(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The South Orange Performing Arts Center is thrilled to once again be hosting events in The Jennifer & Tony Leitner Performance Hall. In 2022, SOPAC is offering more than 40 mainstage shows across various genres. Experience harmonious Singer-Songwriters, hilarious comedians, rollicking Rhythm & Blues artists, foot-tapping Jazz musicians and passionate genre-defying groups.
“We have a Winter-Spring season chock full of wonderful performances,” says Dee Billia, Executive Director of SOPAC. “You’ll see some familiar faces, but we also have lots of exciting artists new to our stage. Check out Kindred The Family Soul, Red Baraat Festival of Colors, The Bad Plus, DakhaBrakha and more. You just might find a new favorite to follow. Make this the season of new beginnings.”
Gangstagrass - FEBRUARY 5; Tickets: $25-$35. These Emmy Award-nominated musical pioneers have created a spirited, foot-tapping fusion of Bluegrass and Hip-Hop. The group’s banjo player Dan Whitener, aka "Danjo,” is a Matawan resident.
Be My Valentine: An Evening of Love Songs with Ms. Lisa Fischer - FEBRUARY 10; Tickets: $32-$42. Known for her long-term touring associations with the Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross and Tina Turner, this powerhouse Gospel and Soul vocalist evokes infinite emotion.
An Evening with Lucy Kaplansky / Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams - FEBRUARY 11; Tickets: $28-$38. Lucy Kaplansky is a rare vocal talent, “a truly gifted performer…full of enchanting songs” (The New Yorker). Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams are a married Americana duo. He's known as a passionate songwriter and skilled multi-instrumentalist while she has a knack for clear-toned harmonies.
Celebrate Mardi Gras with Marcia Ball - FEBRUARY 19; Tickets: $28-$38. This pianist and songwriter starts a roadhouse Rhythm and Blues party when she takes the stage. Her rollicking Texas boogies, swampy New Orleans ballads and groove-laden Gulf Coast Blues make her a one-of-a-kind performer.
Colin Quinn: The Last Best Hope Tour - FEBRUARY 25; Tickets: $33-$48. Comedian, actor and author Colin Quinn has become one of the most beloved voices in comedy. He often focuses on the roller coaster ride that American politics and culture has historically been. On the heels of his HBO Max special and new book, Quinn cracks up audiences on his latest tour.
The Brit Pack - FEBRUARY 26; Tickets: $25-$35. Embark on a musical tour of British Invasion bands as The Brit Pack authentically replicates the sounds of The Beatles, Oasis, Duran Duran and more.
Kindred The Family Soul - MARCH 4; Tickets: $42-$77. Married couple Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon are known for music that comes directly from the heart. The duo co-writes relatable and mature R&B songs that are rooted in traditional Soul and Gospel.
An Evening with Marc Cohn - MARCH 5; Tickets: $45-$60. After winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation’s most compelling singer-songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great Soul man.
Son Volt - MARCH 9; Tickets: $34-$44. Founded by songwriter and vocalist Jay Farrar, Son Volt is an Americana Rock band that also infuses Folk, Country, Blues and Soul into their sound. Their songs often seek out the ghosts of America's discordant or forgotten past. The group marked their 25th anniversary in 2020, while in lockdown due to the pandemic. They released their 10th studio album, Electro Melodier in July 2021.
Resistance Revival Chorus - MARCH 10; Tickets: $29-$39. The Resistance Revival Chorus is a collective of more than 60 womxn and non-binary singers, who have joined together to breathe joy and song into the resistance and to uplift and center womxn’s voices.
Red Baraat Festival of Colors - MARCH 11; Tickets: $25-$35. Red Baraat Festival of Colors is an immersive experience celebrating the spirit of the Hindu holiday of Holi. Led by dhol player Sunny Jain, the group has drawn worldwide praise for merging North Indian Bhangra with elements of Funk, Go-Go, Rock and raw Punk energy. SPIN Magazine calls the group “a knitted blend of poly-rhythmic panache exploring what it means to communicate music between individuals and across cultures."
