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: 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: 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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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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RED BANK: SYMPHONY BREEZES THRU HISTORY

Cooling breezes and a vivid sunset over our beautiful Navesink River were just two of the rewards for the audience of thousands that set up blankets and chairs Sunday night in Red Bank’s Marine Park. There, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, led by guest conductor Sameer Patel, took listeners on a ‘journey’ through American musical history that included works by Dvorak, Copland, Springsteen and more. The free performance included an interlude in which children were encouraged to meet the musicians and learn about their instruments.

Check out redbankgreen‘s photos below, and let us know what you thought of the event. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: MUSICAL FIREWORKS FOR THE 4TH

Conductor Sameer Patel, below, leads the New Jersey Symphony in an open-air display of musical Americana overlooking the Navesink River from Marine Park Sunday night. (Click to enlarge.)

It’s been five years now since Red Bank heralded the Independence Day holiday with a bang and a kaboom with the cancellation of its long fireworks-on-the-Navesink tradition. But as relatively quiet as things have been of late during the Fourth of July interlude, there’s celebratory music in the air.

This Sunday, two events — one of them a community happening of long standing, the other representing something new down by the riverside — bring the sound and the classic American spirit to the Greater Green.

That something new is a “Sunday in the Park” free performance by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in Marine Park. Before that, the borough’s landmark Tower Hill Church celebrates flag and country with the 29th edition of the annual Liberty Extrvaganza.

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RED BANK: ONE-STOP WEDDING BIZ OPENS

The Wedding Establishment takes over a space vacated by Love Lane Tuxedos 13 years ago. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallAs the son of a singer in a wedding band, Mike Hernandez Jr. says he “grew up in the wedding business.” He was there when the band came to the house for its weekly rehearsals, and when no babysitter was available, he’d be schlepped to gigs, killing time behind the drummer.

That, and much more, he says, makes him well-qualified to create something he doesn’t believe has ever succeeded before: a one-stop market for wedding services. And in doing so, he’s ended one of downtown Red Bank’s most enduring vacancies.

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FAIR HAVEN: A ‘YELP’ FOR PARENTS AND KIDS

alex-skove-cathy-goldin-kidgooroo-102616-1Alex Skove and Cathy Goldin, founders of Kidgooroo, at Booskerdoo in Fair Haven last month. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hoping to turn frustration into gold, two women from the Greater Red Bank Green have taken on the challenge of helping parents identify the best available extracurricular programs for their children.

Think of their online service, called Kidgooroo, as a kind of Yelp for harried moms and dads.

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RED BANK: FREE SHOW BY ARMY FIELD BAND

jazz-ambassadors-us-armyThe US Army Field Band’s “Jazz Ambassadors” unit deploys to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre for a free concert next Wednesday.

In its assembled glory, it’s a formidable force — and its many crack commando units and surgical-strike teams allow it to perform missions that range from a Dixieland septet and harp-flute duo to a Son Tropical big band.

When the uniformed members of the Jazz Ambassadors of the US Army Field Band take the Basie stage next Wednesday, they’ll be carrying on a tradition that’s seen various iterations of the USAFB treat the Red Bank audience to a free display by the most formidable musical force in the free world.

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RED BANK: STRAWBERRIES, STARS ‘N STRIPES

hottaters2 copyThe Hot Taters return to First Presbyterian Church on Tower Hill as part of the festivities for the annual Liberty Extravaganza and Strawberry Festival. 

It wasn’t so very long ago that July 3 packed an altogether different vibe than the relatively sleepy pre-holiday interlude we now get in Red Bank. But while the yearly KaBoom fireworks extravaganza last lit things up five years ago, up on Tower Hill, you’ll find another long-running holiday weekend tradition continues to make a glorious noise.

Now in its 28th annual edition,the First Presbyterian Church hosts the yearly Liberty Extravaganza and Strawberry Festival returns Sunday, offering up a selection of delectable homemade desserts and sweet, sweet American music.

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RED BANK: PRINCE FANS RAIN PURPLE @BASIE

rb purple rain 042416 4
rb purple rain 042416 15Hundreds of Prince fans turned out at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank for a free screening of his film,”Purple Rain,” Sunday night, and many honored his memory by donning their finest purple garments, jewelry and lipstick. Check out our photos, below.

Though Prince had never performed at the venue, Basie CEO Adam Philipson said theatre staffers wanted to turn the rock star’s sudden death last Thursday into an opportunity for “joy,” and quickly obtained rights to show the film. Attendees asked to bring canned food for donation to Lunch Break, a Red Bank soup kitchen. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: FREE ‘PURPLE RAIN’ SHOW @BASIE

prince purple rainIn honor of the late, great Prince, the Count Basie Theatre will screen his blockbuster film, “Purple Rain,” on Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

just_inPress release from the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank:

The Count Basie Theatre invites the community to a public screening of PURPLE RAIN this Sunday night, April 24th at 8pm.

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RED BANK: IN THE MOOD FOR BIG SOUND

INTHEMOOD_SHOWMAINPICA big band and an energetic troupe of singers and dancers bring that 1940s vibe back to the Count Basie Theatre Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

There’s the Andrews Sisters’ rollicking reveille “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Bing Crosby’s jumped-up “Swingin’ on a Star.” Benny Goodman’s pounding epic “Sing! Sing! Sing!” Glenn Miller’s signature slow-dance “Moonlight Serenade.”

