Flash Mob Dances in Belmar N.J. [Video – Host TJ Vitale](1)
Flash Mob Belmar N.J. 2012
A great way to kick off the Memorial Day Weekend! The Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau planned a flash mob to kick off the season on the Belmar Boardwalk on Ocean Avenue. Attending the exciting event was Mayor Doherty, local shop owners and many energetic Jerseyites! With the music pumping the crowd danced to a choreographed “Flash Mob” performance! Check out the Video!!
Tara-Jean Vitale Reporting
Danny White: From Belmar to the National Stage by Calvin Schwartz [Video](0)
DANNY WHITE: From Belmar to the National Stage:
Danny White has managed to steer his musical craft past the dangers of second guessing musical trends, sidestepping unimaginative pop mentality and laying down original rock and roll with smart intuition and sound.
DANNY WHITE: From Belmar to the National Stage: NJ Discover Featured Musician. by Cal Schwartz
Through the magic of Facebook, I found Danny White late last summer and as synchronicity would have it, our concentric circles of commonality overlapped. I eventually listened to Danny’s music from his new CD, “A Beautiful Crazy.” And I liked it a lot. Then a luminescent light bulb: why doesn’t NJ Discover TV, which is omnipresent all over Monmouth County, begin to devote energies to musicians and artists in a featured format?
A month ago, Danny and I hung out in Belmar, found a place for fresh sweetened caffeine beverages on Main Street and talked an afternoon away. A wall in his music studio in Belmar is a bit of a who’s who in music. Two weeks later NJ Discover TV hooked up with Danny at a CD launch gig at the Saint in Asbury Park. And here is the video history! Enjoy!
DANNY WHITE: Bio
In an ever-changing industry, steadfast vision can sometimes take a back seat to flavor of the month style. New Jersey artist Danny White has managed to steer his musical craft past the dangers of second guessing musical trends, sidestepping unimaginative pop mentality and laying down original rock and roll with smart intuition and sound.
Danny White is a consummate songwriter and has experienced much when it comes to interaction with the best in the music industry. White has shared the stage with such luminaries as Bruce Springsteen, Journey, North Mississippi All Stars, Pete Yorn, Foreigner, Live, Guster, Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse, John Mellencamp, Andy Summers of The Police, The Avett Brothers and so many other well-known artists. Whether touring as a solo act or with a full band, Danny White maintains an enthusiastic and fresh sound for listeners everywhere.
White’s immediately likeable sound has helped make him the artist to watch in the television and recording industry today. White’s compositions, “You Got A Good Thing Going” and “Ooh Yeah” have been used on at least two different MTV shows including The Road Home & Making The Tour. Danny White’s new song “Prisoners Of Hope” (from his latest CD titled, A Beautiful Crazy) is featured in the film Just Around The Corner. He also has an original song “Holiday Home” featured in Hwy 50 film’s Nothing For Christmas. Danny has been featured in numerous prestigious publications including The New York Times, Billboard Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer and many others.
White’s ongoing success is also based in his ability to give back as much as possible. An active alumnus of The Light Of Day Foundation to fight Parkinson’s disease, White is also active with Musicians On Call, a music therapy program where artists play for children at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital in NYC. He was the first musician to begin the program and to play for children at the hospital. He has also donated stage time for The Food Banks of Monmouth & Ocean Counties of N.J. and Manna House, a home for abused young mothers.
Danny White’s latest CD is titled, A Beautiful Crazy and was co-produced and mixed by C.J. Eiriksson (U2, Incubus, Phish, Live, Matchbox 20) as well as Mike Wanchic, John Mellencamp’s longtime guitarist & co-producer (who has also produced Bob Dylan, Black Crowes, Dave Matthews) Mellencamp’s band also backed White on some the CD tracks.
Other material has been produced & mixed by Shelly Yakus. A legend in the industry who has mixed and or engineered on John Lennon’s Imagine & Walls & Bridges, Music From Big Pink by The Band, Tom Petty & U2.
