Greater Morristown weekend preview: Happy Birthday, Messrs. President

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!
Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

Compiled by Kevin Coughlin

If Presidents Washington and Lincoln could visit Greater Morristown for their birthday weekend, they would find some incredible music to party to.

Carla Ulbrich. Chris Botti. The Blaire Reinhard Band. Bernard “Pretty” Purdie. Dan Levinson and his “jass” all-stars. Whew!

And if all that proved too jarring, George and Abe could fall back on greatest hits from the Little Ice Age.  How’s that for variety?

Scroll down for details on all these shows and more. Check our handy calendar for extra activities–and add your own events, too!

THURSDAY, FEB. 16, 2017:

'Bag It' movie posterShould Morristown “bag it”?  Sustainable Morristown will screen the movie Bag It — about the environmental benefits of eschewing plastic bags– at the Morristown & Township Library at 10 am. Admission: Free. At One Miller Road, Morristown.

Angels and Demons posterThe Morristown & Township Library continues its Italy movie series at 6:45 pm with Angels & Demons (2009, PG-13), starring Tom Hanks and directed by Ron Howard. Admission: Free. Doors open half hour before showtime; light refreshments. At One Miller Road, Morristown.

Steve Johnson takes the stage at 7 pm at Morristown’s Laundromat Bar; his trio follows at 9:30 pm.  Admission: Free. Ages 23 and over. At 4 DeHart St.



Wayne Lyle & The Groove Gangstas perform from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at Morristown’s Laundromat Bar.  Admission: Free. Ages 23 and over. At 4 DeHart St.

The wonderfully wacky Carla Ulbrich weaves her musical magic–in English and Klingon–at The Minstrel in Morris Township at 7:30 pm. With the popular husband-and-wife team of Dave Kleiner & Liz Pagan as opening act. Admission: $10, children 12 and under, free. At the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road.

Video: Carla Ulbrich gets down-but-not-quite-dirty

Trumpet legend Chris Botti comes to Morristown’s Mayo Performing Arts Center at 8 pm. Tickets: $49-$99.  At 100 South St. Call 973-539-8008.

Chris Botti
Chris Botti

One of the great groups of all time got its start in Morristown, and it’s back for a rare appearance. The Blaire Reinhard Band plays at the Famished Frog at 10 pm. Admission: Free. At 18 Washington St.

The Blaire Reinhard Band
The Blaire Reinhard Band


Community Options Inc. hosts the Cupid’s Chase 5K at 10 am in Morristown, at 150 Speedwell Ave., rescheduled from last week because of weather. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit’s mission of finding housing and jobs for people with disabilities. Registration: $30 in advance, $40 on race day (starting at 8 am).

cupid's chase logo

Bernard “Pretty” Purdie has drummed for the Stones, James Brown, Steely Dan and Tom Jones. From 7 pm to 10 pm you can hear him pound the skins at Morristown’s Laundromat Bar. Admission: Free. Ages 23 and over. At 4 DeHart St.

Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie

The Folk Project’s Swinging Tern Contra Dance runs from 8 pm to 11 pm (beginners workshop at 7:30 pm) at the First Presbyterian Church parish house in East Hanover. Admission:Adults $10, students $5. Please carry in clean soft-soled shoes for dancing. Best for ages middle school and up. At 14 Hanover Road.


The Presbyterian Church in Morristown continues its Sunday Morning Seminars at 8:30 am with Revelation: Empire, Sex and Ecology, led by Dr. Stephen Moore of the Drew Theological School. In the parish house at 65 South St. Admission: Free. Call 973-538-1776 for more.

The Morris County Winter Farmers Market returns at 10 Morristown’s Alexander Hamilton School, where it will be every Sunday through April 9, 2017, from 10 am to 2 pm.  It’s presented by the Foodshed Alliance Farmers’ Access Network, at 24 Mills St.

WWI exhibit posterThe Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall in Morristown marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I with an exhibit about The Great War’s impact on Morris County. It opens from 1 pm to 4 pm, and will continue through June 25, 2017. Museum admission: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students, free for children under 12 and Society members. Half price to see just the exhibit. At 68 Morris Ave. Call 973-267-3465 for more.

Jeff Finegan, author of Colonel Washington and Me and Tis Well: The Life and Death of George Washington, will talk at 2 pm about his book chronicling Washington’s 1768 purchase of a young man born into slavery. Young readers should especially appreciate this story. Admission: Free, at Washington’s Headquarters Museum Auditorium, 30 Washington Place, Morristown.

finegan books on washington

The Cisraritanian Viols Consort performs hits from the Little Ice Age (1650-1850) at 2 pm at the Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge. Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 for seniors and students. At 450 King George Road. Call 908-636-7576 for more.

The Cisraritanian Viols Consort
The Cisraritanian Viols Consort


In honor of President’s Day and Washington’s birthday, the Washington’s Headquarters Museum and Ford Mansion in Morristown will be open from 9:30 am to 5 pm with free admission. Mansion tours on the hour between 10 am and 4 pm except for noon, limit 20 people per tour, tickets at Museum. At 30 Washington Place.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President!
Happy Birthday, Mr. President!


Author Edward J. Larson
Author Edward J. Larson

The 143rd Annual Meeting and Luncheon of the Washington Association presents Edward Larson, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author of The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States, 1783-1789, from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Madison Hotel. He will discuss The Newburgh Conspiracy. Luncheon: $55 for members and first guest, $60 for non-members and additional guests. For reservations call  973-292-1874 or e-mail here. At One Convent Road, Morris Township.

Dan Levison. Photo by Seth Cashman
Dan Levison. Photo by Tom Salvas

As World War I was raging overseas, a new sound — jazz – was conquering the United States. Clarinetist Dan Levinson and an all-star band will celebrate the centennial of the first jazz hit with an 8 pm concert at the Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre in Morris Township. Tickets: $17 in advance and $20 at the door.  At 6 Normandy Heights Road. Call (973) 971-3706.






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