Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving blessings for jazz fans

The Union County Arts Center will be holding the “J5” summit – something like the “G-20” summit but with more swinging than last year’s stock market.
The Jazz Summit at UCAC will feature five great groups Saturday night -- Emilio Valdes and Cubafunk, Stefon Harris and Blackout, the Lionel Loueke Trio, “50 Years of Giant Steps” with Cedar Walton, and Randy Weston’s “African Rhythms Solo Piano.”
Whew! The concerts start at 6 p.m. and tickets are just $40 …unless you want to help the center’s fundraising and can kick in $100 for a chance to join the pre-performance reception at 4 p.m.

And if that's not enough, look at all the great shows lined up in Central Jersey this week:

Thursday, Nov. 19
Gordon James and Jose Loo return to Scampi’s in Somerville tonight, offering up renditions of jazz standards, R&B favorites and soul classics. There’s no cover charge, but plan on sampling the restaurant’s fine food (they specialize in seafood).

The Eric Mintel Quartet will be at Princeton’s Mediterra, on Hulfish Street, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Vinnie Rome entertains at Limelight, 812 N. Easton Road in Doylestown, this weekend, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly.

John Henry Goldman and his friends are at Looking Glass Studio, 800 Alexander Road in Princeton. Come and listen at 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m. or 8:45 p.m. The suggested donation of $5 helps defray some of the expenses at the studio. Send John a note if you need more info:, or call 609-610-1655. If Thursday nights aren’t good for you, check out his Saturday night gig.

Rio Clemente is at the Bernards Inn tonight from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 20
The Eric Mintel Quartet will bring its version of “cool jazz” to Crossing Vineyards and Winery, 1853 Wrightstown Road in Washington Crossing, Pa., from 8 to 10 p.m. Nov. 20, the second program in the winery’s new fall offering – “All That Jazz.” The Quartet - Mintel on piano, Nelson Hill on alto and soprano sax and flute, Dave Antonow on electric bass, and Dave Mohn on drums - will perform at the winery. Cost of the evening is $20; wine and cheese will be available for purchase. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 215-493-6500, ext. 19.

Laura Hull has a gig at Hibiscus Restaurant in the Morristown Inn, playing from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Hibiscus’ Web site says she’s performing with Rio Clemente, but Trumpets Jazz Club is expecting him there. Either way, you’d better get reservations: call 973-350-0200.

Guitarist Dick Gratton will perform at the Chambers Walk Café, 2667 Main St., in Lawrenceville, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cecil’s Jazz Club in West Orange got Dave Stryker to stop by for shows at 9 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night. Click here to get tickets.

The Marriott in Trenton, 1 West Lafayette, will have live jazz from 5:30
p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 21
Cliff Adams is the next guest at Trenton’s Jazz Disciples, meeting at 3 p.m. in the Candlelight Lounge, 24 Passaic St.

Darla Tarpinian returns to the Hopewell Inn’s Starlight Lounge, with accompaniment by husband Rich (vocals/guitar), Jim May (guitar), Joe Bezek (alto sax) and David Stier (drums).

Karen Rodriguez returns to the Salt Creek Grille, at 1 Rockingham Row, Forrestal Village, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Concerts at the Crossing will present a 35th anniversary celebration of Joni Mitchell's “Court & Spark,” featuring Maura Kennedy, Sloan Wainwright, Kelly Flint, LisaBeth Weber and Maggi Marshall. It begins at 8 p.m. at the Unitarian Church at Washington Crossing, Titusville. Call 609-510-6278 for more information. “Court and Spark” is a great melding of jazz and pop music — Joni Mitchell brought in Jim Hughart, Larry Carlton and Tom Scott, among others, to help.

The John Bianculli Jazz Trio performs at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays nights at Makeda Ethiopian Restaurant, 338 George St., New Brunswick.

Sunday, Nov. 22
It’s Jazz Month at the Monmouth County Library's Livingstone Auditorium in Manalapan, and what a month it is! This week, bassist Harvie S brings friends Joe Lovano and James Weidman for a free show at 2 p.m. Promoters promise lots of seating and lots of parking – if this week’s card doesn’t test that, then maybe next week’s will, when Claudio Roditi and his Latin Orchestra come to town. For more information, call 732-431-7220.

Pam Purvis will be at Langosta, 1000 Ocean Ave. in Asbury Park, from noon to 4 p.m., for the brunch offered there.

Jack Wilkins is a fine guitarist, and knew Les Paul well. He’s offering a tribute to the late Mr. Paul from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Shanghai Jazz Club.

The Somerset Jazz Consortium jam session at PJ's Coffee on Raritan Avenue in Highland Park is a great place to meet musicians – or join the band. They play from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Sunday.

Monday, Nov. 23
Jim Jasion and His Jazz (the Somerset Jazz Consortium Horn Squad) will be at Home Town Buffet, 561 US Highway 1, Edison, beginning at 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 24
The Somerset Jazz Consortium jam session lead by Jim Jasion has moved to the Subterranean Recording Studios in Edison. Call Jim if you’re interested in joining -- 732-325-7464.

Wednesday, Nov. 25
Singer-songwriter Patty Cronheim returns to Mediterra 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight.

The Somerset Jazz Consortium Second Generation Band will be at Home Town Buffet on Route 1 in Edison, beginning at 6 p.m.

Vocalist Margie Notte lights up Libretti’s Restaurant, 554 Orange St. in Orange, at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.

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