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Songwriters by the Sea Returns To Monmouth University

originally published: 03/16/2023

Songwriters by the Sea Returns To Monmouth University


(WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The Monmouth University's Department of Music and Theatre has announced the return of distinguished New Jersey Songwriters Joe Rapolla and Joe D'Urso for the Songwriters by the Sea series, Saturday, March 24 at 8:00pm at the Lauren K. Woods Theatre. The series has been running at the University since 2012, with such acclaimed writer/artists as Marshall Crenshaw, Alison Moorer, David Johansen, James Maddock, and many others.

What once started in a small coffee shop as an area for local songwriters has now grown into a series that features some of the top songwriters in the country. This year, the show features special guests Willie Nile and Emily Grove as well as an opening set by Monmouth University Blue Hawk Records student/artists, Max Wolf & Jenaé Louis-Jacques, Madeline Knight, together with Monmouth faculty and Grammy-nominated songwriter, George Wurzbach. 

The New York Times called Buffalo, NY born Willie Nile "one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years." Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Jim Jarmusch, and Little Steven are among those who have sung his praises. He has toured across the U.S. with The Who and has sung with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. As the induction program from the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame says: “His live performances are legendary.” His 2020 album New York At Night got rave reviews, with Downbeat calling it a “sonic love letter to Gotham.” His newest studio album The Day The Earth Stood Still, which features a duet with Steve Earle on the song “Blood On Your Hands” was released on Aug 13, 2021.

Emily Grove has had a varied and exciting musical journey, from coffeehouses to Berklee College of Music, to television appearances to tours in the UK and Europe. She has toured the UK, Ireland, US, and Canada, opening up for and performing with British artist David Ford. She also had her own headlining tour in Germany, Bulgaria, and England. She recently put on a sold- out Joni Mitchell show, featuring some of Asbury Park’s most talented musicians. She’s performed with/opened up for Glen Burtnik, Brett Michaels, Dan Reed, David Ford, Jeffrey Gaines, James Maddock, John Lefler (Dashboard Confessional), Ari Hest, and many others. She’s recorded with David Ford, Glen Burtnik, Steve Forbert, and UK artist Jack Henderson, among many others.

Tickets for Songwriters by the Sea are priced at $35, and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at There will be a pre-show reception will be held at 7:00pm for all ticket holders.

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Songwriters by the Sea began as intimate, casual coffeehouse jam sessions around Asbury Park, and has since evolved into a national show attracting some of the most revered singers and songwriters of today’s scene— from Joe Grushecky and Garland Jeffreys to Glen Burtnik, Marshall Crenshaw and Alison Moorer. Along the way, D’Urso (front man of Stone Caravan and board member of WHY Hunger and Light Of Day) and Rapolla (a veteran music industry executive, solo performer, and front man of the band Perfect Square) have fine-tuned their circle of artists, trading favorite songs and illuminating backstories behind their most personal works, into a vehicle that brings out the best in the assembled talent. Whether the venue is a club, a historic theater or a campus performing arts center, Songwriters by the Sea has been known to turn any space into an intimate house party atmosphere; a gathering of friends and a place where something akin to magic often takes hold.

Thanks to sponsors, Tim Cabrey, Don and Gail Moliver, Tony Palligrosi, Jay & Louise Krall, and the lotus823 agency, all revenue from ticket sales will go to further fund an endowed Music Industry Scholarship at the University. 



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