Free jazz concerts to be presented at Princeton Abbey


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The chapel at Princeton Abbey is about to be filled with the sounds of jazz. Princeton Abbey and Cemetery, 75 Mapleton Road, Plainsboro, is hosting a series of free jazz concerts which will be curated by Candice Hoyes, a jazz and classical vocalist who will perform.

“The series will be heavily inspired by jazz, but it will range into other styles and atmospheres inside the Abbey experience,” Hoyes says. “The Abbey is historically pristine and a very affirming and uplifting space, so the music will take that tone as well. However, we are going to go in quite a few directions, culturally.”

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Hoyes graduated from Westminster Choir College, Princeton. She was recently introduced to Bernard Stoecklein, CEO of CMS Mid-Atlantic, which manages Princeton Abbey and Cemetery, which used to be St. Joseph’s College seminary.

One of Stoecklein’s goals was to bring music to the Abbey. The venue has hosted concerts, and the American Boychoir School recorded music there. The male classical vocal quartet New York Polyphony is scheduled to record its next album there as well.

The new jazz series will open on April 28 with a concert titled “Introducing Candice Hoyes,” during which Hoyes will perform songs from her 2015 album, “On a Turquoise Cloud.”

“The music is from my first album, which is a collection of rare Duke Ellington,” Hoyes says. “So it’s really a quintessential, informative voice, as far as jazz, to feature Duke Ellington. I’m going to share some of the stories of putting the album together. I’m going to share some of my original compositions and other music that inspires me, so people will get a really good perspective and overview of what’s coming next and how they can join us all summer.”

The series will continue on May 19 with a concert titled “Soulful Strings.” Hoyes will be joined by Brandee Younger on harp, Chiara Fasi on violin, and Courtney Bryan on piano.

Next is “Jazz at the Movies” on June 16. The show will feature songs from movies ranging from “Meet Me In St. Louis” to “La La land.”

The series will conclude on July 21 with “Habanera Nights,” showcasing Latin music from Cuba, Brazil and other nations.

The concerts begin at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit

“We want to create a musical experience that can’t be found anywhere else,” Hoyes says. “We want to bring together my favorite artists from all over the world, many of whom reside in New York or close to Princeton, so I’m putting together a unique and powerful experience that is free for the whole community.”

Hoyes says she was drawn to the series by the opportunity to curate and perform in a series of concerts and to help bring people of all ages to Princeton Abbey. She praised the venue as a performing space.

“The acoustics are absolutely pristine,” she says. “So you enjoy a beautiful sound in these spaces and it’s a great environment, replete with stained glass windows and wonderful areas for sitting.”

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