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“(Mariza) remakes fado’s ancient sadness into a majestic modern sound” (Rolling Stone magazine).

With her rich, vibrant voice and strong artistic personality, Mariza has performed fado at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Sydney’s Opera House, and at both the World Cup and the Olympics. She’s performed with musical partners ranging from Gilberto Gil to Lenny Kravitz and Sting.

Mariza has released seven studio albums, devoted to both pure fado and a blend of these traditional tunes with jazz, flamenco and African music. Her latest, Mariza, dropped in 2018, and immediately became a chart-topper in Portugal.

Upon the new album’s release, she embarked on a world tour to celebrate her 20th anniversary as a recording artist, and fado’s ambassador to the world.

A Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, Mariza has been honored by both the Amália Rodrigues Foundation and the French government, which awarded her the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres.

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XIAN ZHANG conductor

SIMON TRPČESKI piano

WAGNER Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin

Ten minutes of utter serenity: Wagner has painted the most delicate sound, with soft strings evoking the tenderness of silver moonlight.

LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2

NJSO audiences demanded Trpčeski’s return. Don’t miss him in this dazzler by the composer-pianist genius Franz Liszt.

WAGNER/arr. Maazel The Ring Without Words (NJSO Premiere)

Wagner’s four-night epic of Ring operas is full of heaven-storming music. The American conductor Lorin Maazel, who mentored Xian early in her career, arranged it into this amazing 60-minute suite.

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XIAN ZHANG conductor

ERIC WYRICK violin

Singers from the METROPOLITAN OPERA’S LINDEMANN YOUNG ARTIST DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

MOZART Exsultate, jubilate

One of Mozart’s most famous works—with good reason. This church solo from Mozart’s teenage years rivals his secular arias for sheer brilliance.

MOZART Violin Concerto No. 4

NJSO Concertmaster Eric Wyrick performs a Mozart concerto into which the composer crafted too much virtuosity to perform himself!

MOZART Scenes from Don Giovanni

Xian Zhang’s selection of magnificent arias and scenes creates a masterful abridged version of Mozart’s dramatic bad-boy opera.

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XIAN ZHANG conductor

INON BARNATAN piano

SMETANA “The Moldau” from Má vlast

Sail with us down a fabled river, lined on either side by castles and forests full of myth and mystery.

CLARA SCHUMANN Piano Concerto (NJSO Premiere)

A great pianist, Clara Schumann composed this glittering and graceful concerto in her teens—a remarkable achievement.

PROKOFIEV Selections from Romeo and Juliet

Xian has won acclaim in opera and ballet houses around the world; you’ll hear why in Prokofiev’s riveting ballet about Shakespeare’s doomed lovers.

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Stand-up sensation-turned-actor DeRay Davis is known to television audiences for his role as Jermel, Taraji P. Henson’s cousin and go-to hitman on the Fox series, Empire. He’s also starred in two top-rated stand-up specials, DeRay Davis: Power Play on Showtime, and DeRay Davis: How to Act Black on Netflix. Davis also stars in the hit series Snowfall, currently in its third season on FX. His big-screen credits include Semi-Pro (with Will Ferrell), Imagine That (with Eddie Murphy), and 21 Jump Street (with Channing Tatum and Johnny Depp).

Tony Rock (Chris’ younger brother) is proof positive that comedy runs in the family. He most recently toured with Mike Epps on the Platinum Comedy Tour, was part of the Festival of Laughs with Sommore, and crossed the country with his own Tony Rock Live! club tour. He starred in the CBS series Living Biblically, and has become one of the most in-demand hosts on television, including stints on HBO’s All Def Comedy, BET’s Black Card Revoked and Apollo Live, and NBA TV's The Warm Up.

Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore has been featured on MTV's Wild ‘n Out and HBO’s All Def Comedy in addition to various appearances on VH1 and BET. Moore has opened for comedy legends like Martin Lawrence, Rickey Smiley, Mo'Nique, and Mike Epps, and last year made her network television debut starring opposite Lil Rel Howry and Sinbad on FOX’s Rel.

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XIAN ZHANG conductor

NING FENG violin

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Capriccio espagnol

Inspired by Spanish dance, Russia’s Rimsky-Korsakov turns a brilliant solo spotlight on members of the orchestra.

QIGANG CHEN La joie de la souffrance for Violin and Orchestra (US Premiere and NJSO Co-Commission)

“The Joy of Suffering” explores the composer’s view that joy and suffering are “a matter of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang,’ inseparable and hence all things should contain both. Like loss and gain, they are bound to balance out.”

SAINT-SAËNS Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso

A soulful start prepares the listener for a heartbreaking piece—then fireworks erupt. The soloist’s left hand blurs on the fingerboard, and the bowings require an elite athlete’s stamina and grace. Only the best violinists like Feng can make this piece sing.

FALLA Suite No. 2 from The Three-Cornered Hat

From the ballet stage comes this lighthearted Spanish tale filled with the rhythm and seduction of the dancing it is meant to accompany.

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XIAN ZHANG conductor

GEORGE LI piano

ANNA CLYNE Within Her Arms (NJSO Premiere)

A defining work in this Brooklyn-based composer’s career. Written for strings alone, this tender piece is the song of loss and memory for her mother.

RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3

Rachmaninoff wrote this concerto to showcase his exceptional talent and blindingly fast technique. It starts with a deceptively simple melody that every beginner can play, but it quickly becomes the Everest of all piano concertos—one that few soloists attempt to conquer.

DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 8

Dvořák’s Eighth poured out of him while he was surrounded by the cherished Bohemian countryside that was his inspiration. Close your eyes and you’ll see the colors of autumn, awash in sunlight.

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Buddy Guy’s incredible career has spanned over 50 years, yet he still sounds every bit as vital and youthful as he did back in his early days working with the late Junior Wells. Guy’s latest album, The Blues is Alive and Well (featuring guest appearances by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, and others) was named “Blues Album of the Year” in the 2019 DownBeat Critics Poll, and Guy himself was named “Blues Artist of the Year.” The Blues is Alive and Well is Guy’s 18th solo LP and the follow-up to his acclaimed Born to Play Guitar, which earned a 2016 GRAMMY for “Best Blues Album.”

“Buddy Guy stands as one of the last true traditional blues legends of his time,” says Spill Magazine. “Front to back, The Blues is Alive and Well is a flawless blues album and stands as one of the best records released this year.”

For this performance, presented as part of NJPAC’s TD James Moody Jazz Festival, Guy will welcome special guest Mavis Staples, the GRAMMY-winning vocalist who has masterfully balanced gospel and R&B since her early years performing with her family’s famous band, the Staple Singers.

The Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers

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NJPAC’s annual festival features: Capoeira • West African dance & drums • Kwanzaa ceremony and storytelling • arts & crafts, including arm knitting and collage-making • Snacks in Packs • live performances • and more!

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On television, the big screen, and comedy stages across the country, America’s Funniest People grand prize winner Vic DiBitetto mixes honesty, humanity and frenetic high-energy to create nonstop laughter. Once described as a cross between Rodney Dangerfield and Ralph Kramden, DiBitetto first gained national attention when he earned over 500 million YouTube views for his now-famous Bread and Milk routine. From there, he created a variety of viral video characters, including Tony Gaga, That Guy, Frankie Pentangelli, Fool by the Pool, and Ticked Off Vic.

More recently, DiBitetto was featured opposite Kevin James in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, and appeared on VH1’s popular Stand-Up Spotlight. He is currently a regular guest on the nationally syndicated television show Right This Minute, and is the host of Vic’s Picks, a digital program created for Hearst Entertainment.

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