RED BANK: ‘BOBFEST’ OF DYLAN, WAR & PEACE

A promo video recaps the history of the annual Bobfest salute to Bob Dylan, which returns to the Count Basie Theatre Thursday night.

When he first offered an impromptu birthday toast to Bob Dylan during a 1999 set at the old Downtown Café in Red Bank, Jersey Shore “saloon singer” supreme Pat Guadagno didn’t harbor any thoughts of making Bobfest an annual thing, let alone an ever-expanding phenomenon with a life and passionate following all its own.

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RED BANK: MOVIE SATURDAY ON INDIE STREET

The trailer for “65 Percent,” a documentary by Mike and Jon Altino of Middletown, screens at the Red Bank Middle School at 1 p.m.

indie street logo 2Saturday-morning cartoons, a locally made documentary and shorts-in-a-bunch enliven Saturday’s schedule of the Indie Street Film Festival, which got underway in Red Bank Wednesday night and continues through Sunday afternoon.

Click the “read more” for the full schedule and a sampling of delightful and outrageous movie trailers. Read More »

RED BANK: FRIDAY’S INDIE STREET LINEUP

isff 070616 1Sand artist Joe Mangrum creating a temporary painting at the festival opening-night cocktail party on the Count Basie patio Wednesday night. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

indie street logo 2

Screenings at four Red Bank venues fill Friday’s schedule of the Indie Street Film Festival, which got underway Wednesday night and continues through Sunday afternoon.

Click the “read more” for the full schedule and a sampling of delightful and outrageous movie trailers.

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RED BANK: A MOVIE FEAST ON INDIE STREET

A documentary about people who eat white dirt adds some grit to the first full day of the Indie Street Film Festival. 

indie street logo 2Scandalously long, beautiful legs. A guy with a compulsion for commandeering buses and trains. Geophagy, or dirt-eating.

These and other delightfully strange and wondrous topics fill the schedule of Red Bank’s Indie Street Film Festival as it enters its first full day of screenings and other events Thursday.

Click the “read more” for the full sked and a whole dirtload of delightful and outrageous movie trailers.

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RED BANK: TURN HERE FOR INDIE STREET

The festival flickers to life with “Morris from America” on the big screen at the Count Basie Theatre. Here’s the trailer.

indie street logo 2Day One of the first-ever Indie Street Film Festival gets underway in Red Bank Wednesday, kicking off five days of heaven for movie lovers.

The opening day schedule is light, with one just one film lighting up the giant silver screen of the Count Basie Theatre and two parties. But the festival shifts into high gear Thursday with daylong screenings and other events at five venues, and keeps up the pace through Saturday before winding down Sunday.

Check in with redbankgreen throughout the week for festival coverage and next-day schedules with tons of trailers to help you decide which darkened room to bring your popcorn to. Meantime, here’s the first-day lineup:

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RED BANK: INDIES INVADE THIS WEEK

rb indie film mural 070416A mural on Monmouth Street near Maple Avenue touts the five-day Indie Street Film Festival, which flickers to life Wednesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

indie street logo 2For the first time since 2007, Red Bank will swarm with screening maniacs this week as independent films, filmmakers and cinephiles invade the downtown — and one or two nearby outposts.

Encompassing nearly 100 feature-length and short films, four screening venues and a handful of bars and restaurants, the five-day Indie Street Film Festival kicks off Wednesday, promising to liven up a post-Independence Day interval when the borough traditionally slips into an early doldrums.

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RED BANK: A BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO BOB DYLAN

Pat Guadagno John PosadaPat Guadagno (above) celebrates Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday on the Count Basie stage, while Arlan Feiles (below) takes it to the patio, during Thursday night’s 18th annual “Bobfest.” (Top photo by John Posada)

Arlan FeilesDon’t look now, but Tuesday marks the milestone 75th birthday of Bob Dylan, the American original whose distinctive songcraft and famously Neverending Tour have served as voice and inspiration to a generation and then some.

In the case of Pat Guadagno, a lifelong admiration for Dylan’s words and music inspired the Jersey Shore “saloon singer” supreme to forge his own lasting contribution to the legend of the Bard of Hibbing, Minnesota — a highly anticipated annual event called Bobfest, which returns to Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre for its 18th edition Thursday.

