Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela

Lots to enjoy this weekend! We told you about:

  • Astor & Grey: A Traveling Interactive Theater at local coffee shops
  • Montclair Green Film Series screening of Resistance
  • Dancing Through The Decades: A Celebration of Black History Month at MHS
  • Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela: 20 Years of Freedom at SOPAC
  • Samba Montclair Carnival Celebration
  • The 10th Annual West Orange Classic Film Festival
  • Bowtie Cinemas “Cine Classics” Classic Film Series

    And there’s a lot more. Here are your weekend highlights:

    Catch Peak Performances New Play Festival, starting tonight through Sunday. Support emerging playwrights and encourage the development of new plays! Two plays presented each night in a staged reading format.



    Join MAM and the African American Cultural Committee for a special musical performance by Siji accompanied by brief selections from the Elder’s Corner documentary, followed by a Q&A session with the artist tonight. It’s part of the eighth Annual Montclair African American Film Forum, which features films by independent African American filmmakers who bring to the big screen a look at the African Diaspora through a variety of entertaining and provocative genres.

    Eighth Annual Montclair African American Film Forum: Elder’s Cornerand Special Musical Performance by Siji
    Thursday, February 19 from 6 pm – 9 pm
    Montclair Art Museum, 3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ, 07042
    Free, RSVP here



    The much-anticipated Montclair Film Festival Oscars’ Eve Party offers champagne, food, dancing and fun, on Saturday night at The Loft. The event will feature a gold theme and provides a unique opportunity to enjoy a fantastic evening with film lovers, industry professionals and festival leaders. Plus, get your sparkle on with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics at the Glam Bar!

    MFF Oscars Eve Party
    Saturday, February 21 at 8 pm
    The Loft, 8 Lackawana Plaza, Montclair, NJ, 07042
    Tickets are $75 (include food and drink) and are available online here

    John Pizzarelli

    John Pizzarelli, world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer, will perform at SOPAC on Saturday night. Pizzarelli was called “Hip with a wink” by Town & Country Magazine, “madly creative” by The Los Angeles Times and “the genial genius of the guitar” by The Toronto Star. After his recent smash success with the Boston Pops, Pizzarelli was hailed by The Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-popularizing jazz.”

    John Pizzarelli
    Friday, February 20 at 8 pm
    SOPAC, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange, NJ
    Tickets are $49 – $59 and can be purchased online here

    Nubian Heritage Quilters Guild

    Every two years, the Nubian Heritage Quilters Guild brings a spectacular assortment of quilts and wall hangings to the Crane House and Historic YWCA. This is the year! This years exhibit “In the Spirit of Freedom” celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Nubian Heritage Quilters Guild. Go view the quilts and watch as they demonstrate hand piecing, machine piecing, rotary cutting and applique techniques. Additionally, The Montclair Historical Society will host a workshop: African Annie, a variation of the classic Sunbonnet Sue character from the 1930’s who embodied the joy of childhood innocence. Employ your favorite appliqué technique to reinterpret this popular character. Assemble a collection of delightful African inspired figures and help them embark on the adventure of your own choosing. To register email here, cost is $40 per person.

    The Nubian Heritage Quilters Guild Exhibition
    Crane House and Historic YWCA, 110 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ, 07042
    February 21 & 22 and February 28 & March 1 from 1 to 4 pm
    Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children over 6

    downton abbey

    As the fifth season of Downton Abbey airs, step back in time to the 1920s and enjoy a luncheon fit for the Crawley family themselves at Liberty Hall Museum in Union this Saturday. The mouthwatering luncheon buffet includes your choice of red or white wine and a tour of Liberty Hall Museum.

    Downton Abbey Luncheon
    Saturday, February 21 from noon to 3 pm
    Liberty Hall Museum, 1003 Morris Avenue, Kean University, Union, NJ
    Admission is $55 per person, and includes an intimate, guided tour of the museum
    Reservations required 908.527.0400

    Oscar ShortsFilm enthusiast will once again have an opportunity to see the 2015 Oscar nominated Shorts at this year’s 6th annual Montclair Oscar Shorts, Celebrate the Underdog Film Festival, on Sunday. The one-day film marathon showcases all the current year’s Oscar nominated short films (animated, live action, and documentary). These “underdogs” of the Academy Awards are great films that audiences hardly ever get to see. The festival also aims to bring together students, industry experts and the local community of film lovers to share an experience that inspires, educates and entertains.

    Montclair Oscar Shorts, Celebrate the Underdog Film Festival
    Sunday, February 22 from 10 am – 6 pm
    Mount Hebron Middle School, Bellevue Avenue, Montclair, NJ, 07043
    Tickets are $12 for the morning, $15 for the afternoon, $25 for the whole day, and can be purchased online here

    Oscar Hernadez with the WP Latin Jazz EnsembleEnjoy the sounds of Oscar Hernadez with the WP Latin Jazz Ensemble at at the Shea Center for Performing Arts at WPU on Sunday. Oscar Hernandez, pianist, leader and founder of the Grammy-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra, joins Chico Mendoza and this year’s small-group version of the WP Latin Jazz Ensemble in a concert of Latin standards and original compositions that will create a powerful set. Hernandez has performed with such Latin music giants as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Julio Iglesias, Willie Colón, and has produced best-selling recordings for Rubén Blades, Daniel Ponce, Eddie Torres and others, while his piano has been heard on a number of albums with the great Ray Barretto and many more.

    Oscar Hernadez with the WP Latin Jazz Ensemble
    Sunday, February 22 at 2 pm
    Shea Center for Performing Arts, WPU, 300 Pompton Road, Wayne, NJ
    Tickets are $15 an can be purchased online here
    Jasper, Texas

    The PSEG and the PSEG Employee Resource Groups True Diversity Film Series will screen Jasper, Texas at NJPAC on Sunday. This critically acclaimed film, based on actual incidents in Jasper, Texas in 1998, explores one of the most horrific events in recent history: a brutal, racially motivated hate crime in which an African-American man was dragged to his death. In the aftermath of the murder, citizens of all races in the town listen and learn from each other, and ultimately step in the direction of progress. Written and produced by Jonathan Estrin and directed by Jeff Byrd, the 2003 made-for-TV movie stars Jon Voight, Louis Gossett Jr., Joe Morton, Bokeem Woodbine and Emily Yancy. A panel discussion with Estrin; Billy Rowles, sheriff of Jasper in 1998; and Christina Swarns, Litigation Director of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. follows the screening.

    True Diversity Film Series: Jasper, Texas
    Sunday, February 22 at 3 pm
    NJPAC, Victoria Theater, One Centre Street, Newark, NJ
    Admission is free, but space is limited. Reserve tickets online here

    Check our Calendar for more of what’s happening this weekend.