RED BANK: BOOMER’S BACK AT GARMANY

NFL great Boomer Esiason (left) — joined by Phil Simms (center) and emcee Joe Piscopo (right) — returns for a second annual fundraiser keyed to the cystic fibrosis foundation that bears his name next month.

Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason returns to Garmany of Red Bank on Friday, September 8 for the second annual edition of the fundraising event known as “Garmany… Boom!”

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RED BANK: SMITH BIOPIC ANCHORS FILM FEST

Mark Frost plays Kevin Smith in the biopic ‘Shooting Clerks,’ which screens at the second Monmouth Film Festival at the Two River Theater this weekend.

It seems that no sooner had the last of the popcorn been swept after the recent Indie Street Film Festival than another weekend-long celebration of independent cinema prepared to unspool in Red Bank, the town that Nicholas Marchese calls “the arts mecca of Monmouth County.”

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RED BANK: HAPPY TOGETHER AGAIN

The Turtles’ Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan — aka “Flo and Eddie” — return to Red Bank at the helm of the hit-packed Happy Together Tour, the 2017 edition of which buses into the Basie on Saturday.

Everybody on the bus: those merry pranksters of the Happy Together Tour are back on the road for a frankly amazing 33rd annual time-trip back to those transistorized, ever so slightly psychedelicized days when American pop-rock bands took up harmonies against the British invaders — and the bubblegum-music bubble had yet to pop.

When the 2017 tour rolls into Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre this Saturday night, it will once again serve as a fundraising vehicle for the Light of Day Foundation, the nonprofit for Parkinson’s Disease research that each January delivers a jolt of star-quality benefit concerts in Asbury Park and elsewhere. And racing to the head of the class once more will be the tour’s historic headliners, the Turtles.

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RED BANK: A SEVENTH ‘CROSSING’ ON BRIDGE

The outdoor plaza at Two River Theater is the scene of a public-welcome patio party on Wednesday evening, as the seventh annual Crossing Borders Festival arrives for a five-day stand.

At the very least, it’s a bridge between the borders of one mainstage season and the next at Two River Theater — a summertime transition that even takes place on a street named Bridge Avenue.

Of course, the name Crossing Borders (or Cruzando Fronteras) carries with it connotations of those walled obstacles, points of access, and grey areas between heritage and assimilation — to say nothing of reality and fantasy, or past and future. And when the five-day Crossing Borders Festival comes to the Red Bank venue this week for its seventh annual celebration of contemporary “Latinx” theater (more on that in a moment), it will continue its mission of bringing such themes to the forefront, here in a socio-political landscape where they remain as hot-button an issue as ever — while endeavoring to break down the barriers of language and cost for the local audience. Read More »

RED BANK: SIDEWALK SALE RETURNS

The dress code is casual and parking is free as the annual bargain bonanza returns to downtown Red Bank starting Friday. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

In fast-moving, forever evolving, Retail Churn-ing Red Bank, well-entrenched local traditions are increasingly rare. So when it comes to a decades-spanning institution like the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, the benefit can be as much about providing continuity for longtime locals as it is about the thrill of discovery for relative newcomers.

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RED BANK: INDIE FILM FEST GETS UNDERWAY

Lead festival organizer Jay Webb, right, with guests at Wednesday night’s opening reception on the patio of the Count Basie Theatre. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

With a display of carved-surfboard art, a New Jersey premiere screening of Dave Made a Maze and a DJ’d after-party at three separate venues, the second annual Indie Street Film Festival officially got underway in Red Bank Wednesday evening, ushering in a four-days-and-nights slate of screenings, panels, workshops and get-togethers with an admirable “Cannes-do” spirit.

A project of the fillmajer cooperative Indie Street (working in partnership with Red Bank RiverCenter), the sequel to last year’s inaugural event looks to make a long-running “tentpole franchise” of the venture. It’s a multi-venue happening that offers plenty of reasons to visit the borough’s theaters, restaurants and nightspots — or even its best-kept-secret middle school auditorium — during that time of year when the beaches make their biggest bid for buzz.

