Artist's Panel Discussion on the exhibit, "What is a Painting?"
Sunday 2-4 PM

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Imagine yourself in an intimate place, absorbing the glorious sound of music or laughing to the
comedian’s antics while surrounded by the inspiring colors and forms of works of art!
The Heinz W. Otto Gallery has 12-foot ceilings, superb acoustics, and a seating capacity of 100.

"JaZZ in the Gallery"

ImpresaRIO Series: Rio Clemente

Friday, October 6, 8 p.m.

Rio Clemente

The Watchung Arts Center, founded in 1978, opens its 40th Anniversary year on Friday, October 6, with another in the series of “ImpresaRIO” jazz concerts featuring the dynamic Bishop of Jazz, pianist Rio Clemente. The performance begins at 8PM, followed by a dessert reception offering the opportunity to meet Rio Clemente.
Master pianist Rio Clemente draws the audience up in a musical embrace and then takes them on an extraordinary journey of fanciful melodies and scintillating rhythms. Clemente mixes a strong classical background with a rich knowledge of jazz history, and then adds an amazing sense of creativity and interpretation. The result is a smorgasbord of music that is different from others, and nearly always produces a standing ovation and cries for “more.”
Rio was a child prodigy who received a BMI scholarship for musical theatre and then continued his education at the Julliard School of Music.  He went from Julliard to Nashville, where he spent two years as a performer and composer, making appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, After several television appearance, Rio advanced professionally to playing at several distinguished concert halls and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Manhattan’s famous Birdland and the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, as well as the Newport and JVC Jazz Festivals, and a memorable appearance at the White House.  He regularly appears with groups such as The Morris Choral Society and Orchestra and at jazz venues from Manhattan to Cape Code and from Florida to California.  He has composed three masses and three musicals of which his “Dobdinob” has been published and performed around the country.  He has recorded for well-known labels and has published eight CDs under his own label, Etnemelc Music Productions.
A native of Morristown, NJ, Clemente is New Jersey’s own jewel of the jazz world. He is a member of the Morristown Hall of Fame, was named by the NJ Council of the Arts as an Outstanding Professional of the Year, and recognized as one of the “Top 40 New Jerseyans” by the New Jersey Monthly, as well as being selected for Who’s Who in America.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 ($20 for WAC members, $10 for students) at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information, please call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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'50's/'60's Rock & Roll

The Everly Set: Sean Altman & Jack Skuller Approximate the Everly Brothers

Saturday, October 28, 8 p.m.

Rio Clemente

In 1957, teens Phil and Don Everly supercharged the vocal sound of Rock’n’Roll with the sparkling harmonies that influenced The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, The Hollies, and the Bee Gees. Now, the Watchung Arts Center is pleased to present “The Everly Set: Sean Altman and Jack Skuller Approximate the Everly Brothers”.

Altman and Skuller will perform Bye Bye Love, Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have To Do Is Dream, When Will I Be Loved and dozens of other Everly hits and rarities. The performance will be followed by a dessert reception, providing the audience with an opportunity to meet Sean and Jack.

NYC singer-songwriters Sean Altman, known as the founder of Rockapella and co-composer of the Carmen Sandiego theme song, and Jack Skuller, winner of The Songwriters’ Hall of Fame’s Holly Prize in song-writing, met on stage at the famed NYC tribute series "The Loser’s Lounge” in 2011 when Jack was just 14. Both devotees of the Everly Brothers, they formed The Everly Set in 2015 to recreate the tight-knit harmonies of that famous duo.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 ($20 for WAC members, $10 for students) at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information, please call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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Special Event

Chip Mergott & Alan LeBoeuf

Saturday, September 23, 8 p.m.

In 1978, singer/songwriter Chip Mergott performed in concert at the Watchung Arts Center. Chip was backed by the members of the local band Bittersweet, including bassist Alan LeBoeuf. Now, almost 40 years later, the two Watchung Hills Regional High School alumni return to the Arts Center as a duo, for a performance on Saturday, September 23 at 8PM.

