Arts & Entertainment

Star-Studded September at SOPAC

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Ramsey Lewis Credits: www.ramseylewis.com
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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - After a fairly quiet summer at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, the coming month brings a burst of star power, as acclaimed artists crossing multiple genres will grace the SOPAC stage.

From SOPAC:

Friday, 9/13 at 8 p.m. - Ramsey Lewis: In Performance and Conversation.

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Composer, pianist, and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis has been referred to as “the great performer,” a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which showcase his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. Ramsey Lewis first captivated fans with his first album Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing by the Ramsey Lewis Trio in 1956. By 1965, he was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with “The In Crowd,” “Hang On Sloopy,” and “Wade In The Water.” Ramsey Lewis is a three-time Grammy Award winner and has seven gold records to his credit. In 2007, he was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.

Sunday, 9/14 at 7:30 p.m. – JOHN HIATT - Roots, Americana, Singer-Songwriter

As one of America’s most respected and influential singer-songwriters, John Hiatt tours in support of his new album Terms of My Surrender. His songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt (“Thing Called Love”), Buddy Guy, Emmylou Harris,  Rosanne Cash (the #1 country hit, “The Way We Make A Broken Heart”), Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, and Linda Ronstadt. He earned a Grammy Award nomination for his album Crossing Muddy Waters, and B.B. King and Eric Clapton shared a Grammy for their album Riding With The King, the title track from which was a Hiatt composition. In 2007, John Hiatt was honored with his own star on Nashville’s Walk of Fame and his legacy was even further cemented with a pair of accolades in the fall of 2008: the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in September, and his October induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Saturday, 9/20 at 8 p.m. – EagleMania
 - Classic Rock, Tribute                                                       

EagleMania has emerged as the greatest Eagles tribute band, thrilling audiences up and down the East Coast since their inception. The music of the Eagles appeals to a wide variety of age groups, and the combination of heartfelt ballads, rock anthems laden with guitar harmonies, and the unmistakable sound of vocal harmonies as only the Eagles can do, has propelled the band’s music for the past 40-plus years, positioning the Eagles as one of the most successful and most popular bands in music history.

Sunday, 9/21 at 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. – MICHÉAL CASTALDO – A MUSICAL CELEBRATION OF THE ITALIAN SPIRIT.  Presented by Investors Bank and Majestic Castle Music - Pop, Classical

Award-winning Italian tenor and songwriter, Michéal Castaldo will perform classic Italian tunes like “O Sole Mio,” “Con Te Partiro” (made famous by Andrea Bocelli), and his chart-topping original song, “Pray’r, ” as well as American hit songs sung in Italian, such as “Nights in White Satin, ” and “Hotel California” sung in the Calabrian language. This multimedia show will feature dancers from the New York City area, performing vibrant dance routines to complement each song performed by Castaldo, accompanied by The John J. Cali School of Music Strings of Montclair State University, NJ.  Michéal Castaldo has entertained audiences across the USA, Canada, and Europe with rousing renditions of classic Italian songs. With a voice that soothes the soul, Castaldo's performances are enchanting, heartfelt, and authentic. His stories in between songs share moments from his Italian upbringing, tidbits about his musical journey, and insight that went into his song choices.

Friday, 9/26 at 8 p.m. – THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER: LIVING ROOM SESSIONS - Jazz, Vocals

The legendary Manhattan Transfer is one of the most important and innovative vocal groups in the history of popular music. The quartet’s rich harmonies have earned them dozens of Grammy Awards and collaborations with Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Phil Collins, James Taylor, and many more. The Manhattan Transfer became the very first group to win both Pop and Jazz Grammy Awards in the same year - Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “Boy From New York City,” and Best Jazz Performance, Duo or Group for “Until I Met You (Corner Pocket),” both from their sixth studio album, Mecca for Moderns.

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