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Makin Waves Scene Report with Central Jersey Jazz Festival, Indian Summer Festival, Ancient Babies and more

originally published: 09/12/2018

Makin Waves Scene Report with Central Jersey Jazz Festival, Indian Summer Festival, Ancient Babies and more
Makin Waves Scene Report with Central Jersey Jazz Festival, Indian Summer festival, Ancient Babies and more. Also featured this week are North Jersey Indie Festival, Mint 400 Records, Bruce Wacker Tribute at the Stone Pony, and Russtival.

Central Jersey Jazz Festival is an unprecedented collaborative partnership of three county seats, organizers said. The sixth annual event will take place Sept. 14 to 16 in downtown Flemington, New Brunswick and Somerville.

“To our knowledge, no other such collaboration exists in the arts or otherwise,” said Virginia DeBerry, co-founder of both the festival and New Brunswick Jazz Project. “Middlesex County even shares use of their mobile stage with Somerset County for the Day.”

New Brunswick Jazz Project was founded in 2010 also by Jimmy Lenihan and Mike Tublin. The three are longtime friends and jazz fans even longer. In 2013, they founded Central Jersey Jazz Festival with Rick St. Pierre, owner of Verve, a restaurant and jazz venue in Somerville.

“The festival is a great way to expose new listeners to American’s only original music,” organizers said, “and it’s all free.”

The jazzy weekend kicks off Sept. 14 in Flemington with a well-crafted roster of jazz ambassadors. They include:

  • Renowned Jersey guitarist Dave Stryker (Jack McDuff, Stanley Turrentine), a 10-time honoree of the Downbeat Critics and Readers’ Poll

  • Chicago vocalist Sachal Vasandani (Jon Hendricks, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Stefon Harris)

  • NYC saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin (Clark Terry, Reggie Workman).

  • Jazz House Kids will perform briefly between sets, which they also will do on Sept. 16 in Somerville.

But first, the New Brunswick lineup will feature on Sept. 15:

  • Three-time Grammy-winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington (Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Sample, Al Jarreau)

  • A salute to the father of modern-day jazz, Louis Armstrong, with 3 for Louis, a sextet featuring three trumpeters representing three generations, plus a three-piece rhythm section

  • 17-year-old blind organist Matthew Whittaker, the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its 80-year history and a 2016 winner of Showtime at the Apollo

The New Brunswick Jazz Brass Band performing briefly between sets.

The festival will close out on Sept. 16 in Somerville with:

  • Grammy-nominated vocalist Carla Cook (Jazz@Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Cyrus Chestnut, Count Basie Orchestra, Lionel Hampton’s Big Band)

  • Vibraphonist Monte Croft, a 34-year veteran of the New York City music scene (Nicholas Payton, Terence Blanchard, David “Fathead” Newman, Cassandra Wilson)

  • Husband-and-wife harp-trumpet duo Riza & Marcus Printup.

 Makin Waves Scene Report with Central Jersey Jazz Festival, Indian Summer Festival, Ancient Babies and more

New Brunswick Jazz Project founders are pictured with National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Billy Cobb, second from left. Also pictured from left to right are Michael Tublin, Virginia DeBerry and Jimmy Lenihan, who also founded Central Jersey Jazz Festival with Rick St. Pierre, owner of Verve, a Somerville restaurant and jazz venue. PHOTO COURTESY OF CENTRAL JERSEY JAZZ FESTIVAL

Except for members of New Brunswick Jazz Brass Band and Jazz House Kids, none of the artists have appeared at the festival before, organizers said.

DeBerry said she is most looking forward to presenting Whitaker,  a graduate of Jazz House Kids, a Montclair-based music school whose students frequently have performed at the festival. According to Jazz House Kids, Whitaker has not played Central Jersey Jazz Fest before, but he has played several others.

“He’s received such national recognition for his talent,” she said. “He’s also appeared on ‘Today,’ ‘Ellen,’ and ‘Harry Connick,’ and already at some of the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world.”  