Take it here for info on individual event tickets and festival passes — and read on, for a rundown of goings-on between through Sunday. Read More »

RED BANK: TALENT ON TAP AT TWO RIVER

A company of young tap-dance talents brings the work of two top choreographers to the stage of Two River Theater this Sunday, with the Syn•Co•Pate production of ‘Sights and Sounds.’

The interval between mainstage seasons at Red Bank’s Two River Theater has seldom been one of rest, and this one’s no exception. Witness the annual occurrence of the Crossing Borders Festival (about which more to come here on redbankgreen), the Summer Jazz Café slate that calls closing time this weekend.

This Sunday evening, Two River continues its industrious ways when choreographers Nick Dinicolangelo and Emily Shoemaker bring ‘Sights and Sounds’ to the Bridge Avenue venue.

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A HOMECOMING FOR RBR EAGLE SCOUT

Recent Red Bank Regional graduate Kent Hottmann of Shrewsbury returned to his Monmouth Day Care Center alma mater to complete his Eagle Scout project, a music wall.  

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

In a July 15 ceremony held at Shrewsbury Presbyterian Church, recent Red Bank Regional High School graduate Kent Hottmann of Shrewsbury was honored as an Eagle Scout, becoming the 111th scout with Shrewsbury’s Troop 50 to earn Scouting’s highest award since the Troop’s inception in the 1930s.

To satisfy the requirements for the rank, Kent performed over 100 community service hours, and provided service and leadership as an Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for his troop. For his Eagle Scout project, Kent went back to his earliest days of pre-school, to improve the children’s playground at his Red Bank “alma mater,” Monmouth Day Care Center.

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RED BANK: SUMMER JAZZ SERIES RETURNS

Saxman smoothie Dave Koz joins funky bassmaster Larry Graham for a summit of musical styles as the Count Basie Theatre inaugurates its Summer jazz Fest series this Wednesday. 

One’s a platinum-plated instrumentalist whose smooth stylings have seen him top the charts as a bandleader and make beautiful music with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Stevie Nicks. The other’s a pioneer of slapping/thumping funk bass technique who wowed the crowd at Woodstock, climbed the Billboard R&B charts and took his place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Together on the road this summer, Dave Koz and Larry Graham are living proof that jazz is a big tent, and when the co-headliners roll into Red Bank this Wednesday, they’ll be sounding the keynote to the 2017 Summer Jazz Fest schedule at the Count Basie Theatre.

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RED BANK: FESTIVAL SERVES FILMS & EVENTS

A portion of the colorful mural painted earlier this month on the Catherine Street wall of Kitch Organic heralds the second annual coming of the Indie Street Film Festival, co-founded by Jay Webb, below.

To Wanamassa resident Jay Webb, losing oneself in the flickering lights of a hushed, darkened room is only part of the joy of a film festival for cinephiles. Another is getting together and gabbing about what they’ve seen, and who’s doing what in an art form wholly dependent on collaboration.

Which is one reason the schedule for the second edition of the Indie Street Film Festival, which returns to Red Bank next week, is studded with community events in between screenings of some 60 films.

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IN THE AIR: FREE MUSIC, MOVIES AND MORE

Week two of this summer’s Movies in the Park series in Red Bank features an entry from the ‘Star Wars’ catalog. Below, Layonne Holmes fronts the Motor City Revue in a return to Sandy Hook Wednesday.  

There’s a chance to imagine yourself as part of the biggest franchise in film fantasy history. Some power pop on the dock. A heat-blast of Latin-flavored jazz in the park. A little beach-music soul on the sands. And one of the world’s most beloved plays on yonder grassy knoll.

It’s all going on beneath the setting sun and stars of the Greater Red Bank Green — and all fabulously free of charge in the evenings to come.

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RED BANK: ARTISTS REUNITE AT OYSTER POINT

“Loving” by Edy Ottesen and “Choose Meaning Over Emptiness” by Tyrell Masse can be seen in the group show installation ‘Now and Then,’ opening Wednesday at the Oyster Point Hotel. 

