Shannon CorsiPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven High School

Shannon Corsi, a 17-year-old senior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, has been awarded third prize in the sixth annual Grammy Foundation and MusiCares “Teens Make Music” contest, for her song “Trailblazer.”

Shannon received two tickets to the 58th Annual Grammy Awards to be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 15. And, as one of the top three prizewinners, Shannon will

attend the Grammy Awards Backstage Experience, a special tour that takes place while artists rehearse on February 12.

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ME Keb NorahClockwise from top left: Melissa Etheridge returns to the Count Basie stage on her ME tour, with fellow Grammy winners Keb’ Mo’ and Norah Jones cued up for nights to come.

While much of the big-name concert action may have moved outdoors and/or closer to the shore this time of year, Red Bank’s climate-controlled Count Basie Theatre continues to stay competitive with the arts centers and temporary summer stages of the region, offering a dependably eclectic shuffle in the seven-day interval ahead – and little to no chance of t-storms, gnats or heat waves to harsh one’s musical mellow.

It’s a mix that keynotes with the return of Melissa Etheridge to the venerable venue Wednesday night, followed in short order by other favorites of the summer tour circuit.

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Grammy’d-up singer-songwriter Christopher Cross comes to Red Bank’s Two River Theater for an Intimate Evenings concert (and a benefit for Sandy Relief) on Thursday.


To a huge cross-section of humanity, his songs are integrated with the Soundtrack To Our Lives — whether the number one hit ballad “Sailing” was on the turntable during a certain memorable moment in your adolescence, “Ride Like the Wind” was part of the choral curriculum in your fifth-period music class, or you just heard “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” piped into the Shop-Rite not ten minutes ago.

Yet for all of the units he sold back in the 1980s; for all of the awards that have made his trophy case buckle and groan — no less than five Grammys, a Golden Globe, and even an Oscar for that theme to the 1981 Dudley Moore comedy — we tend to know precious little about Christopher Cross.

Even if you do happen to know a thing or two about the smooth-tenor voiced (but low-key as regards his public persona) singer and songwriter, you might be surprised to find that the San Antonio native divides his residential time between his Texas stomping grounds and Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. You probably wouldn’t be at all surprised to know that he continues to release new albums of precision-crafted pop music, and to play dozens of live concerts every year – a line of endeavor that brings him to the stage of Two River Theater this Thursday night, January 17.

The 7:30 pm show is the latest in an ongoing series of “Intimate Evenings” events produced by MusicWorks Entertainment, co-founded by former Count Basie Theatre Foundation CEO Rusty Young. In keeping with the MusicWorks mission, portions of proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Hurricane Sandy Relief Foundation and its network of locally based humanitarian and restoration efforts.

The Pop Desk at redbankgreen spoke to the affable, down-to-earth Cross somewhere between the Moon and Red Bank Borough.

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Linda Chorney — seen here playing Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” last July at the Count Basie — scored herself a Grammy nomination in what could prove to be the award ceremony’s biggest kerfuffle since Milli met Vanilli.


Last time redbankgreen looked in on Linda Chorney, the Beantown-bred, Sea Bright-seasoned singer and songwriter was conducting a public-welcome video shoot at the now-defunct NovelTeas in Red Bank — a call keyed to her playfully provocative tune “Tea Bag Party People” and a happening that drew a spirited response from the redder banks of the greater Green.

Although it’s posted for perusal online, the finished track wasn’t included On Emotional Jukebox, Chorney’s self-released, self-distributed release of 2011, and a project that, as its title suggests, mood-swings its way through pop, folk, country, R&B, a fully arranged chamber symphony, classic rock covers — and Americana.

Which may have been a wise choice, too, because when the 54th Grammy Award nominations were announced recently by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Chorney was right there on the list alongside Kanye, Katy and Kid Cudi.

How the record — which, despite the contributions of people like Letterman bassist Will Lee remains an obscurity with no in-store distribution — came to be a candidate for Best Americana Album is one of the most fascinating stories ever to emerge from Grammyland, in part because it appears to have put a bee in the bonnet of the Americana music establishment.

“I am Occupying the Grammys — I am the 99%,” Linda Chorney told Christopher Morris in a story that currently appears on “I’m the middle-class that got a friggin’ shot, and I got in there.”

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