SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Playin’ Around South Orange kicks off for the fourth year in a row on Saturday, Aug. 27, at noon, bringing live music and art in the form of hand-painted pianos and outdoor performances to seven separate South Orange locations. The SOPAC-presented project runs from Aug. 27 through Sept. 25 with Wednesday-night jam sessions scheduled each week of September under the Sloan Street Gazebo from 5 to 7 p.m.. Other community supporters include The Baird, the village of South Orange, South Orange Village Community Alliance and Seton Hall University.
Kickoff festivities will include live performances by professional musicians at each of the five piano locations from noon until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27. Many of the artists will also be in attendance at their pianos. With simultaneous mini-concerts happening all over town, the day should be music and art-inspired. Piano locations are Cameron Park, The Gateway, Spiotta Park, Irvington and W. Fairview avenues, the Sloan Street Gazebo, and the South Orange Public Library. Details are listed on the SOPAC website, as well.
Wednesday jam sessions will feature: Bob MacKay on Aug. 31; Steve Teti on Sept. 7; Mark Murphy’s Music of Sept. 14; and Mark Madonna on Sept. 21.
Each year, local artists complete an application process for the honor of transforming an old piano into a contemporary piece of art. On average each artist donates up to 30 hours per piano to bring this musical event to life. Paint and supplies either come from the artists themselves or are donated by local businesses.
All seven pianos will be up for auction at www.501auctions.com/SOPianos from the point of kickoff until Sept. 25. More information on the auction, jam sessions, and the pianos is available on the SOPAC website at www.sopacnow.org.