The Bad Plus - MARCH 12; Tickets: $28-$36. The Bad Plus is a critically acclaimed, avant-garde Jazz quartet that has been called "technically brilliant, beyond versatile" (The New Yorker) and is known for producing "moving, mighty music" (Rolling Stone).
Dee Dee Bridgewater & Bill Charlap - MARCH 13; Tickets: $40-$54. These renowned Grammy Award winners ignite their musical chemistry to generate an incomparable Jazz experience.
Edwin McCain Acoustic Trio - MARCH 18; Tickets: $38-$48. A longtime friend of Hootie and the Blowfish, the guitarist has been called the “great American romantic” (The New York Times). Edwin McCain's tender, instantly recognizable ballads "I'll Be" and "I Could Not Ask for More" are immortalized in several 2000s film and TV soundtracks.
Celebrate the Sounds of New Orleans with Dirty Dozen Brass Band & Nathan and The Zydeco Cha Chas - MARCH 20; Tickets: $35-$48. This double-bill featuring world-famous music machines celebrates the feel-good sounds of The Big Easy!
The Moth Mainstage Limited availability remaining! - MARCH 24; Tickets: $50-$70. The Moth is dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling and has presented more than 35,000 stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing room only crowds worldwide.
The Machine Performs Pink Floyd - MARCH 25 & 26; Tickets: $35-$48. The Machine pays homage to Pink Floyd in two back-to-back nights. Hear the epic Rock opera, The Wall, in its entirety on Friday and Pink Floyd’s greatest hits plus some obscurities on Saturday.
Damien Escobar: Breakthrough Limited availability remaining! - MARCH 31; Tickets: $38-$58. This violinist sits at the intersection of Hip-Hop and Classical music with a sophisticated, edgy style and an unstoppable swagger.
Marc Broussard - APRIL 1; Tickets: $35-$45. Marc Broussard’s signature “Bayou Soul” style and rich voice are influenced by his Louisiana roots and musical father, a guitarist for the Soul band The Boogie Kings.
DakhaBrakha - APRIL 2; Tickets: $29-$42. A sonic feast as well as a visual spectacle, the award-winning, thunderous theatrical quartet blends ancient Ukrainian Folk melodies into a subversive musical tapestry that embraces Indie-Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop, the avant-garde and traditional instrumentation from around the world.
Tab Benoit Limited availability remaining! - APRIL 3; Tickets: $35-$45. One of the most impressive guitarists to emerge from the rich Bayous of Louisiana, Tab Benoit’s guitar tone and his Otis Redding-like voice are iconic.
SFJAZZ Collective - APRIL 7; Tickets: $58-$78. The SFJAZZ Collective is an award-winning supergroup comprised of eight of the finest performers/composers at work in Jazz today.
Shovels & Rope: The Manticore Tour - APRIL 8; Tickets: $29-$39. Shovels & Rope channel Country, Folk, Bluegrass, Americana and Blues through a nervy Indie Rock prism. Partners musically and in life, this duo composed of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst combines threads from their solo careers in the harmonious music they mix together.
The Milk Carton Kids - APRIL 9; Tickets: $35-$45. With pure tones, entwined acoustic guitars and rootsy songwriting, The Milk Carton Kids weave a captivating spell. The harmonious sound of the twice Grammy Award-nominated Indie-Folk duo has earned them comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers. Their engaging live shows have a touch of comedy with Smothers Brothers-esque banter.
Melvin Seals & JGB - APRIL 13; Tickets: $48-$65. Embark on a psychedelic musical journey with Melvin Seals & JGB as they perform a blend of Rock, Gospel, Soul and Rhythm and Blues. Melvin is most revered for his 18 years with the Jerry Garcia Band playing his powerful, high-spirited, Hammond B-3 organ and keyboards.
