Imagine yourself in an intimate place, absorbing the glorious sound of
music or laughing to the
comedian’s antics while surrounded by the inspiring colors and forms of works of art!
The Heinz W. Otto Gallery has 12-foot ceilings, superb acoustics, and a seating capacity of 100.
Silk City featuring Reckon So’s Mary Olive Smith
Saturday, October 10, 8 p.m.
The result of blending two outstanding acoustic groups, Silk City and Reckon So, makes for a sound as unique as their repertoire. Featuring ex-Skyline mates Barry Mitterhoff on mandolin (Hot Tuna), guitarist Danny Weiss (who’s played with Vassar Clements, Tex Logan & David Bromberg), bassist Larry Cohen who provides the solid foundation with his lyrical playing and incomparable musicianship, and the amazing “roots” vocalist Mary Olive Smith (an original member of Alphabet City Opry).
Friday, October 23, 8 p.m.
John Korba is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and a lifelong resident of New Jersey. He has performed locally and around the world for over 40 years, touring and recording with numerous artists including Hall & Oates, Carly Simon, Todd Rundgren, Phoebe Snow, Rosanne Cash and John Waite. He appeared onstage in the Broadway productions of ‘Let It Be” and “Rain”. He also conducted the Broadway productions of “Rent”, “The Civil War”, the “Rocky Horror Show” and “Kat and the Kings”.
As a featured artist, John performs a mix of original songs and unique takes on classic tunes from the great American songbook, making everything he does quite his own.
For this performance, John will be joined by bassist Dan Boone and drummer Warren Odze.
The evening will include a dessert reception.
Saturday, November 14, 8 p.m.
Grammy nominated marimba and percussion artist, Greg Giannascoli will perform a selection of romantic music and Americana, including well-known works by George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. He will be accompanied by pianist, Barry Spatz. The evening will include a dessert reception, with an opportunity to meet the performers.
Greg Giannascoli has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recital throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He has performed recitals in Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Theatro Juarez in Mexico, the Glenn Gould Studio in Canada and at the 2005 Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Greg’s performances have been presented on CBC and NPR radio and PBS TV. In the past few years Greg has premiered over 20 new works for the marimba including Changjun Xu’s Phoenix for Marimba and Strings. Greg just returned from China where he toured performing his recital program with piano and Phoenix with orchestra. During the 2015-16 season Greg will be performing a full program of duets for marimba and timpani with timpanist Jeremy Levine.
Greg was a winner of the 2001 Artist International New York Recital / Young Artist Competition and was also top prizewinner of the 1997 Patrons of Wisdom International Young Artist Competition held in Toronto, Canada. He has won the Aronfreed Solo Recital competition, the National Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition, the Montpelier Cultural Arts Society Recital Competition, and the South Orange Symphony, Rowan University, Rutgers University, and Virginia Commonwealth University concerto competitions, as well as winning a grant for a custom marimba from the Philadelphia Music Foundation. Greg received his DMA from Rutgers University where he studied with William Moersch, his MM from Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied with Donald Bick and his BM from Rowan University where he studied with Dean Witten.
Greg is a faculty member at the esteemed Juilliard Pre-College and is also the coordinator of the percussion department at New Jersey City University. He has presented master classes at some of the top music schools including the Juilliard School and The Manhattan School of Music. Greg performs exclusively on the Yamaha 6000 and 4600 marimbas and 2700 studio vibraphone, uses Malletech mallets and Sabian cymbals. Greg’s 5th solo CD, Prism Rhapsody, has recently been released. Greg performed with Orchestra 2001 on the Grammy nominated recording of George Crumb’s American Song Book VII; Songs of the Heartland.
"Autumn Serenade": Marty Eigen's Beacon Hill Jazz Band
Saturday, October 17, 8 p.m.
Watchung resident Marty Eigen brings his Beacon Hill Jazz Band to the Watchung Arts Center for the band’s first “JaZZ in the Gallery” performance of the 2015-16 year, presenting “Autumn Serenade”, a selection of autumn-themed tunes. Join Marty and the Beacon Hill regulars as they begin their 12th season at the Watchung Arts Center.
Featuring some of the best musicians in the area, the Beacon Hill Jazz Band has been a perennial Watchung Arts Center favorite, appearing to rave reviews and always with a musical surprise in store. Catch them on stage and off as you mingle with this energetic group during the “Meet-the-Musicians” reception following the performance.
For this performance, the Beacon Hill Jazz Band’s 37th appearance at the Watchung Arts Center, the band will consist of: Marty Eigen - Sax & Flute; Carrie Jackson - Vocals; Bill Ash - Trumpet & Trombone; Flip Peters - Guitar & Vocals; Fred Fischer - Piano & Vocals; Ron Naspo - Bass; and Gordon Lane – Drums.
ImpresaRIO Series: Rio Clemente
Friday, November 6, 8 p.m.
Rio Clemente mixes a strong classical background with a rich knowledge of jazz history, and then adds an amazing sense of creativity and interpretation which draws his audience up in a musical embrace and takes them on an extraordinary journey of fanciful melodies and scintillating rhythms. As a master pianist, educator, composer, arranger and recording artist, Clemente leaves an indelible melodic memory long after the piano becomes silent. As his infectious good humor enlivens the audience, he breathes new life into jazz and popular standards that make his legion of fans shake their heads in amazement. And those who hear Rio for the first time are instantly transformed into fans.
A child prodigy, Rio received a BMI scholarship for musical theatre and then continued his education at the Julliard School of Music. He went from Julliard to Nashville, where he spent two years as a performer and composer, making appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. With his classical training, Rio developed a style embracing a diversity of music that makes him one of the most expressive and versatile pianists anywhere and one of the most sought after.
After several television appearances, Rio advanced professionally to playing at several distinguished concert halls and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Manhattan’s famous Birdland and the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, as well as the Newport and JVC Jazz Festivals, and a memorable appearance at the White House. He regularly appears with groups such as The Morris Choral Society and Orchestra and at jazz venues from Manhattan to Cape Code and from Florida to California.
A native of Morristown, NJ, Clemente is New Jersey’s own jewel of the jazz world. He is a member of the Morristown Hall of Fame, was named by the NJ Council of the Arts as an Outstanding Professional of the Year, and recognized as one of the “Top 40 New Jerseyans” by the New Jersey Monthly. He is a proud member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary at Lake Hopatcong, NJ.
Stephen Fang and Friends: "Beethoven and Bach"
Sunday, November 22, 3 p.m.
We have had to postpone this performance due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict for the performers. We apologize for any inconvenience.