“It doesn’t take long to figure out that I love brilliant color once you have viewed a few of my paintings,” says Edy Ottesen. “But, I can slip off the wagon sometimes and go all greys and monochromatic.”

A Brooklyn-bred painter who divides her time between Red Bank and Boca Raton, Florida, Ottesen is one of several locally connected creative women who now and then assemble to display their wares in a group-show setting — and beginning with an opening reception this Wednesday evening, the “gang of four” will join forces for an eighth consecutive year with “Now and Then,” the latest in a series of art installations at Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel. Read More »

RED BANK: FOODIES WALK THE WALK

Some 30 Red Bank restaurants, shops and eateries — including Playa Bowls, above— will take part in a new summer schedule of Food and Wine Walk events beginning Sunday afternoon. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Between the weekend barbecues, the tented food fests and other open-air opportunities for grabbing a bite, it can be a bit difficult to digest all the options available to the free-ranging foodie here in the good old summertime.

If the folks at Red Bank RiverCenter have their way, however, we can simply let our feet carry us about the borough’s sidewalks and storefronts during the latest in a summer series of Food & Wine Walk events.

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RED BANK: URBAN INDUSTRIALIST AT DETOUR

“Urban Icon” (left) and other paintings by Ron Haywood Jones are on display at Detour Gallery beginning with a Saturday reception.

He refers to his creations as “Urban Industrial Futuristic Cave Paintings” — a time-tripping, tale-spinning body of work that’s supercharged with elements of cityscape murals, colorful commercial art, cheerfully appropriated characters from classic cartoons and recurring icons like the “Urban Ghost” that lends its house-haunting imprimatur to his large mixed-media canvases.

A native of Michigan and a graduate of Parsons School of Design, Ron Haywood Jones becomes the latest in a series of attention-compelling creatives to be given a solo show spotlight at Red Bank’s Detour Gallery, beginning with an opening reception Saturday evening.

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RED BANK: OH THOSE SUMMER NIGHTS

Stake out your place on the grassy slope; bring a lawn chair, a food drive donation…and come in costume as your favorite GREASE character…when free summer movies return to Riverside Gardens Park on July 11.

Don’t look now, but tomorrow night, July 11, marks the start of the tenth season since the folks at Red Bank Parks and Recreation got into the movie business, with the free summertime schedule of Movies in Riverside Gardens Park. And, unlike a lot of casual family-fun activities under the sun and stars, this might be an occasion worth dressing up for.

In other words, get those classic poodle skirts and leather jackets down from the attic — because when John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John light up the big inflatable Shore Flicks screen at approximately 8:30 p.m. in the smash 1978 musical Grease, the Parks and Rec people will be looking for a few good Dannys, Sandys, Rizzos and Kenickies, with a costume competition that promises prizes (and a whole lot of post-prom bragging rights).

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RED BANK: NEW MURAL POPS INTO VIEW

A colorful new mural bloomed to life on the Catherine Street wall of Kitch Organic restaurant in Red Bank over the weekend.

Executed by local children — and some adults who pulled a couple of all-nighters — the mural promotes two cultural events: the Indie Street Film Festival, which returns to town for a four-day run starting July 26; and the Crossing Borders Festival, featuring five days of free-admission Latino-flavored plays and food at the Two River Theater beginning August 2.

Artist Misha Tyutyunik, also known as MDot, created the design, reprising his role from the 2016 Indie Street mural on Monmouth Street. Click read more for additional pix. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: DOC HOLIDAY CAR SHOW SHINES

With 370 vehicles on display, there wasn’t enough room for “one more Volkswagen” at the 15th annual Doc Holiday Classic Car Show in Red Bank Sunday, according to firefighter Bobby Holiday, son of the late volunteer for whom the event is named.

Blue skies and tolerable summer temperatures drew a large crowd to the event, which featured blinding chrome, vivid color and a wide array of automotive designs. Pop the hood for more pix below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK:CLASSIC CAR SHOW RETURNS

There’s no telling who will make an appearance when the members of Liberty Hose Fire Company return to White Street this Sunday for the annual Red Bank Firefighters (a.k.a. Doc Holiday) Classic Car Show.

