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ROCK ON! This Week's Sound Bites...11/5/15

By Danny Coleman

originally published: 11/05/2015
Ken Peplowski is no stranger to assembling things; big things, "I'm known for putting things like this together," said the musical director of New Jersey Performing Arts Center's latest installment of their "Sinatra Centennial"  series with a laugh. "I've done a lot of projects like this over the years." 
"The Real Sinatra Songbook," takes place on November 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the NJ PAC in Newark, NJ and Peplowski intends on making it a memorable event for all who attend. Utilizing the vocal talents of Tom Wopat, Sue Raney and Kevin Mahogany, he has been charged with bringing "Some of the greatest songs ever written" to an audience of Sinatra enthusiasts in the very shadows of the legendary crooners birthplace. 
"Over the years it's hard to say how many of these types of things I've done and not all Sinatra," said an enthusiastic Peplowski. "I've done many music festivals, a lot of jazz festivals but this is going to be fun to do because a lot of us musicians have borrowed from Sinatra. In my own music I incorporate a lot of Frank; he is a big influence on me because of his vocal phrasings; nobody has ever done it like he could. This show is going to be a little different take, we're doing songs that were written specifically for him. Not just all of the old standards that he used to sing but songs written for him specifically by Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Mercer and Sammy Cahn; songs like "I'm A Fool To Want You" and things such as that." 
Putting together a show of this nature and reflecting upon an entertainer such as Sinatra is no easy task but Peplowski feels that this group of talent which will convene on stage is some of the best in the business. "We have Tom Wopat who has been making an impact on Broadway and is a great vocalist. We have Sue (Raney) who is an old friend of mine, so talented and who tells some great personal stories and Kevin Mahogony is another old friend and is a great jazz performer; so we have a fabulous lineup and I'm very much looking forward to working with all of them." 
A clarinetist and saxophonist himself and often compared to the late, great Benny Goodman; Peplowski is often searching for new or innovative ways to enhance his own performances and enjoys hearing others takes on Sinatra and musical arrangements in general. "The L.A. Jazz Institute is doing an instrumental version of the show I'm putting together with a few differences. These lesser heard tunes, some of which Sinatra wrote himself being done all instrumentally is a nice variation. The beauty of this and what I'm doing is that as a musician, we can put our own opinion into things. These are Sinatra songs done our way; they're very close to the originals but definitely will have our flare. Musicians would be lying if they said that they've never borrowed or stolen from someone else," he said once again with a chuckle. "Many of us have stolen from Sinatra, he's probably one of the greatest drummers of all time because his voice and cadence kept perfect time and that beat, that finger snapping rhythm is just so perfect; he was so good at it." 
According to Peplowski, the audience will be in for about an hour and a half worth of Hoboken's finest. "We're going to give the audience great songs; some they know and some they don't. This night is about the material that was written and crafted by and for him and I think everyone may be really surprised by the selection and surely enjoy it," 
After the performance there will be a "Post-curtain panel discussion, Sinatra Standard Time" with Sinatra historian and author Charles L. Granata along with journalist and author Will Friedwald and some of Sinatra's colleagues and "Music experts." There will be a discussion and Q & A on the legendary performers contributions to the "American Songbook" and the material performed in the show. 
Tickets range from in price from $69 to $79 and can be obtained by going to the NJ PAC's web site at  
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!
Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
(609) 924-5555
Thurs. 9 p.m. "Thursday Jazz" feat. (TBA)
All shows 21+
Amalfi's Restaurant
146 Lawrenceville-Pennington Rd. Lawrenceville
(609) 912-1599
Fri. 8:30 p.m. Kindred Spirit
Amarones Windsor Inn
29 Church St. Windsor
(609) 448-7144
 Fri. 8 p.m. Rick & Kenny
Sat. 8 p.m. Meg Hanson Band feat. Billy Hill
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33, Hamilton
(609) 245-8887
 Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam 
The Backstage at Championship Bar 
931 Chambers St. Trenton
Fri. 5 p.m. I Set My Friends On Fire, Sheeva, Reckless Serenade, Cut The Act, Doing Better, Ingdorf, GlassHouses. All ages, $12/$15
Sat. 5 p.m. (TBA). All ages, $10
Tues. 6 p.m. Mrs. Skannotto, Molly Rhythm, The Shipwrecks, The Best Of The Worst, The Holophonics, Be Like Max. All ages, $10
Candlelight Lounge 
24 Passaic St. Trenton
(609) 695-9612
 Sat. 3 p.m. Duane Eubanks Trumpet Quartet. (No cover-$10 minimum)
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
(609) 298-9182
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs
Wed. 9 p.m. Trivia Night
Dog & Bull Brew House
810 Bristol Pike (Rte. 13) Croydon, PA.
(215) 788-2855
Thurs. 8 p.m. Dana Rosenfeld
Fri. (4 p.m.) "Happy Hour Jam" feat. David Dzubinski Group (9 p.m.) Mike Estabrook
Sat. (11 a.m.) "Saturday Brunch Jam" feat. David Dzubinski Group (9 p.m.) Faraway Guys
Sun. (11 a.m.) "Sunday Brunch" feat. Keli Vale Jazz Duo (3 p.m.) Mia Johnson
Mon. 8 p.m. Perry Wolfe
Tues. 8 p.m. Jay Regan
Fran's Pub
116 S. Main St. New Hope, PA.
Mon. 8 p.m. Open Blues Jam
All shows 21+  
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main Street. New Hope, Pa. 
(215) 862-9897
Thurs. 10 p.m."Beat The Clock" College Night DJ Dance Party
Fri. 8 p.m. "Steely Dan Tribute" w/ Countdown To Ecstasy. Doors at 6 p.m., $20 
Sat. 8 p.m. Lez Zeppelin. Doors at 6 p.m., $25
Sun. 3 p.m. Ten Foot Tall
Mon. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron
Wed. 8 p.m. Pat Foran & Friends
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
46 Yard Avenue Pennington
(609) 737-4465
Thurs. 6 p.m. "Thurs. Jazz" feat. Jenna Mammon & Rolf Strum
Fri. 6 p.m. Craig Leach Group
Sat. 6 p.m. Michaela McClain
Sun. 2 p.m. "Sunday Jazz" feat. Gordon James
Ivy Tavern 
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
(609) 888-1435
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Fri. 10 p.m.  El Ka Bong
Sat. 10 p.m. Papa Delux
All shows 21+
John & Peter's 
96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-5981
Thurs. 9 p.m. Manifested
Fri. 9 p.m. Jerry Feiss
Sat. (3 p.m.P Olds Sleeper (9 p.m.) The Hyde
Sun. 3 p.m. Jamie Salvatore 
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Wed. 9:30 p.m. The Invitational
All shows 21+
JoJo's Tavern
2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton
(609) 586-2678
Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke
Lambertville Music Hall
57 Bridge Street Lambertville
(609) 460-4630
Fri. 7 p.m. Dick Gratton w/ Carol Heffler
Millhill Basement
300 S. Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-1600
Fri. 8 p.m. Murderburgers, City Mouse, Billy Liar, The Hellstroms, The Barren Marys, Assemble. 
Sat. 8 p.m. Iron Chic, Honah Lee, City Limits, Goddamnit, Wade Wilson. $12 (advance) $15 (door)
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton
(609) 838-7979
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21+ 
Patriot's Crossing
1339 River Rd. Titusville
(609) 737-2780
Fri. 7 p.m. Grey Matters
Sat. 8 p.m. Raven Rock Rounders
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton
(609) 585-8008
Fri. 9:30 p.m. The Polish Nannies
Randy Now's Man Cave
134 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown
(609) 424-3766
Sun. 5 p.m. Michelle's Farewell From The Man Cave. 
RHO Waterfront
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
(609) 393-7300
Thurs. 9 p.m. "College Night" DJ entertainment. $15 ($5 w/ college ID)
Fri. (4 p.m.) Happy Hour Buffet. $10 (9 p.m.) The Black Frost Group
Sat. 10 p.m. "We Rock The 90's" A Scorpio Affair w/DJ Books & TBone / Midnight performance by Blacksheep & Brand Nubians

