Jazz Showcase

BOX OFFICE  973.971.3706

Tickets purchased online will be available at the Will Call desk on the day of the performance. Advance ticket sales end at 5:00PM on the day of the performance. Please note that all sales are final.

Subscribers to the Bickford Theatre Main Stage Series receive “member pricing” for all concerts when available.

Media Sponsors for the Jazz Showcase

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play
Saturday, January 20, 8:00PM

Led by the great Dave Brubeck’s son Chris, Triple Play brings together three exceptional musicians whose good-time music draws on folk, blues, and jazz.

Grammy-nominated composer and musician Chris Brubeck has been called “one of the finest jazz trombonists around today” by Downbeat Magazine and “one of the most capable electric bassists” by the Los Angeles Times. He began touring and recording with his legendary father and has gone onto international acclaim as a performer, composer, and band leader. He has worked with a diverse cross section of artists including Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Willie Nelson, B. B. King, Gerry Mulligan, Stephane Grappelli, and Bobby McFerrin. His trio Triple Play delivers an epic sojourn through American music unlike any other band today. Their joy is infectious!

Peter Madcat Ruth is a Grammy Award-winning virtuoso harmonica player who is equally at home playing jazz, blues, folk, country and just plain rock and roll. He studied with the legendary Chicago bluesman Big Walter Horton and has developed a reputation as one of the best and most versatile harmonica players in the world. He performs all over the world with Triple Play and with guitarist/singer Shari Kane in the duo Madcat& Kane.

Singer/guitarist Joel Brown is Senior Artist-in-Residence at Skidmore College but maintains an active and eclectic performance schedule. In addition to being a regular member of Triple Play he is a much in-demand soloist and chamber musician. He has appeared with a variety of groups including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and the Boston Pops. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, performed on NBC’s Today Show, and featured on NPR.

New Jersey’s own Rob Paparozzi, another dazzling harmonica player, will make a guest appearance.

Joins us for a rollicking good time as three virtuoso musicians capture the American Spirit with their joyful blend of jazz, blues, folk, and classical music in this special concert.

Read this interview with Chris Brubeck by Marina Kennedy of Broadway World.

Hear Chris Brubeck’s interview with Bert Barron on WCTC Radio.

Morris Museum Members: $45
Non-members Advance: $45
Non-members At the Door: $50

Reserved seating for this concert.

For Groups of 10 or more, tickets are $35 each with a $6 handling fee per order.  Call the Box Office at 973.971.3706 to reserve for your group!  


T.S. Monk. Photo courtesy of the artist.

T.S. Monk
Thursday, February 22, 7:30PM

Drummer, bandleader, and composer T. S. Monk and his group pay tribute to his famous father, Thelonious Monk, in this very special evening. Thelonious Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer (after Duke Ellington) and many of his works have become jazz standards: “Round Midnight,” “Blue Monk,” “Straight, No Chaser,” “Rudy, My Dear, and “Well, You Needn’t” to just name a few.

T.S. Monk first studied the drums with the great Max Roach, eventually joining his father’s trio, touring with him until he retired in 1975. T.S. then pursued his own path, touring with his R&B group, Natural Essence, and having two hit records under his own name. In 1992 he formed his jazz sextet and received raves from critics and fans virtually immediately. Since then, he has worked tirelessly with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to promote jazz education, provide scholarships for music students, and present his artistry through recordings and performances on television and in concert.

On October 10, 2017, the world celebrated the 100th birthday of Thelonious Sphere Monk and you are invited to celebrate it with his son and with us on February 22.

Morris Museum Members: $35
Non-members Advance: $35
Non-members At the Door: $40

Reserved seating for this concert.

For Groups of 10 or more, tickets are $35 with a $6 handling fee per order.  Call the Box Office at 973.971.3706 to order.


Photo courtesy of artist.

Dan Levinson. Photo courtesy of Seth Cashman.