While they might date from your great-grandma’s era of USO shows and network radio, they represent the music of youth — the soundtrack for a country tested by the Great Depression and a Second World War, but ready to seize its moment on the global stage.

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RED BANK: A BARD AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Actor-singer-composer-musician Rinde Eckert talks about creating the music for the Two River Theater production of “Pericles,” which begins previews this weekend. (Video courtesy of the Two River Theater.)

Even as passionate a cheerleader as Two River Theater Company artistic director John Dias is forced to admit that Pericles, Prince of Tyre is “one of Shakespeare’s plays that has frustrated his fans” —  the result of its being “most obviously the result of a quirky collaboration with another playwright (or two).”

A sprawling smorgasbord of mythology and melodrama that boasts sensational plot points (incest! pirates! sexual slavery!) and more scenery than can be chewed through in a single sitting, the late-period romance fairly begs, as Dias declares, for “an interpretive team of theater artists who love it for the splendor of its quirks, while working to bring its disparate selves together.”

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FAIR HAVEN: MIMI AT THE CROSSROADS

mimi cross 2Singer-songwriter-novelist Mimi Cross makes an appearance in Fair Haven Thursday to promote her new work of fiction, “Before Goodbye.”  (Click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK

BeforeGoodbye-20232-CV-FT-v5“It was great to see everybody,” says Mimi Cross in reference to her performance last weekend at Asbury Park’s Langosta Lounge, part of the annual Light of Day slate of musically minded benefit events. “I haven’t been playing much the past couple of years, and it was like coming home to family.”

Once a frequently sighted fixture on Shore area club stages — and a two-time Asbury Music Award winner for her self-released albums like Monkey Trap — the singer-songwriter soprano has indeed kept a low public profile since she became a mom. It’s an uncharacteristic stance for an artist who can boast of having shared stages with Bruce, Bon Jovi, Bonnie (Raitt), (Jackson) Browne, Lauryn Hill and Sting.

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RUMSON: SINGER JAZZES UP CAREER VIA PUNK

deborah dutcher phil kuntz 100515-v2 (2)Deborah Dutcher and Phil Kuntz, above, and the proposed album art, which offers homage to both Elvis Presley and the Clash, below.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

deborah doctor punk 100515It was no accident that Deborah Dutcher ended up touring Europe for 13 years with lead roles in such shows as “Les Misérables” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Singing show tunes professionally was pretty much all she ever thought of doing.

“My mom tells that from the moment I could speak, I wanted to be a singer,” Dutcher told redbankgreen last week. “And I had major follow-through. I never deviated.”

That laser focus, supplemented by a heavy diet of Barry Manilow and the Carpenters, also ensured that Dutcher ended up knowing diddly about punk rock. So when her friend and fellow Rumson resident Phil Kuntz suggested she record an album of punk classics as a way of restarting her career after a decade off, Dutcher was in unfamiliar territory.

The Buzzcocks? The Sex Pistols? Who were they?

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FAIR HAVEN: CAPPING A SPARKLING DAY

061315fhday59061315fhday33Hundreds of Fair Havenites spent the afternoon and evening in the open air of Fair Haven Fields Saturday, enjoying the fourth annual Fair Haven Day, an event begun in 2012 to commemorate the borough centennial.

Kids limboed, danced to the Jukebox Criminals and built ice cream sundaes; adults enjoyed a range of culinary offerings, as well as beer and sangria; and the whole thing was capped once again with a spectacular fireworks show.

redbankgreen was there, camera in hand, to capture the vibe for those who missed it, or just want to relive it. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: A YEAR LATER, STRINGS RESOUND

rb strings 061814 4Student musicians preparing to rehearse at the middle school last June, above, and performing at the borough sidewalk sale a month later. (Photo above by John T. Ward, below by Wayne Woolley. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb strings 072614A year after budget cuts appeared to doom the strings program at the Red Bank primary and middle schools, the band is back.

As part of the the borough-based Monmouth Conservatory of Music’s 50th Anniversary Gala Concert, strings players from the two-school district will take the stage of the vaunted Count Basie Theatre for a song Saturday.

But the appearance signals more than mere survival of a music program that was on the verge of disappearing when $80,000 was cut from the district 2014-’15 budget, advocates said. Rather, it marks the culmination of a community-wide effort to restore the program and position it for the future.

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RED BANK RIVERFEST: IT’S A WRAP

052915rivfest30052915rivfest36Scenes from the weekend-long Red Bank Riverfest, which attracted thousands of visitors to in Marine Park Red Bank.

Were you there? Take it past the “read more” to see if the roving lenses of redbankgreen got your picture. (Photos by Susan Ericson, Trish Russoniello and John T.Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: SOAKING IN THE FLAVOUR

rbiff 042515 20042615 rbflavourfest11Thousands of strolling-and-eating springtime revelers flooded the White Street parking lot for the annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival on a cool, partly sunny afternoon Sunday.

As usual, redbankgreen was there to capture dozens of sweet and savory moments. Are you in one of our photos? Check out the full array below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson, Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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