THE SOUNDS OF SUMMER

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STAY OUT OF TOWN this weekend if you dislike food, music, the outdoors or crowds. The 20th annual Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival sets up camp for three days of live music, arts & crafts, partying, maybe a little politicking, and truckloads of diet-wrecking finger foods, all in the cozy confines of Marine Park. It’s the traditional start to summer in these parts, and about as laid-back or high-voltage as it gets, depending on the hour.

By no small coincidence, redbankgreen premieres this weekend, and among our first offerings are items about two hard-working musical artists who would blow the doors off the festival, if it had doors.

One is Red Bank’s own Chuck Lambert, a guitarist and singer who fronts a blues band that’s fairly well known at the Shore. The other is Toni Lynn Washington, a peripatetic jazz, blues and R&B legend who’s earned comparisons to everyone from Ruth Brown to Tony Bennett. She’s a great-grandmother, and she rocks. People living on the opposite side of the Navesink may want to tape their windows for safety’s sake when either takes the stage.

Both Chuck and Toni Lynn are proven entities who have managed to remain true to their passions by dint of hard work. That’s why they’re spotlighted here. Over time, we think you’ll see that we’re hungry for stories about people from the The Green who are similarly committed to their jobs, their art, and their ideals. The suggestion box is open.

Meantime, welcome to the festival, welcome to redbankgreen, and go easy on those funnel cakes.