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RED BANK: O’REE & ROCKIT ROCK OUT SUMMER

The Matt O’Ree Band, above, and a teen band from the Rockit program at the Count Basie Center for the Arts, below, performed for about 1,000 concertgoers in a free show at Riverside Gardens Park Friday night.

Check out the photos below from a delightful late-summer evening beside our beautiful Navesink River. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: MONMOUTH MUSIC TO CLOSE

Monmouth Music owner Mario DiBartolo plans to open the STEM Music Academy in the space. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Even as he was buying Monmouth Music two years ago, Mario DiBartolo knew he was swimming against the current that has swamped so many small retailers in the past two decades.

Yes, he hoped to retain the Red Bank store’s loyal customers and continue selling guitars and other musical instruments, he told redbankgreen last year. But his investment was really in the Monmouth Street real estate that housed the 30-year-old business, he said.

Now, he’s throwing in the towel on retail.

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RED BANK: FINAL FADEOUT FOR GUITAR PLANT

Now being developed for townhomes, the lot between Catherine and River streets was once home to the Danelectro guitar factory. Below, a Danelectro with the distinctive “coke bottle” headstock. (Photo above by John T. Ward, below courtesy of Lorie Mouklas. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Without fanfare, a half-dozen factory buildings on Red Bank’s West Side were leveled last month, making way for new homes.

Among the structures razed was one that deserves a final flick of the lighter from rock music fans. In the early days of rock ‘n roll, the building at 10 River Street churned out low-priced but distinctive-sounding electric guitars, some of which helped launch the careers of rock superstars such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.

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RED BANK: SWEET MUSIC ON A SULTRY NIGHT

On a sultry summer evening, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra made its second annual sunset appearance on the banks of the Navesink River in Red Bank Sunday.

But even without a cooling breeze, several thousand attendees were transported to magical places, courtesy of the orchestra’s waltzes, intermezzos, show tunes and other pieces.

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos from the event, organized by Red Bank RiverCenter. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: LOCAL ACTS TO ROCK THE PARK

Bobby Bandiera and Friends performing Neil Young’s ‘Like a Hurricane’ in 2011. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Two big-draw local musicians are slated to play concerts against the backdrop of the Navesink River in Red Bank this summer, redbankgreen has learned.

Bobby Bandiera (July 27) and the Matt O’Ree Band (with a special guest, August 24) will take the stage in Riverside Gardens Park as part of an effort to spotlight local club offerings, says Jamian’s Food and Drink owner Jamian LaViola, who’s organizing the shows.

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RED BANK: WORDS AND MUSIC IN THE PARK


Five thousand strong, music lovers found a few hours of respite from everyday noise when the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra played an open-air concert in Red Bank’s Marine Park last summer.

This Sunday, the NJSO returns to the park with another free show, where those in attendance will also get a chance to connect to the borough’s history via the written word.

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FAIR HAVEN: A DAY OF COMMUNITY

The seventh annual Fair Haven Day once again offered borough residents an evening of food, games, music and community at Fair Haven Fields Saturday.

redbankgreen was there to capture the event in pixels, right down to the spectacular fireworks finale. Click ‘read more’ for additional photos. (Photos by Mariah Woodbury. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: BASIE NOW ‘CENTER FOR THE ARTS’

The rollout of the new name will begin immediately, theater officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Marking the start of a new chapter — and the end of that whole ‘theater or theatre?’ conundrum — Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre has been rebranded the Count Basie Center for the Arts, officials said Monday.

The name reflects the 92-year-old venue’s present and future as a “campus,” where performance art is learned, developed and staged, said Basie chief executive officer Adam Philipson. Read More »

RED BANK: GLOBAL MUSIC SPICES FOOD FEST

Metalachi is scheduled to end its current East Coast tour in Red Bank Sunday. (Photo by Dave Burke. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Metalachi, billing itself as ‘the World’s First and Only Heavy Metal Mariachi Band,’ is scheduled to help spice up the Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest Sunday.

The band’s sonic and visual mashup adds a new dimension to the event, slated to take place under sunny skies in the borough’s White Street parking lot.

