From star-kissed surf and free-range country to plein-air pickin’ and fresh-air film, the season of outdoor diversions remains very much in effect on the Greater Red Bank Green. We’ve got the roundup of public-welcome events under the summer sky — and over the next seven days and nights — all of them free as a breeze.
It all starts tonight, weather permitting, with the latest installment of the Summer 2017 Movies in Riverside Gardens Park series, sponsored by Red Bank Parks and Recreation and brought to you by Shore Flicks.
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.
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.
If it’s the start of June, it must be time for the return of Red Bank StreetLife, the summertime Saturday series of live entertainment that commandeers the sidewalks, storefronts and bumpouts of the borough’s business district beginning — and, for the first time in its 17-year history — on the third Thursday of June and July.
Regular readers of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn feature can vouch that things often move at a brisk clip in the business district of a town that the New York Times recently touted for its “urban vibe.”
But one thing that’s remained a model of consistency amid the churn is the Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, the 62nd annual edition of which returns Friday and runs through Sunday.
Press release from Red Bank RiverCenter
In an annual call for talent, Red Bank RiverCenter is seeking experienced street performers — musicians, magicians, and other entertainers — to entertain downtown Red Bank this summer.
Entertainers will be selected through open auditions and presented through RiverCenter’s popular StreetLife program, now in its 16th year. Interested artists are invited to take part in auditions beginning 6 pm on Thursday, March 10, at the Count Basie Rehearsal Studio (99 Monmouth Street, 2nd Floor) in Red Bank.
It was a “diamond anniversary” event for which the Red Bank business community did it up grand – complete with a “pop-up museum” of historical memorabilia and a special “1950s fun” edition of the weekly StreetLife musical mashup. But how does “a cool little town” follow up a milestone like 2014’s 60th annual session of summertime Sidewalk Sale?
By forging ahead with the 61st annual Red Bank Sidewalk Sale, of course. Beginning today and running through late Sunday afternoon, one of the most firmly established community traditions enters its seventh decade as an all-welcome draw in those often lazy-hazy days of summer – not to mention a much-appreciated cornerstone of continuity, in an ever-evolving town that often transitions at a brisker clip than a lot of longtime locals can process.
The Wag is among the musical acts taking to the sidewalks and storefronts of Red Bank’s business district as the annual Street Life series returns on Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
It represents a shuffle mix that ranges from Americana to ethnic, from Sweet Adeline harmonies to a friendly bit of harmonic dissonance. And when the homegrown phenomenon known as Red Bank StreetLife returns to the borough’s sidewalks and storefronts for a new season of summer evenings starting Saturday, it will also represent a literal shuffle, as self-guided musicphiles stroll or roll at their pleasure in search of locally sourced, Jersey-fresh sights and sounds.
Sure, other towns have staked a claim to being that quasi-mystical place Where Music Lives — but when Red Bank StreetLife continues its Saturday evening schedule on June 14, it will transform the Borough of Basie into that place where Music greets visitors who arrive by rail; where Music provides an eclectic soundtrack to shopping and dining; and where Music gets mobile, on the streets of the downtown and West Side business districts.
Having kicked off its 14th season of busking-after-dusk on June 7, StreetLife runs its weather-permitting slate — a shuffle mix that ranges from Americana to ethnic, and from Sweet Adeline harmonies to a friendly bit of harmonic dissonance — every Saturday between 6 and 9 pm, through August 30. Presented by Red Bank Rivercenter, it all happens in a series of outdoor encounters that span Broad Street to Bridge Avenue. You might even (literally) stumble across the next big thing — and you can take it around the bend to learn more about this Saturnight’s lineup.
By TOM CHESEK
Whoever coined the phrase “Le Jazz Hot” might well have been thinking of the muddy, muggy banks of the Navesink in the months of July and August, as the borough that birthed Count Basie tends to fill its superheated summer days and trez-cool nights with the sorts of sounds that honor the legacy of the legendary Kid from Red Bank.
The musical fireworks start Thursday, when the waterfront walkways of Riverside Gardens reverb with the first of this year’s open-air Jazz in the Park junkets. Then, on Friday and Saturday, the Marion Huber room at Two River Theater is transformed once more into a cool cavern of candlelit tables, classic coffeehouse vibes and close-up concert dynamics when the series known as Summer Jazz Café turns that “black box” space into the area’s best-kept-secret nightspot.
While there’s still technically plenty of summer sand left in the hourglass, the coming of the Fair Haven Firemens Fair to the greater Red Bank Green adds an ever so slightly melancholy touch to the senior-diet Dog Days of August. We detect a nagging hint of Back to School seriousness; a wrapping up of outdoor entertainments; a change of gears and seasons that’s keynoted by a tuneful tribute, a look ahead to Halloween and a merrily Menopausal musical.
redbankgreen has assembled an even dozen diversions in this pre-Labor Day interlude, starting with a handful of things going on beneath the setting sun and stars.
Red Bankers generally don’t need any reminders that theirs is the borough that birthed the great William ‘Count’ Basie. Still, a recent return visit by Grammy-winning retro pop-jazz harmonizers The Manhattan Transfer served to demonstrate the degree of respect that the hometown of the legendary “Kid from Red Bank” inspires from coast to coast, as LA-based Tim Hauser and company (who actually recorded some sessions with the late great bandleader for their 1985 album Vocalese) shared a set-within-a-set of Basie-related numbers as a special treat for the Count Basie Theatre audience.
As the calendar strikes July, the greater Red Bank green’s reputation as a musical mecca for sophisticated cats and kittens begins to warm up in earnest, with the superheated days and trez-cool nights of the post-Fourth interlude offering up an unparalleled number of opportunities to take in various things jazzy.
It all clicks in this weekend, with the first in the annual Summer Jazz Café series at Two River Theater a nocturnal excursion complemented by a day-trip whistle stop at the Middletown Jazz & Blues Festival. Then on Thursday the 12th, the waterfront walkways and sculpted terraces of Riverside Gardens reverb with the first in the open-air 2012 Jazz in the Park outings.
Clockwise from top left: A Cool Blues Duo, Jeff & Elaine, The Al Wright Unit and Peas & Carrots are among the acts taking it to the streets for Red Bank Street Life, the 2012 slate of which kicks off this Saturday evening.
It happens right about the time that Riverfest sounds the keynote to summertime in Red Bank. The sidewalks, storefronts and greens of the Shore’s favorite beach-free destination town ring out with great evening music every Saturday night in the weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Other towns may stake a claim to being Where Music Lives, but when Red Bank StreetLife returns on June 2, it will transform the Borough of Basie into that place where Music greets visitors who arrive by rail; where Music provides an eclectic soundtrack to shopping and dining; and where Music gets mobile on the streets of the downtown and West Side business districts.
Presented by Red Bank Rivercenter (with funding assistance from the Monmouth County Arts Council), Street Life offers up a shuffle-mix that ranges from acoustic Americana to ethnic, and from sweet-Adeline harmonies to a little bit of harmonic dissonance.