About The Kaplan Series


Named in honor of the War Memorial’s architect, Louis S. Kaplan and made possible by contributions given in honor of his daughter, Charmain Kaplan Freund, the series was created by Molly McDonough, director of the Patriot Theater, and is hosted by famed jazz and blues guitarist and singer/songwriter, Woody Mann. O.P.S. features some of the worlds most accomplished musicians in an intimate setting that allow for enhanced listening and artist-audience interaction. “On Patriots Stage -The Kaplan Series” showcases the greats of contemporary and traditional music as never before and brings a one of a kind cultural experience to Trenton, New Jersey. Join us ‘on stage’ for this enriching and exciting musical journey.

Woody Mann, Host


Woody Mann had his first musical schooling in the living room of Rev. Gary Davis, the now legendary blues, gospel and ragtime guitarist. As a teenager, Woody went on to perform and record with John Fahey and British great Jo-Ann Kelly, as well as early masters of the blues including Son House and Bukka White. Along with formal training at New York’s Julliard School, he seasoned his musical training with a period of intensive work with the great Chicago-born jazz pianist Lennie Tristano. Woody’s career is as diverse as his early roots — ranging from serving as an accompanist for songwriter Dori Previn and performing with jazz great Attila Zoller, to teaching guitar to recording artist Paul Simon. He has recorded extensively, performed throughout the world and has schooled countless guitarists through his many popular books and DVDs. The remarkable ease with which he blends such a wide pallet of influences is summed up in a recent review:

“…Mann is an original… he incorporates American musical traditions into his own ‘world’ music of blazing guitar work, improvisation, and personal, thought-provoking songs.”

-Down Beat Magazine

Molly McDonough

Former Director of The Patriot’s Theater at The War Memorial and founder of the On Patriots Stage Concert Series





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" ' On Patriots Stage - The Kaplan Series' is a fabulous venue which allows for a much more intimate interaction between the performers and their audience. We loudly applaud the creation of this Series, and we strongly urge and recommend and hope that the John Pizzarelli Trio and The Bobs will again be included in the next Series."

-Susan Kelley