Arts and entertainment news, features and event previews from New Jersey.


Originally published: 10/26/2022

Asbury Park Music History Fundraiser at Wonder Bar benefiting three charities

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) — The roots of Asbury Park’s historic music scene run miles deep. But the other aspect of Asbury that runs just as deep (if not deeper) is the community of creatives, artists, and musicians who consistently support each other and give back to the local charities that preserve the town’s heritage. Whether you are an Asbury resident or visitor, a musician or music lover, a patron of the arts or someone who adores Asbury Park… you will want to be there The Wonderful on Saturday November 19 for That Asbury Park Music History Fundraiser.

This unique event features musicians whose blood flows through Asbury Park’s veins and raises funds for the cause The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, The African American music project Asbury Parkand The Rick Makin Memorial Scholarship at Monmouth Universitypresented by Asbury Sunset and Asbury Park vibes.

Joe D’Urso will be bringing his Jersey Shore Americana Rock N’ Roll to Wonder Bar along with his Stone Caravan bandmates. The group will rock many tunes from 14 albums; Her most recent album is 2018’s Jersey Diner, which features 11 original songs along with odes by Tom Waits, Harry Chapin and Bruce Springsteen.

D’Urso remains true to an ideal inspired by the late Harry Chapin: that helping those less fortunate matters. He spends time collaborating with the Light of Day Foundation, WhyHunger, Artists Against Hunger and Poverty, and the Dan Sullivan Foundation, which raises money for college scholarships and people in medical emergencies.

Longtime Stone Caravan members Sam LaMonica (drums) and Greg Lykins (guitar) were joined by Jerry Scaringe (bass) in 2015 following the sudden death of Lou DeMartino. Joining the recording was Seth Saltzman (piano), Ken Harten (fiddle), Craig Shepperd (percussion), Steve Bernstein (trumpet), Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez and Joanne Lediger (vocals).

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Jarod Klemons, son of the late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons and accomplished chorister Jacqelyn Monteau, will bring his fresh, modern take on blues rock with his Late Nights Band. By honoring the blues traditions and giving it their contemporary rock ‘n’ roll stamp, Jarod Clemons and the Late Nights make the genre attractive and exciting for a whole new generation. Featuring bassist Tom Devine, drummer Bobby Reilly, keyboardist Dan Hogan and guitarist Alex Fuhring, the band bring their spirited, jam-tastic sound to every stage when they perform and will rock the house with their new single, “Money.”

An added treat… famous soul and R&B singers JT Bowen will join Jarod and his band on stage for something very special! JT, who called Springwood Avenue home, fronted hip bands Soul Flame and The Chosen Few. In the latter band was future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Clarence Clemons before he was the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band! JT was also the vocalist with Clarence Clemons & the Red Bank Rockers.

Alexander Simone & his Whodat? live crew will bring their “testimony” to the stage with a funky, soulful rock that demands your participation through dancing, clapping, singing along and having the time of your life. Grandson of American singer/songwriter/pianist/civil rights activist Nina Simone and son of singer/songwriter/composer/Grammy nominee/Broadway star Lisa Simone, Simone is an accomplished performer backed by an over-talented “crew” of musicians. The band will release their latest singles “Long Way to Go”, “Man Down” and “Even Now”. Who is this? The live crew includes vocalists Bryan Reeves and Kindra Graham, guitarist Jules Drucker, bassist Kevin Stryker, keyboardist Timothy McClain and drummer Andrew Davis.

Legendary DJ Lee Mrowicki will play classic Jersey tunes all night long. In addition to being The Stone Pony and Wonder Bar DJ, Lee also hosts two shows on “Radio Jersey”, 6pm-8pm MF & “Beyond the Palace”, a weekly show devoted to music of Asbury Park. His daughter, singer-songwriter Stella Mrowicki, will also share their latest music. Stella is a two-time winner of the Makin Waves Award.

