By JOHN T. WARD
With 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.
Bowls will once again bloom in the gardens of the JBJ Soul Kitchen the weekend of May 20 and 21, when the Empty Bowls Project returns to 207 Monmouth Street. With the motto Every Bowl Feeds a Soul, the event brings together artists, teens, and community members to help raise awareness of hunger in our area.
This is the third year that hundreds of handmade bowls in every shape, size, and color will be on display in the organic garden of the Soul Kitchen. Before the event, the Monmouth Arts Teen Arts Festival and Art Alliance of Monmouth County create the many bowls. On Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, patrons may select a bowl for a $20 donation, and, while supplies last, receive a canvas Monmouth Arts tote to carry their bowl home.
It’s just about the last of the big holiday-themed entertainment events to take the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank each December — a frankly awesome rock and roll extravaganza that plants a glittering star atop the tree at an eleventh hour when various Scrooges, Nutcrackers and vocal choirs have scurried off to their last-minute shopping excursions.
Ask Bobby Bandiera and he’ll probably tell you that a dose of charitable spirit is more important than ever in the final countdown to Christmas and Hanukkah — and that the day-to-day survival of our neediest neighbors doesn’t take a holiday break when the rest of the community settles into its family traditions.
When last encountered here on redbankgreen, celebrity chef and restaurateur David Burke made local headlines with the announcement that he was closing Fromagerie, the long-running Rumson landmark that the onetime kitchen apprentice had owned as part of his David Burke Group since 2006. While the news was understandably greeted with regret by veteran denizens of the greater Green, it came with the implicit assurance that Burke — no stranger to charitable endeavors in his native Monmouth County — would continue to make his presence felt for various worthy causes on the home-front scene.
On Monday, August 1, Chef Burke makes some noise with the pots and pans once more, as he joins pro caterer and nutrition consultant Diane Henderiks for a special “Feed Your Summer Soul” event at Red Bank’s own Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen.
Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Bongiovi, part-time Middletown residents, hosted a reception for business owners who donated a portion of their receipts on June 16 to a fundraiser for the nonprofit restaurant, which the couple opened in 2011 to fight food insecurity. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
In conjunction with the release of a new record entitled “Brotherhood,” guitarist Matt O’Ree — a 2015 tour sideman for Bon Jovi — and his band plan to play two sets at Jamian’s Food and Drink in Red Bank on April 22. Tickets ($20) and other information can be had here. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Press release from Rumson School District
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi’s jacket. A Les Paul guitar. A Green Bay Packers helmet representing longtime Coach Vince Lombardi. These were just a few of the items viewed by sixth graders at Forrestdale School in Rumson, when they visited the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum.
“Everyone Needs a Hero” is the slogan of the Mobile Museum, which made a stop at the school on March 14. A 53-foot double-expanded trailer featuring 850 square feet of exhibition space, the Mobile Museum is a moving capsule of the almost 100 New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees’ contributions to history.
Call him Bob Hope: a seasoned and savvy entertainer who’s made some formidable friends, logged many a lap around the globe, raised a flotilla of funds, and marshaled a major entertainment campaign every holiday season.
But while the original Mr. Hope famously brought his USO-show mix of radio-era comedy, go-go-booted dancers and patriotic spirit to the troops back in the day, Bobby Bandiera calls an elite troupe of all-star buddies back to the boards of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre each December for an operation that’s designed to do good and lift morale on the home front.
Hope Is Delicious, as they say over at Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, the pay-what-you-will community restaurant established by the Middletown-based guitarslinger/ frontguy/ actor and globetrotting humanitarian. This Tuesday evening, December 8, the impulse to “feed the holiday soul” is as contagious as it is delicious, when a pair of celeb chefs make some noise with the pots and pans during a special fundraiser event for the ongoing programs of the JBJ Soul Foundation.
Served between 6:30 to 9 pm, the four-course dinner will spotlight the culinary creations of Michael Ferraro, executive chef and co-owner of NYC’s Delicatessen, and a young veteran of the city’s top kitchens whose resume includes the Four Seasons and the Beacon. A familiar face on many foodie-friendly TV shows (including Bar Rescue and Beat Bobby Flay), the specialist in international comfort cuisine teams up for the occasion with New Jersey’s own Diane Henderiks, the pro caterer and nutrition consultant whose Chef Inspired Healthy programs appear weekly on The Daily Meal Video Network.
Seating is necessarily limited for Tuesday’s special event, and seating is still available at $150 per person. Reserve by emailing email@example.com.
Matt O’Ree playing in Red Bank’s Marine Park in 2013, will share in guitar duties for the band led by Middletown’s Jon Bon Jovi, seen below at JBJ Soul Kitchen in 2011. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
In a headline-making realignment of local music stars, pop singer Jon Bon Jovi has chosen blues guitar monster Matt O’Ree as the road replacement for Bobby Bandiera, according to reports by the Asbury Park Press and other news outlets.
The Holmdel-based leader of the Matt O’Ree Band will join Bon Jovi as touring guitarist for the band’s upcoming shows in Asia and the Middle East starting in Indonesia on Friday, the Press reports, citing multiple unnamed sources.
[See UPDATE below]
By JOHN T. WARD
A campaign fundraiser at which pop star Jon Bon Jovi “serenaded” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was held in Red Bank Monday night because Middletown balked at providing police protection for the event at the pop star’s mansion, according to a report.
