(ASBURY PARK, NJ) --The cultural impact of Kenny Vance, iconic American singer, songwriter, multi-platinum-selling record producer, actor, and film director, garners Spirit of New Jersey Award at the Garden State Film Festival, where his directorial debut film Heart & Soul will screen on Saturday, March 25th at Asbury Lanes.
Kenny Vance’s multi-faceted career started when he was a teenager in the 1950s, as an original founding member of the iconic rock group Jay and the Americans. The group released fifteen albums, with many singles hitting the top 10. They also opened for the Beatles at their first American show at the Washington Coliseum, as well as the Rolling Stones, at Carnegie Hall, in their first American tour. Kenny’s work spans music supervision of films, solo album projects and TV, where he was Music Supervisor for Saturday Night Live and brought legendary talent including James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Prince onto the show.
His music supervision in film includes, among others, Animal House, Hairspray, the breakthrough film, The Warriors, credited as the first rock & roll full-length feature soundtrack, as well as Eddie & the Cruisers, a New Jersey classic. His collaboration with the young Walter Becker and Donald Fagen is considered foundational to their emergence as the group Steely Dan.
Kenny’s recordings and live performances with his group, Kenny Vance and The Planotones, express the heart and soul of Doo-wop, and Heart & Soul: a Love Story, his debut as a film director, continues his mission to illuminate the makers and the magic of the midcentury bedrock of rock & roll.
Don’t miss Kenny Vance’s film, Heart & Soul: a Love Story, about the legendary artists and impact of mid-century Doo-Wop music screening on Saturday, March 25 at Asbury Lanes. Music legend Kenny Vance sits down with members of the Chantels, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Little Anthony & the Imperials, the Heartbeats, the Dubs and the Jive Five. The screening begins at 3:00pm.
They were some of the first teenage Black Rhythm & Blues artists who crossed over, had mainstream hits, toured the north and south, appeared on national television, never made much money and influenced popular music to this day.
Through intimate conversations and insights curated from eighty hours of verite footage, these seminal artists become our confidantes, too, and we come to care as they bring their triumphs and tragedies to life.
The Garden State Film Festival takes place March 23-26, 2023.
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