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Asbury Music Awards

By Gary Wien


Another year's Asbury Music Awards have come and gone and we've heard another round of artists and fans complaining - sometimes with good reason, sometimes as sore losers. But the fact remains... things can be done to improve the awards and to give them a little more credibility.

First off, credit goes to Scott Stamper and everyone involved in putting the AMAs together. It's a much bigger task than people give them credit for. No matter who is chosen as the nominees there are bound to be people who should have been on the list and wern't and there are bound to be people winning awards who really didn't deserve to. Politics does play a role in some cases and not in others. After being at the awards show for the last several years, here are some suggestions that I think would boost the credibility of the awards. A) Rules for nominations
1) artists need to have played in the Asbury Park region X amount of times during the past year
(this way people who haven't shown up anywhere do not get nominated)

2) record releases are determined between say June 2004 to June 2005 or something
(each year there are records that were either JUST released or released over a year ago - it should be more consistent)


B) Category adjustments
1) Add a category for national acts. If you want the awards to get more press than you need to point out the sucess stories as well. Keep reminding people that bands like deSol are from the Asbury Park music scene.

2) Either stick with a 5 year rule or get rid of it. Don't kick some artists off of the list because they've been nominated several years in a row and let others stay. Be consistent.

3) Limit bands to 1 category per type of music. It doesn't make sense for bands to be nominated for 2-3 different genres.

4) As Jon Leidersdorff very wisely pointed out... nominees for the Best Thing To Happen In Asbury Park really should be things that happened in Asbury Park - not Seaside Heights, not Toms River, etc.

5) Have an equal amount of nominees per category across the board.

C) Voting
1) Offer people a chance to become a registered voter. Maybe $20 gets them a voting card and free access to every showcase show. Voters are REQUIRED to attend shows in at least 3 different venues and see at least 1/3 of the shows. Once their card is stamped enough times, they are allowed to vote.
(this will make the voting a LOT fairer as people will be making choices based on actually seeing the artists)

D) Showcases
1) Showcases should be set up far in advance (2-3 weeks minimum) and include at least 1/2 of the artists in each category.

2) Get sponsors on board to make the AMA showcases our version of CMJ. Forget the Asbury Music Expo, we already have beginning of a great music series. Promote the hell out of it.

E) Exposure
1) Get News 12 or NJN to broadcast the event live
2) Go after a much bigger fish than the Aquarian to be the main media sponsor (hell, they don't even show up at the awards) - get somebody like the Asbury Park Press or the Star-Ledger on board.
3) Invite press from throughout the state (radio, tv, newspapers, magazines)
4) Invite record executives from NYC area labels

Asbury Park is known throughout the world for its music history. Take advantage of it. This not only is one of the few awards shows for music in the state but it should be the biggest and most important. The more the show gets improved, the more credibility it will have and the more interest people will have in it.

It's got potential to be really big. Why not shoot for that?



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Mungion To Perform At The Stone Pony
 (ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Since their inception in the Spring of 2015, Mungion (pronounced mung-yin) has quickly made a name for themselves as one of the rising stars of the jam scene. The band will open a pair of shows for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park on January 24-25.
MPAC Presents Disney's DCappella Live!
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Disney's highly acclaimed a cappella group, DCappella comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 15 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from  $39-$89.
Leonia Chamber Musicians Society to Present Benefit Concert for Leonia High School Music Department
(LEONIA, NJ) -- The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization based in Leonia, New Jersey, presents "Our Hearts in Music", a benefit concert, on Sunday, February 10 at 4:00pm at Leonia High School’s Little Theater, located at 100 Christie Heights in Leonia, New Jersey.
The Newton Theatre Presents Ruben Studdard
(NEWTON, NJ) --  Ruben Studdard, the Grammy-nominated R&B, gospel and pop singer was the winner of American Idol’s second season. He has recorded six studio albums, appears frequently on tv, toured extensively and has sold over two million albums worldwide. Studdard officially confirmed that he will be releasing RUBEN SINGS LUTHER to his musical hero Luther Vandross on March 16th and will be launching a 25 city ‘Always and Forever Tour’ starting in Sacramento, California on April 8th.  Locally, he will perform at the Newton Theatre on Friday, March 29 at 8:00pm.
Bill Frisell To Headline the 8th Les Paul Festival Concert at Ramapo College
(MAHWAH, NJ) -- Guitarist Bill Frisell will headline the Les Paul Festival Concert on Saturday night, February 16 in the Sharp Theater at Ramapo College. Often hailed as one of the most distinctive and original improvising guitarists of our time, Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 35 years and 250 recordings, including 40 of his own.


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.


2019-01-23
Rechnitz Halls DiMattio Gallery, Monmouth University @ 10:00am
West Long Branch

2019-01-23
Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University @ 7:30pm
West Long Branch

2019-01-24
New Jersey Repertory Company @ 8:00pm
Long Branch






















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