They may have been forced to “get out of Dodge” when the borough auctioned off their landmark White Street firehouse back in 2014 — but that hasn’t stopped the members of Red Bank’s Liberty Hose fire company from bringing their Doc Holiday Car Show back to the “Ol’ Car Corral” of the White Stree parking lot each year at this time.

Returning for a 15th annual fantasia of classic chrome, fabulous fins, atom-age accents, polished power plants and bodacious Dagmars, the local tradition otherwise known as the Red Bank Firefighters Car Show (and named unofficially in honor of volunteer responder Robert “Doc” Holiday) takes center stage again this Sunday.

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RED BANK: ‘CAFÉ SOCIETY’ JAZZES TWO RIVER

Harmonica/vibes virtuoso Hendrik Muerkens (right, with vocalist Angelita Li) joins his Samba Jazz East combo to inaugurate a new series of Summer Jazz Café events Friday and Saturday at Two River Theater.

“We’ve curated this summer series for more than a decade now,” says Joe Muccioli, noted conductor/arranger, impresario and artistic director of Red Bank-based Jazz Arts Project. “Each night is truly a unique experience, paying homage to a bygone era of swinging, yet elegant café society.”

Whether he’s auditioning hopefuls for the annual Sinatra Birthday Bash at the Basie; kicking it old-school scholarly via his Talkin’ Jazz lectures; working with the student cats and kittens of the Jazz Arts Academy, or programming the summertime Jazz in the Park series at Riverside Gardens, the man called “Mooche” is one passionately productive guy — but perhaps his greatest passion is reserved for Summer Jazz Café, the annual slate of intimate weekend occurrences that return to the borough of Basie this Friday and Saturday.

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RED BANK: CYMCA NAMES NEW LEADERS

Jennifer Lakefield has been named as the new Chairperson of the Board, for the Shrewsbury-based nonprofit The Community YMCA.  (Photo by PeterMurphy)

Press release from The Community YMCA

In an annual meeting that took place on June 14 at the Monmouth Boat Club in Red Bank, The Community YMCA named several Red Bank area residents to official positions, and elected Jennifer Lakefield as chairperson and chief volunteer officer of the Shrewsbury-based nonprofit’s Board of Directors.

A resident of Colts Neck and managing director of Red Bank-based ZAIS Group, Lakefield will provide leadership to the 20-member board, which sets strategic direction and policy to guide the Y’s work of strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. She succeeds Joseph Oriolo of Shrewsbury, and will serve a two-year term ending in 2019.

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RED BANK: JAZZIN’ THE PARK IN JULY

Yes Yes Nonet: Saxman/bandleader Mike Kaplan and his Nonet sound a brassy keynote for a new summer series of free Jazz in the Park concerts Thursday night at Riverside Gardens.  

“Summertime, and the livin’s easy,” sang Satchmo and Ella in their symphonically jazzy take on Porgy and Bess — but if you’re one of the folks from the Jazz Arts Project, you might find the season of beach blankets, barbecues and bug zappers to be busier than a drum solo by the late great Buddy Rich.

It’s an interlude that swings things in classic night-owl style via this weekend’s inaugural entry in the long-running Summer Jazz Cafe series — about which more to come here on redbankgreen. But before all that, Red Bank-based nonprofit that brought you December’s annual Sinatra Birthday Bash and April’s Talkin’ Jazz lecture series jumps into July with the first in a weekly Thursday schedule of free Jazz in the Park events at Riverside Gardens.

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RED BANK: FESTIVAL BENEFITS TWO CHARITIES

The most recent Red Bank International Beer, Wine and Food Fest, held in April, raised $15,000 for two charities: borough-based Parker Family Health Center and Shrewsbury-based Holiday Express. Jim Scavone, executive director of event host Red Bank RiverCenter, presented checks of $7,500 to each organization at Wednesday’s borough council meeting.

Holiday Express founder Tim McLoone, above, played at the festival with his side project, The Shirleys. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)