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RED BANK: A RED-CARPET, NAME-DROP NIGHT

Drummer_Carmine_Appice_(right)_works_with_Basie_Rockit!_students_in_advance_of_their_Vanguard_Awards_performance_on_August_29th.Legendary rock drummer Carmine Appice, above at right works with members of the Rockit! band in preparation for Saturday’s show, which also honors local music legend Bobby Bandiera, below.

bandieraA lieutenant governor, a captain of industry and a rock ‘n roll field marshal are the honorees — with some music royalty in the house — when the Count Basie Theatre presents its 2015 Vanguard awards in Red Bank Saturday night.

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LITTLE SILVER: SUNDAY NIGHT CONCERTS RETURN

GuadagnoMcCarthyMcCoyShore music evergreens Pat Guadagno, Dave McCarthy and Pam McCoy team up for the first show in a free August concert series in Little Silver. Taylor Tote, below, takes the outdoor stage on August 23.

TaylorWho says August is “the Sunday of months?” Many of the season’s signature delights are still in full force — and even still getting underway, as witness a Sunday evening slate of free concerts that take place at Little Silver’s Borough Field.

Sponsored by Little Silver Recreation and held behind the municipal building at 480 Prospect Avenue, the monthlong series keynotes this Sunday with a one-time appearance by a “saloon singer” supergroup of sorts, each of whose three headline attractions have been fan-favorite fixtures around the watering holes of the Shore music scene for a generation and then-some.

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SANDY HOOK: BEACH BLANKET FREEBIES

kirk jirks 072013 3Brian Kirk and the Jirks head back to the beach when the free concert series on Sandy Hook returns Wednesday evening. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Grab those beach chairs from the garage and shine up your best dancing flip flops: the season of free outdoor summer concerts is upon us, with the local action keynoted as always by the Sandy Hook Beach Concert Series.

Presented at 6 pm each Wednesday by the Sandy Hook Foundation at Beach Area E, the long-running slate of all-ages, all-welcome celebrations comes equipped with sandy seating, natural A/C and complimentary sunsets. It all begins anew on Wednesday with a season starter starring Brian Kirk and the Jirks.

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RED BANK: FOR THE LOVE OF BOB (AND BAND)

Big Pink PatMusic from BIG PINK (Arne Wendt, Bob Burger, Sal Boyd, Glen Burtnik) is on the bill, as Pat Guadagno (right) saddles up his Tired Horse for the 17th annual Dylan’s birthday celebration concert BOBFEST, Thursday night at the Count Basie. 

They’ll be bringing the Bob – as they have each year since 1999, when Jersey Shore “saloon singer” supreme Pat Guadagno first offered an impromptu birthday toast to his musical hero Bob Dylan, during a set at the old Downtown Café.

When the benefit tribute concert known as Bobfest takes the stage of the Count Basie Theatre for its 17th annual edition Thursday, it’ll also be bringing the Band – the legendary combo that collaborated with Dylan on some of the master’s most epochal recordings and tours, and whose own spun-off career climaxed with the milestone Last Waltz concert and film in the late 1970s. More to the point, they’ll be bringing Big Pink, the Band tribute project that unites globetrotting Jersey rock ambassador Glen Burtnik with frequent collaborators Bob Burger, Arne Wendt and Sal Boyd for a set that conjures the best time-tested tunes from Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm and company.

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MIDDLETOWN: PULLING FOR KIDS’ CHARITY

Guadano ReillyPat Guadagno and Steve Reilly are among the Shore-based musicians taking part in a first-ever Nashville Guitar Pull for charity this Saturday at Middletown Arts Center.

It’s called a Guitar Pull — a type of event that’s infinitely more pleasant than a hamstring pull, less sticky than a taffy pull — although it often draws from the same kind of audience that appreciates a first-rate tractor pull.

Defined as “a Southern tradition where a small group of musicians sit around and take turns playing songs on a guitar,” the loosely structured, stories-and-songs format has a city-slicker cousin in our regional Songwriters in the Round/ Songwriters by the Sea events. And Saturday, such an event pulls into the greater Red Bank Green when the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) hosts a first-ever Nashville Guitar Pull concert for a worthy cause.

