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Belmar Holds 1st Annual Music & Arts Festival On August 21

By Gary Wien

originally published: 08/18/2012

(BELMAR, NJ) -- While Asbury Park gets most of the credit, a little seashore town up the road named Belmar has had a pretty impressive musical history as well. After all, this is the town that put the "E Street" in E Street Band. On Tuesday, August 21, Belmar will hold its 1st Annual Music & Arts Festival to showcase some of the artists and performers who call the town home. Live music by the Danny White Band, Pat Roddy Band, and the Beach Music Rock Band will take place between 6pm and 9pm at the 5th Avenue Pavillion. Local artists will also be exhibiting their work. Admission is free.

"We are excited about bringing the music talent we have in Belmar to our outstanding beach for this First Annual Music Festival," said Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty.

Danny White, a long-time veteran of the Jersey Shore music scene was instrumental in putting the festival together. White said he pitched the idea to Doherty, who loved the concept and helped work to make the festival a reality.

"The musicians & artists of Belmar are lucky to have a mayor that is so dedicated to backing the arts & musicians of Belmar," said White. "Belmar has always had a rich history in music & arts. Pat Roddy is an institution in Belmar; people vacation here in town just to go see him and his band each summer. I've been fortunate enough to perform and work with some of my rock n roll heros like Springsteen, Mellencamp, CJ Eiriksson (U2) and work with kids on the shore at Beach Music Studios."

While known primary for its cover bands, Belmar has had its share of rock and roll history over the years from Van Morrison performing in town while "Brown Eyed-Girl" was climbing the charts to Bruce Springsteen jamming with local reggae artist Jah Love at the old Key Largo club. Those wandering the streets of the town in the seventies might even have been able to hear the E Street Band as they practiced in David Sancious' house. Sancious, who played keyboard with the E Street Band for a few years, went on to perform with dozens of world-famous artists including Eric Clapton, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Aretha Franklin, Santana, Jeff Beck, Yousou Ndour and many more.

Local author Gary Wien, who documented the Jersey Shore rock and roll scene in his book "Beyond The Palace", will be on hand with copies of his books for sale.

"Belmar is behind music & the arts and always has been and I think we should celebrate that. This event is set up to grow each year and I believe will be a source of pride for the community for years to come!," added White.

Photo by Kristen Driscoll

Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.

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