Chip Mergott

In the intervening years, each of these artists has had a successful career as a musician. Chip Mergott , a former resident of Watchung, was discovered by Bonnie Raitt, and subsequently signed to a major label early in his career. Raitt has described Chip as “one of my favorite songwriters.” He is currently promoting his 18th release for Notebook Records, one of the country's longest running independent labels, which he founded. His “Mergott Music Minute” is currently heard on WDVR, WPRB (“Music You Can’t Hear on the Radio”) among other stations, and is a weekly feature in The Bucks County Herald. He’s been teaching music privately in Hunterdon County, N.J. and Bucks County, P.A. for over 20 years, and has recently authored his first book “How to Play the Guitar in One Hour.”

Alan LeBoeuf

Warren native, Alan LeBoeuf was the original “Paul McCartney” in the 1977 Broadway production of Beatlemania, a role he performed for two years. Following that show, he was the bass player and vocalist for the Central New Jersey band “Bittersweet”. In the early '80’s “Bittersweet” relocated to Nashville as “Baillie and the Boys” where they gained recognition as songwriters and accomplished session players, with clients including Marie Osmond, Dan Seals and Randy Travis, as well as having several Top 10 country singles in their own right. In 1988, Alan left the band to tour with "Legends in Concert" and "Beatlemania", reuniting with the group ten years later. He continued performing and recording with “Baillie and the Boys”, as well as having a career as a solo artist and backing vocalist.

Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information, please call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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"JaZZ in the Gallery"

Alexis Morrast

Saturday, October 21, 8 p.m.

Alexis Morrast

In the future, you might expect to pay ticket prices of $100 or more to hear 2017 “Showtime at the Apollo” winner, Alexis Morrast. The 16-year-old Plainfield resident, a student at the Plainfield Academy of the Arts & Advanced Studies, will appear on October 21, 2017 at the Watchung Arts Center at a ticket price more pleasing to the purse. The opening act for the evening will be “Amani”: Marty Eigen on saxophone, Fred Fischer on keyboards, vocalist Stephen Fuller and Flip Peters on guitar, in addition to bassist Ben Reubens and drummer Nick Scheuble. . The concert begins at 8:00 PM, and will be followed by a dessert reception and an opportunity to meet Ms. Morrast.

Alexis began singing in church at the age of three, performing her first solo in the adult choir by age seven. Since that time Alexis has performed on several stages: the U.S. Open in 2013; the 2015 Central Jersey Jazz Festival in New Brunswick, NJ, featuring trumpet player Sean Jones; NJPAC with Christian McBride; the world-renowned Apollo Theatre, where she emerged as two-time Amateur Night winner and later returned as their Special Guest. In February 2017, she was named the winner of “Showtime at the Apollo”, nationally televised on FOXTV and hosted by Steve Harvey. Alexis’ resounding tone was heard on the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola with jazz legend Barry Harris, and most recently abroad in Cape Town, South Africa.

Despite her young age, Alexis has had the opportunity to “sit in” or work with greats such as Ray Chew, Amina Figorova, Alvester Garnett and the incredible Bertha Hope. She studied under Conrad Herwig, taking part in several jazz events and venues. She has felt “blessed, honored [and] humbled” to have been able to meet-and-greet countless musicians and performers including Dionne Warwick, Lalah Hathaway, Twinkie Clark, Danny Mixon and Randy Weston.

Alexis’ first artistic influences were her mom, dad and her aunt Vernell, a recording artist in the group Koffee Brown. She counts Stevie Wonder, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Lalah Hathaway among the many artists whose instrumental genius, raw vocal talents or a combination of the two have influenced her own musical style.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 ($20 for WAC members, $10 for students) at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information, please call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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"JaZZ in the Gallery"

14th Annual Holiday Concert: Amani

Saturday, December 9, 8 p.m.


What better way to celebrate the season of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men” than with the music of “Amani”, whose name mean “peace” in Swahili”? 

The group was formed to share the concept of peace through music, performing for people of all ages, races, and religious affiliations.

The core group includes veteran musicians: Marty Eigen on sax and flute; Fred Fischer on keyboards; vocalist Stephen Fuller; and guitarist Flip Peters.

Amani performs hits from a variety of genres including The Great American Songbook, Gospel, R&B, jazz, Bossa nova, and Broadway.

Tickets are $18 in advance, $22 ($20 for WAC members, $10 for students) at the door. You may purchase tickets securely through Eventbrite. For more information call 908-753-0190 or e-mail us.

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Our 2016-17 Season has ended. Watch for information about our upcoming season.

In the meantime, please enjoy videos of some past performances at the WAC

Please enjoy videos of some past performances at the WAC