 

Jeff Dunham – Perfectly Unbalanced Tour

Thursday, February 11th, Prudential Center

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Jeff Dunham, the wildly popular and internationally acclaimed comic/ventriloquist is loading up the bus along with his cast of characters and heading to Prudential Center on Thursday, February 11th on their “Perfectly Unbalanced” International Tour.

 

Babyface with Special Guest After 7

Friday, February 12th, NJPAC

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Pop and R&B superstar Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, an 11-time Grammy winner, performs in a romantic Valentine’s evening of his greatest hits (“Every Time I Close My Eyes,” “When Can I See You,” “Never Keeping Secrets,” “Whip Appeal” and the new single “We’ve Got Love”).

Edmonds’ impeccably crafted explorations of romance and relationships have made an indelible imprint on the evolution of contemporary pop music throughout the world. Some of the vocalists who have performed or recorded his music include Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Arianna Grande, Barbra Streisand, Mary J. Blige and TLC.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, such as the Soul Train Music Awards, BMI Awards, NAACP Image Awards and American Music Awards. Edmonds was given the third BET Walk of Fame Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was named BET’s Entertainer of the Year at the first BET Awards ceremony. Love, Marriage & Divorce, his 2014 duets album with Toni Braxton, won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album.

The evening’s special guest is After 7, the R&B group whose hits include “Ready or Not,” “Can’t Stop” and “Til You Do Me Right.”

Marc Anthony – “Concierto del Dia de San Valentine”

Saturday, February 13th, Prudential Center

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Two-time Grammy and five-time Latin Grammy Award-winner Marc Anthony will return to Prudential Center for his third consecutive Valentine’s Day weekend celebration. Produced by Cardenas Marketing Network, “Concierto del Día de San Valentín” will take to the stage at The Rock on Saturday, February 13 at 8 p.m. The February performance marks the first in Prudential Center’s new Latin Concert Series presented by Goya, which continues the building’slongstanding tradition of popular Latin music programming. Last year, Marc Anthony’s Valentine’s Day show was the highest-selling and highest-attended Latin show in the building’s history.

 

“A Night of Romance” starring El Debarge

Saturday, February 13th, Newark Symphony Hall

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On Saturday, February 13, 2016, STAR and PEACE INC. (a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) charitable organization) will be sponsoring “A Night of Romance” an “oldies’ benefit concert to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Starring LIVE onstage will be Grammy Award Winning Artist, El DeBarge, who looks and sounds as good (if not better) than he did in the 80’s and 90’s. Also appearing will be Van Fields Stylistics Revue “Betcha By Golly Wow” and “You Are Everything” with their smooth routines and perfect harmony, John “The Bossman” Hall ( A former contestant of America’s Got Talent) AND a SURPRISE GUEST you won’t want to miss! The show will be hosted by Mr. Funny Man himself, Aaron “Ace” Brown, the comedian.” The doors open at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 7 pm. Red Attire Optional.

Two-time Grammy Award-winning R&B star Maxwell and eleven time Grammy Award nominated Nas will take the stage at Prudential Center for the first time on Monday, February 15. Emeli Sande will join the singer as special guests for the evening’s performance.

 

Maxwell and Nas

Monday, February 15th, 2016, Prudential Center

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Two-time Grammy Award-winning R&B star Maxwell and eleven time Grammy Award nominated Nas will take the stage at Prudential Center for the first time on Monday, February 15. Emeli Sande will join the singer as special guests for the evening’s performance.

 

Disney FANTASIA: Live in Person

Friday, February 19th, 2016, NJPAC

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A live event that combines classical music with two beloved Disney movies! The Czech National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ted Sperling, accompanies scenes from the animated feature films Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.

 

The Comedy Get-Down

Saturday, February 20th, 2016, Prudential Center

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Through numerous motion picture appearances, countless television shows, sitcoms and standup specials, a talk show, three radio shows, and two books, Cedric ‘The Entertainer’, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez and Charlie Murphy have been breaking ground in the comedy business and bringing the laughs for decades. The five popular entertainers will team up for “The Comedy Get Down,” taking the stage at Newark’s Prudential Center for the first time on Saturday, February 20 at 8 p.m.

 

March 2016

Cinderella: Russian National Ballet Theatre

Thursday, March 10th, NJPAC

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A company of 50 superb dancers performs one of the most enchanting tales of everlasting love, featuring a sprightly score by Prokofiev, lush scenery and colorful costumes.

