Miss Sherri Ehrlich displays her grown-up pop side in the park as Sherri Pie plays a Thursday night freebie at Riverside Gardens. Guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli joins Ed Laub at Two River Theater’s Summer Jazz Café Friday and Saturday .
A well known “kindie-rocker” of the Greater Red Bank Green shows her grownup pop chops during an up-past-bedtime concert, and a granddaddy of the Jersey jazz scene displays the stuff that’s made him a cross-generational favorite as Red Bank’s resolutely jazzy July continues at Riverside Gardens Park and Two River Theater, brought you by Joe “Mooche” Muccioli and the borough-based Jazz Arts Project.
A whole generation of Red Bank area kids and their parents know “Miss Sherri” Ehrlich as the top-hatted ringmaster of the Little Animal Band, as well as through countless singalong sessions at Middletown Arts Center and her former HQ at Monmouth Street’s Honey Child Music. In recent seasons, the veteran New York vocalist and musician has stayed up past mommy’s bedtime to revisit her pop-rock roots, teaming with keyboardist Charlie Clarke for a monthly gig at Fair Haven’s Nauvoo Grill under the name Sherri Pie.
On Thursday night, Sherri and Charlie will be joined by a bigger-band Pie as they bring their “super saucy blend of blues and danceable R&B flavors” to an open-air encore to the waterfront walkways of Riverside Gardens Park, on West Front Street. The free 7:30 p.m. concert comes equipped with panoramic Navesink scenery and downtown-energized vibe, making it an experience unto itself. Take it here for complete schedule details on the 2015 Jazz in the Park series, presented by Red Bank Parks and Recreation.
The Summer Jazz Cafe continues apace in the Two River Theater’s black-box space on Friday and Saturday with the welcome return of a series veteran VIP: guitar great Bucky Pizzarelli. Known for his signature seven-string axe, his sixth-sense skill with an improvisational riff on a tin-pan standard and his 60-something years of experience that have seen him team with everyone from Benny Goodman and Les Paul, to Rufus Wainwright and his songbook-savvy son John Pizzarelli, the Buck stops here for an encore in one of his favorite places on the map to play (and this from a guy who’s played Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and the White House).
The lifelong Jersey guy, who served a stint as a band member on the old Tonight Show, will be joined by fellow fretmeister Ed Laub and his combo for some reassuringly relaxed and satisfying sets of songbook standards and string-driven flights of fancy. It’s all served up with seductively subdued lighting, sublime desserts, and an atmosphere that the 89-year-old legend has praised as “a great scene, with great people, and great food.”
Take it here for tickets ($25) or further information on upcoming events in the Summer Jazz Café series, and go here for details on the Jazz Arts Academy’s Summer Camp Week (July 27-31), during which players aged 13 to 19 can learn from and collaborate with Jazz Arts faculty members and visiting guest artists – as well as for info on a new slate of guitar, piano, and vocal workshops that are open to ages from 14 on up.