Tavern On The Lake
101 Main St. Hightstown
(609) 426-9345
Fri. 7:30 p.m. Jazz Night
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night 
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street
(609) 291-7020
 Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau St. Princeton
(609) 921-8555
 Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Ron
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Fatha Ramzee
Sat. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. (8:30 p.m.) Tune Trivia (10:30 p.m.) DJ Rockn Ron
The Roost 
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
(609) 208-0050
Fri. 9 p.m. Glen Jacobs
Sat. 9 p.m. The Sun Dogs
The Sticky Wicket 
2465 South Broad St. Hamilton
(609) 439-0007
Fri. 9 p.m. Out Of The Red
Sat. 9 p.m. Smoked Ice
The Sun National Bank Center 
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
(609) 656-3200
Check website for upcoming events
Trenton Buzz
702 Pine St. Trenton
(609) 392-6000
 Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic. w/ Hek Cat
Trenton Social
449 South Broad Street Trenton
(609) 989-7777
Fri. 7 p.m. First Friday
Mon. 9 p.m. Monday Night Karaoke w/ Benny P
Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
(215) 862-8300
Fri. 10 p.m. The Memphis Dawls w/ August Lutz II. ($5 cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Bella's Bartok. ($5 cover charge)
Mon. 9 p.m. Christian Lee Hutson
Tues. 10 p.m. Telegraph Canyon
All shows 21+
Wildflowers Inn
2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington
Sat. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock 
All shows 21+

Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.

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