Anthony Nelson, Jr. is a multi-talented musical artist who, skillfully plays the saxophone, flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet, to any style of music, is also a composer and arranger who ignites fans with melodic originality. Nelson fuses together jazz’s classic tranquility, gospel’s spirituality, funk’s rougher edges and neo-soul’s undeniable velvet ease to produce a sound unlike anything on today’s shelves.
Born with the gift of music, Anthony began his notoriety as a member of Cantoris, the prestigious boy’s choir of Plainfield, New Jersey. At age 11, he started with the alto saxophone but would begin study of the flute and clarinet and go on to be mentored by Radam Schwartz at the Jazz Institute of N. J. Nelson would later be featured on Schwartz’s album, Magic Tales. This would be the beginning of many times Anthony would gain wisdom from great people or institutions of higher learning, from the University of the District of Columbia, under master arranger Calvin Jones, to William Paterson University, under Gary Smulyan and Vincent Herring.
Anthony Nelson would go on to play with an array of phenomenal figures such as Billy Hart, John Hicks, Don Braden, Regina Carter, Ojays, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Faith Evans, “Joe,” the Ray Charles Orchestra, Henry McKenzie Davis, James Weidman, Ralph Peterson, the Count Basie Orchestra, Cab Calloway Orchestra, Cecil Brooks III, T.S. Monk, and Steve Turre.
As a gifted composer he has released “Testament: Live At Cecil’s,” his debut solo CD, which stayed on the JazzWeek charts for 10 weeks, “Tenor For Two,” and “Live At Twins Jazz.”
Nelson also performs for the theatre, with shows like “The Devils’ Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith,” which was named one of the top 10 Off-Broadway experiences by the New York Daily Times. He is also the proud Artistic Director of “Jazz In the Sanctuary,” based out of Shiloh Baptist Church in Plainfield, N.J.
Gerry Heydt is known for atmospheric, boldly brushed plein air and studio landscape paintings of New Jersey’s natural areas as well as of the northern Maine Coast. She has been teaching oil painting classes and workshops at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ since 2002, and has given talks and oil painting demonstrations on her approach to painting to multiple NJ arts organizations. Heydt has had retail gallery affiliation in NY, NJ, and PA since the 1990’s; her work is in collections in the USA and Europe. She is currently represented by Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery in Bernardsville, NJ, and Windsor Gallery in Colts Neck, NJ. Her studio is at The duCret School of Art in Plainfield.
Victoria Griswold is a classical pianist who has concertized in Europe, Brazil and throughout the New York metropolitan area. At her debut recital in New York City, The New York Times reviewer characterized her as “an elegant pianist.” She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music. Her principal teachers include Jeaneane Dowis, Zenon Fishbein, and William Nelson. She has recorded new works by the American composer William Thomas McKinley with such orchestras as the Warsaw Philharmonic; the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. She is currently working on a recording of piano music by women composers.
An active and versatile pianist, she has performed as soloist, chamber musician, vocal accompanist, pianist and Music Director for professional musical theatre productions, Music Director and harpsichordist for Ars Musica Antiqua, an early music ensemble, and as church organist. She also served as staff accompanist at Jersey City State College for six years.
Ms. Griswold taught piano for 30 years in her private studio, and has adjudicated for many young people’s competitions and auditions sponsored by such organizations as the New Jersey Symphony, the Summit Symphony, the Livingston Symphony, the Music Educators Association of New Jersey, the Andrew DeGrado Foundation; and the New Jersey Music Teachers Association.
Victoria Griswold was also the owner of the Plainfield (NJ) Music store, a retail establishment specializing in printed music.
Wayne Olivieri (Wayne O) has been singing since the fourth grade when he joined the Saint Mary's Boys Choir from Plainfield NJ. He grew up singing at church every Sunday and performing concerts with the choir. After 8th grade he started his first band and never looked back. From playing full time in clubs like CBGB's, Max's Kansas City, The Lime Lite, The Village Gate, The Stone Pony, The Fast Lane, to playing on the same bill as The Ramones, The Talking Heads, Blondie, David Johansson, Huey Lewis, Southside Johnny, Cindy Lauper, Beaver Brown, Rick Derringer, Billy Idol, and John Bongiovi (Jon Bon Jovi) whom he had the privilege of playing next to Jon and the band for many years. Wayne’s latest album is his third release on Oneway Records which Wayne started in 2014.
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Jorge Larrea was born in Quito, Ecuador. At twenty-two, after years of theological studies, he immigrated to the United States, and has been a resident of Plainfield for the last thirteen years. He has a bachelor’s degree in art history and fine arts, and a masters in education, both from Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City. He’s taught art for over twenty years at SPU and at New Jersey public schools, and over the years, has shown his artwork in various galleries and institutions in the metropolitan area.
He describes his paintings and drawings as symbolic, using archetypal imagery to convey spiritual meaning.
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Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey’s oldest community symphony, is celebrating its 100th consecutive season in 2019-2020. PSO’s mission is to prepare and present musical programs to stimulate interest in symphonic music in central New Jersey and to provide educational opportunities through family and youth concerts. Under the direction of Charles Prince, performances featuring internationally renowned guest soloists are held in Plainfield’s Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church.
duCret, founded in 1926, is the oldest art school in New Jersey. The school's mission is to create an institution in central New Jersey where students can obtain well rounded arts education. Over 50 classes, evening and weekend workshops are offered. The school fosters and provides space for creative events, lectures, and art shows.
The Garden club was established in 1915 and its primary purpose has been to promote knowledge and appreciation of horticulture and the conservation of our natural resources. Pictured above is the Shakespeare Garden in Cedar Brook Park. It was initiated in 1927 by the club and has been meticulously maintained by the club since then.
A network of artistic and innovative women 55 years and older who are passionate about passing down the skills and techniques of art through generations.