Musicians and Artists

Jonathan Torgrimsen, musician, “The Road and the Holy Oak” plus guitar instrumentals

“Like an older friend or mentor, one who’s been there since the beginning, the oak stood as a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Whether acknowledged or taken for granted, there it stood in all its dignity and strength. My song attempts to ask, ‘What if we could distill the knowledge and experience from such a being? What if it were reaching out to us?'”

Gordon Thomas Ward, musician

“My song Trees looks at the Basking Ridge Oak from a holistic perspective, commemorates the cycle of life, and explores how we are all interconnected. The result is a musical portrait that plumbs the depths of our shared history and brings the past to life while pointing to a hope-filled future.”

Alex Bigatti, artist

“The painting represents the lifetime of the Great Oak. The circle represents the repetitive nature of the seasons and the passing of time in the figure of a clock. The colors and markings on the ground are the people who passed through its life,  and finally the silver acorn is a highlight of its legacy. The tree exceeds the boundaries of the canvas in honor of its larger-than-life character.”

Tammy DeVoe, artist

“The history and significance of this Great Oak Tree stands as the town of Basking Ridge grew around it for centuries. A 600 year old tree is a marvel and good people have done wonders to take care of it to this age.  I grew up in Basking Ridge knowing the tree is a symbol of community, respect, and strength. This Great Oak Tree will be dearly missed in the center of town and deserves the honor the Historical Society has planned to celebrate its life.”

Tom Schneider, artist

“Much of the artwork I have done has been inspired by trees, the landscape, and the natural world. Trees have a beauty and presence that I cannot ignore. The Great Oak is a majestic tree that should not be ignored. The history it carries and the presence it has provided so many for so long is remarkable. There are so few old growth trees left and it is a great loss to lose yet another. A great tree of this stature should be memorialized by artists and everyone so we may honor the gifts it has brought in its magnificent life.”

Meeta Garg, artist

“It’s a great feeling to be able to see the magnificent Great Oak, which has seen a long history of almost 600 years. At the same time it’s sad to know that it is dying in front of us and nothing much can be done. As an artist I would love to preserve its memories through my artwork.”

Martha Kelshaw, artist

“The Great Oak of Basking Ridge is a wonderful old friend. This beautiful force of nature has seen it all, including George Washington, and is an icon of our community. When visitors from out of town come for a visit – the Great Oak is the first stop on my tour of the area and everyone is amazed by this tree’s outstretched branches – almost ready to scoop you up.”


Ross Farm, Hilary Klimek, Nola Hanson

Basking Ridge Great Oak, documentary, New Jersey film

The Friends of the Boudinot Southard Ross Estate strives to create educational and cultural events that enhance the public’s understanding of the historical legacy of the estate and the contributions of the Elias Boudinot, Samuel Southard and Edmund Ross families. Members of the organization are pleased to support Under the Great Oak with their individual donations.

The Center for Contemporary Art, Elie Porter Trubert
History in Your Own Backyard, Satolli Glassmeyer, President
The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, Sue Zibelli


Alexis Tarrazi,
Gordon Thomas Ward,  89.7 FM Sergeantsville, NJ; 96.9 FM Trenton, NJ; simulcasting on WPNJ 90.5 Easton, PA; or streaming on the web at
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