New this year is the Peroni Stage in each host town. In honor of the sponsoring Italian brewer, the festival will be giving away an Italian-made Martone bicycle at each show, organizers said.

Central Jersey Jazz Festival is presented by RWJBarnabas Health and also produced by Flemington Community Partnership, Somerville Arts on Division and longtime New Jersey jazz matron Sheila Anderson, an on-air personality of WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM and author of "The Quotable Musician: From Bach to Tupac" and "How to Grow As A Musician: What all Musicians Must Know To Succeed." 

Makin Waves Scene Report with Central Jersey Jazz Festival, Indian Summer Festival, Ancient Babies and more

Indian Summer and Asbury Park Bazaar will present their fifth annual festival that will feature music, crafts, camping and more on Sept. 15 and 16 in Asbury Park. Indian Summer and Asbury Park Fall Bazaar will feature bands, DJs, camping, bonfires and yoga on the beach, along with shopping from 100-plus craft vendors. The event is a local summer celebration of makers, art and music in Asbury Park held in partnership with The Asbury Boardwalk. Festivities will take place at Convention Hall, The Anchor's Bend and on the beach. In case of rain, music will be moved indoors.

The Indian Summer Beach Stage at The Anchor's Bend will feature Brother Andrew, Illiterate Light, latewaves, Birthwater, gods, Ecstatic Vision, Purling Hiss and DJ Foggy Notion on Saturday and a traditional reggae sound system with The Steady Sound System and The Holdfast Sound on Sunday. 

"It's really a celebration of local summer and our talented creative community, everyone who lives and works here year round, all of the brilliant local artists, musicians and makers that all come together at this beautiful historic building in Asbury Park,” said Jenny Vickers Chyb, founder of the Asbury Park Bazaar.

"This year, in celebration of our fifth anniversary, we’re rolling back tickets to $10 for the Saturday music program and camping tickets are rolled back to $125 for a campsite for four people, including tickets, featuring some of the best national and local artists, all with their ties to Asbury Park,” added Joe Chyb, founder of Indian Summer and Jenny’s husband. 

The Chybs also are known as the drummers in The Vice Rags and the all-female group Lyons.

When not camping and enjoying the music, festival goers can enjoy a variety of hand-crafted works and vintage collections inside Convention Hall’s Grand Arcade. There DJ Jay Insult will spin on Saturday and DJ Prestige on Sunday. Fall Bazaar highlights also will include beauty and wellness experiences, such as styling beads, braids and waves by Shag and Spruce salons, lashes by I Love Lashes, oils and self-care by Vibes and Things, and henna tattoo. A photo booth and other photo ops will be available, along with craft workshops and a beach yoga benefit for Clean Water Action's ReThink Disposable Program, which aims to reduce drinking straws and other single-use plastics and keep them off the beach and out of the ocean. 

“Disposable plastics typically are used once and thrown away at events,” Vickers Chyb said. “Plastic cups and straws end up littering the beaches and in our water supplies and oceans. The event will offer a Straws by Request program and reusable stainless steel cups that event-goers can reuse all weekend long.”

Mint 400 recording act Ancient Babies have a tasty show coming up in support of their latest EP, “Put Me Back in the Sunshine,” a follow-up to the 2016 “The Man from 1943” EP. The electronica rock band will groove Coney Island Baby in New York City, where they’ll also likely play an inventive version of “My Heart Will Go on” from the 1997 Oscar-winning film “Titanic.” They recently contributed that track to Mint 400’s new compilation, “At the Movies.”

