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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

Riverside Rhythm and Rhyme Presents Patrick Fitzsimmons On December 16
(SUCCASUNNA, NJ) -- Riverside Rhythm and Rhyme (RR&R) presents Patrick Fitzsimmons on Sunday, December 16 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Investors Bank Theatre in Succasunna. Tickets are $20 for general admission; $15 for RAA/SSG/JAM members; and free for those under 18.
Outpost in the Burbs Presents Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams
(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Outpost in the Burbs presents Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams on Saturday, December 8th at 8:00pm at the First Congregational Church, 40 South Fullerton Avenue.  Opening the show will be New York City-based singer-songwriter Leslie Mendelson. Outpost volunteers will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for the holiday season for Toys for Tots at the show.
Jann Klose and The Voice's Josett Diaz To Perform At Ethical Brew To Benefit A Cause Close To Home
(TEANECK, NJ) -- On Saturday, December 8th, singer-songwriter and recording artist, Jann Klose will perform at Ethical Brew on behalf of Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, a community arts and cultural center for children and teens located in Bronx, New York.  Doors open at 7:30, show begins at 8:00pm.
Kenny Chesney To Perform At Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
(ATLANTIC CITY, NJ) -- Focusing on smaller venues and markets not directly impacted by his massive stadium tours, Kenny Chesney sought to make his Songs for the Saints 2019 Tour mirror the intimacy of its namesake album. Inspired by the resilience of the people around him, Chesney doubles down on the human connection for his 2019 tour by seeking those members of No Shoes Nation who have spent the past decade and a half making the trip to stadium markets for what is now a summer tradition. On Saturday, May 11, 2019 he brings the tour to Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena in Atlantic City, NJ.
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.

"Great Music!" Tavares and Harold Melvin's Blue Notes LIVE! at the Strand Theater
The music of the 1970s is alive and well this Saturday, November 3, 2018 at Lakewood, NJ’s Strand Theater with a concert by the ’70’s R&B and soul groups Tavares and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes!
"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.

Event calendar
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2018

The Madness of George III @ Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown - 2:00pm and 7:00pm


Warren Miller’s Face of Winter @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 7:30pm

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