Festival of Laughs feat. Mike Epps, Gary Owen & Cocoa Brown

Friday, March 11th, NJPAC

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Comedian and actor Mike Epps of Survivor’s Remorse on STARZ, Hangover 3 and Next Friday fame slings his sharp observations about life at large in an exclusive appearance with special guests.

 

Gilbert Gottfried

Friday, March 11th, NJPAC

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Gilbert Gottfried, the outspoken comedian known equally for voicing animated kids’ characters and for testing the boundaries of good taste, presents an evening of standup featuring his signature brand of irreverent, foul-mouthed hilarity.

 

The Who

Saturday, March 19th, Prudential Center

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THE WHO have sold over 100 million records since forming in 1964; they brought together four different personalities and in effect produced a musical hurricane. Each of them was a pioneer. Wildman drummer Keith Moon beat his kit with a chaotic elegance; stoic bassist John Entwistle held down the center with the melodic virtuosity of a solo guitarist; raging intellectual Pete Townshend punctuated the epic universality of his songs with the windmill slamming of his fingers across his guitar strings; and Roger Daltrey roared above it all with an impossibly virile macho swagger. They exploded conventional rhythm and blues structures, challenged pop music conventions, and redefined what was possible on stage, in the recording studio, and on vinyl. As they enter their 50th year, the band is still going strong, winning rave reviews.

 

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends

Wednesday, March 9th – Sunday, March 13th, Prudential Center

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS – Prepare to witness circus feats you thought were so amazing that they would be impossible, and spectacles of strength so grand you once thought them to be unbelievable. Ringling Bros. has combed the globe to find the most skilled circus masters for LEGENDS, be it the most majestic animals you’ve ever seen, the most exotic performers from faraway lands, or the most fearless daredevils that take danger to unheard of levels, this show has no equal anywhere. LEGENDS is going to take you on an adventure that will dazzle your senses, and redefine your sense of possibility!

 

Dance Therapy DEUCE

Friday, March 11th, Newark Symphony Hall

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World renowned tap dancer and choreographer Maurice Chestnut proudly presents Dance Therapy DUECE. Join Maurice for an evening of dance therapy.

 

The Big Hits Throwback Fest

Saturday, March 26th, Prudential Center

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This event will bring together the hottest artists from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. The evening will be filled with a great mix of everything you can dance to, from R&B, Reggae, Hip-Hop and Dance. The all-star line-up will feature TLC, Shaggy, Ja Rule, Bobby Brown, Stevie B, Lisa Lisa, Naughty by Nature, C&C Music Factory, Robin S, Kevin Lyttle, Rockell and Rob Base! This concert is like no other concert in the area. If “No Scrubs”, “Turn Me On”, “Gonna Make You Sweat” and “Show Me Love” are some of the hit jams you love to hear; then this is the one show you will not want to miss.

Gospelfest will return to Prudential Center for the 9th time this Mother’s Day weekend

entertainment cardPrudential Center has announced that the GospelFest Honor Thy Mother lineup will return to the arena for the ninth time on Saturday, May 7, 2016.

This year’s Mother’s Day weekend gospel event will feature Yolanda Adams, Tamela Mann, Donnie McClurkin, Bishop Hezekiah Walker & LFC, Shirley Caesar, and Jennifer Holliday. The event, sponsored by regional owners of McDonald’s franchises, will be hosted by Fox 5 Good Day New York’s Greg Kelly.

The concert will be produced and directed by Emmy Award-winning Producer A. Curtis Farrow. The show will kick off at 4 p.m. with amateur talent competing in a variety of categories including soloists, youth choirs, adult Choirs, praise dancers, steppers, singing groups, gospel comedians, gospel poets and gospel rappers. Headliners will begin performing at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, January 15 at 11 a.m. via Ticketmaster and by phone (800-745-3000), and at the Prudential Center’s box office beginning Monday, January 18 at 11 a.m. if tickets do not sell out over the weekend.

Newark Entertainment Report Jan & Feb 2015: Headlining events in Newark

entertainmentRead below on for our selection of headlining events taking place this month at Newark’s three largest entertainment venues – Newark Symphony Hall, NJPAC, and the Prudential Center – plus a handful of additional selections. For a fuller picture of events large and small taking place in town, check our events calendar anytime at brickcitylive.com/calendar.

January 2016

 

Dance Theatre of Harlem: MLK Celebration

Friday, January 15th, NJPAC

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Experience poetry in motion when the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem, celebrating 45 years of passion, power and perfection, returns for the 2016 MLK Celebration at NJPAC.