The conservative Washington Free Beacon claimed Wednesday that the township refused to staff the event at Bon Jovi’s Navesink River Road home because he hasn’t ponied up for $14,000 in police overtime expenses still owed for security provided for a 2008 fundraiser held there for then-Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Bon Jovi, seen here at the opening of Red Bank’s JBJ Soul Kitchen in 2011, was back in town to host the former first lady and secretary of state Monday night. Below, an uncredited photo of Clinton posted on the Twitter feed of former New York Governor David Paterson. (Photo above by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Jon Bon Jovi “serenaded” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a $1,000-a-head campaign fundraiser in Red Bank Monday night, according to PolitickerNJ.
Actually, the report says pop-rocker, who has a home on the Navesink River in Middletown, “serenely serenaded” Clinton at the no-media-allowed event, held at the riverfront Molly Pitcher Inn.
Middletown’s own 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. Tickets, priced $50 to $500, go on sale at noon Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Press release from Count Basie Theatre
Jon Bon Jovi & The Kings of Suburbia have announced a benefit concert to take place on Wednesday, July 30 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. Net proceeds from the performance will benefit the city’s Parker Family Health Center, a free health care facility.
Tickets, priced at $500, $150, $125, $99 and $50 (plus applicable surcharges), go on sale Wednesday, July 2 at noon ET through countbasietheatre.org, phone charge at 732-842-9000, and the theatre box office, located at 99 Monmouth Street in Red Bank. A limit of two (2) tickets per person will be imposed, and repeat orders will be cancelled. Ticketing information for Jon Bon Jovi fan club and Count Basie Theatre members will be sent to those patrons separately.
Middletown resident Jon Bon Jovi, seen here at the opening of the pay-what-you-can-or-earn-your-meal JBJ Soul Kitchen in 2011, tells USA Today in an interview at the Red Bank eatery he helped create why he doesn’t wash dishes there anymore. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The 66th annual Red Bank Halloween Parade assembles on East Bergen Place Sunday afternoon for its colorful walk downtown. Below, the Ghoul Scouts of Brookdale Haunted Theater commandeer the BCC PAC building for two weekends of wild walk-throughs. (Click to enlarge)
Friday, October 18:
LINCROFT: The real-life horrors of Hurricane Sandy’s dark and drear aftermath forced even the ghouls and goblins to take a back seat last year — but undead and undaunted, they rise again for another seasonal go, as Brookdale Haunted Theater takes over the Performing Arts Center for two big weekends, in a presentation created and performed by past and present members of the school’s Theater Club program. For a ticket price of $10 ($8 seniors, $5 kids and students), patrons are ushered into the PAC’s auditorium (parking lot 2 on the Lincroft campus), split into groups of 10 to 15, and guided through a winding corridor that features live-action dioramas, scarifying skits and the dreaded POP-UP, which is to horror as the PUN is to humor. The creepy crew runs tour groups through its backstage maze of interactive fright environments beginning 7 pm, Friday through Sunday nights (October 18 to 20 and 25 to 27), with “Not-So-Haunted” Scareless tours for younger crowds running from 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Brookdale staff and students with current ID will be admitted for a bargain-dungeon price of $5, during a special “private screaming” session on Thursday, October 24. Tickets available at the creaking door; more info at (732) 224-2411.
By DANIELLE TEPPER
Book fans know that when they fall in love with a story, their immediate reaction is to tell someone so they, too, can fall in love with it. Remember how you first heard about The Hunger Games or Fifty Shades of Grey? Word of mouth is the spark that starts the fire and, sometimes has the ability to ignite a full force blaze thats pretty hard to ignore.
Thats this concept that inspired World Book Night, a campaign designed to introduce the joy of reading to those who can’t afford or are perhaps even a little intimidated to pick up a new novel.
Launched in the United Kingdom a year ago, World Book Night is now coming to the United States, with some 5,000 towns and cities expected to give away almost half a million free books. Among those bibliophilic volunteers are River Road Books in Fair Haven and Red Banks own pay-what-you-can JBJ Soul Kitchen. Read More
By JOHN T. WARD
‘Person to Person,’ a TV program of bygone days that featured live interviews with and often, tours of the homes of Marilyn Monroe, John F. and Jackie Kennedy, Marlon Brando and other big names of half a century ago, returns to the airwaves next week with a drop-in at the Middletown home of pop rocker Jon Bon Jovi, CBS News announced Thursday.
The comeback episode, to air Wednesday night, also includes tours of homes owned by two other “legends of today:” actor George Clooney and investment sage Warren Buffett.
Bob Bandiera brings his all-star jinglebell-jam rock spectacular back to the Basie on Monday night with Hope Concert V.
In an interview we did with Bob Bandiera a couple of seasons back, the veteran musical go-to guy fessed up to the effect that “I’ve got about 95 guitars. My wife is not happy about it she allotted me two rooms for my music. But you know it’s fun to have that arsenal.”
What the Hardest Working Man in the Shore Music Business also appears to have is a “little black book” of friends that must rival the Oxford Unabridged for sheer heft that, or a Rolodex the size of the “Big Wheel” from The Price Is Right.
On Monday night, December 19, a few of those friends otherwise known as “almost every significant artist on the Jersey Shore” will meet up with Bobby B in Red Bank town to take part in a little fundraiser show by the name of Hope Concert V, a local tradition that makes a much anticipated (and very much SOLD OUT) return to the boards of the Count Basie Theatre.