Fresh, Americana based rock and roll is what Danny White brings to the table on this latest and immediately likeable disc. For further information on Danny White and his latest CD A Beautiful Crazy, please go to www.facebook.com/dannywhitemusic or www.reverbnation.com/dannywhite
JERSEY ACOUSTIC MUSIC(JAM) AWARDS – Asbury Park, NJ by Calvin Schwartz(0)
The Jersey Acoustic Music Awards on April 29th honored original artists who tirelessly perform around the state at small venues like coffeehouses. To prepare, on the Friday before the awards, I went to Point Pleasant’s Green Planet Coffeehouse to see Alexandra Inglis, a sixteen year old nominee for ‘Top 18 and Under Performer’ and was, as they say, ‘blown away’ by her voice and lyrics. During the awards program intermission, I interviewed Alexandra, who later won the award. “My mom and dad have been my greatest inspiration and support.” And she’d probably go home and listen to John Mayer.
As the hall filled it became evident to this first time Acoustic awards attendee that most everyone knew one another in this special community of Jersey Acoustic Music. Standing room only was quick. Eloquent Anton Daub, prolific in the world of hosting open mike night at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport was the MC and stressed the night was more about getting recognition from fellow musicians which convinced this was more of a family affair evening of amazing musician.
A wondrous array of singers performed in the round throughout the program in between awards. Jo Wymer’s singing ‘dazzled.’ She liked my one word description of her then went on to win Top Female Performer. Being a vintage folkie myself from the sixties, I carefully watched the category for Top Folk Act which was won by the husband and wife team of Keith and Shelli Aarden Monacchio. Shelli remembered my coming to see her last August at the SandWitch on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. Emily Grove won Top Female Vocalist and perhaps was taken back when I mentioned writing about her talent in my blog nearly two years ago, after seeing her sing at Asbury Park’s Clearwater Festival; comments still archived in my blog.
I’m beginning to think like an old ‘Beach Boys’ song, “I Get Around.’ A few weeks ago, I journeyed to the Strand Theatre for a Backstage event and saw Cat Cosentino sing. This night she won for Top Pop/Rock and deservedly so. Back to the intermission; I also got a chance to talk to Lo Kloza nominated for Top Female Vocalist and Top New Act. Exuberant and excited, she mentioned her much anticipated CD release party at ‘Downtown’ in Red Bank on June 20th. This is her first album and she dreams of going on tour. With Jon Caspi’s ‘the little ones’ I was noticeably moved by his song of children in the African war zones being kidnapped and made into soldiers. Right out of sixties protestation, I was really at home. As the night evolved, so I did as an absorber of such incredible talent. When intermission ended, it hit me; I wondered what folks do in Billings, Montana or near the Bridges of Madison County, Iowa, when they can sing but don’t have an Asbury Park, a musical mecca nearby. Kevin John Allen, nominated for Top Male Songwriter, performed the final song with an emotional moving twist. He brought a number of singers together in a choir like mode to sing, ‘Jesus Could You Call Me’ from his new CD ‘Life’s Lonely Rodeo.’ Sounds of silence filled the hall while they sang. For me it was a powerful ‘wow.’
Special thanks to Espresso Joe in Keyport’s Kishore who guided me through my first awards ceremony. I remain innervated and fully emoted over a magical evening of music and community which has fueled the blossoming of these words and the foundation of my future involvements with Acoustics. For more information on the criteria of the awards please go to: http://www.jamawards.org/home
For those interested, more of my writings and words can be found at my global cerebral blog at
Calvin Schwartz May 4th 2012
Marc Ribler and Friends In Concert . Asbury Park “A Little Piece of Heaven” by Calvin Schwartz(1)
A week or so prior to Marc Ribler and Friends, A Singer Songwriter/Classic Rock Tribute Night, appearing at McCloone’s in Asbury Park on Wednesday April 25th instead of the usual Tuesdays, I met Marc on Facebook of all places and we did the friending thing. I also asked to officially report and film his concert for NJ Discover TV. The digital age produces rapidity in response time and in the actual bonding (friending) processes. The next night we morphed from Facebook to cell phone and in our live voice communication phase, we discovered concentric circles of commonality; from ancestral homelands, spirituality, parallel universes, Ray Kurzweil and Singularity and Bob Dylan, who was one of the artists they were doing a tribute to on Wednesday. A special jetty at Belmar’s Shark River waits for a future communicative phase.
