Jazz chanteuse Champian Fulton and Tony Corrao (left) join host Bob Tuzzo and Joe Muccioli’s Red Bank Jazz Orchestra for An Enchanted Evening of Song, celebrating ten years of Jazz Arts Project excitement with a Saturday night concert at two River Theater.
Hard as it is to believe, it’s been a whole ten years since the nonprofit Jazz Arts Project first formed in Red Bank, with the aim of fostering an appreciation of “America’s classical music,” here in the borough that birthed the legendary Count Basie — to say nothing of giving fans of sophisticated swingin’ sounds an excuse to get dressed up and dig some local events with a big-city vibe.
Since that time, the Jazz Arts org has made a big, bold, glorious noise courtesy of concerts starring the flagship Red Bank Jazz Orchestra and its skipper, conductor-arranger-artistic director Joe Muccioli. Not content to offer just a couple of shows each year, Jazz Arts has stayed busy around the calendar, with annual offerings like April’s Talkin’ Jazz lecture series, the Summer Jazz Cafe at Two River Theater, and December’s Sinatra Birthday Bash at the Count Basie Theatre. In addition, the Project continues to nurture the next generation of monster talents, through its educational partnership with the Basie, and its Head Start-style programs (such as an ongoing endeavor with the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County) that gives kids from at-risk and challenged communities the tools and the skills they need to make life-changing music.
In March 2014, Jazz Arts Project took to the Two River stage for the first in a new series of special concert events entitled An Enchanted Evening of Song — and when “Mooche” and members of the RBJO reconvene on Bridge Avenue this Saturday night, March 7, they’ll be reuniting with featured stars of last year’s show in a swingin’ gala affair that celebrates the milestone anniversary of a real community resource, and a genuine class act.
Back onstage for the 8 pm show will be Champian Fulton, the piano-playing chanteuse who’s been a frequently featured favorite at Jazz Cafe weekends (and who contributed guest vocals on the Orchestra’s CD release, Strike Up the Band). She’ll be joined on the bandstand by Monmouth County-based Sinatra specialist Tony Corrao, with Jazz Arts board member (and moonlighting serenader) Bob Tuzzo once more serving as master of ceremonies, and globe-trotting jazz scholar Muccioli at the podium.
Proceeds from the evening go to fund the Project’s aforementioned head-start programs in Red Bank and Asbury Park, and admission ($25, $50) includes a coffee and dessert reception in the lobby (a $100 VIP ticket also includes prime seating and entry to a pre-show cocktail hour). Take it here for tickets.