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RUMSON: IT’S ANOTHER TEQUILA TWILIGHT

rb bird 1 061313Under the musical direction of Jeff MacPherson — seen here with a dove friend at his Red Bank home in 2013 — a flock of local musicians, including Pat Guadagno, below, pays tribut to the Eagles with the annual Twilight Concert at St. George’s in Rumson Saturday. 

patguadagnobobfestaThe season-spanning month of March, with its slow but inexorable forward-march toward the promise of longer days and languid twilights, has quietly nurtured a tradition that doesn’t always make the short-list of events here on the Greater Green. But savvy Shore area music fans know to mark it on their calendars.

Returning to St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church in Rumson for its 19th annual edition, the 2015 Twilight Concert commandeers that local landmark for an evening of rock-for-a-good-cause on Saturday.

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RED BANK: ANOTHER SIDE OF BOBFEST

Pat_GuadagnoPat Guadagno saddles up his Tired Horse for the 16th annual Dylan’s birthday celebration concert BOBFEST, Thursday night at the Count Basie. 

When Jersey Shore “saloon singer” supreme Pat Guadagno brings his annual Bobfest concert back to Red Bank on Thursday, May 22, it’ll more than merely mark the birthday of Bob Dylan, the American original who turns 73 years “Forever Young” this Saturday.

The 8 pm event will be celebrating its own sweet sixteenth edition — its third consecutive turn at the Count Basie Theatre, hallowed home to several other musical birthday salutes (Sinatra, Elvis), and the ‘fest’s venue of choice since it outgrew the 350 seat mainstage of Two River Theater.

Here in 2014, the tribute that began life as an impromptu toast at the old Downtown Cafe will be reuniting Guadagno with his all-Shore dreamteam band known for this occasion as Tired Horse — and for the first time offering up a golden-anniversary twist on the now-traditional sets of Dylan signatures and secret treasures.

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TONY, TINA, BOBBY, SANTTU-MATIAS & MORE

ChampianTuzzoAbove: Champian Fulton, Bob Tuzzo and Tony Corrao take the bandstand when the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra presents “An Enchanted Evening of Song” at Two River Theater. Below, twentysomething European conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali makes his NJ Symphony debut at the Basie. 

Friday, February 28:

SantuRED BANK: While it admittedly ain’t Shakespeare, the interactive “environmental” phenomenon known as Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding can be said to be one of the most influential theatrical offerings in a generation — even indirectly spawning a stroll-through spin on Macbeth at a seedy Manhattan hotel.

Beginning tonight, and continuing for four more performances this weekend, lovebirds Tony Nunzio and Tina Vitale repeatedly renew their vows in a production presented by the Count Basie Theatre — hosted NOT at the venerable Monmouth Street venue, but practically next door, at the nearby Buona Sera Ristorante. It’s there that guests can “eat, drink, dance, converse and get caught up in the festivities” as they stand in for Tony n’ Tina’s various extended family members and frenemies. The comedy and the comedic “drama” unfold with seatings at 7:30 pm Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, and 12 and 6 pm. Sunday. Tickets ($100) include the ceremony, reception, baked ziti dinner, champagne toast, wedding cake, music and dancing. A $150 VIP option includes a “classic Italian meal and seat up close to the action.” Check here for reservations, close to selling out as we post this — and toss that bouquet for some more great catches and matches, as we Mach it into March.

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WEEKEND: A HOMECOMING FOR NJ SUPERSTARS

jacquie1It’s a Count Basie Homecoming for JACQUIE LEE — seen here performing at a 2012 Rockit! concert in Red Bank — when the VOICE runner-up who wowed everyone from Jennifer Hudson to Lady Gaga returns as part of A SOULED-OUT CHRISTMAS on Saturday. Meanwhile, Ms. Lauryn Hill (below) has rescheduled her Sunday “Homecoming” show at the Basie to February 7, 2014.

