CYMCA HONORS MIDDLETOWN SCHOOL CHIEF

Press release from The Community YMCA

Wm O GeorgeAt its upcoming Y Cares Annual Benefit, the Shrewsbury-based Community YMCA will honor the Middletown Township School District and its Superintendent of Schools, William O. George III, Ed.D, for their commitment to youth development.

During the event, hosted on Saturday, September 26 at the CYMCA’s Camp Arrowhead facility in Marlboro, the school district will be presented the Community Partner Award, while Dr. George (pictured) will be acknowledged with the Distinguished Citizen Service Award.

The Y Cares Benefit will begin at 5:30 pm with cocktails in the Carr Pavilion featuring music by Carl Gentry, a graduate of Middletown schools. Dinner by Merri-makers Caterers will follow, along with dancing to the music of Tim McLoone and The Shirleys. The evening will include silent and live auctions, in addition to a 50/50 cash raffle.

Read More »

SANDY HOOK: BEACH BLANKET FREEBIES

kirk jirks 072013 3Brian Kirk and the Jirks head back to the beach when the free concert series on Sandy Hook returns Wednesday evening. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Grab those beach chairs from the garage and shine up your best dancing flip flops: the season of free outdoor summer concerts is upon us, with the local action keynoted as always by the Sandy Hook Beach Concert Series.

Presented at 6 pm each Wednesday by the Sandy Hook Foundation at Beach Area E, the long-running slate of all-ages, all-welcome celebrations comes equipped with sandy seating, natural A/C and complimentary sunsets. It all begins anew on Wednesday with a season starter starring Brian Kirk and the Jirks.

Read More »

ANOTHER ‘DEAD ON’ ARRIVAL IN RED BANK

brianstrattonberkleeMulti-instrumentalist, session ace and educator Marc Muller (right) leads the latest edition of the DEAD ON LIVE project back to the Count Basie Friday night. (Photo by Brian Stratton)

Call it a lifestyle choice, a fad or a fashion. Reject it as something immoral and unnatural. But someone close to you — your niece or nephew, your letter carrier, the church elder, that soulmate you thought you knew so well — is a Deadhead, or something very much like it.

Unlike the Grateful Dead themselves — who just kind of improvised their way into one of the most enviable careers ever constructed of happy/sad accidents — the fans, whether musicians themselves or laymen, are a detail-intensive bunch for sure. Contrary to the get-a-bath stereotype, they’re the folks who make the trains run on time; the entrepreneurs and visionaries, the doctors and district managers, and almost certainly the IT techs who make sense of that often inscrutable machinery we’re all plugged into these days.

Here on and around the greater Red Bank green, we’ve got access to any number of Grateful Dead tributes and tributaries working the regional circuit — from projects like the borough-based Dead Bank and Mark Diomede’s venerable Juggling Suns, to Splintered Sunlight and Dark Star Orchestra, the well-traveled ensemble that dedicates each of its gigs to a specific recreation of a particular set from the Dead’s historical soundboard canon.

But if there exists an even more elevated plane of obsession, it’s the exclusive purview of Marc Muller — master multi-instrumentalist, sought-after session ace, adjunct professor at Monmouth University and the man whose Rock the Basie band-camp program has become a firmly rooted feature of the Count Basie Theatre schedule.

On Black Friday — a night when everyone from Santa to the Grinch is expected to be present and accounted for on the streets, stages and station stops of Red Bank — the 10-year veteran of Shania Twain‘s band returns to the Basie boards (in the company of special guest Nicole Atkins) with the latest edition of a project about which he says, “I don’t know if ANYONE has done this to the extent that I have.”

Read More »