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New Jersey Symphony: Aretha - A Tribute

Thursday, February 15, 2024 @ 7:30pm



Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC)
100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960

Lucas Waldin - Conductor

Capathia Jenkins - Vocalist

Ryan Shaw - Vocalist

A tribute to the Queen of Soul, this program features symphony favorite Capathia Jenkins and three-time Grammy Award-nominee Ryan Shaw performing such iconic hits as “Respect,” “Think,” “A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” “Amazing Grace” and many others.



Capathia Jenkins

Capathia Jenkins can definitely act but all those who know her also know that this diva can blow and blow and blow you right off this planet. This woman who grappling with two dueling passions each with a strong grip: acting and music, yet she refuses to pick one because they both represent her soul. Capathia approaches a song the same way she approaches a script, like an artist. She looks for the nuances, the secret hidden within the notes or text. She seeks the melody, harmony and rhythm. She asks herself: what am I trying to say? What do I want my audience to experience with me? She wants to take her audience on a journey.

This Brooklyn-born and raised actress most recently starred as ‘Medda’ in the hit Disney production of Newsies’ on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut in The Civil War, where she created the role of Harriet Jackson. She then starred in the Off-Broadway 2000 revival of Godspell, where she wowed audiences with her stirring rendition of ‘Turn Back, O Man’ which can still be heard on the original cast recording. She returned to Broadway in The Look of Love and was critically acclaimed for her performances of the Bacharach/David hits. Ms. Jenkins then created the roles of ‘The Washing Machine’ in Caroline, Or Change and ‘Frieda May’ in Martin Short-Fame becomes me where she sang ‘Stop the Show’ and brought the house down every night.



Ryan Shaw

Ryan Shaw is a three-time GRAMMY® nominated artist for his solo projects, Columbia Records’ This is Ryan Shaw, his In Between and Dynotone’s Real Love. He has shared the world stage with such artists as Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, John Legend, B.B. King and Jill Scott. His music has been featured on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance and ABC’s Dancing with The StarsGrey’s Anatomy, and Lincoln Heights, and the films My Blueberry Nights and Bride Wars and the Sex and the City soundtrack. Ryan has been a featured guest on national TV talk shows and has starred as Judas in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Olivier Award-winning London production of Jesus Christ Superstar, as the original Stevie Wonder in Motown: The Musical on Broadway, and on London’s West End as the Soul of Michael Jackson in Thriller Live. Ryan’s new album, Imagining Marvin, showcases Marvin Gaye hits alongside Ryan’s original songs and features multi-GRAMMY Award-winning co-writers and special guests.



New Jersey Symphony

The Emmy and Grammy Award-winning New Jersey Symphony is redefining what it means to be a nationally leading, relevant orchestra in the 21st century. The Symphony is renewing its deeply rooted commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by championing new, and often local, artists; engaging audiences for whom the inspiring depth and breadth of classical music will be a new experience; and incorporating the broadest possible representation in all aspects of our organization—all to better reflect and serve our vibrant communities. Since 2021, Music Director Xian Zhang has worked together with composer, violinist, educator and social-justice advocate Daniel Bernard Roumain, the orchestra’s Resident Artistic Catalyst, to offer programming that connects with diverse communities in Newark and throughout New Jersey.

Internationally renowned Chinese American conductor Xian Zhang began her tenure as the New Jersey Symphony’s current Music Director in 2016. Since her arrival at the New Jersey Symphony, Zhang has revitalized programming with an industry-leading commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in mainstage concerts. In its second century of bringing concerts to the people of New Jersey, the Symphony will present audience favorites including Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana , Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, violinist Joshua Bell leading the orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and pianist Daniil Trifonov playing Gershwin’s Concerto in F. New Jersey Symphony co-commissions include works by internationally renowned living composers—Anna Clyne’s Piano Concerto and Jessie Montgomery’s Snapshots. Composers Rob Kapilow and Daniel Bernard Roumain will present world premieres.




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