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RED BANK: BASIE LANDS $100K NEA GRANT


Press release from Count Basie Theatre

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $100,000 to the nonprofit Count Basie Theatre for its mindALIGNED collective impact initiative. Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: RBR VOCAL MAJORS SHINE

Vocal majors who won placements in the Doris Lenz Musical Festival are, left to right: Catherine Creed, Jack Faccone-Stockwell, Jael Cross (all Red Bank), Claire Taylor, Little Silver; Sara Zerilli, Millstone; and Maddie Staudt, Neptune City.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High

On October 7, Red Bank Regional High School (RBR) was proud to host the this year’s NJ Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s (NATS) Doris Lenz Festival for High School Singers. RBR Visual & Performing Art Academy (VPA) students had the largest number of participants competing among the top high school voices throughout New Jersey.

Additionally, a remarkable seven RBR students placed in the competitions.

RBR took four top positions in the Women’s Classical Lower Division with Sarah Zerilli, Millstone, Maddie Stout, Neptune City, Claire Taylor, Little Silver, and Catherine Cree, Red Bank taking first, second, third and fifth place, respectively. Claire Taylor additionally placed third in the Women’s Musical Theatre Lower Division.  Jack Faccone-Stockwell, Red Bank, took second place in the Men’s Musical Theatre Upper Division; and Jael Cross, Red Bank, took Third Place in the Women’s Classical Upper Division. (Divisions are divided by age.)

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MIDDLETOWN: THE WAG MOVE INDOORS

Powerpop powerhouse the Wag comes in from the great outdoors with a free Wednesday evening concert at the township library. 

They’ve proven themselves to be hardy perennials on the year-round local music scene, but for fans of  the Wag, there’s no denying that the season of outdoor concerts and sun-kissed festivals is the natural habitat for the Middletown-based band that can often be found free-ranging it in settings from the Fair Haven Municipal Dock and Little Silver Gazebo to the sidewalks and storefronts of downtown Red Bank and the great lawn at Lincroft’s Brookdale Community College.

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RED BANK: A CUP OF TEA AND SYMPHONY

Erika Sayar (left) and Oksana Sorochan are joined by Jessica Kortenhaus in a “Three for Tea at the Piano” classical recital, Sunday afternoon at St. Anthony’s.

As the calendar strikes October — and those unmistakable breaths of sweater-weather air creep beneath your front door — a spot of tea seems a jolly good idea. This Sunday, the Music Ministry of Red Bank’s St. Anthony of Padua Church brews up a pot of seasonal warmth, as the Bridge Avenue house of worship hosts “Three for Tea at the Piano.”

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RED BANK: HEAT TRIMS OYSTERFEST CROWD

With temperatures hovering in the mid-80s, it was “ten degrees too hot” to draw the usual elbow-to-elbow crowd to the eighth annual Guinness Oyster Festival in Red Bank Sunday, one vendor told redbankgreen.

“The weather is not our friend today,” said Jim Scavone, executive director of event sponsor Red Bank RiverCenter.

Still, the turnout was strong, he said, and “people here having fun, and they’re drinking lots of beer.”

Some pix from the event follow… (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: OYSTERFEST IS PARTY TIME

The soulful vocals of Remember Jones, below, add to to the vibe when Guinness Oysterfest returns for an eighth annual stand Sunday. 

While efforts are underway to restore oyster populations in the local waterways that once boasted them in abundance, Red Bank celebrates the opening of oyster season by, well, opening a few thousand oysters — not to mention a beverage or two.

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RED BANK: BASIE STARTS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Dozens of local politicians and players in the arts world turned out for the event. Below, Basie board members Steven Van Zandt and his wife, Maureen Van Zandt. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A $23 million expansion of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre formally got underway Wednesday, beginning what’s expected to be a 20-month endeavor to turn the Vaudeville-era venue into a powerhouse for live performance and arts education.

The aim, musician and actor Steven Van Zandt told an al fresco gathering, is “to make Red Bank an example to the rest of the county of what it is possible to do” in elevating the arts.

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