Tommy Emmanuel, CGP - APRIL 14; Tickets: $49-$59. Tommy Emmanuel, four-time winner of Australia's Best Guitarist Award, has helped bring the art of Rock guitar down under to a higher awareness by bringing a sense of Jazz improvisation into a mix that also includes Blues, Country, Rock, Classical, and Spanish music. He is often regarded as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists of all time.
Los Lobos - APRIL 20; Tickets: $59-$79. The trademark of this great American Rock band is its ability to meld styles, including Blues and Mexican Folk. The Grammy Award-winning group is known for its cover of Ritchie Valens' iconic “La Bamba.”
Suzanne Vega: An Evening of New York Songs & Stories - APRIL 21; Tickets: $39-$195 (VIP Packages Available). The Grammy Award-winning artist with her restrained Folk-Pop sound celebrates her career-spanning live album, An Evening of New York Songs & Stories, in an intimate concert.
Carolyn Dorfman Dance: Returning to Reconnect - APRIL 23; Tickets: $25-$35. Carolyn and her eleven multi-ethnic and stunning dancers invite you to celebrate the human experience with new works and repertory favorites.
ZOSO: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience - MAY 20; Tickets: $28-$38. Feel like you traveled back to the 70s when this Led Zeppelin reincarnation rocks out with favorites like “Stairway to Heaven,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Dazed and Confused.”
Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band - MAY 21; Tickets: $45-$59. The iconic ten-time Grammy Award winner and NEA Jazz Master skillfully fuses the rhythm of his Puerto Rican heritage with the complexity of his influences: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner as well as his older brother, Charlie Palmieri.
Kids 'N Family Series: The Little Mermaid - MAY 22; Tickets: $20. This award-winning adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved tale follows the dreams of a young girl who believes there is a better life waiting for her above the surface of the ocean.
Joan Osborne - JUNE 10; Tickets: $38-$48. The multi-platinum selling recording artist and seven-time Grammy Award nominee is a soulful vocalist who has performed alongside such notable artists as Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris and Mavis Staples.
Bria Skonberg Quartet - JUNE 11; Tickets: $29-$39. Described as "one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation" (Wall Street Journal) and "the shining hope of hot jazz" (New York Times), triple threat trailblazer Bria Skonberg is a force to be reckoned with. This multi-award winning trumpeter, singer and composer makes her SOPAC debut combining her signature sound of fiery trumpet playing and smoky vocals. She blends Jazz, Blues and beyond with storytelling and adventurous concoctions of classics and soulful originals.
Jesse Cook: Tempest Tour II - JUNE 17; Tickets: $34-$42. Jesse Cook is a global guitar virtuoso. The international appeal of this accomplished performer is his style of mixing Flamenco with Classical, Jazz, Zydeco, Blues and Brazilian samba.
Martin Sexton - JUNE 18; Tickets: $38-$48. His spirited songs run the American musical gamut, incorporating Soul, Country and Blues. The guitarist has been praised for “his unpretentious heartiness” (The New York Times).
Roger McGuinn, Co-founder of The Byrds - JUNE 23; Tickets: $34-$49. From his signature 12-string Rickenbacker sound to his instantly recognizable vocals on hits like “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “Eight Miles High” and “Mr. Tambourine Man,” experience the unmistakable style of Roger McGuinn.
Max Weinberg’s Jukebox - JUNE 25; Tickets: $49-$64 (Meet & Greet: $115). The Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame drummer and South Orange native invites audiences to create the set list in real-time for this interactive concert experience where anything the Beatles to the Stones to Bruce and The E Street Band’s biggest hits is on the set list of possibilities!
Covid-19: At this time, all SOPAC patrons are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test and wear a mask. All current Covid-19 Precautions & Policies can be found at SOPACnow.org/Covid-19.
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is located at One SOPAC Way in South Orange, New Jersey. Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including the Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, visit SOPACnow.org.
TOP IMAGE: Clockwise from top left: The Bad Plus, Damien Escobar, Colin Quinn, Resistance Revival Chorus, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Lucy Kaplansky, Lisa Fischer, Marc Cohn, DakhaBrakha.