Arts & Entertainment

Wharton Music Center Kicks Off Sunday Guitar Series on February 23 at 3:00 p.m.

February 14, 2014 at 6:00 AM

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Wharton Music Center kicks off its Sunday Guitar Series on February 23 at 3:00 p.m. at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Wharton Music Center faculty member Craig Graham is joined by special guest Anthony Bez for an afternoon of guitar duos and musical delights from Bach to The Beatles, as well as original compositions by the performers.

With a background in American musical styles ranging from jazz, rock, and blues to blue grass and hip hop, Craig Graham has performed extensively as a soloist and ensemble player, touring Europe, Central America, the Caribbean, Asia, and throughout the United States. He can be heard on over two dozen recordings of notable jazz and rock artists including Bobby Rydell, Mark Egan, and Tony Award and Golden Globe nominated actor and singer Ben Vereen.

Joining Mr. Graham is guitarist Anthony Bez, whose background in classical, flamenco, and Medieval and Renaissance music brings an eclectic fusion of styles to the program, putting a fresh spin on both old favorites and new works. Mr. Bez has performed with I Giullari di Piazza at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City as well as Dicapo Opera Theatre, TIPA (Towards International Peace through the Arts), and the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Bez holds the position of composer and director of the Actor’s Shakespeare Company Consort at New Jersey City University, a position he has held since 2005.

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Says Wharton Music Center Director of Admissions and performer, Andrew Nitkin, “This series showcases WMC’s guitar faculty and their manifold styles, and performances by special guest artists, such as jazz great Gene Bertoncini, only heightens the excitement of hosting the Sunday Guitar Series at WMC.”

The Sunday Guitar Series continues on March 16 with Joel Perry performing jazz and blues; April 13 featuring an afternoon of classical guitar with Andrew Nitkin; May 4 with Rob Heinink playing rock and pop favorites; and the series conclusion with legendary jazz guitarist Gene Bertoncini on June 1. All concerts begin at 3:00 p.m. and are held at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. A five-concert subscription is available for $55 for adults and $40 for students and seniors. For tickets and more information, call Wharton Music Center at 908-790-0700.

Wharton Music Center, located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights, provides music, theatre, and dance instruction, educational programs, and performances for children, teens, and adults. In addition to instruction in all instruments and voice, WMC offers classes in musical theatre, dance, drama, choral music, vocal music, music theory, audio recording, early childhood music, and music for children with special needs. Offering a range of musical genres including classical, rock, jazz, and blues, WMC is one of New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts center serving students in Union, Morris, Essex, Somerset, and other surrounding counties.

WMC offers orchestral and ensemble music education for grades 3 through 12 through New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) located at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. NJYS, one of the foremost youth orchestras in the state, has eleven orchestras and ensembles for which auditions are held annually. NJYS’s premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony, has performed in internationally renowned concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.

The mission of Wharton Music Center, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is to advance excellence and education in the performing arts. For more information, visit www.WhartonMusicCenter.org or www.NJYS.org.

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