Where do the Black experience and the Jewish experience overlap?

In a passion for Jazz and Justice.

Join NJPAC — and its partner organizations Congregation Ahavas Sholom and the Rutgers-Newark Institute for Jazz Studies — for the premiere performance of The Jazz and Justice Suite, a new work celebrating the activism and artistry of both communities.

The new piece, written and arranged by Oren Neiman and David Freeman for this event, will be performed by Sha’ar, a New York-based group of Jewish jazz musicians (including Neiman and Freeman), with a special appearance by saxophonist, and NJPAC’s Director of Jazz Instruction, Mark Gross.

Listen to this new work — performed in person at Congregation Ahavas Shalom — and then, take part in a multifaceted Zoom discussion of the role of faith, music, and activism in both the Black and Jewish communities over the decades. In particular, the conversation will serve as a tribute to the Jazz and People’s Movement, a protest effort founded in 1970 by musician and activist Rahsaan Roland Kirk whose efforts focused, in part, on ensuring that jazz would be performed in mainstream venues.

Speakers representing both the protestors of that era — including Kirk’s widow, Dorthaan Kirk, Newark’s “First Lady of Jazz” — and today’s Black Lives Matter movement, as well as historians of jazz, will talk about how the struggle for social justice and the role music plays in that effort, has changed over the years, but still blends the hope for change with the sounds of “Black classical music.”

Panelists include:

Wayne Winborne

Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University

Ambrose Akinmusire

Jazz Trumpeter, Blue Note recording artist
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Melvin Gibbs

Bassist, Producer, Author
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Mark Davis

Co-Founder, Jazz and People's Movement
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Chivona Newsome

Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Greater NY
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Performance by:


International NY based group of Jewish musicians
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Mark Gross

Director of Jazz Instruction
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