NJPAC’s annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration pays tribute to the life and legacy of one of the 20th century’s most inspiring leaders. January 2016 features the return of Dance Theatre of Harlem, the legendary ballet company founded as an artistic means to turn despair into hope following the assassination of Dr. King.

The program’s guest speaker is the Rev. Dr. Jerry M. Sanders, senior pastor of the Fountain Baptist Church in Summit.

 

Disney on Ice Presents: Treasure Trove

Wednesday, January 13th through Monday, January 18th, Prudential Center

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Discover endless riches when Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt skates into your town! Get tangled up with Rapunzel & Flynn and enter the worlds of your favorite Disney princesses –Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Tiana, Mulan and the one who started it all, Snow White. Set sail with Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and Captain Hook on an adventure beyond Never Land! Trek the wilds of Africa with Simba, Nala, Pumbaa and Timon as they discover the meaning of the ‘Circle of Life.’ Don’t be late to a date with Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts’ Army Of Cards. You don’t want to miss this show full of Disney treasures to remember.

 

Winter Festival: Symphonie Fantastique

Friday, January 22nd, NJPAC

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The Bard is back! Shakespeare takes an encore in the 2016 Winter Festival, which opens with a pair of linked Berlioz scores that pulse with dramatic tension. An obsessive love turns demonic in his Symphonie fantastique, which vividly conjures the Witches’ Sabbath from Macbeth. Its sequel, Lélio, boasts a turn with Jacques at the piano and a finale inspired by The Tempest.

 

Orchestre National de France

Friday, January 29th, NJPAC

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The Orchestre National de France, the pride of Radio France and the country’s greatest symphony orchestra, has been enjoying a renaissance since Italian conductor Daniele Gatti became its music director in 2008. Gatti’s genius in renewing a great French ensemble will transform a program that begins with the sheer magic of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, followed by the visceral intensity of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, with violin virtuoso Julian Rachlin as soloist, and Tchaikovsky’s aching beautiful Symphony No. 5.

 

UFC Fight Night: Johnson vs. Bader

Saturday, January 30th, Prudential Center

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Two of the top UFC light heavyweight fighters in the world will have gold on their mind when No. 2-ranked contender Anthony Johnson clashes with No. 4-ranked Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC FIGHT NIGHT: Johnson vs. Bader in UFC’s return to the Prudential Center.

 

Winter Festival: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Saturday, January 30th, NJPAC

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Mendelssohn’s music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is as magical as Shakespeare’s comedy. Experience them together in this theatrical presentation: actors from celebrated artistic partner The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey perform alongside Mendelssohn’s score, highlighted by the immortal “Wedding March.”

 

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Sunday, January 31st, Prudential Center

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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are heading home to New Jersey and Prudential Center on Sunday, January 31 with The River Tour. The show will feature a full performance of “The River” with additional songs. The tour coincides with the release of “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection,” a comprehensive look at the ‘80s era and “The River” album that Rolling Stone called “Springsteen’s best archival release yet.”

 

February 2016

 

Jeff Dunham – Perfectly Unbalanced Tour

Thursday, February 11th, Prudential Center

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Jeff Dunham, the wildly popular and internationally acclaimed comic/ventriloquist is loading up the bus along with his cast of characters and heading to Prudential Center on Thursday, February 11th on their “Perfectly Unbalanced” International Tour.

 

Marc Anthony – “Concierto del Dia de San Valentine”

Saturday, February 13th, Prudential Center

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Two-time Grammy and five-time Latin Grammy Award-winner Marc Anthony will return to Prudential Center for his third consecutive Valentine’s Day weekend celebration. Produced by Cardenas Marketing Network, “Concierto del Día de San Valentín” will take to the stage at The Rock on Saturday, February 13 at 8 p.m. The February performance marks the first in Prudential Center’s new Latin Concert Series presented by Goya, which continues the building’slongstanding tradition of popular Latin music programming. Last year, Marc Anthony’s Valentine’s Day show was the highest-selling and highest-attended Latin show in the building’s history.

