Call them a showband — the kind that can rock the roof off any wedding, corporate event or casino lounge. The kind that makes a big sound just by standing there; a band with so many people in it, they don’t even have a name to describe what comes after nonet and dectet.
When Funktion 11 takes the portable stage at Riverside Gardens in Red Bank this Thursday night, it will bring its in-your-face mix of soul classics, Motown milestones and vintage hits (by big horny rock bands like the Ides of March) back to the banks of the Navesink, as the latest in the 2014 Jazz in the Park series.
One of the longest-running outdoor concert slates in the Jersey Shore area, the series presented by the borough Parks and Recreation Department kicked off a new season last week with the return of jazz flautist Keith Marks — a keynote to an entire summer schedule of returning favorites. The band featuring vocalists Tony Zeke and Vanessa Perea starts up at 7:30 pm (weather permitting; call Parks and Rec at 732-530-2782 for day-of-show updates); bring lawn chairs or blankets — and leave some real estate for dancing.
The 2014 Jazz in the Park series continues with drummer Darwin B. Oden’s combo (July 24), saxman Bradford Hayes (July 31), Valerie Adams and the Dimension Band (August 7), the after-bedtime grownup pop sounds of fave children’s entertainer Sherri Ehrlich (August 14), and a closing set by the Jazz Lobsters Big Band at the tail end of the season (August 21).