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INSIDE MUSIC: Ed Maier: A Man Behind-the-Scenes and Loving It!

By Rosemary Conte

originally published: 05/19/2016

INSIDE MUSIC: Ed Maier: A Man Behind-the-Scenes and Loving It!Today’s concert and theater goers can fill up their senses at high-tech shows that bathe them in sophisticated light, sound, and set visuals. The skilled workers behind the scenes are responsible for the sound and “the look” of a show on which an artist’s image and business depends. Ed Maier is one of those people responsible for making it all work. 

I met Ed when I was performing at the former Chico’s House of Jazz in Asbury Park, where he was operations manager, and did everything---moving from bartender to light and soundman. Since then Ed has worked on both small stage and stadium shows like Bamboozle, Asbury Park; and the 2015 NBA All-Star Experience, NYC. Recently, I ran into him at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, after he had worked on a Jay-Z + Beyonce tour, and  Eminem + Rihanna’s Monster Tour. I had questions:

Seems to me you’re a “jack of all trades” in show production. When asked what do you do, what do you say? I’ve been manager at shore clubs, like the Wonder Bar, and I have my own production company, ElmThree Productions. Recently, I was named event coordinator for Madison Marquette, developers of the Asbury Park waterfront and boardwalk. In that capacity, I’m producing a series of 20 summer concerts on the beach at the Anchor’s Bend, a restaurant and bar on the north side of Convention Hall. I call it “Jam in the Sand” and it will feature country, rock, jazz and blues shows for audiences over 21. The shows will be free.

What was it like to work on the Beyonce show? It was something unexpected:  I was one of the assistant site coordinators for the FOX Sports show in Times Square for the Super Bowl. The set up and tear down of that lasted almost a whole month.  The head site coordinator was Ken Graham, or my Uncle Ken as I now call him. He is one of the kings of the behind-the-scenes world.  We worked well together. He saw my potential and recommended me for the job as a site coordinator on the Jay-Z + Beyonce Tour two summers ago, which lead to the Eminem + Rihanna Tour.  It was surreal at times, but it really felt like home.  I had a lot of responsibility and loved the ability to make a difference on such a large scale, even if it was something as small as changing a spot position because it made more sense; or working with an electrician to get a 30 amp service through somewhere it doesn’t normally go.  On earlier days of set up I might have crews of 20, but on load in and load out, having local crews of 150 looking for direction was exhilarating. I loved every minute of it.

How did you train for your work? There was no training. I always learned hands on. If someone above me liked what I did, I got a better position.

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Did you ever want to be out front instead of behind the scenes? I never had aspirations to be on stage. I wish my parents put a guitar in front of me at a young age, but I love what I do now.  It’s great being a part of something bigger than myself.  Having someone leave a show that I produced or was a part of and say thank you is good enough for me.

INSIDE MUSIC: Ed Maier: A Man Behind-the-Scenes and Loving It!

I’m of a mind that tech people and how they do their jobs can make or break a show.  What do you say?  I never want to think that I am someone that is bigger than the show. Without all the parties involved working well together, the show doesn’t happen. And whether a club show or a stadium show, sometimes the little interactions throughout the day can affect the performance for the better. That’s kinda cool.

What are the best and worst things about your job(s)? The best thing is when it’s MY SHOW.  I went after the band because I love them; I made the deal and booked the band; then I created the poster, and a ton of people showed up and thanked me at the end.  That’s the best! The worst is when I’m dealing with things that aren’t a part of the show itself, but are a part of the day.  Since it’s my job, I have to deal with whatever comes up.  Everyone has uncomfortable situations, but when you’re the boss, you have to face them head on.

What would you advise someone who wants to be a technician or the site coordinator on a big show? If you love working tech, do it.  I had a 9-5 job and lived for my paycheck.  For some people that’s good enough. I have high aspirations. I might not be at the level I want yet, but if I smile often because I’m around music, then I win. I surround myself with live music because I want the goose bumps. I want the music to make the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stand up. That’s my passion. If that’s your passion as well, and you want to be surrounded by that every day, do everything in your power to make it happen. I wish I realized it sooner, because I might be even more in front of the curve than I am.

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State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Friday, December 7 at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 9 at 2:00pm. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a division of Cirque du Soleil, has become a critically acclaimed, state-of-the-art Broadway musical, and a fun-filled, holiday family show. Tickets range from $35-$98.
NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.

"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!

Event calendar
Friday, Nov 16, 2018


THE MERCURY BROTHERS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Heather Maloney with Izzy Heltai @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 8:00pm

Shockenaw Mountain Boys at the Minstrel @ Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, Morristown - 7:30pm

Cecile McLorin Salvant: Ogresse @ The Chase Room @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:30pm

Renaissance @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

James Day & The Fish Fry @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm


Annie @ Broad Street United Methodist Church, Burlington - 8:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

Annie @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 8:00pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Billy Bishop Goes to War @ Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown - 8:00pm

Kiss Me Kate @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 8:00pm

Phoenix Productions Presents: The Hunchback of Notre Dame @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Enchanted April @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 8:00pm

Heathers, The Musical High School Edition @ Pebble Players, Oakes Center, Summit - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Into the Woods @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm

The Drowsy Chaperone @ Lauren K. Woods Theatre at Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 8:00pm


Ladies Let Loose Stand-Up Comedy @ Pax Amicus Castle Theatre, Budd Lake - 8:00pm

WHOOPI GOLDBERG @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


ROALD DAHL’S WILLY WONKA JR. @ Ridgewood Ave School Theater, Glen Ridge - 7:00pm

Nugget & Fang @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 10:30am and 12:30pm

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