December 14, 2022

The Queen’s Cartoonists Come to State Theatre NJ

MUSIC AND ANIMATION: The Queen’s Cartoonists perform in front of a live screen where classic cartoons are projected at State Theatre New Jersey on December 23. (Photo by Jamie Jung)

State Theatre New Jersey presents the musical ensemble The Queen’s Cartoonists in “Holiday Hurrah: Yule Love It!” on Friday, December 23 at 8 p.m. The jazz sextet’s show is for audiences of all ages, combining musicianship, multi-instrumentals, comedy, and cartoons.

The Queen’s Cartoonists (TQC) perform live in front of a screen, where cartoons from the golden age of animation, cult cartoon classics, and modern animated films are projected. The band either re-creates a cartoon’s soundtrack note-for-note — performing works from jazz composers like Carl Stalling, Raymond Scott, and Duke Ellington alongside classical giants like Mozart, Rossini, and R. Strauss — or writes their own fresh compositions to accompany the on-screen action. Tying everything together are TQC’s anecdotes about the cartoons and their composers, humor, and elements of a musical circus. 

Since their founding in 2015, The Queen’s Cartoonists have sought to answer the question: Is it possible to create jazz and classical music in the 21st century that appeals to everyone?

In their “Holiday Hurrah” the band sets out to find the best of the best (and best of the worst) holiday-related cartoons, films, and jazz. The show includes traditional holiday vocal numbers (“White Christmas,” “Jingle Bells”) paired with jazz arrangements and festive animated films.

“There’s also a good amount of novelty and comedy,” said bandleader Joel Pierson. “Don’t forget ridiculous props, Foley sound effects, and even a holiday-themed game show. The show should keep people guessing from start to finish. I want people to think they’ve never seen anything like it before. For younger audiences, I hope this is an introduction to concert halls and a reminder that music can be both serious and fun.”

Tickets range from $24-$44. State Theatre New Jersey is at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick. Visit for tickets and more information.