RBJOConductor and arranger Joe Muccioli takes the baton once again as the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra presents its eighth annual Sinatra Birthday Bash this Saturday, at Count Basie’s place — a set of swingin’ standards that features Red Bank’s Vance Villastrigo (right) among many others.

VANCE_VILLASTRIGODon’t look now, but this Friday marks the 99th anniversary of the birth of Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. As a cause for song and festivity, it’s only the second most celebrated birthday in December — but for thousands of fans in the Chairman of the Board’s onetime Jersey stomping grounds, it’s an occasion in which Red Bank plays a significant role.

Count Joe Muccioli among the music-biz pros who’ve got their work cut out for them in the Sinatra Centennial year of 2015 — but that’s all down the road, as the man called Mooche has a big current project on his plate: the Sinatra Birthday Bash, the eighth annual edition of which arrives at the Count Basie Theatre on Friday night.

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John Alden of Middletown (left) and Cara Smith of Rumson (right) pay tribute to the Chairman, as Red Bank’s Joe Muccioli (center) and the Jazz Arts Project present the fourth annual Sinatra Birthday Bash this Friday night.


It happens every December over at the Count Basie Theatre — and, in a surprise twist, it has nothing whatsoever to do with red-cheeked nutcrackers, reformed misers and various rockings around the Christmas tree.

It’s the Sinatra Birthday Bash, the fourth annual edition of which goes up on Friday night in Red Bank. Produced by the borough-based Jazz Arts Project, the concert offers a chance to hear a variety of voices pay tribute to the iconic Chairman of the Board, who would have marked his 95th lap around the sun this Sunday. They’ll be saluting Ol’ Blue Eyes in song with the accompaniment of the 18 piece Red Bank Jazz Orchestra — and they’ll be doing it on the stage of the venerable venue named for one of Sinatra’s favorite frequent collaborators, William “Count” Basie.

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It’s December in Red Bank, a time when we gather to celebrate a certain birthday in song and sense of community — we’re talking of course about Frank Sinatra, the Jersey-bred Chairman to the Boss, a cultural icon who’d be turning 94 years young this weekend had his career not been cut prematurely short at age 82.

This Friday sees the third annual Sinatra Birthday Bash at the Count Basie Theatre, a recently minted tradition that assembles a pretty wild variety of vocal talent to honor the lasting legacy of the Kid from Hoboken (as well as his collaborations with our own Kid From Red Bank). They’ll perform in front of the Red Bank Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece organization arranged and conducted by borough-based bandleader and globetrotting jazz scholar Joe Muccioli.

Today’s edition of Red Bank oRBit offers up an exclusive interview with the man called Mooch, on this thing called Jazz and what it takes to stage a swingin’ session under the (hopefully not so swingin’) chandelier of the Count’s crib. Read all about it, in Red Bank oRBit — and tell ’em Joe sent ya.