Jazz and All That

by Marianne Lods, Executive Director

We are excited to announce our Free Jazz Concert is returning for the first time since 2019. Millville Development Corporation and the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts will present the evening of jazz on Wednesday, May 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Riverfront Center, 22 N. High Street, Millville.

Jody Janetta on percussion will lead musicians Matt Landis, on keyboards, Rob Smith on bass, and Tony Mascara, Jr. on drums and percussion for this free concert. The program will be focused on the music of the late jazz drummer Paul Motian (1931–2011).

Motian was a native of Philadelphia and played in bands starting in the 1950s. He played a key role in freeing jazz drummers from strict time-keeping duties and is most noted for the variety of genres of jazz such as bebop, avant-garde jazz, and free improvisation. Motian was a composer, bandleader, and musician throughout his career.

Janetta’s quartet will perform a number of unreleased Motian compositions: “Tacho,” “The Hymn,” and “Dreamworld and Tales of the Unexpected,” to name a few.

Jazz is important in the social history of the United States and one of the true American arts that is treasured by many. The concert is free, but reservations are required as space is limited to 75 people on a first come, first served basis. Call the Riverfront Center at 856-327-4500 to reserve your seat.

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The Levoy Theatre, 126-130 N. High Street, has some great family/young audience events coming up in May. Hot Peas ‘N Butter is great for children pre-K to third grade and is presented on Friday, May 6, at 10:30 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m. It’s an award-winning, multicultural family music band that wows thousands of young audiences across the country every year. This is a great way to introduce your youngsters to live theater. You may find more information at levoy.net.

If the date isn’t good for you or if the kids want more theater, the Levoy will be presenting Disney’s Frozen Jr. on Friday, May 13, at 8 p.m. performed by the Off Broad Street Players. The play is based on the 2018 Broadway musical and is the timeless tale of two sisters, pulled apart by a mysterious secret. The show features all of the memorable songs from the animated film, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. Check the same website for details and ticket sales.

There are many great shows and concerts coming up at the Levoy Theatre for people of all ages. A few that may be perfect for you to start getting out again, post COVID, are: Tusk – The World’s #1 Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, Jose Feliciano, Back to the ’80s Show with Jessie’s Girl, and the timeless play Our Town.

Don’t miss any of the entertainment fun happening in the Glasstown Arts District. Check the website often: glasstownartsdistrict.com and Explore Cumberland County (calendar): cumberlandnjart.org/calendar/

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Millville Matters