Pizzarelli, Spyro Gyra Highlight February 2015 Events at SOPAC

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An eclectic array of performers is lined up at the South Orange Performing Arts Center this month to chase your winter blues away. Everyone from Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela to Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Schoolhouse Rock Live to The Music of Abba to Jersey’s own John Pizzarelli are hitting South Orange this February. Read more below:


THU 2/5 at 7:30PM–Ladysmith Black Mambazo
World Music, African, A Cappella

Tickets: $38, $48, $58
Now celebrating over fifty years of joyous and uplifting music, the late Nelson Mandela once named Ladysmith Black Mambazo the “South African Cultural Ambassadors to the World.” In those fifty-plus years, the a cappella vocal group has created a musical and spiritual message that has touched a worldwide audience.

SUN 2/8 at 7PM–Bill Sims Jr.
Blues in the Loft

Tickets: $15 general admission
Bill Sims Jr. inherited the musical traditions of blues and gospel from his father. Bill is currently considered one of the top musicians on the New York City blues scene. Jazz and Blues in the Loft are intimate series of concerts hosted in the casual cabaret-style setting of the SOPAC Loft. Cash bar available.


THU 2/12 at 7:30PM–Spyro Gyra

Tickets: $38-$55

This legendary jazz fusion band has released over thirty albums, selling more than ten million copies throughout its storied history. Spyro Gyra works musical magic creating their own instrumental hybrid, incorporating elements of R&B, Latin, and Brazilian.


SUN 2/15 at 7PM–Dave Stryker
Jazz in the Loft

Tickets: $15 general admission

Whether you’ve heard guitarist Dave Stryker leading his own group, co-leading The Stryker/Slagle Band, or as a featured sideman with Stanley Turrentine, Jack McDuff, and many others, you will understand why The Village Voice has called him “one of the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years.” Jazz and Blues in the Loft are intimate series of concerts hosted in the casual cabaret-style setting of the SOPAC Loft. Cash bar available.


FRI 2/20 at 8PM–Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela: 20 Years of Freedom
World Music, Jazz, African

Tickets: $45-$65
Two of South Africa’s true freedom fighters and renowned music icons come together to honor and celebrate twenty years since the end of Apartheid in their nation. Legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela is an innovator in the world music and jazz scene and continues to tour the world as a performer, composer, producer, and activist. Vusi Mahlasela, is simply known as “The Voice” in his home-country. His songs of hope connect Apartheid-scarred South Africa with its promise for a better future.

SAT 2/21 at 2PM–Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Kids N’ Family

Tickets: $25 adults, $18 children 12 and under
A musical pop culture phenomenon! The brilliant Emmy Award-winning Saturday morning cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math, science, and politics through clever, tuneful songs is not only making a small-screen comeback, it’s lighting up stages all around the country and instructing a whole new generation to “Unpack Your Adjectives” and “Do The Circulations.”


SAT 2/21 at 8PM–John Pizzarelli Quartet

Tickets: $49, $59
John Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the Great American Songbook and beyond, bringing to his work the cool jazz flavor of his brilliant guitar playing and singing.


SUN 2/22 at 3PM–Juilliard @SOPAC: The Aeolus Quartet

Tickets: $25

One of the finest young string quartets performing today, The Aeolus Quartet has been awarded prizes at nearly every major competition in the US since 2008 and performed around the world.


SUN 2/22 at 7:30PM–An Evening With Leo Kottke
Folk, Acoustic, Guitar

Tickets: $32-$42
Leo Kottke is the legendary, Grammy Award-nominated, acoustic guitar virtuoso who has developed a cult following of fellow guitarists and fans over the span of a 30-year career. He blends folk, jazz, and blues influences into a signature finger-picked style of syncopated, polyphonic music.


THU 2/26 at 7:30PM–Arrival From Sweden: The Music of Abba
Pop, Tribute

Tickets: $39-$59
Arrival From Sweden is one of the world’s most popular and best-selling ABBA tribute show bands and since the start in 1995, the band has toured over 50 nations. Arrival From Sweden is the only group who has received an unreleased ABBA song directly from ABBA, the song will be released worldwide in 2014, and the only group who has the exclusive right to copy ABBA”s original outfits.


SAT 2/28 at 8PM–Lydia Johnson Dance

Tickets: $25, $30
Lydia Johnson Dance will present recent works for the company’s 10 dancers set to stunning music by Franz Schubert, Osvaldo Golijov, Mozart and the innovative jazz trio The Bad Plus.


THRU 2/15–THE HERB & MILLY IRIS GALLERY: Precious Memories: A Retrospective by Mansa Mussa

The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery is open Mon-Sat, noon-6PM, and two hours prior to performances.

South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ, 07079. To purchase tickets, contact SOPAC at 973.313.ARTS (2787) or visit

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