Thursday, January 11, 2018

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents ‘Hot Latin Nights with the Mambo Kings’


Latin jazz tour features music from Astor Piazzolla, Tito Puente, Dave Brubeck, The Beatles and more

State Theatre New Jersey co-presents New Brunswick performance

Fri, Feb 16, at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank

Sat, Feb 17, at NJPAC in Newark

Sun, Feb 18, at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

NEWARK, NJ—The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra presents “Hot Latin Nights with the Mambo Kings” February 16–18 in Red Bank, Newark and New Brunswick. From the sultry melancholy of Astor Piazzolla and the burning Afro-Cuban rhythms of Tito Puente to the rhythmic playfulness of jazz great Dave Brubeck and the pop strains of The Beatles, the Latin jazz tour features original orchestral arrangements and compositions from the US, Peru, Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico and beyond.

Performances take place on Friday, February 16, at 8 pm at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank; Saturday, February 17, at 8 pm at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and Sunday, February 18, at 3 pm at the State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick. State Theatre New Jersey co-presents the February 18 performance.

Mambo Kings have drawn praise for their symphonic performances “with music so hot you could almost see the smoke rising out of the congas” (The Reading Eagle). Thomas Wilkins, an NJSO audience favorite, returns to conduct.

In NJSO Accent events on February 17 and 18, the Victor Quezada Latin Jazz Group provides pre-concert entertainment as dance teacher Carlos Mateu gives mambo lessons.

For more information, visit


Single tickets start at $20 and are available from the NJSO online at, by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or in person. The NJSO Patron Services office is located at 60 Park Place, 9th floor, in Newark; hours are Monday–Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and concert Saturdays, 11 am to 5 pm.

Tickets for the February 18 performance are also available from the State Theatre New Jersey online at, by phone at 732.246.SHOW (7469) or in person. The State Theatre New Jersey Guest Services office is located at 15 Livingston Ave in New Brunswick. Hours are Monday—Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, and at least three hours prior to curtain on performance dates unless otherwise specified.


Hot Latin Nights with the Mambo Kings

Friday, February 16, at 8 pm | Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank

Saturday, February 17, at 8 pm | NJPAC in Newark

Sunday, February 18, at 3 pm | State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick

Mambo Kings

Thomas Wilkins, conductor

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

The February 18 performance is presented in collaboration with State Theatre New Jersey.

The February 16 performance is generously sponsored by Bank of America.

Additional information is available at


Pre-concert Entertainment—Sat, Feb 17 at 7 pm and Sun, Feb 18 at 2 pm

Get ready for the high-octane Mambo Kings performance with pre-concert entertainment from the Victor Quezada Latin Jazz Group—and even mambo lessons from dance teacher Carlos Mateu!


Mambo Kings

Together since 1995, Mambo Kings are enjoying great success as Upstate New York’s foremost Latin jazz ensemble and have rapidly earned a national reputation for their explosive blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz improvisation.

Since their orchestral debut in 1997 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, Mambo Kings have appeared at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and in pops concerts with orchestras in Baltimore, Vancouver, Detroit, Dallas, Naples (FL) and Portland (OR), among many others, performing original compositions and arrangements by pianist Richard DeLaney.

As a quintet, Mambo Kings have appeared as featured soloists at the 2003 and 2008 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest, Music in the Mountains Festival in Colorado, Lewiston (NY) Jazz Fest and most recently, the 2017 Big Sky Arts Fest in Bozeman, MT.

Recent season have included performances in Chattanooga, Fort Lewis (AR), Vancouver, Dallas, Spokane, Louisville and Rochester. More information is available at

Thomas Wilkins, conductor

Thomas Wilkins is music director of the Omaha Symphony, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Germeshausen Family and Youth Concert Conductor chair with the Boston Symphony. He holds the Henry A. Upper chair of Orchestral Conducting established by the late Barbara and David Jacobs at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Past positions have included resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony and the Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay) and associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony. He also has served on the music faculties of North Park University in Chicago, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Having conducted virtually all of the major orchestras in the United States, Wilkins is devoted to promoting a lifelong enthusiasm for music. He brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages and is hailed as a master at communicating and connecting with audiences.

A native of Norfolk, VA, Wilkins is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.


Named “a vital, artistically significant musical organization” by The Wall Street Journal, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra embodies that vitality through its statewide presence and critically acclaimed performances, education partnerships and unparalleled access to music and the Orchestra’s superb musicians.

Music Director Xian Zhang—a “dynamic podium presence” The New York Times has praised for her “technical abilities, musicianship and maturity”—continues her acclaimed leadership of the NJSO. The Orchestra presents classical, pops and family programs, as well as outdoor summer concerts and special events. Embracing its legacy as a statewide orchestra, the NJSO is the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and regularly performs at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and bergenPAC in Englewood. Partnerships with New Jersey arts organizations, universities and civic organizations remain a key element of the Orchestra’s statewide identity.

In addition to its lauded artistic programming, the NJSO presents a suite of education and community engagement programs that promote meaningful, lifelong engagement with live music. Programs include school-time Concerts for Young People, NJSO Youth Orchestras family of student ensembles and El Sistema-inspired NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement and Music Project). NJSO musicians annually perform original chamber music programs at community events in a variety of settings statewide.

For more information about the NJSO, visit or email Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 1.800.ALLEGRO (255.3476) or on the Orchestra’s website.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, along with many other foundations, corporations and individual donors.


State Theatre New Jersey—creating extraordinary experiences through the power of live performance. The theater exists to enrich people’s lives, contribute to a vital urban environment and build future audiences by presenting the finest performing artists and entertainers and fostering lifetime appreciation for the performing arts through education. The State Theatre New Jersey’s programs are made possible in part by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations and individuals.

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