Dan Levinson’s Jazz 101
The Trailblazers of America’s Original Art Form
Monday, February 26, 7:30PM

Clarinetist Dan Levinson always takes hot jazz to another level with this annual winter concert so join us for some foot-stomping, high energy music with an ensemble of New York City’s best.

Dan and his all-star aggregation celebrate the 101 st anniversary of recorded jazz with an evening of red-hot masterpieces from 1917 to 1927 that paved the way for what is called “the only original American art form.” The evening includes the music of King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Jelly Roll Morton, The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Clarence Williams, Eddie Condon, Duke Ellington, and much more!

As fans of the Bickford Theatre know, Dan Levinson is one of the most prolific trad musicians on the scene today. During his three decade career, he has appeared alongside a who’s-who of jazz including Mel Torme, Wynton Marsalis, Dick Hyman, Bria Skonberg, Ed Polcer, Howard Alden, Joe Ascione, Jon-Erik Kellso, Randy Reinhart, Mark Shane, Dick Sudhalter, Frank Vignola, Rossano Sportiello, Nicki Parrott, and Randy Sandke.

He will bring with him an all-star sextet featuring Mike Davis on cornet, Jim Fryer on trombone and tuba, Dalton Ridenhour on piano, Joanna Sternberg on bass, and Steve “Spoons” Torrico, on the vintage drumset.

Get your tickets early because the show will be sold out!

Morris Museum Members: $17
Non-members Advance: $18
At the Door: $20

Dan Levinson and Friends (7:30pm, Morris Museum Members)
Dan Levinson and Friends (7:30pm, Non-Members Advance)


Mike Davis. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Bash
Monday, March 12, 7:30PM

If you can’t get to Davenport, Iowa, then celebrate the jazz legend’s birthday as our annual tradition continues with the great Mike Davis and the New Wonders.

Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke is considered by many to be one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s. While he died young, he has been lionized for his influence during those early days of jazz particularly since he and Louis Armstrong were among the first jazz musicians to stretch beyond the strict format of the day. Before Bix and Satchmo, jazz bands the music as written by the composer and had no improvisation.

Bix was born on March 10, 1903 in Davenport, Iowa, where they hold the annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival every August to commemorate his death in August of 1931. So it’s up to the Bickford to celebrate his birthday in March which we do in his special style.

Cornetist Mike Davis has a passion for Bix and the music of the Roaring Twenties when jazz swept the nation. His group include Dan Levinson on clarinet, Joe McDonough on trombone, Jared Engel on banjo, Dalton Ridenhour on piano, Jay Rattman on bass saxophone, and Jay Lepley on drums.

Come see for yourself why the New York Times called the band an “unexpected delight” and why the Bickford every year proclaims that “Bix Lives.”

Members: $17
Non-members Advance: $18
At the Door: $20
Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Bash (7:30pm, Morris Museum Members)
Bix Beiderbecke Birthday Bash (7:30pm, Non-Members Advance)

Jerry Vezza and Grover Kemble Together Again
Thursday, April 5, 7:30PM

Jerry Vezza and Grover Kemble.
Photo courtesy of the artists.

We guarantee that you’ll have as much fun as the musicians do when Grover and Jerry take the stage for an evening of great music and lots of laughter.

There is no one like Grover Kemble, a singer/songwriter whose entertaining style has captivated audiences not only in his home state of New Jersey, but also at some pretty good places – the Newport Jazz Festival, The Bottom Line, The Other End, Wolf Trap in Virginia, The Roxy in LA, and the Spoleto Arts Festival in Charleston. Early in his career, Grover sang with Sha-Na-Na and then fronted the popular Za Zu Zaz. His partnership with John Pizzarelli led to a lifetime friendship and several recordings. And his partnership with jazz pianist Jerry Vezza has become a favorite at Madison’s Shanghai Jazz.

Local favorite Jerry Vezza is the consummate jazz pianist and appears regularly at jazz clubs in the area. He is a musician who embodies the classic jazz values of melodic warmth, rhythmic subtlety and true elegance. He reminds one of another remarkable New Jersey pianist, Bill Evans, although he protests being mentioned in the same sentence as the jazz master. But it’s true.

