EVER SO TECHNICALLY, it's still spring. But with the wave of heat blanketing our area for a couple of days, it's certainly putting us in a really good mood in anticipation of the summer solstice... and for researching the best events to listen live to classical and jazz music. Here's our go-to list for free or affordable options both indoors and outdoors. Got a place you'd like to add to our list? Shoot us a recommendation at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add it with a thank you!
In chronological order:
Princeton Festival Through June 25. "The Princeton Festival is New Jersey’s premier performing arts festival, featuring nationally-renowned professional artists in more than 10 different types of performances plus a dozen free lectures and special events each June. We produce fully-staged musical theater and opera productions and present a varying offering of jazz, chamber music, a cappella and symphonic concerts; piano, organ, choral and dance recitals; world music, a piano competition, a conducting master class, lectures, educational programs … and more!" Some events are free, some are not.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Family Concerts! FREE! "Pack your gear and come along on a 'Road Trip Across the USA,' NJSO-style. Travel from our New Jersey home through the heartland with John Williams’ moving score to Lincoln, to the Wild West and Copland’s iconic Rodeo, all the way to the Magic Kingdom with favorite music from Beauty and the Beast. It’s fun for the whole family on this memorable musical trip!" FREE concert dates include June 23 (Clark), June 27 (Overpeck County Park), June 29 (Hoboken), June 30 (Branch Brook in Newark), July 1 (West Windsor), July 2 (Red Bank), There is one ticketed event on June 25 (Madison) with reservations available here.
Mercer County Jazz Festival July 8 from noon to 8pm in West Windsor, NJ. "Music Stage, Crafters, Food, Kid's Activities, Lake & Forest and a Beer Garden. Vendors of exotic and regional NJ food (NJ food can be exotic, huh?) ~ Craftspeople! Six great bands including Joey Defrancesco & The People as the featured closing act! Featuring a stage for music, Kid's Activities, the woods, and JAZZ! Rain or Shine!" $10 admission.
Scores: New Orchestra Works (Princeton, NJ) On Saturday, July 15th at 8pm at the Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, NJ. Tickets are $15 each. "JoAnn Falletta conducts the NJSO premieres of dynamic works by the composers of the NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute, a multi-faceted program that promotes new music and emerging composers. The Institute composers will briefly share the inspiration behind their pieces in an evening that will show the vibrant future of orchestral music." Tickets available here.
The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey Summer Festival The BONJ Summer season kicks off on August 6 at 3pm with La Boheme at Dolan Hall, The Annunciation Center, The College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road in Morristown. Tickets $5/student, $30/senior, $40/adult. On August 12, catch the Summer Cabaret at Grace Church, Madison, New Jersey at 7:30 PM. Tickets to Summer Cabaret are $25 each. The festival continues August 12 and August 13 with chamber music, and concludes with Summer Breezes Orchestra on August 20. More details and ticket information is here.
JazzFest (Montclair, NJ) FREE! On August 12 from noon to nine, rain or shine. "The annual Montclair Jazz Festival is the biggest single one-day event in Montclair! Come on out and invite your neighbors, friends and family to celebrate the incredible, original American cultural tradition - JAZZ! No tickets required! Bring folding chairs or a picnic blanket and enjoy a full day of live music!"
Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival (Long Branch) FREE! August 26 from 1pm to 9:30pm on The Great Lawn (on the Boardwalk) at Cooper Avenue in Long Branch, NJ. "Six great bands including Popa Chubby as the featured closing act! Featuring a stage for music, Kid's Activities, the Beach, and the Blues! Rain or Shine!"