SOPAC: Blues, Rock, Jazz and More Coming Up in January

by The Village Green
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The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) has an exciting and eclectic line-up for January, with performances by Madeleine Peyroux, Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam and the Psychedelic Furs, plus a staged reading by Midtown Direct Rep and a children’s musical.

To purchase tickets, call the box office at 973.313.ARTS (2787) or visit the SOPAC website.

Here is January’s line up:

SUN 1/04 at 7PM – BLUES IN THE LOFT; TOMÁS DONCKER BAND
Blues
Tickets: $15
Tomás Doncker has been living for music and playing his heart out for over four decades, working with people as diverse as Madonna, Sean Lennon, Bonnie Raitt, Ivan Neville, Sadao Watanabe, Prince Charles Alexander, and Yoko Ono, legendary theatre director Alfred Preisser, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, to name a few.  Blues in the Loft is an intimate series of concerts hosted in the casual cabaret-style setting of the SOPAC Loft. Cash bar available. 

THU 1/08 at 7:30PM- THE MADELEINE PEYROUX TRIO
Singer-songwriter, Jazz
Tickets: $45-$75

Multi-million album seller Madeleine Peyroux has been dubbed “the 21st century Billie Holiday,” and has worked with some of the greats in the music industry, including Joni Mitchell’s producer Larry Klein and Steely Dan’s Walter Becker. She currently has five albums to her name including Careless LoveHalf the Perfect World, and her latest, The Blue Room, which climbed to number one on the Billboard, iTunes and Amazon.com jazz charts in the spring of 2013.

SUN 1/11 AT 7:30PM- DAVE MASON’S TRAFFIC JAM
Classic Rock
Tickets: $50-$75

Take a journey back to the greatest days of rock with Dave Mason’s sight and sound experience, Traffic Jam. Join Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-founder of the legendary band Traffic, Dave Mason for an evening of music history as he retraces the earliest days of his career with Traffic and the works that launched his successful solo career. Mason founded Traffic with Steve Winwood while both were still teenagers, and created music that would find its way into the hearts of generations of music lovers. He would go on to establish himself as a successful songwriter, guitarist and solo artist. Mason has penned dozens of hits, and his legendary guitar work has been linked with numerous other members of rock and roll elite. 

FRI 1/16 AT 8PM – THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS
Alternative Rock
Tickets: $38-$58
Born out of the post-punk U.K. rock scene, The Psychedelic Furs quickly became one of the premiere bands on U.S. college and modern rock radio, scoring a multitude of #1 hit singles.  With the advent of MTV in the early 80s, the band took off into the stratosphere, and when John Hughes approached the band with his film built around The Furs’ song “Pretty In Pink,” the band’s legacy was cemented. The Psychedelic Furs touring lineup remains Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass), Rich Good (guitar), Mars Williams (saxophone), Amanda Kramer (keyboards), and Paul Garisto (drums). 

SUN 1/18 AT 3PM – JUILLIARD @ SOPAC: JIAYAN SUN, PIANO
Classical
Tickets: $25
Praised for his “technically flawless, poetically inspired and immensely assured playing” (Toronto Star), pianist Jiayan Sun has performed extensively in the United States and China. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, National Concert Hall in Dublin, Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall in Toronto, University Concert Hall in Beijing, and the National Concert Hall in Taipei, among others. His performances have been broadcast on the BBC, RTÉ, China Central Television, and Toronto Classical Music Radio Station.
 

SUN 1/18 AT 7PM – JAZZ IN THE LOFT: NAT ADDERLEY, JR.
Jazz
Tickets: $15
Nat Adderley, Jr. is best known for his work with Luther Vandross.  Nat wrote and arranged Vandross’ first top 20 pop hit, “Stop to Love,” and other songs, including the Grammy Award-nominated “Give me the Reason.” In 2004, Nat produced a duet with Beyonce Knowles which also appears on Beyonce’s album Dangerously in Love and won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance By a Duo or Group.  Most recently, Nat was the creative force behind tracks for Ruben Studdard ofAmerican Idol.  In addition, he arranged and played on the critically acclaimed albumTelling Stories by Paulette McWilliams and provided the piano for the albumDefining Me by drummer Longineu Parsons.  Jazz in the Loft is an intimate series of concerts hosted in the casual cabaret-style setting of the SOPAC Loft. Cash bar available.

THU 1/22 AT 7:30PM – BILL FRISELL’S GUITAR IN THE SPACE AGE!
Jazz, Guitar
Tickets: $35-$48
Frisell is joined by fellow guitar master Greg Leisz on electric and pedal steel guitars, and his trio partners Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums. Together they will be exploring music of the electric guitar in the space age inspired by artists such as Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant, Charlie Christian, Merle Travis, Link Wray, Duane Eddy, Chet Atkins, Chuck Berry, Dick Dale, The Ventures, The Astronauts, The Wrecking Crew, The Beach Boys and more. As on all Frisell projects, the proceedings will be, he understates, “rich with possibility.”

SAT 1/24 AT 2PM- IVY+BEAN, THE MUSICAL
Kids ‘N Family
Tickets: $22-$27 Adults | $15-$20 kids 12 and under
Ivy+Bean, The Musical, is the story of an unexpected friendship between two very different second-graders and is based on the New York Times best-selling children’s books series by author Annie Barrows and illustrator Sophie Blackhall. 

SUN 1/25 AT 7:30PM – MIDTOWN DIRECT REP IN THE LOFT: HELEN OF TROY
Staged Reading
Tickets: $15
Helen of Troy is a fresh take on the ancient story of a beautiful but spoiled princess, a tale that has previously been narrated for thousands of years by an extremely biased Greek Chorus. When Helen runs away from an arranged marriage, her brother-in-law Agamemnon launches a thousand ships to bring her back. Helen finds herself trapped between a self-obsessed Trojan prince, Greek soldiers thirsting for plunder, and meddlesome deities. If she is to undo the mess she has created, Helen will have to become more than just a pretty face.

Produced by Midtown Direct Rep and based on The Iliad by Homer, this new musical boasts music and lyrics by Douglas J. Cohen, book and lyrics by Zoe Samuel, and direction by Bradley Dean. Founded in 2010, Midtown Direct Rep is a repertory theater company named for the New Jersey transit line on which local residents commute to New York City. The company is composed of accomplished theater artists and seasoned Broadway veterans who call Maplewood/South Orange their home.

THE HERB & MILLY IRIS GALLERY

The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery is open Mon-Sat, noon-6PM, and two hours prior to performances. On display through February 15: Precious Memories: A Retrospective by Mansa Mussa.

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