In other Mint 400 news, the label will release a mixed tape on Sept. 14 dedicated to its bands who have and/or will be playing the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival, which Mint 400 co-founded three years ago with Sniffling Indie Kids. The comp features new tracks from Cyclone Static, Guilty Giraffe, and Tony Saxon. The latter two acts will be playing the festival on Oct. 6 at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City with label mates Yawn Mower, Shithead’s Rainbow, and Ultra Major, plus Dentist, The Components, The Vaughns, LKFFCT, Psychiatric Metaphors, Professor Caveman, Smock, Glenn Morrow's Cry For Help, The Royal Arctic Institute, Black Wail, State Champion Records’ Glazer, Ex-Maid, and Secretary Legs. The festival also will feature an after party at FM Bar with The Vice Rags, who also record for Mint 400, and Tru. Mint 400 also will present a free show on Oct. 19 at Stosh's in Fair Lawn with Shithead's Rainbow, The Good Silver, Donnie Law, This Bliss, Pioneer the Eel and Dharma Plums …

Bruce Wacker was a great guitarist and guitar teacher. Many of his peers and protégés are banding together for a memorial tribute concert on Sept. 16 at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. They include The Matt O'Ree Band, The Stormin' Norman Big New Orleans Band, The Bobby Donofrio Band, Pat Guadagno & Richie Oddo, Sandy Mack, Eryn O'Ree, Layonne Holmes, Eric Safka, Vic Cappetta, Damian Cremisio, Taz, Ray Johnson, Gerry Gironda, Ed Dougherty, Neil ":The Purculator" Perkins, and, most likely, Michael Ghegan if he's back from Europe on time, plus many surprise guests. Bruce died at the age of 61 on June 5 from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. He studied with Jersey jazz greats Tal Farlow and Harry Leahey and Jersey Shore bassist Gerald Carboy. He played in many Jersey Shore bands, including his own Bruce Wacker Band, and toured with Spin Doctors, Robin Trower, and Warren Haynes.

The 10th anniversary Russtival will be Sept. 15 and 16 at the Clinton Elks in Pittstown. Hunterdon County’s annual bash has raised nearly $70,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in memory of fallen rocker Russ Perry, whose popular band, Ground Zero, reunites every year for community shindig. Also performing will be some of the rich and fertile Hunterdon scene’s best bands, including 90 Proof, We May Be Right, Bones Weedsley, Black Cross Band, What the Funk?, Leather & Lace and much more. Barbecue, beer, raffles and vendors also will be among the highlights. 

Bob Makin is the reporter for and a former managing editor of The Aquarian Weekly, which launched this column in 1988. Contact him at And like Makin Waves at

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State Theatre Presents Diana Krall: Turn Up the Quiet Tour
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Diana Krall live in concert as part of her Turn Up The Quiet World Tour on Friday, October 12 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $43-$153.50.  This concert will feature songs from Diana Krall’s stunning new album, Turn Up The Quiet, out now on Verve Records as well as a mix of some fan favorites. 
Kean Stage Presents The Manhattan Transfer
(UNION, NJ) -- Going strong after more than 45 years, Grammy Award winner The Manhattan Transfer, with tenor vocals from Kean University alumnus Alan Paul '71, will captivate Kean Stage audiences with their distinctive four-part harmonies at Enlow Recital Hall on Sunday, September 30 at 3:00pm.
3rd Annual North Jersey Indie Rock Festival
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- The North Jersey Indie Rock Festival returns to Jersey City on October 6. Presented by Mint 400 Records and Sniffling Indie Kids, the festival includes acts from those labels and Little Dickman Records, Rhyme and Reason Records, and State Champion Records.  The festival takes place at White Eagle Hall. Doors are at 4:00pm and the music starts at 4:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
The Dryden Ensemble Presents Bach Cantata Fest
(PRINCETON, NJ) -- The Dryden Ensemble will present a Bach Cantata Fest on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 6587 Upper York Road, Solebury, Pennsylvania, and on Sunday, October 21 at 3:00pm at Miller Chapel, located on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, 64 Mercer Street, Princeton, New Jersey. Tickets are $25 for general admission and free to students with an ID. They may be purchased at the door or online at
Steve Barton & Robert Darlington From Translator To Perform at Randy Now's Man Cave
(BORDENTOWN, NJ) -- Whether it's pure pop or moody acoustic ballads, singer/songwriter/guitarist, Steve Barton, has developed a reputation for crafting some of the most literate and poignant music in underground rock.  In addition to being a founding member of the revered punk/psychedelic band Translator, perhaps best known for the Barton-penned song "Everywhere That I'm Not", he has released several solo albums.  The seventh and latest, "Tall Tales and Alibis", is a sprawling triple album tour de force filled with Steve's brand new songs, which was released in March by Sleepless Music.   To celebrate the release of the record, Barton will be making a rare live appearance with his Translator partner Robert Darlington, this Sunday, September 23 at Randy Now's Man Cave in Bordentown (134 Farnsworth Ave) at 7:00pm.  