The Jerry Vezza Trio plus Grover Kemble adds up to an evening of wonderful music, entertaining stories, and the good humor that these talents musicians bring with them.

Morris Museum Members: $20
Non-members Advance: $20
Non-members At the Door: $25

Reserved seating for this concert.

Ken Poplowski. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Ken Peplowski’s Benny Goodman Tribute
Thursday, May 3, 7:30PM

The spirit of Benny Goodman lives in the great clarinetist Ken Peplowski who is an international favorite and has been delighting audiences for decades with his warmth, wit, and musicianship. There is no one better to salute the great clarinetist than Peplowski. As Will Friedwald wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Peplowski sounds the way [Benny] Goodman might have if he had kept evolving, kept on listening to new music, kept refining his sound, polishing his craft, and expanding his musical purview into the 21st century.”

Since moving to the New York area in 1980, Ken has done it all including playing saxophone in Benny Goodman’s last band. He has collaborated with a litany of top musicians including Mel Torme, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Madonna, Hank Jones, Rosemary Clooney, James Moody, Steve Allen, Bill Charlap, Woody Allen, and Marianne Faithful.

He has recorded more than 50 CDs as a leader and close to 400 as a sideman. He has been the recipient of the Sarasota Jazz Festival’s “Satchmo” Award and the Hot House Magazine’s “Fans’ Decision Jazz Award” on clarinet, among his honors. This concert marks his first time at the Bickford Theatre.

Morris Museum Members: $25
Non-members Advance: $25
Non-members At the Door: $30

Reserved seating for this concert.

NY City Slickers: Broadway — Blue Grass
Saturday, May 5, 8:00PM

Fronted by three women, the NY City Slickers is an eight-piece, high energy, progressive Bluegrass band who will give a new twist to Broadway favorites.

Annie Chadwick, Abigail Hardin, and Kim Harris bring their singing and theatre talents to this always fun Bluegrass ensemble. Annie Chadwick’s multifaceted career ranges from Bluegrass to Opera to Musical Theatre as well as film and TV. She has appeared on SNL, Law & Order, and the Guiding Light as well as on stage in Cabaret, Hello Dolly, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Abigail Hardin began her career as a Gerber Baby, but recently includes credits on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Regional Theatre. Kim Harris lists Off-Broadway and Regional Theatre credits including various roles at Walt Disney World and Dollywood.

The rest of the NYCity Slickers all have Broadway and Off-Broadway credits. Faser Hardin has degree from Indiana University School of Music where he studied piano and organ. He studied banjo with the master Tony Trischka. Andrew Baird on guitar is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory. On fiddle is Wisconsin graduate Jens Kramer who has just ending a tour with the Broadway show Johnny Cash: Ring of Fire where he was the featured fiddle player. Bassist Phil Rowan moves easily between classical music and jazz, performing with orchestras and chamber groups as well as jazz ensembles. Greg Utzig on mandolin is a long-time veteran of Broadway musicals, playing in the pit for shows such as Guys and Dolls, Curtains, A Three Penny Opera, Fiddler on the Roof, Miss Saigon, Ragtime, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Shenandoah.

Morris Museum Members: $20
Non-members Advance: $20
Non-members At the Door: $25

Reserved seating for this concert.

Photo courtesy of artist.

Dick Hyman Solo Piano
Tuesday, May 8, 7:30PM

Dick Hyman is a national treasure whose career includes a nearly encyclopedic output of over 100 albums, ranging from original piano and orchestral works, to interpretations of classic American music, ragtime, and variants of stride piano. This is a chance to see America’s greatest music performed at the highest level by a living legend in the intimate setting of the Bickford Theatre.

Morris Museum Members: $30
Non-members Advance: $30
Non-members At the Door: $35

Reserved seating for this concert.

Photo courtesy of artist.