Anyone who ever had the pleasure of getting an earful of bebop – and a history lesson in jazz – while picking up a pound of ground chuck at the now-gone Johnny’s Jazz Market in Red Bank should consider stopping by the pocket park on Shrewsbury Avenue at Drs. James Parker Boulevard tonight at 6:30 p.m.
That’s when borough officials will officially rename the park for the late butcher and irrepressible jazz maven Ralph ‘Johnny Jazz‘ Gatta Jr., who ran the shop for almost 50 years – always with his beloved jazz playing in the background.
Gatta, a lifelong borough resident, died in 2011. The park is the site of a series of summer jazz concerts hosted by the borough. (Photo above by Trish Russoniello; below, by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)