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The Who's Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry Comes To The Grunin Center

originally published: 03/09/2018

The Who's Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry Comes To The Grunin Center

(TOMS RIVER, NJ) -- “Ever since I was a young boy I played the silver ball.” Maybe not your standard bluegrass lyric, but a line known by all the world from the biggest rock opera of all time, The Who’s Tommy. Forty-five years after its original release, this classic of classic rock is now fully realized as a full-length bluegrass tribute featuring Springfield, Missouri’s The HillBenders.  The band will perform The Who's Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry at the Grunin Center for The Arts on Friday, April 13 at 8:00pm. Tickets are $35.

Conceived and produced by SXSW co-founder and longtime musician/producer Louis Jay Meyers, this Bluegrass Opry brings a new perspective to Tommy, while paying total respect to its creators. This live performance is a full 75-minute show covering the original album from start to finish with audience participation.

Originally composed by guitarist Pete Townshend as a rock opera that tells the story about a deaf, dumb and blind boy, including his experiences with life and the relationship with his family. The original album has sold 20 million copies and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant value". In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Tommy number 96 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Meyers had been looking for the right band to pull off this high wire bluegrass approach for several decades and The HillBenders are the right band. With a perfect mix of virtuoso musicianship and rock star vocals, The HillBenders bring Pete Townshend’s original vision to life in a new and exciting way.

It’s amazing to hear banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitar bring the same energy and vision to Tommy as The Who did with a full rock band and orchestra.



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The HillBenders are one of the few bluegrass groups that recognize their ability to bridge the gap between the common music consumer and the bluegrass genre, selecting material that defies any hillbilly stigmas. With their widely varied influences, they are trying to bring to bluegrass songs that unify. “We wanted to pair bluegrass with the other music we grew up with —rock and roll!” say HillBender Nolan Lawrence.

Tickets are available online, by calling 732-255-0500, or ad the Box Office, Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

The Grunin Center for the Arts is located on the Ocean County College Main Campus, College Drive, Toms River, NJ. Please use Parking Lot #2.





State Theatre Presents Brian Wilson: Greatest Hits Live With special guests Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson: Greatest Hits Live with special guests Al Jardine,original founding member of The Beach Boys, and singer/guitarist and former Beach Boy, Blondie Chaplin on Thursday, November 1 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $59-$129.
Art Garfunkel To Perform At Rowan U
(GLASSBORO, NJ) – Legendary vocalist Art Garfunkel will perform at Rowan University on March 16, 2019 as part of the university’s Marie Rader Presenting Series. The award-winning voice of a generation will take his audience on a musical journey through a career spanning more than 60 years.
The Weeklings To Perform At Monmouth University During Beatles Symposium
(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University presents The Weeklings on November 8th at 8:00pm. The one-night engagement featuring selections from The Beatles legendary White Album performed with live horns and strings as well as many of your Weeklings favorites. This concert serves as one of the highlights at The Beatles’ The White Album: An International Symposium taking place from November 8 – 11 on Monmouth University’s campus.
Westminster Community Orchestra Presents “Halloween!” on October 28
(PRINCETON, NJ) --Westminster Community Orchestra, conducted by Ruth Ochs and Sergey Tkachenko, will present a concert titled “Halloween!” on Sunday, October 28 at 3:00pm in the Robert L. Annis Playhouse on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ.  The Halloween-themed program features the Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach, “Funeral March of a Marionette” by Gounod, “Mars” from Holst’s The Planets, the first movement of Schubert’s Symphony No. 4, “Tragic,” Ravel’s Pavane pour une infant défunte and the “Raiders March” from Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams, as well as special selections for strings. The program also showcases the talents of Westminster Conservatory’s Suzuki Violin Program.
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(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Westminster Schola Cantorum, led by conductor James Jordan, will perform Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem on Sunday, October 28 at 7:30pm in Bristol Chapel on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ. The program also features John Tavener’s Funeral Ikos and Geistliches Lied, Op. 30 as well other works centered Fauré’s choral masterwork.


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It’s a mild Saturday, September 29, 2019 evening as fans of Celtic rock are streaming into Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts for a concert by The Young Dubliners.
A Tribute to Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, and Frankie Valli at the PNC Bank Arts Center
A huge crowd is gathered here on this beautiful September 27, 2018 afternoon at Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center today for a live concert tribute to the music of Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
An Interview with Rusty Young Who Celebrates 50 Years of Poco this Saturday at SOPAC!
Steel pedal guitarist Rusty Young is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country rock band he helped to create, Poco, with a live performance by the group at 8pm this Saturday, October 13, 2018 at South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange, NJ!
Story Behind The Song: "Arizona Sky" by Diego Allessandro
From the corporate strip mall wastelands of suburbia in Central New Jersey, Diego Allessandro's trademark sound blending Americana with 80s and 90s pop and 2000s punk has earned him two nominations in the Asbury Music Awards Top Americana Band category with his former band Lot 25. He's back with This American Life - his first full length solo effort since 2014's The Losin' Kind. He's shared the video for "Arizona Sky" with New Jersey Stage and provides us with the story behind the song.
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The crowds are lining up outside New Brunswick, NJ’s State Theatre this Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 for a performance by the legendary singer and songwriter, Michael McDonald, on this Garden State stop of his 2018 Wide Open tour!










Event calendar
Tuesday, Oct 16, 2018


MUSIC

MUSIC OF CREAM @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

An Evening with Wyclef Jean @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 7:00pm

Newark Downtown District 20th Anniversary Concert @ Chambers Plaza @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 5:00pm

Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up The Girl 20th Anniversary Tour @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

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