NEA Jazz Master and Newark’s First Lady of Jazz Dorthaan Kirk to Host OSPAC Jazz Festival

It is with great excitement that Pleasant Valley Productions which is  presenting the Annual West Orange Jazz Festival at OSPAC on Saturday, September 17th, at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center is happy to have one of the original employees that launched WBGO in 1979. Newark’s First Lady of Jazz and an NEA Jazz Master, Dorthaan Kirk as a Host and MC for the West Orange OSPAC Jazz Festival. “It is our extreme pleasure to have someone totally synonymous with Jazz come on board to support the 2022 West Orange OSPAC events and activities” said Gregory Burrus, OSPAC’S Jazz Festival Curator and a North Jersey Live Music Ambassador. “I have always attended the numerous events that Dorthaan has produced over the years and I have always admired her energy, experience and knowledge in keeping jazz alive no matter where she goes. 

In 2016 The New York Times proclaimed that Dorthaan Kirk Is Newark’s First Lady of Jazz. This title was bestowed upon her a few years before by John Schreiber, president and chief executive of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center because “…. so frequently (Dorthaan name) is  attached to jazz events in the city,” From the Gateway Center Concert Series, the Dorthaan’s Place Jazz Brunches, The Bethany Baptist Jazz Vespers and all over Newark and beyond. It is widely known that she was instrumental in setting up the highly regarded Jazz at Lincoln Center program that is still producing world class jazz programs. 

Appointed what’s considered the highest honor in Jazz, Dorthaan Kirk is the recipient of the 2020 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy. It is also noted that she is the former partner, wife and manager of jazz great Rahsaan Roland Kirk. NEA stated: “She continues to be the keeper of the flame of her late husband’s musical legacy: managing his music; acting as administrator of his publishing company; and organizing special events in his honor.”

Dorthaan Kirk has been active for decades in the community presenting jazz events.that have featured nationally renowned performers and now we are happy to have her join us on Sept 17, 2022 at the West Orange OSPAC Jazz Festival which will present many local, national and historic performers.  

West Orange OSPAC Jazz Festival producer, singer, actress, director Lynette Sheard, whose professional performance career began at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center over 20 years ago stated that “ having Dorthaan Kirk join our team is an honor beyond compare that will truly show folks that the West Orange OSPAC festival takes jazz seriously and is committed to making jazz a mainstay in our community. ”   


8:15- 9:00 Dave Stryker Trio –  Joining Dave at West Orange OSPAC will be Modern Drummer magazine rising star and the Grammy-nominated drummer McClenty Hunter Jr  along with the former Governor’s Award for Jazz Performance in New Jersey awardee organist Jared Gold.. 

7:15- 8:00 Richard Baratta Latin Jazz – Joiningfilm producer and drummer  Richard on this occasion will be the prolific pianist Bill O’Connell, acclaimed saxophonist Craig Handy and the very much smooth and always in demand bassist Michael Goetz.

6:15- 7:00 Sweet Lee Odom Quartet – MultiInstrumentalist  Lee Odom will have New York’s own Lady Got Chops Festival organizer, and multifaceted bassist Kim Clarke,  Jazz at Lincoln Center awardee and BMI outstanding 

soloing jazz improvisation award Lucianna Padmore and very talented pianist Anna Caldwell. 

5:15- 6:00 Nat Adderley Jr Quartet – For this occasion joining internationally known Nat Adderley Jr.will be thee always in demand bassist Chris Berger,   saxophone and jam master Mike Lee and Sir G. Earl Grice drummer extraordinaire and actor in over 50 plus movies. 

4:15- 5:00 Leonieke Scheuble Quintet – Rounding out this band led by 20 year old Hot House Jazz Rising Star Leonielke Scheuble, will be the widely renowned Rick Savage on trumpet, the acclaimed tenor saxophonist Adam Brenner and the dynamic Nick Scheuble on Drums.


3:30- 4:00 Jan Carden Trio -Jan’s band members will be the “expert in the art of musical transfiguration” Eric Olsen on,piano, Marco Brehm on bass and our very own jam master, drummer Noel Sagerman on drums.

2:30 – 3:15 MPACK Live – Bandleader Clarence Conover, The Grove Master is bringing the local R&B favorites with Patricia Walton Vocals, Kev “Natz: Moore Drummer, Larry Greenberg Keys and Kenny Robinson Guitar and maybe a special guest or two.


Big thank you to our Sponsors. 

Pleasant Valley Productions presents the Annual West Orange Jazz Festival at OSPAC. Saturday, September 17th, 2-9 pm at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center located at 4 Boland Drive in West Orange NJ. We welcome you to enjoy world-class entertainers, a beer and wine garden, food vendors, and more. Free parking and indoor restrooms are available. Remember to bring your own chair. General admission is $10. $20 premium seating is available, including a pre-set chair in the front of the stage. Special group rates are available for groups of 10 or more. The rain date is September 24th.

Details available at: 

Tickets available at:


Saturday, September 17th, 2-9 pm in West Orange at the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center (OSPAC) located at 4 Boland Drive in West Orange NJ. We welcome you to enjoy world-class entertainers, a beer and wine garden, food vendors, and more.

Gregory Burrus w NEA Jazz Master Dorthaan Kirk

Gregory Burrus is a local live music ambassador, producer, promoter, event planner, and community partner. He combines his extensive corporate business and technology expertise with his love of live music and being a strong community advocate.

I love writing about it all. My mission is to help community groups, live music bands, and local nonprofits reach their goals and accomplish their missions while enjoying the day-to-day process of life.

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