New Jersey Stage menu

New Jersey Stage search button

Search website

East Coast Rock 'N' Roll Pioneer Kenny Vance To Receive "Spirit of New Jersey" Award at 21st Garden State Film Festival on Saturday


originally published: 03/22/2023

East Coast Rock

(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.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for info




Friday, June 09, 2023 @ 8:00pm
State Theatre New Jersey
15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: theatre

Click here for full description

Happy Together 2023

Friday, June 09, 2023 @ 7:30pm
Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC)
100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
category: music

Click here for full description

Get the Led Out

Friday, June 09, 2023 @ 8:00pm
Count Basie Center for the Arts
99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
category: music

Click here for full description

Fran Cosmo - Former Lead Singer of Boston

Friday, June 09, 2023 @ 8:00pm
Carteret Performing Arts Center
46 Washington Ave, Carteret, NJ 07008
category: music

Click here for full description

Chucho Valdés & Paquito D'Rivera Reunion

Friday, June 09, 2023 @ 8:00pm
McCarter Theatre Center (Matthews Theater)
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
category: music

Click here for full description

Jessica Kirson

Friday, June 09, 2023 @ 8:00pm
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
One Sopac Way, South Orange, NJ 07079
category: comedy

Click here for full description

August at twenty-two and Stay Behind – Online for 24 Hours and In-Person at 7PM

Friday, June 09, 2023 @ 7:00pm
NJ Film Festival
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: film

Click here for full description

The Ledbetters and Superunknown: Tributes to Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam

Friday, June 09, 2023 @ 8:00pm
Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC)
30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, NJ 07631
category: music

Click here for full description

For more event listings, click here

more in film



New Jersey Stage © 2023 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 |

Nobody covers the Arts throughout the Garden State like New Jersey Stage!

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on our RSS feed

Art | Comedy | Dance | Film | Music | Theatre | Ad Rates | About Us | Pitch a Story | Links | Radio Shows | Privacy Policy