By JOHN T. WARD
A messy road project in Red Bank will cost more and take longer to complete than originally anticipated, officials said last week.
Also, the borough plans to seek $250,000 in Monmouth County funding to cover half the cost of a series of improvements to borough parks.
Jazz chanteuse Champian Fulton (above) is among the guest speakers — while Ella Fitzgerald and “Kid from Red Bank” Count Basie are among the topics — when the annual Talkin’ Jazz series returns Monday.
“If you can play — if you can show me something, whoever you are — I’m listening,” said Red Bank-based jazz maven Joe “Mooche” Muccioli in these paperless pages several years back. It was a statement that underscored the democratic attributes of jazz music — and at the same time, it served to drive home the point that a true jazz player has got to go beyond talking that talk, and walk that walk.
During the National Jazz Appreciation Month of April, however, it’s also about talking the talk — particularly when the spoken word serves to illuminate the music that’s been called America’s one truly homegrown art form.
Press release from United Methodist Communities
Dressed in the tradition of her native Liberia, executive director Gertrude Kehleay (left in photo) greeted an intergenerational, multicultural group of about 100 people, gathered at United Methodist Communities at The Wesleyan for their annual Black History Celebration. All American citizens, they came together on the last day of February to celebrate the history and contributions of African Americans, as well as their ancestry representing nearly every continent around the globe.
Keynote speaker Rev. Darlene Wilson (right in photo) of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank, recounted, “Although we dig down deep in February to discover Black History, it is every month…Black History is history.”
By JOHN T. WARD
Here’s a bullet-point rundown.
Local fans of 24-year-old Rumson-bred pop star Charlie Puth who can’t make it to his sold-out show tonight in New York or Friday night’s sold concert at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre might want to listen in via an app called go90, which will be streaming tonight’s show live. The app, availble through the App Store and Google Apps, is free, and the show begins at 9 p.m. (Click to enlarge)
After months of silence on the issue, a possible parking garage in downtown Red Bank finally got its wheels on what could be a long up-ramp to reality Wednesday night.
Despite misgivings voiced by Councilwoman Cindy Burnham that doing so might attract “an overload of engineers,” the borough council unanimously agreed to have the the planning board determine whether the municipal lot on White Street “satisfies the criteria for designation as a noncondemnation redevelopment area.”
By JOHN T. WARD
Old-timers will recall its days as a WaWa, but its future is as a laboratory for the arts.
So say officials at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy about the onetime convenience store that is now the academy’s home.
By JOHN T. WARD
The borough government and the autonomous downtown promotion agency are close to a formal agreement under which the two would split the estimated $80,000 cost of the work, RiverCenter executive director Jim Scavone said Friday.
Eryn Shewell, above, leads the Whiskey Devils to the water at Riverside Gardens Thursday night. Charenee Wade, below, channels the late great “Lady Day” Billie Holiday Friday and Saturday at Two River Theater’s Summer Jazz Cafe.
Beginning Thursday night, a three-night interlude of cool jazz sounds wafts into Riverside Gardens Park and the Two River Theater, programmed by borough-based Jazz Arts Project and its co-founding father/artistic director Joe “Mooche” Muccioli.
By JOHN T. WARD
Taking heat from a restaurateur, Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna said Wednesday night that the long-awaited “next step” toward a possible parking garage downtown is coming within the next two weeks.
Menna’s pledge also came as the town council, on a 4-2 vote, agreed to extend by six months a moratorium on fees imposed almost exclusively on new restaurants that need parking variances to open.
By JOHN T. WARD
But merchants and visitors who’ve been waiting for the movement toward a possible parking garage on White Street will have to wait a bit more.
Red Bank’s Eastside Flag Football Union (EFFU), the defending state champions in fundraising for the annual Snow Bowl tournament to benefit the New Jersey Special Olympics, is in the final stretch of its 2015 campaign. As of Thursday morning, EFFU had raised $16,000 toward its goal of $25,000, with three days left. Last year’s tourney-topping net was $19,765. Want to help put the team over the goal line? Take it here. (Photo by Tom Labetti. Click photo to enlarge)
“Pied Piper of Jazz” Keith Marks keynoted a new slate of free outdoor jazz concerts on August 22 — a Count Basie 365 Cultural Series that continues Friday evening with vocalist Valarie Adams and showband.
Like a lot of institutions in the town that birthed the great “Count” Basie, it honors the “Kid from Red Bank” who became one of the pivotal bandleaders of jazz’s golden age — a living link that’s rooted in a place where the likes of Al Wright and Joe Muccioli continue to uphold the tradition.
