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Christopher Vidal

By Gary Wien

Christopher Vidal is Executive Assistant Director for AERIA Entertainment L.L.C. - we spoke with him about Jam Tree, a weekly show AERIA is putting on Tuesday nights at the Saint in Asbury Park, NJ.

Q) How did the idea for Jam Tree come about?
A: From the looks of the soles of my shoes and the odometer of my car, it seems to have been a long journey to center. I have traveled far and wide to see improvisational music for the past 9 years. From the Northern tip of Maine to Southern Florida, out West and everywhere in between. I even found myself in the middle of the Caribbean ocean, on a cruise ship filled with 20+ bands, and six stages this past January.

These events that I attend seem to always have sit-ins or all star jams at the end of the night. We?ve all seen a special guest or two at a show...

We have so many great musicians in the area, that I though it could work at home too. Special guests every night?you know. People creating music just to play. To uncover something new and have a musical conversation.

Q) What are your goals and hopes for the show?
A: First and foremost, to keep it spontaneous. Music has a way of sounding the best when it is fresh.

Goals?well, the Saint always relies on bands for the draw. I would like to bring JamTree to a point that Tuesdays are good at the Saint, period. Where you don?t have to call ahead for the schedule, you just know it?s a great night. Who knows, maybe I?ll even have it catered.

Also to have it become an arts and cultural event. Starting this week I have Josh Reinhardt and Hexcalibur Productions bringing in artists, Christine Bush, and Jesse Rynu . Steve Dundas will also be on hand with his amazing portfolio of photography. Maybe improvisational art inspired by the music of the moment?

Another thing I would really like to see is the national acts getting involved in the JamTree, mixing it up with the local talent. Nothing like getting shredded by the local I kid...

Q) Is there a different band featured every week?
A: Canyon has residency for the first month, but going along with the main inspiration for JamTree, there is an ever changing lineup. It is, after all, an improvisational show. The idea is to book two different bands each week. The JamTree begins when the second band plays their last note.

In March we have booked The John Ginty Band for the first three weeks. John Ginty is renowned B3 Hammond organ player from right here in our ever eclectic state of New Jersey. He has played with the original Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Citizen Cope, Santana, Jewel, and The Blind Boys of Alabama, just to name a few. We also have Jerry Joseph on April 11. These acts will of course be paired with the abundance of local talent teaming from the streets of central Jersey.

Q) Do you think the idea of JamTree will appeal to all musicians or just those who are involved in the so-called Jamband scene?
A: The "JamBand" scene is comprised of every type of music. The term Jamband is a way to pigeon hole music that is eclectic in its origin. I?ve seen punk rock become bluegrass, turned into standard jazz and back again in the same session.

If you love music, you love music. That?s all there is to it.

Q) Is Jam Tree a limited time thing, or will it continue larger than February?

A: Well, Scott Stamper gave me the opportunity to do this night. As usual Scott is doing something creative and diverse for the scene.

As of right now we are booked through May. JamTree will exist as long as there are musicians and an audience that believe in it. It is a tree for a reason. Tree?s grow, and have many branches.

Q) What is it about the art of Jamming that appeals to you?
A: Have you ever seen a painter bring a painting to life right in front of you? Going from a blank canvas to an elaborate scene, how they get the colors to mesh perfectly to create something you have never seen before? Have you seen a chef put together a good meal? They begin with the garlic...

That?s kind of the way I feel about improvisational music. You get to see these players come together as separate entities while creating something entirely whole. They are able to feed off each other and challenge each other to make the best music possible in that very moment. Push the boundaries of a "song" and actually have a conversation.

Music is still our most articulate language.

Q) What was your favorite moment/Jam so far?
A: Seeing the JamTree come to life on the first night was inspiring. As soon as the last note was played by Canyon, musicians of all backrounds took to the stage. Members of Days Awake joined members of Woodfish, Canyon , The Texas Snowmonkey Sanctuary, Last Perfect Thing, Asbury and Ocean Grove residents and musicians. At one point I remember counting 14 musicians on stage, at the Saint! The music was inspired and cohesive taboot!

Q) Finally, will you and others from AERIA be taking the stage as well?
A: You have to come and find out...

For more by this author, click here

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers To Return To Lizzie Rose Music Room
​​​​​​​(TUCKERTON, NJ) -- Tommy Castro & the Painkillers return to the Lizzie Rose Music Room on Wednesday, April 17 at 7:30pm.  Whether he’s squeezing out the deepest blues or playing the funkiest soul grooves, legendary blues and soul giant Tommy Castro knows how to ignite a crowd. Tickets are $38.00 Advance and $45.00 day of show.
Experience Hendrix at NJPAC on March 29th
(NEWARK, NJ) --  Celebrate the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix as Experience Hendrix comes to Newark’s New Jersey Performing Arts Centeron Friday, March 29 at 8:00pm. This critically acclaimed multi-artist tribute to Hendrix features performances by Billy Cox, Joe Satriani, Dave Mustaine, Jonny Lang, Dweezil Zappa, Eric Johnson, Doug Pinnick, Chris Layton, Mato Nanji, Kenny Aronoff, The Slide Brothers, Henri Brown, Kevin McCormick and special guest Taj Mahal.
World Famous Bachata Artists To Take The Stage for Uforia Bachata Fest 2019 At Prudential Center on Saturday, March 16
(NEWARK, NJ) -- Uforia Bachata Fest 2019 at Prudential Center will bring together the world’s best Bachata artists including, Frank Reyes “The Prince of Bachata”, Hector Acosta “El Torito”, Zacarias Ferreira, Luis Vargas and Raulin Rodriguez "El Cacique”. Uforia Bachata Fest 2019, presented by Zamora Live, Euforia Radio (Univision) and Corona Extra, will be held on Saturday, March 16 at 8:00pm.  The contagious Caribbean rhythm known as "Bachata" will have its gala night, marking the first time in history these world-renowned artists will perform on the same stage. 
Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra To Perform at Princeton University January 27
(PRINCETON, NJ) -- The New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) continues its 40th Anniversary with a concert featuring the NJYS Youth Symphony and Youth Orchestra on Sunday, January 27 at 4:00pm at Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University located at 68 Nassau Street in Princeton. Youth Symphony will open the concert with Mahler Symphony No. 1 in D major followed by Youth Orchestra performing Dvořák Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88.
Rickie Lee Jones To Perform At Grunin Center
(TOMS RIVER, NJ) -- Two-time Grammy winner Rickie Lee Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1978 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona on more than 15 critically acclaimed albums. She brings her show “An Intimate Evening with Rickie Lee Jones” to the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts on Friday, February 22 at 8:00pm.  

The Empire Strikes Back in Concert with the NJSO LIVE! at the State Theatre
Some of our favorite childhood memories growing up at the Jersey Shore involved going to our town’s grand old movie palace, The Community Theater, in Toms River. Built with colonial architecture and featuring large white columns in the front, paned glass windows in the lobby, a circular brick walk from the sidewalk to the box office, and a white picket fence which enclosed a lawn and a flower bed, this local gem presented the latest Hollywood films. For kids like us back in the 1960’s, that meant pictures like Mary Poppins, Cinderella, The Love Bug, and Flipper.
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.

Event calendar
Tuesday, Jan 22, 2019

Sorry, no events listed for today.
Here are some upcoming events.

Rechnitz Halls DiMattio Gallery, Monmouth University @ 10:00am
West Long Branch

Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University @ 7:30pm
West Long Branch

New Jersey Repertory Company @ 8:00pm
Long Branch

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