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Asbury Park Pays Tribute To The Concert For New York City On Anniversary Of 9/11

By Gary Wien

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Several generations of musicians will gather on stage to pay tribute to the artists who helped soothe the soul of America following the attacks on 9/11. Inspired by the Concert for New York City, Marc Ribler and an assortment of local artists including Glen Burtnik, Bob Burger, Sandy Mack, and Emily Grove will perform original music inspired by September 11 and cover songs by many of the musicians who took part in that legendary showcase. The tribute takes place on Tuesday, September 11th at McCloone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.

Proceeds from the $12 admission will benefit the Empty Sky Memorial, which pays tribute to the hundreds of lives of New Jersey residents lost on that fatal day. Located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City at the mouth of the Hudson River across from the World Trade Center Site, the memorial was named after the Bruce Springsteen song and designed by Jessica Jamroz and Frederic Schwartz. It was dedicated on Saturday, September 10, 2011 - just before the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

The one thing that all of the artists have in common is what bonds nearly everyone in the tri-state area to that day -- they all remember exactly where they were when they learned about the planes hitting the towers. Bob Burger was on vacation in the middle of a Beatles tour in London when he heard the news. He said he wound up on the first flight back to the United States and remembers how emotional the landing was for all on board. Sandy Mack recalls driving in his car, listening to Howard Stern, when the news hit. He says his mother was working right next to the Trade Center at the time. He tried calling, but couldn't reach her because the phone lines were so jammed that the system literally crashed. Meanwhile, Emily Grove was just in 6th grade and starting Intermediate school at the time.

"At first, the teachers kept the news from us, because they didn't want everyone to get upset," said Emily Grove. "They called students out of class if they knew that their parents worked in Manhattan, so that they could call home. At around 2 o'clock, we watched the news in class. I don't think that I really understood the enormity of it until later, when I got home. We had the television turned on all day and night, watching for information."

The event clearly hit home with songwriters throughout the region. In addition to Springsteen's classic album, The Rising, Marc Ribler penned "Turn This World Around" for his debut CD, which was released in 2003; Glen Burtnik wrote the touching "Window on the World" for a Jersey Jams/Jersey Cares compilation in 2002; and Bob Burger said that while he never set out to write a song about 9/11, many of his fans have gone on to associate his song "Empty Track" with the day. It's very likely that all three of these will be played during the tribute.

Additional artists who will be part of the show include Layonne Holmes, Jack Daley, Joe Daley and Arne Wendt. For many, participating in this event will be very special for personal reasons.
"I was born on the day that Iraq invaded Kuwait, and the news as I was growing up focused on trouble in the Middle East," said Emily Grove. "And I guess that's where I thought the violence was. Not here. My parents took us to Sandy Hook to see the Twin Towers Memorial where they had two beams of light shining up into the sky. Just a bunch of people on the beach looking across the water at where it happened. So close. It happened to all of us."
"I'm glad to be part of the show," said Bob Burger. "I like doing things like this so long after the fact better than at the time, it gives credence to American commitment."
"I love the idea of this tribute," Sandy Mack said. "I think it helps keep the healing process going. I'm thrilled to be involved. I saw the concert on was amazing! One of the highlights for me was seeing Clapton and Buddy Guy playing a Muddy Waters song and then a Little Walter song and then seeing everyone in the audience dancing to those songs. I was thinking that 99% of them probably had never heard of Little Walter and if you told them they were listening to ‘blues' instead of "Clapton", they may have stopped dancing!...but seriously it was nice to see Walter and Muddy being played at a major event because both are huge influences on me (obviously Clapton too)."
"Because of my age at the time, I should have been most impressed by the Backstreet Boys and Destiny's Child. I did have their CD's, after all," Emily Grove admitted. "But for me, the most emotional performance came from the Who, because of their energy, and because the firemen just seemed so excited to see them."

If you've never actually seen the Concert for New York City or saw it live but can't quite remember it, it's worth finding clips on YouTube or ordering the tape from The concert took place at Madison Square Garden just a few weeks after 9/11 (October 20, to be exact). The crowd was comprised of thousands of firefighters, police officers, survivors, families, and some lucky music fans who saw artists like Paul McCartney (who organized the event), David Bowie, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and the Who perform emotionally-charged sets that will make you tear up. Just watching the firefighters, police and rescue crews finally get a moment to enjoy life again was simply amazing.

The highlight of the concert for me, and for many, was seeing the Who tear the roof off of the place with a set better than they've probably had in decades. Their set turned anger and pain into pure release for the thousands singing along in the audience. Next in line had to be watching Springsteen turn a song about Asbury Park into a national anthem. "City of Ruins" might have originally been about our little city, but it was adopted by New York and the world that night, and its meaning would never quite be the same.

