Friday morning’s commute on the Greater Red Bank Green was a bit damp and clingy, as seen in this view south along Broad Street in Red Bank. And things were expected to get downright soggy, with showers likely in the early afternoon, according to the Weather Channel forecast.

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L-R: Former Marines Fred Dispensiere and Joe Perrotto welcome Matthew (Matt) Valko to the Wall of Honor at Knollwood School.   

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Recently, Matthew (“Matt”) Valko completed his U.S. Marine Corps boot camp training and headed to the Combat Division at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. But before that, the native of Fair Haven had another important milestone to address, at the middle school from which he graduated in 2010.

Matt’s photo has now been added to the Knollwood School “Wall of Honor,” featuring graduates who are proudly serving their country in the armed forces. Located prominently in the main hallway of the school, the Wall of Honor was commissioned in 2011 by co-chairs Betsy Koch, an eighth grade science teacher at the school, and Joe Perrotto, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

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There’s no telling who will make an appearance when the members of Liberty Hose Fire Company return to White Street this Sunday for the annual Red Bank Firefighters (a.k.a. Doc Holiday) Classic Car Show.

They may have been forced to “get out of Dodge” when the borough auctioned off their landmark White Street firehouse back in 2014 — but that hasn’t stopped the members of Red Bank’s Liberty Hose fire company from bringing their Doc Holiday Car Show back to the “Ol’ Car Corral” of the White Stree parking lot each year at this time.

Returning for a 15th annual fantasia of classic chrome, fabulous fins, atom-age accents, polished power plants and bodacious Dagmars, the local tradition otherwise known as the Red Bank Firefighters Car Show (and named unofficially in honor of volunteer responder Robert “Doc” Holiday) takes center stage again this Sunday.

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Pictured are current, past, and future graduates of the International Baccalaureate program at Red Bank Regional: (back row) IB Coordinator Ryan Hilligus, Kevin Burke, Sara Murphy, Katie Moran, Caroline Garth; (middle row) Isabella Ramos, Madison Ciccone, Hannah Haugenes, Skylar Haugenes, Alex Sosa, Cece McCarthy, Amy Lonergan, Summer Smith, Sophie Pouso, Emma Guinnessey, Elise Katz; (front row) Grace Noglows, Sophia Mazzini, Hannah Christensen, Victoria Sullivan, Kristen Wimmer, Sophie Navarro, Ashleigh Lloyd.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Several weeks preceding Red Bank Regional High School’s graduation ceremony, a smaller one was held for a special group of students — those receiving the coveted International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. RBR is one of only four schools in the county, and 14 in the state of New Jersey, to offer the internationally renowned IB program.

The school’s IB coordinator Ryan Hilligus addressed the seventh RBR IB graduating class, asking that the students reflect on their “two intense years” in which they attended over 1,000 hours of IB classes and approximately 20 hours of exams; wrote thousands of words of extended essays and completed over 4,000 hours of creativity, activity, and service efforts.

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Harmonica/vibes virtuoso Hendrik Muerkens (right, with vocalist Angelita Li) joins his Samba Jazz East combo to inaugurate a new series of Summer Jazz Café events Friday and Saturday at Two River Theater.

“We’ve curated this summer series for more than a decade now,” says Joe Muccioli, noted conductor/arranger, impresario and artistic director of Red Bank-based Jazz Arts Project. “Each night is truly a unique experience, paying homage to a bygone era of swinging, yet elegant café society.”

Whether he’s auditioning hopefuls for the annual Sinatra Birthday Bash at the Basie; kicking it old-school scholarly via his Talkin’ Jazz lectures; working with the student cats and kittens of the Jazz Arts Academy, or programming the summertime Jazz in the Park series at Riverside Gardens, the man called “Mooche” is one passionately productive guy — but perhaps his greatest passion is reserved for Summer Jazz Café, the annual slate of intimate weekend occurrences that return to the borough of Basie this Friday and Saturday.

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SOURCE Director Suzanne Keller (left) with Corey Van Huff, first recipient of the Sean Macon Memorial Scholarship, presented to him by Sam, Tiaunna and Lynn Macon.   

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Recently, The Source in-school program at Red Bank Regional High School hosted its 17th annual year end reception, a celebratory event to award student scholarships and honor the Community Partnerships that enable its mission, “To remove all obstacles that impede the success of young people in our community.”