Friday, December 20:

RED BANK: “Life can get pretty hectic and crazy the week before Christmas,” says Gerda Liebmann, the internationally exhibited multimedia artist who established Gallery 135 in the second-floor space shared by Red Bank Community Church. With that in mind, Liebmann comes to The Oyster Point Hotel for a special opening event that “gives everyone a chance to take a little step back from the madness, and enjoy some artwork that hopefully will induce a little serenity into their holiday season.”

view_image.aspThe artist will be present for a Friday evening reception (6 to 8 pm) for a display of encaustic paintings — an ancient technique that uses beeswax, resin and pigments melted together — that includes a set of banners based on the Christmas narrative, and abstract paintings (on wood and paper) that include tea and tea leaves. The paintings remain on display at the Bodman Place hotel through the end of December, and are available for purchase as a unique Christmas gift — call Gerda at (732)687-3580 for more info.

RED BANK:  One week after celebrating the feast days of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a procession that brought hundreds of marchers out on a frosty Red Bank evening, the Music Ministry at St Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church takes it indoors — with a special Christmas concert presented in association with the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library. The 8 pm event,   a performance of Handel’s Messiah and traditional Christmas carols, spotlights the Trenton Diocesan Festival Choir and Orchestra under the direction of Shawn T. Mack — with soloists Lauren Walters (soprano), Jody Doktor (mezzo soprano), Justin Gonzalez (tenor), and Wilbur Lewis (bass). Call (732)747-0813 ext. 10 to reserve tickets ($20.00 adults; $10.00 students). Church doors open at 7 pm as part of a silent auction and raffle of gift baskets, to benefit the Friends of the RBPL and their work on behalf of the Library.

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RED BANK: KEEPING BOBFEST FRESH

Shore troubador Pat Guadagno returns to the Count Basie Theatre Thursday for the 2013 edition of the Bob Dylan birthday bash known as BOBFEST. (photo by John Posada)

By TOM CHESEK

Like the grandest and most history-steeped Chuck E. Cheese on the planet, the Count Basie Theatre has been the setting for some special birthday parties across the years — including crowdpleasing annual tributes to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.

Beginning in May 2012, the Basie boards have also played host to a homegrown event that honors a decidedly still-alive-and-kicking music icon: Bobfest, a salute to Bob Dylan‘s birthday created by and starring Monmouth County’s own Pat Guadagno.

It’s a logical progression for the springtime tradition that began life in 1999 as an impromptu birthday-boy toast to Dylan at the old Downtown Cafe — and evolved from a loose jam at various local taverns to a tightly constructed stage extravaganza that spent six years in residence at the Two River Theater.

Having attracted international attention from diehard Dylanites — and having outgrown the 350 seats of Two River’s mainstage Rechnitz Theater  — Guadagno moved Bobfest a couple of blocks east to the Count’s place last year. This Thursday night — on the eve of the 72nd birthday of the former Robert Zimmerman — the self-described “saloon singer” of 1,001 tap rooms and watering holes returns to Red Bank with his allstar combo Tired Horse, for the 15th edition of a project that he characterizes as “not a tribute — a celebration, and a really polished show.”

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DOWNTOWN GETTING ARTY, CRAFTY, DRAFTY

Singer/songwriter Jeffrey Gaines, seen here at the Downtown a year ago, returns to the banks of the Navesink for the club’s Wednesday night Music, Arts & Drafts series.

By TOM CHESEK

At first blush, a job like Chris Masi’s looks to be an enviable gig indeed.

As music director at  The Downtown on West Front, the veteran Shore musician and go-to guy gets to lord over the festivities at the destination nightspot that’s regularly packed ’em in since remodeling and reopening two-plus years ago.

Still, it can’t be too easy programming seven nights and two floors of music each week, particularly in the season when crowds are naturally drawn to the region’s beachier burgs. And for every self-sustaining tradition over at the double-wide Downtown — the long-running Monday night stand of Pat Guadagno; the Thursday Rock and Roll Karaoke clambake — there’s a spot on the schedule that could use a freshening up.

Enter Music, Arts & Drafts, a new Wednesday night series established as a value-priced Humpday hootenanny that’s designed, as Masi tells redbankgreen, to “create a little bit of that Downtown magic — a night full of great original music, art and beer.”

The series, which thus far has paired an array of local bands with exhibits by featured visual artists — plus a standard $3 cover and recession-busting refreshments to help the medicine go down — takes it up a notch in August, with the Red Bank return of a nationwide favorite, and a regional breakout act that’s poised to get a boost from the presence of the MTV cameras.

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