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RED BANK: BRISK START TO HOLIDAY SEASON

red bank nj holiday express light-up concertred bank nj holiday express light-up concertBrisk weather in Red Bank once again made for an ideal Holiday Express start to the Christmas season Friday night.

With the Tim McLoone-led band working its musical magic for the 26th time, several thousand kids and kids-at-heart crowded a stretch of Broad Street, singing along and counting down to the light-up of downtown trees. 

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos below to see if you recognize any smiling faces underneath all those fun hats. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: BON JOVI WARMS UP CENTER

jon bon jovi, red bank, nj, Jon Bon Jovi at the ribbon cutting for the Hope & Comfort Warming Center, at 166 Shrewsbury Avenue, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank nj warming center 166 shrewsbury avenueWith a surprise snowstorm hinting at the need, a new ‘warming center’ for homeless men opened in Red Bank Thursday.

The warmup act for the ribbon cutting? None other than pop superstar Jon Bon Jovi.

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RED BANK: HOSPITALS CLAIM BASIE MARQUEE

red bank nj count basie hackensack meridian marqueeThe new name, Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, applies to the historic performance space, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

It may always be best known to locals as ‘the Basie,’ but Red Bank’s oldest and most prominent entertainment venue is nothing if not prolific with monikers.

On Friday, yet another new one went up on the Monmouth Street marquee that bears the name of the town’s most famous son.

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RED BANK: SUNSHINE, OYSTERS & MELANIE

An ideal day of sunshine and early-autumn temperatures drew thousands of foodies and music lovers — including fans of folk singer Melanie, at right — to downtown Red Bank for the ninth annual Guinness Oyster Festival Sunday.

An alumnus of both Red Bank Regional and Woodstock, Melanie played a short set and signed autographs.

As usual, the roving camera of redbankgreen was there to document the merriment.  Check out our photos below to see if you or anyone you caught our eye. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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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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