 

“A Night of Romance” starring El Debarge

Saturday, February 13th, Newark Symphony Hall

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On Saturday, February 13, 2016, STAR and PEACE INC. (a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) charitable organization) will be sponsoring “A Night of Romance” an “oldies’ benefit concert to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Starring LIVE onstage will be Grammy Award Winning Artist, El DeBarge, who looks and sounds as good (if not better) than he did in the 80’s and 90’s. Also appearing will be Van Fields Stylistics Revue “Betcha By Golly Wow” and “You Are Everything” with their smooth routines and perfect harmony, John “The Bossman” Hall ( A former contestant of America’s Got Talent) AND a SURPRISE GUEST you won’t want to miss! The show will be hosted by Mr. Funny Man himself, Aaron “Ace” Brown, the comedian.” The doors open at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 7 pm. Red Attire Optional.

Two-time Grammy Award-winning R&B star Maxwell and eleven time Grammy Award nominated Nas will take the stage at Prudential Center for the first time on Monday, February 15. Emeli Sande will join the singer as special guests for the evening’s performance.

 

Maxwell and Nas

Monday, February 15th, 2016

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Two-time Grammy Award-winning R&B star Maxwell and eleven time Grammy Award nominated Nas will take the stage at Prudential Center for the first time on Monday, February 15. Emeli Sande will join the singer as special guests for the evening’s performance.

 

The Comedy Get-Down

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

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Through numerous motion picture appearances, countless television shows, sitcoms and standup specials, a talk show, three radio shows, and two books, Cedric ‘The Entertainer’, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, George Lopez and Charlie Murphy have been breaking ground in the comedy business and bringing the laughs for decades. The five popular entertainers will team up for “The Comedy Get Down,” taking the stage at Newark’s Prudential Center for the first time on Saturday, February 20 at 8 p.m.

Watch the transformation of a rundown mansion in Newark’s Forest Hill neighborhood on HGTV

newark on tvOn Monday, December 21 at 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. EST, New Jersey educator Shalina Joy will be debuting her new show “American Rehab: Restoring Victoria” on the HGTV Network.

Joy will take on the transformation of a run-down 1900’s mansion in Newark’s Forest Hill section of into a sunny, functional home for her family. The show will see her take on crumbling walls, holes in floors, and even decades of previous attempts at renovations to restore the 6,000-square-foot Mediterranean Revival style house to its original glory, and to give herself and her family a fresh start in the home.

Maxwell will turn Prudential Center into his personal ‘Urban Hang Suite’ Valentine’s Day weekend along with special guest Nas

entertainmentTwo-time Grammy Award-winning R&B star Maxwell will take the stage at Prudential Center for the first time on Monday, February 15 as part of his return to the New York Metro area after a five-year hiatus. Nas and Emeli Sande will join the singer as special guests for the evening’s performance.

Tickets are $175, $125, $79.50, $45 and will go on sale to the general public on Friday, December 18 at 10 a.m. via www.Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Remaining tickets will be available for purchase at Prudential Center’s box office beginning Monday, December 21 at 11 a.m.

Maxwell’s show comes just weeks before the 20th anniversary of his genre-defining first album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite. His most recent album, the platinum-selling BLACKsummers’night, was released in 2009, debuted at #1 and earned him a pair of Grammys.

Maxwell is putting the final touches on the much-anticipated second album in his trilogy, blackSUMMERS’night, planned for release in 2016.

Highlights from NJPAC’s fourth annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival

Pictured above: Sharon Jones sings with The Dap-Kings in “Jazz, Soul & Funk.” (Photo by Laura DiMeo)

entertainment cardTo a certain extent, organizers of NJPAC’s fourth annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival know how show-stopping moments will play out, but have no way of predicting the impromptu encounters that crop up when longtime jazz colleagues, friends and fans cross paths on stage or along Sarah Vaughan Way in front of the building.

As President and CEO John Schreiber put it, in an homage to Duke Ellington, fortune smiles on “being at the right place at the right time, doing the right things with the right people.”

Schreiber himself was part of an unbilled quartet that was seen frequently and in all the right places from Nov. 4-15. His mates included jazz aficionado Nick Miceli, Market President of TD Bank, the festival’s title sponsor; Linda Moody, widow of the famed Newark saxophonist for whom the festival is named; and NJPAC Jazz Advisor and Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride, whose duties took him on stage and behind the scenes. (Even busy NJPAC staffers will go out of their way to listen in when he conducts a master class at the free family event, Day of Swing, this year commemorating the Billie Holiday centennial.)