From the Ballpark to the Concert Stage: Bernie Williams LIVE! at The Grunin Center
Fans of sports and music are lining up outside Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Saturday, September 8, 2018 for a concert by four-time World Series Champion and Latin Grammy-Nominated guitarist/composer Bernie Williams and his All-Star Band!
“Here’s Lucie!” Lucie Arnaz LIVE! at the PNC Bank Arts Center
Even though the weather outside Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center is cloudy with some light intermittent drizzle this Wednesday, September 12, 2018 afternoon, the venue’s stage is still shining brightly with talent thanks to a live performance by television, film, and stage actress/singer Lucie Arnaz!
Mike Aiken Talks About Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch At RVCC
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College presents Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.  The three-day event will feature a number of different musical shows by Mike Aiken, as well as other solo artists and groups.  
Virtuoso Jazz Violinist Jean-Luc Ponty LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
It’s a warm but lovely Aug. 23, 2018 evening here in Newton, NJ. After enjoying some hand-dipped Cliff’s ice cream from the window at Hayek Market, we march up Spring Street looking forward to hearing some world-class jazz at one of the Garden State’s favorite concert venues, The Newton Theatre.
An Interview with Bernie Williams
Four-time World Series Champion and Latin Grammy-Nominated guitarist and composer Bernie Williams will perform with his All-Star Band at the Jersey Shore this Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at The Grunin Center of the Arts in Toms River, NJ!

Event calendar
Saturday, Sep 22, 2018


Asbury Park Porchfest @ Booskerdoo, Asbury Park - 12:00pm

Carl Chesna & Co. @ Hotel Tides, Asbury Park - 1:00pm

Echoes @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

Cole Swindell @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

GRUPO NICHE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

The History of Motown @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

Drake Bell @ iPlay America, Freehold - 7:00pm

Classic Stones Live feat. The Glimmer Twins @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Opera Theatre of Montclair Presents Hansel and Gretel @ Central Presbyterian Church, Montclair - 4:00pm

Oscar D’León with Tony Vega and Los Hermanos Moreno @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm

SunDog Band at Duffy's Tavern, Paterson NJ @ Duffy's Tavern, Paterson NJ, Paterson - 9:00pm

Celtic Thunder X @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Young Person's Concert @ River Dell Middle School Auditorium, River Edge - 1:00pm

Tigerman record release show for “Descend Into Savagery” @ Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Hubby Jenkins @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm


Souvenir @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 8:00pm

East Lynne Theater Company presents SILENT SKY @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 8:00pm

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm and 7:30pm

Incorruptible @ Ritz Theatre Company, Haddon Township - 8:00pm

West End Festival of the Arts- Theatre Brut Session 2 @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Evita @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Seuls en Scene French Theater Festival - "Claire, Anton et Eux" @ Class of 1970 Theatre, Whitman College, Princeton - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

HUMAN ERROR by Eric Pfeffinger @ West Windsor Arts Center, Princeton Junction - 8:00pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Assisted Living: The Musical @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 2:00pm

Brick City @ Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union - 3:00pm


SWAN LAKE - THE ATLANTIC CITY BALLET @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 7:00pm

SOLE Defined @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm


Monthly Saturday Writing Retreats @ Tiferet Journal, Bernardsville - 9:00am

View all events


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