MUSIC HISTORY – Attention all Asbury Park music fans! There will be an Asbury Park Music History Panel moderated by Eileen Chapman, Director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music and Board Member of the Asbury Park Music Foundation. Many special guests will be there that evening to share their knowledge and stories about the rich history of Asbury Park’s most notable artists, venues and creatives.

The Wonderful is located on Fifth & Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

BENEFICIARIES – The Asbury Park Music History Fundraiser’s mission is to support the following charities:

The Rick Makin Memorial Scholarship at Monmouth University. Rick Makin, longtime features and editorial editor and community theater talent for Asbury Park Press, will be remembered across Jersey Shore as a kindly, colorful Renaissance man, someone who wrote, taught, sang, danced and acted with great skill could. He was Panorama Editor at Asbury Park Press in the 1970s, writing stories, interviews and reviews as Bruce Springsteen rose from local artist to international superstar. Meanwhile, under Makin’s stewardship, the press covered the Sounds of Asbury Park as it rose to prominence as an internationally recognized rock music scene.

Sadly, Rick Makin passed away in 2020 due to complications from COVID. In his honor and to preserve his storied legacy, son Bob Makin (of Makin Waves fame) ran the Rick Makin Memorial Fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth Universityawarded to students majoring in journalism, music, drama, literature and history, all of which were Makin’s great passions.

“I’m honored to be a part of this event and that my pop will be remembered alongside the rich history of the Asbury Park music scene, which he respected, appreciated and reported on as features editor of Asbury Park Press from 1972-1980. I was also tickled to hear that Bob Santelli, who has written for my Pop, has been appointed executive director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music. He and my dad were my mentors. They taught me everything I know about writing music. And having hung around AP since birth, it makes my heart beat faster to see the revitalization of the city’s West Side thanks to the efforts of the Asbury Park African-American Music Project. I wish my dad could have seen it. He would have loved it too!” – Bob Makin

The African American music project Asbury Park The mission of the Asbury Park African-American Music Project is Share the music, heritage, and stories of Springwood Avenue through oral history, research, writing, and programming; and to develop accessible resources that reflect Asbury Park’s African American musical heritage for the City of Asbury Park and others to use as the basis for heritage interpretation projects. They also aim to fill a lack of representation in traditional historical resources and to give a voice to the stories of Asbury Park’s African American community and all who live in and visit Asbury Park into active exploration, interpretation, understanding and to include the preservation of Asbury Park’s African American heritage. Another current project is to bring back The Turf Club, the last remaining building that housed one of Springwood Avenue’s acclaimed music venues. Their hope is to revitalize the space and transform it into a collaborative music and culture venue.

Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music – The Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music is currently the largest publicly accessible archive in the world dedicated to Springsteen content from 1927 to the present. It serves the research and informational needs of Springsteen fans, educators, researchers, authors, and others with a serious interest in Bruce Springsteen’s life, career, and American music history.

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The archive consists of books, songbooks, tour books, magazines, fanzines, web articles, newspaper articles, scholarly journals and articles, select print, DVDs, CDs, comics, historical memorabilia, vinyl records, textiles, posters, videos, and oral history…nearly 35,000 items from 47 countries are housed at Monmouth University!

In addition to the archival mission, Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music create touring exhibits, educational conferences, public programs, teacher workshops, and school field trips, all aimed at exploring the American musical tradition and promoting academic discourse in diverse areas of American music. The November 19 benefit will help raise funds for the Archives’ forthcoming building being constructed in Bruce’s hometown of Freehold.

Tickets for this incredible event are currently available from Ticketmaster and The Stone Pony box office for $25. Tickets will be $30 at the door. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts promptly at 8pm. This is a 21+ show. The Facebook event page can be found here.

Thanks to generous additional sponsors of this event, Asbury Audio, MOGO Taco, Press Communications, New Jersey Stage, The Aquarian Weekly, The Penguin Rocks, Radio Jersey, Danny Coleman’s Rock on Radio and Makin Waves.


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