The Count Basie Theatre will go ahead with a planned January 13 concert despite the death last week of Smithereens lead singer Pat DiNizio, the Red Bank venue announced Monday.
Basie board member and rock guitarist Steven Van Zandt said he and friends will stand in as a tribute to DiNizio, who died from undisclosed cause two days after the Basie announced the concert, which was also to feature the band Scandal, fronted by Patty Smyth.
From the announcement:
“I was set to host this Smithereens and Patty Smyth and Scandal show as part of Citi’s Underground Garage at the Basie series,” Van Zandt said. “With the sudden, tragic passing of Pat DiNizio, I think it’s appropriate that we take this moment to pay tribute to him. I will be honored to sing a few of his songs with the band, and I’m asking any friends of mine if they can make themselves available for a song or two. We’ll see who’s around and announce them shortly.”
In addition, the Basie will stick to a plan to use the show to unveil a new ‘club’ format, with a dance floor that’s level with the existing stage. The idea is to give patrons a taste things to come with a new 800-person-capacity performance space to be constructed as part of a current $20 million expansion.
The above photo was taken at 2016 private event using the new format.
Some proceeds from the show, which is already sold out, are to be donated to the Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship at the Count Basie Theatre’s Performing Arts Academy. Fans would like to make direct contributions can do so here.