And not all of these reunions and special interactions among artists and their supporters occurred in front of audiences. Here are some instances of karma that could only happen at Moodyfest:

  • Following the festival’s opener of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the orchestra’s trumpeter and Artistic Director, Wynton Marsalis, as well as most of his musicians, met backstage with a group of jazz students to talk about artistic values like camaraderie and work ethics. “He gave the kids a life lesson they’ll never forget,” says Miceli, who observed the session.
  • Two powerful vocalists, Dianne Reeves and Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings, were booked together for a Jazz, Soul & Funk concert on Nov. 14, where the unstoppable Jones strutted around the Prudential Hall stage while belting “New Shoes.” Setting a wistful tone, Reeves sang “Beautiful” in solidarity with a stricken Paris, while audience members held up their phone torches.
  • Newark’s Bethany Baptist Church, where the Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Jr. spreads the good word on jazz for NJPAC by hosting a free concert each year, welcomed the Oliver Lake Organ Quartet on Nov. 7. Lake, on alto saxophone, performed a selection of original compositions such as “Move Groove,” which incorporates his spoken word remembrance of the late Newark poet Amiri Baraka. The quartet’s appearance ended on a note of praise with the rousing “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me.”
  • The first of three special events at NJPAC this season to celebrate Frank Sinatra’s centennial, The Real Sinatra Songbook showcased tunes written or commissioned by the Chairman of the Board, sung masterly by Kevin Mahogany, Sue Raney and Tom Wopat. But three members of the sextet also lent their voices to the occasion: Music Director Ken Peplowski, trumpeter Bria Skonberg (with a sultry rendition of “Empty Tables”), and bassist Niki Parrott.
  • Speaking of Sinatra, the “voice of God” announcement for Tony Bennett’s back-to-back concerts on Nov. 12 and 13 was the voice of Frank, clipped from a years-ago stage introduction for the “greatest singer in the world.” (Bennett returned the favor by evoking Sinatra with Arlen-Mercer’s “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road).”) A couple of rarities: The 89-year-old jazz statesman sang the first number he ever recorded (Al Dubin and Harry Warren’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”) and pulled out a little soft-shoe for “Steppin’ Out with My Baby.” Of his recent Cheek to Cheek hit album of duets with Lady Gaga, Bennett encouraged the audience to pick one up because “she really needs the money.”
  • McBride’s conversation series, One on One with Christian McBride, began earlier this season at NJPAC in a sit-down with Pat Metheny. On Nov. 12, pianist and singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby recounted his escapades with McBride (they met while opening for Bonnie Raitt at Radio City) and spoke about the influence of modern classicists like Anton Webern and Elliott Carter on his compositions. To illustrate, he performed “Preacher in the Ring,” “S**t’s Crazy Out Here,” and other examples in duets with McBride on bass.

Jazz: a man’s world? Not according to the women whose presence at the festival was felt mightily, beginning with the Judy Carmichael Trio on Nov. 8.

  • A surprise appearance by pianist Bill Charlap’s mom, acclaimed Songbook interpreter Sandy Stewart, had the audience buzzing at Charlap’s live re-creation of Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool on Nov. 14. Charlap’s nonet performed tracks from the iconic album by the pioneering bebopper (“Jeru,” “Venus de Milo,” “Israel”), along with related material, while Stewart chose a 1939 song by Jimmy Van Heusen and Eddie DeLange, “Darn That Dream.”
  • Earlier that day, at the Newark Museum, some of the greatest jazz love stories ever told were shared by wives and widows at the panel Jazz Wives/Jazz Lives, moderated by Linda Moody. The sisterly, insider gab revealed just as much about the women’s careers as artists, attorneys, businesswomen, caregivers and road managers as it did about their spouses’ pursuit of the spotlight. “Newark First Lady of Jazz” Dorthaan Kirk of festival co-presenter WBGO Jazz 88.3FM, who was married to multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan “Roland” Kirk, joined Brenda Feliciano (saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera); Cecilia Foster (saxophonist-composer Frank Foster); Sandy Jackson (vibraphonist Milt Jackson); and Laurelyn Douglas (trumpet player Jon Faddis). The front row of the auditorium was occupied by a community of other “jazz wives” as special guests.
  • Newark’s Sarah Vaughan, “The Divine One,” probably would have said Arianna Neikrug had moxie. The 22-year-old gamine from Los Angeles took the grand prize in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition (The SASSY Awards) on the final day of the festival, besting more than a thousand applicants. Neikrug performed two Vaughan classics (“Devil May Care,” “My One and Only Love”) and the jazz standard “After You’ve Gone” in the final round. First runner-up was Angela Hagenbach and second runner-up was Nicole Zuraitis.