I love the idea of this tribute. While much of America remembers 9/11, I think our area really lived it. The memories will hold for us the way people held on to where they were when Kennedy was shot and Pearl Harbor was attacked. Music soothed our soul once, tribute nights like this can do it again.

For more by this author, click here

Light of Day's Main Event To Be Broadcast Live at McLoone's Supper Club
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- If you couldn't get tickets for the fabled "main event" of the 2019 Light of Day Winterfest, you have another chance see the show.  For the first time in the 19-year history of the festival, the "main event", the star-studded “Bob’s Birthday Bash” on January 19th (a show that has long sold out), will be broadcast live via fiber optic cable at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts To Hold Winter Open House On January 27
(BERKELEY HEIGHTS) -- Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will host a Winter Open House on Sunday, January 27 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. The free event is open to the public and will be held at the Performing Arts School (PAS) located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights.
Billy Idol and Steve Stevens To Perform At Count Basie Center For The Arts
(RED BANK, NJ) -- Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, one of rock’s most iconic and enduring duos, will hit the road this March for their first ever tour performing as a duo: Turned On, Tuned In and Unplugged. The Billy Idol/Steve Stevens tour comes to The Count Basie Center for the Arts on Thursday, April 4th.
McDonald's Gospelfest To Celebrate The Life of Aretha Franklin With Return to Prudential Center
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The 37th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest returns to the Prudential Center on Saturday, May 11 for the gospel event of the year. This year's event will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin with an All-Star cast. The 5:00pm to 7:00pm portion of the evening will feature a rising stars competition for all ages and cultures in categories including Soloists, Choirs, Praise Dancers, Singing Groups, Gospel Comedians, Gospel Poets and Gospel Rappers. The gospel concert, beginning at 7:00pm, will feature some of the most renowned gospel artists in music history with the goal of spreading love, peace and joy to all races, nationalities and beliefs.
Bickford Theatre Presents Herb Gardner's Groundhog Jam
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- The great Groundhog Jam has a long history of prying jazz fans out of their warm burrows and into the chill of February weather in order to welcome the advent of spring.  The Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum continues a tradition of hosting this event on Monday, February 4 at 7:30pm. Herb Gardner, who plays both trombone and piano, is assembling a stellar group of musicians from the New York, New Jersey, and New England areas including: Fred Vigorito on cornet, Joe Licari on clarinet, James Chirilloon guitar, Mike Weatherly on bass and Robbie Scott on drums.  Daughters Abbie and Sarah Gardner will be handling the vocals and guitar.

Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes At Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme
This coming Sunday, January 20, Scott Wolfson and his band will be serving up their unique blend of Americana at the Riverside Rhythm & Rhyme series at Investors Bank Theater in Succasunna, New Jersey. The band – Scott Wolfson and Other Heroes – formed in Jersey City in 2011, and, even though the members have migrated in various directions since then, they still consider themselves to be a Jersey City band.
"He Totally Wowed Us!" John Oates LIVE! at SOPAC
It’s brisk for an evening walk on South Orange Ave. in South Orange, NJ, this Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 evening, but it’s a good road to follow as it leads us directly to the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) for a special performance by singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Oates and his backup group, The Good Road Band.
“Tons of Fun!” The Glenn Miller Orchestra LIVE! at the Grunin Center
Although Friday, December 21, 2018 is the shortest day of the year, the audience of big band music lovers here at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center for the Arts is hoping for a long evening of classic swing and holiday tunes performed by the incomparable Glenn Miller Orchestra!
Mike Davis and The New Wonders
Mike Davis traces his love for the trumpet back to a Disney movie. He grew up in a musical family, with both his parents playing strings in the Seattle Symphony. But Davis wanted an instrument of his own. Then, at age 9, he saw “The Aristocats,” the animated film about a bunch of French felines — including a group of jazz-playing alley cats.
Ana Gasteyer's "Holiday Tipple" LIVE! at the Grunin Center
The Grunin Center stage in Toms River, NJ is set this Saturday, December 15, 2018 with drums, a grand piano, a guitar, an acoustic bass, and various microphones for vocals. A stool and several microphone stands are bedazzled with colorful garlands of shiny red, gold, and green, and wrapped gifts are strewn on stage among the instruments. Projected white snowflakes adorn the walls, and Christmas music plays as patrons enter the theater to put everyone in the mood for tonight’s holiday show — Ana Gastayer’s Holiday Tipple!

Event calendar
Thursday, Jan 17, 2019


Open Mic Night! @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 7:30pm


"Apple Season" by E.M. Lewis @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 8:00pm


AMERICAN GIRL LIVE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:00pm

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