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Jennifer Lakefield has been named as the new Chairperson of the Board, for the Shrewsbury-based nonprofit The Community YMCA.  (Photo by PeterMurphy)

Press release from The Community YMCA

In an annual meeting that took place on June 14 at the Monmouth Boat Club in Red Bank, The Community YMCA named several Red Bank area residents to official positions, and elected Jennifer Lakefield as chairperson and chief volunteer officer of the Shrewsbury-based nonprofit’s Board of Directors.

A resident of Colts Neck and managing director of Red Bank-based ZAIS Group, Lakefield will provide leadership to the 20-member board, which sets strategic direction and policy to guide the Y’s work of strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. She succeeds Joseph Oriolo of Shrewsbury, and will serve a two-year term ending in 2019.

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The Middletown Arts Center on Church Street is the point of departure for a walking tour of the historic Middletown Village district Saturday morning.

Among other things, the Independence Day holiday serves to spur awareness of our own Yankee Doodle history here on the Greater Red Bank Green — a timeline that predates the signing of the Declaration, as represented by National Historic Sites like Little Silver’s Parker Homestead (established in 1665), the Seabrook-Wilson House at the Bayshore (c. 1720), and the centuries-old structures of Shrewsbury’s “Four Corners.”

Then there’s Middletown Township; Monmouth County’s largest, most sprawling municipality — and among its oldest. Even many who reside there may not realize that at the heart of its nearly 60 square miles sits a walkable little village — and this Saturday morning, history buffs and the historically curious are invited to take a step back in time, one that begins mere minutes from station stop Red Bank and just a few paces from the North Jersey Coast Line platform.

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Middletown-based powerpop purveyors The Wag open a new season of free concerts in Fair Haven this Thursday evening, on the borough’s municipal dock. 

Some music is simply born of, and belongs to, the most dimly lit grottoes and claustrophobic corners of the nocturnal club-crawler’s world — not so The Wag, the Middletown-based band that emerges into sunlight each year around this time; taking to the season of open-air concert events (including the Clearwater Festival, the Red Bank Street Life series, and of course the annual Monmouth County SPCA Dog Walk) like ducks take to water.

Appropriately enough, The Wag will be partying with the waterfowl, plus other local fans and fauna, when they help inaugurate a new season of Fair Haven Dock Concert events this Thursday, July 6.

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Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis, left, and bassist Nash Aliaga at Jamian’s, where the band was conceived six years ago. A photo of the late Jerry Garcia has a place of honor on the stage. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE, July 7: Forecast of rain postpones tonight’s Dead Bank show at the Dublin House. The band’s 200th gig will instead be tomorrow night (Friday) at the Dub, weather permitting.]


The band’s name, echoing a moniker for Red Bank at its economic low of the 1980s, doesn’t exactly thrill local chamber-of-commerce types, Dead Bank guitarist Jim Willis acknowledges.

“We’ve gotten a lot of crap from the town about it,” Willis said last week. “They’ll never let us play any of their festivals because of it. But I just wanted to see another connotation for ‘Dead Bank,’ a positive one.”

The Grateful Dead cover band is an inarguably local phenomenon, and this week, weather permitting, Dead Bank’s “perpetual tour of of Monmouth Street” brings it to the backyard of the Dublin House Pub for its 200th show.

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Yes Yes Nonet: Saxman/bandleader Mike Kaplan and his Nonet sound a brassy keynote for a new summer series of free Jazz in the Park concerts Thursday night at Riverside Gardens.  

“Summertime, and the livin’s easy,” sang Satchmo and Ella in their symphonically jazzy take on Porgy and Bess — but if you’re one of the folks from the Jazz Arts Project, you might find the season of beach blankets, barbecues and bug zappers to be busier than a drum solo by the late great Buddy Rich.

It’s an interlude that swings things in classic night-owl style via this weekend’s inaugural entry in the long-running Summer Jazz Cafe series — about which more to come here on redbankgreen. But before all that, Red Bank-based nonprofit that brought you December’s annual Sinatra Birthday Bash and April’s Talkin’ Jazz lecture series jumps into July with the first in a weekly Thursday schedule of free Jazz in the Park events at Riverside Gardens.

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Cooling breezes and a vivid sunset over our beautiful Navesink River were just two of the rewards for the audience of thousands that set up blankets and chairs Sunday night in Red Bank’s Marine Park. There, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, led by guest conductor Sameer Patel, took listeners on a ‘journey’ through American musical history that included works by Dvorak, Copland, Springsteen and more. The free performance included an interlude in which children were encouraged to meet the musicians and learn about their instruments.

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos below, and let us know what you thought of the event. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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