RED BANK: JIRKS AND SERAPHS UNITE

kirkJirks bandleader Brian Kirk plays springtime Santa with a benefit concert for Middletown’s Mater Dei Prep high school, Thursday night at the Count Basie.

STSemailIn an interview that appeared previously here on redbankgreen, businessman and bandleader Brian Kirk discussed what it takes to put on a big benefit concert — musing to the effect that “maybe I get whatever organizational skills I have from my mother, who used to work as a volunteer at St. Mary’s Thrift Shop in New Monmouth — they ran a tight ship over there!”

A party-starting pro with an ear for a crowdpleasing tune and an eye for a serious cause, the man who produces the annual “Santa for…” shows at the Count Basie Theatre (and who brought us years of Dunesday beach-concert benefits in Sea Bright) returns to the Red Bank stage on Thursday — this time rallying to the aid of Mater Dei Prep, the Middletown-based Catholic high school (and companion institution to both his elementary-school alma mater and that legendary thrift shop).

Beginning at 8 pm and starring the Shore’s premier cover band Brian Kirk & the Jirks, it’s a “Save the Seraphs” benefit show designed to raise operating funds for Mater Dei, a school that made recent headlines (as has its best-known alumnus, Brian Williams) when it nearly closed up shop after years of declining enrollment and operating deficits. While currently keeping a low public profile, Williams was among those who stepped up with significant donations in recent months — and with a family connection that’s seen his three sisters attend the school as proud Seraphs, Kirk was inspired to organize a special springtime edition of his Basie benefits.

The founder of borough-based Key Telecom will serve as emcee and front his band of Jirks during the Thursday night show; a happening that promises “energetic music and a little bit of ‘Bruce’ for a great cause.” While big Bruce himself hasn’t committed to the show, those Kirk-out events of past seasons have been known to attract several special guest musicians and vocalists; ranging from Jersey-bred new wavers to the voices behind some of the most indelible Boomer-era radio hits.

Take it here for tickets ($45- $125, with top ticket purchasers enjoying a VIP pre-show cocktail party at Buona Sera) — and here for more information on donating to the Seraph Fund cause.