Continuing for the next three Fridays at West Side Park (aka “the pocket park”) on the corner of Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Shrewsbury Avenue (aka DJ2 ‘n Shrew), the third annual Count Basie 365 Cultural Series also pays tribute to a real unsung hero of the art form — Ralph Gatta, longtime proprietor of Johnny’s Jazz Market, and an aficionado whose exuberant passion and expertise on all things jazz were second to no one’s.
A project of the mayor-appointed Red Bank Borough’s Vision Committee, the series kicked off on August 22 with a concert by a frequent summer-season guest performer — jazz flautist Keith Marks. The music resumes on September 5 with the return of another staple of summer concert stages, Valarie Adams and the Dimensions, with the dynamic showband bringing their encyclopedic setlist of soul/ Motown/ funk favorites beneath the stars at 6:45 pm.
Red Bank’s Eastside Flag Football Union (EFFU) made a return trip to the Meadowlands on Saturday to reap its reward as the top fundraising team – out of 135 – in the Snow Bowl tournament to benefit the New Jersey Special Olympics back in March. The squad spent the day tailgating, watching the Giants and Steelers warm up for a preseason game, and got to see their team name in lights for raising $19,765. More pix here. (Photos by Tom Labetti. Click photo to enlarge)
Susan Ericson’s food blog, Flavor Chronicles/Chefs in Motion has additional coverage. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Mouse-over to pause.)
They came for the wine with local restaurateur Vic Rallo and stayed for the food trucks, beer and make-your-own bloody Mary’s Saturday at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, hosting its second annual ‘Appetite‘ food festival.
The action continues Sunday under the theme of ‘Blues and Brews,’ spotlighting craft beers, artisanal cheeses, butcher Stew Goldstein – offering a demo on preparing a pork loin Marco roast – and more. According to the National Weather Service, it’s not going to be a beach day, so why not come out? More details here. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)
Pop music hearththrob Jon Bon Jovi brings his side project, Kings of Suburbia, to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in a benefit performance for the Parker Family Health Center Center on Shrewsbury Avenue Wednesday night. Even the LiveStream proceeds will be donated. Here’s a promo video posted on his Facebook page earlier this week. Will you be there? Watch it from home? (Click to enlarge)
Jon Bon Jovi and “his local side band,” the Kings of Suburbia, will perform at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre in a fundraiser for the Parker Family Health Center on July 30, the theater announced Monday. Bon Jovi, a Middletown resident, is a long-time supporter of the clinic, based on Shrewsbury Avenue. Tickets, priced $50 to $500, go on sale at noon Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Theatergoers and others who just want to pull up a seat opposite the Count Basie Theatre will soon have an outdoor option outside Red Bank borough hall, where RiverCenter and the Basie are installing 40 feet of benches framed by new landscaping. The project cost about $14,000 before the cost of the benches, which are being donated by the theater, said RiverCenter director Jim Scavone. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JIM WILLIS
Red Bank’s Eastside Flag Football Union (EFFU) was the top fundraising team of 135 that participated in the Snow Bowl tournament to benefit the New Jersey Special Olympics at the Meadowlands over the weekend.
The squad raised $19,765 and picked up free passes to a Giants preseason game this summer, when it will be honored with others at halftime.
As for the field action, the EFFUers made it to the to semifinals in the over-35 division, squeezing in some family and tailgating time in between the second and third games of three on Sunday.
Yep, you’re allowed to cheer, folks: “EFFU! EFFU! EFFU!” (Click photo to enlarge)
For the second year in a row, Red Bank’s Eastside Flag Football Union (EFFU) is heading to the Meadowlands Sunday for the Snow Bowl tournament to benefit the New Jersey Special Olympics.
The squad raised $13,000 last year; so far this year, its 15 members – who’ll be outfitted with jerseys courtesy of the Dublin House – have bagged more than $18,000 en route to a target of $20,000. Interested in putting them across the goal line? Donate here. The video above is from the 2013 effort. (Click photo to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
In Eileen Moon’s eyes, “personality drives progress.” And as the author of “Legendary Locals of Red Bank,” a newly published book of historical and contemporary profiles, Moon encountered personality galore.
People like Sigmund Eisner, for example, an immigrant who, starting with a single sewing machine, not only built the nation’s largest uniform factory, but helped his employees buy homes, cementing a sense of community.
“It takes a strong personality, and a vision, and a risk-taker sometimes, to change what is into some new evolution of that,” says Moon.