In 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.