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RED BANK: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE CONVERGE

PMJ-PR-shotBandleader-composer (and YouTube-spawned sensation) Scott Bradlee brings his Postmodern Jukebox project to the Count Basie stage this Friday…while soprano Victoria Cannizzo joins Roy Gussman and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, in a Saturday night inaugural for the new MSO season.

victoria cannizzoIn between offering happy harbor to a veritable Who’s Who of legendary entertainers from all the classic avenues of show business, our Count Basie Theatre has taken its place as a showcase for the newly minted superstars of that most 21st century of spawning grounds — the viral vaudeville that is YouTube and the social media stage.

This Friday, the Red Bank audience gets its first in-person look at an act that expanded its appeal from a literal living-room setting, to an in-demand touring attraction whose homemade videos have been viewed more than 100 million times.

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RED BANK: A ‘SPUNKY, PASSIONATE’ CONCERTO

Elizabeth-Violin-Pic-2Violinist (and 2014 Young Artist Concerto Competition winner) Elizabeth Hendy helps Roy Gussman and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra close out their season with “driving percussion rhythms and a dazzling display of violin technique.” 

It happens every spring, and all too soon it seems — but here at the close of their 67th season, principal conductor Roy D. Gussman and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra return to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre on Sunday, May 31 for the now-traditional Season Finale event. And, as tradition also dictates, they’ll be joined for the occasion by the musician who was selected as the winner of the annual Young Artist Concerto Competition, sponsored by the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra.

That talented musical prodigy is 16 year old violinist Elizabeth Hendy, a Juilliard School student who, it’s said, “will steal the audience’s heart with her spunky and passionate performance of Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2.” It’s but one highlight of a program that switches gears for an exploration of the “driving percussion rhythms” of two 20th century South American masters.

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RED BANK: I HEAR A SYMPHONY

GussmanKovalskyMonmouth Conservatory of Music exec director Vladislav Kovalsky (right) is the special guest, as conductor Roy Gussman and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra celebrate MCM’s golden anniversary with a Sunday afternoon concert at the Count Basie.

A weekend of symphonic sounds heralds the coming of Spring at the Count Basie Theatre, drawing inspiration from the great masters of word and music — and their roots from the Garden State soil — with a pair of original works by NJ composers.

It all happens here in the area’s undisputed capital for classical music, and it all begins at 8 pm on Saturday, March 21, when conductor Jacques Lacombe and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra welcome internationally lauded pianist Serhiy Salov for a program highlighted by Tchaikovsky’s Sixth (or Pathétique) Symphony, “a heart-wrenching meditation on the transforming power of love and the inexorable workings of fate.” Vocalist Mary Fahl also joins the NJSO for an evening that further features Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody — as well as a first local listen to an original work by Orchestra violinist Darryl Kubian.  Commissioned as part of the New Jersey Roots Project, and inspired by William Shakespeare, O for a Muse of Fire closes out the Roots initiative on a program for which tickets ($23 – $88) are available here.

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RED BANK: WITH MALLETS AFORETHOUGHT

Greg_512Marimba master Greg Giannascoli returns to the Basie stage this Saturday, as the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra mark its 66th anniversary with Fanfare and the Fourth.

Long before Red Bank was looked upon as a center for culture and the arts; decades prior to the rebranding of the venerable Carlton vaudeville house as the Count Basie Theatre, there was the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra — and the organization now under the baton of conductor Roy D. Gussman is still going strong in the new century, celebrating 66 years as a community treasure and getting ready to embark upon an all new season with a Saturday night concert on November 1.

For this momentous occasion, Gussman and the MSO put out the call to an engaging instrumentalist whose 2010 solo spot with the orchestra has become the stuff of legend — classical marimbist Greg Giannascoli. A member of the Juilliard School faculty and a virtuoso of the melodically malleted, harmonically hammered percussion instrument (still something of a novelty on symphony stages), Giannascoli returns to Red Bank for a program that promises to bring the Tchaikovsky, the Copland…and the Ewazen?

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WEEKEND: WEDDING WALK GETS SAME-SEXY

WeddingWalkMichael Warmington of Red Bank RiverCenter joins a team of Barbizon tour guides in welcoming guests to a past edition of the Red Bank Wedding Walk, which returns to town this Sunday. Wanda Sykes (below) brings her standup skills back to the Basie Friday night. 

Sykes-WandaRED BANK: When the Red Bank Wedding Walk returns to the blushing banks of the Navesink for its latest edition this Sunday, it’ll be a bigger/better-than-ever affair with an historic edge: it’s “encouraging same-sex couples to join us this year and explore all that Red Bank has to offer for the perfect wedding,” according to organizers at Red Bank RiverCenter.

Taking place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the 2014 event sounds a call to “prospective brides, grooms, partners, their families and friends” to key into the borough’s “fun and funky vibe” as they visit over 40 wedding-related businesses — florists, gown and accessories retailers, bridesmaid and guest attire boutiques, photographers, wedding planners and designers, jewelers, salons and banquet facilities — many of which will be offering promotions, light refreshments and special amenities.

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WEEKEND: IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING

ice-boat-011011-500x375It’s an open house icebreaker when the nation’s longest-established ice boat club welcomes the public in from the cold for a Saturday of tours and presentations. Below, Bobby Bandiera brings the Rock ‘N Soul Revue back to the Basie for a Brill-iant bow to the hitmaking “American Troubadors.” 

Friday, March 21:

BobbyBandieraHallmarkIIok_zpsc164352eRED BANK: Taking the old recruitment slogan, “Join the Jovi and See the World” to heart, Bobby Bandiera has done his share of  globetrotting as touring guitarist with Bon Jovi. But when the veteran of more than 40 years’ worth of local barband gigs puts in to Shore, he tends to “relax” by staying audibly visible everywhere from the barstool in the corner at your favorite hometown watering hole to the Count Basie Theatre, where he intermittently assembles the jukebox Justice League known as the Jersey Shore Rock ‘N Soul Revue for a special salute to the “American Troubadors.”

When the 11-piece “Basie House Band” reconvenes Friday night at 8 pm, Bandiera and bandmates (including star-quality songbird Lisa Sherman, and Joe Jackson’s longtime bassist Graham Maby) will be paying trib to the great songwriter-performers of what’s commonly called the “Brill Building” era of late 50s-early 60s pop – a teenaged Tin Pan Alley that spawned some of the earliest and most immediately exhilarating work of Carole King (“The Loco-Motion”), Neil Diamond (“I’m a Believer”) and Burt Bacharach (“Baby It’s You”). Tickets ($25 – $99) can be reserved right here.

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WEEKEND: VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS ABOUND

Danu.ColmHenryjpegAbove: Celtic combo Danú brings “An Nollag in Éirinnis” to Santa Basie’s workshop on Friday…while below, young adult novelist Julie Milillo comes home to Middletown for a Saturday discussion of Immortal Sin.

Friday, December 13:

JulieMililloRED BANK: It’s opening weekend for the annual holiday-season family show at Two River Theater, a newly revamped production of the original musical A Wind in the Willows Christmas that mixes Kenneth Grahame’s classic animal characters with “a lot more holiday spirit,” and redesigned costumes that highlight “ears and tails and fur.” Tonight’s 7 p.m. opening is preceded by a special noontime Scout Day preview that allows scout troops a behind-the-scenes look at the production, with games, snacks, photo ops and more. Performances continue at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday; take it here for tickets (adults $20 – $55; ages 18 and under $25) — and keep it tuned to redbankgreen for more on Mr. Toad and friends.

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