Marc is a singer songwriter, guitarist and a producer. Being a consummate groupie, I knew he sang with Carole King and Roger McGuinn and opened for Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, James Taylor and Sly and the Family Stone to name a few.Wednesday’s concert was billed as a tribute to Dylan, The Band and honoring the life of Levon Helm. Communicative chemistry is wonderful. In addition to Marc Ribler’s amazing musical gifts, he exudes genuineness, warmth and a feeling you’ve known him all along; we finally met live without Memorex an hour before the concert. The venue at Mc Cloone’s overlooking Asbury Park’s ocean and Convention Hall from high on the second floor is purist perfect for my music absorption and appreciation. When lights later bathed Convention Hall, just beyond the rear window, in multi colors, a warm ethereal feeling evolves; maybe it’s the subliminal of a ‘working class’ rock star and son of Asbury Park’s first album scene.
Appearing with Marc this night were Jeff Kazee, John Conte and Lee Finkelstein. But in the air ducts, were particulates of notions of more of Marc’s surprise friends showing up. Suddenly Southside Johnny was on stage as one of Marc’s friends. I was just four feet and a few inches away from the stage and I was beginning to feel this heavenly notion that would sense surround me the rest of the night and take a time-released form for weeks to come. Earlier it was ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’ and I pinched my arm (I really do that for a reality check). Along came Glen Burtnik and the piece of heaven deal was sealed. A recurring theme for me as I discover: damn, how can anyone miss the talented magical concerts that Marc brings on Tuesdays; perhaps folks have powerful umbilical ties to their old 1960’s Castro convertible pull-out sofa. What I was hearing was such a gift. Then more ‘pieces of heaven’: ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door.’ And ‘The Mighty Quinn.’ Hearing ‘The Weight’ which was so powerful, it reminded me once again that after seeing ‘Easy Rider’ in 1969 and hearing that song, I was afraid to even travel to South Jersey. All renditions sublime this heavenly night.
To complete my “little piece of heaven” journeyed experience was the auditory absorption of a few of Marc’s original songs. He’s a songwriter, I said to myself . So when his lyrical originality flowed like an ornate fountain in front of a columned forum of collectivism, I was innervated and moved. Movement continues into this writing. I’m going to continue to explore Marc’s original music. And as they say in my journalistic profession; update at eleven, one day, down this incredible pastel yellow brick road I’ve found.
The rest of Marc’s friends sealed my piece of heaven: Marc Muller, Rosemary Conte, Tom Bowes, Paul Avrutin, Jake Nozek, Mary McCrink, Kristian Rex and Tony Pallagrosi whom it seems, I bump into several times a week. Mary McCrink; her magical voice gave up, perhaps the best version of ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ ever for me. In the finale, with all the friends singing ‘Any Day Now;’ it was easy to feel/see a special love and magic on stage. Replete with emotion, I borrowed Marc briefly after the concert and thanked him for providing “this little piece of heaven.” Rarified ethereal sound pieces in this crazy world, I thought. I also thought about finding ways to yell to folks to lose sedentary sofa sitting and come to the musical Asbury boardwalk on Tuesday evenings; like I guess I’m yelling now.
Cal Schwartz May 4th 2012
Two River Theater, Red Bank: Maureen McGovern in “Carry It On” by Calvin Schwartz(0)
Two in a row! Back in February my friend Toby M. illuminated me about the Two River Theater in nearby Red Bank. The play ‘Jitney’ was being extended and we went for the first time to Two River. It was a wondrous night. No need to repeat my review (here at NJ Discover.com) but, another wow; our theater experience became a two joys in a row such that it’s time to join. Last Thursday was Marlboro night, where residents of Marlboro, Manalapan and Morganville were invited to explore the range and offerings of Two River, which is literally in all our backyards.
This night Maureen McGovern from the Oscar winning song, “There’s Got to be a Morning After” performed her one woman show, “Carry It On.” My kind of show; a retrospective of her life from Ohio roots and Streisand, Garland and Judy Collins influences; infused with baby boomer memories from whence I came into music. Her voice is gifted; it hasn’t changed at 62 years. The gentle set flashed familiar pictures of history and family while she moved gracefully over stage and down aisles, talking and singing to the audience. Her father’s picture, an army veteran of the greatest generation, seemed to fuel her soul searching emotions.
My wife was teary a few times; ah gee, so was I. Her frankness and candor in words about lost loves and life’s professional wanderings were infiltrated with that glorious songstress voice; songs we grew up to. One of the pictures that flashed on the background screen was Dr. King and my spiritual leader from Newark standing next to him. My respiration slowed. McGovern sang Dylan, Carole King and others; with each cover, I drifted far away which is exactly what I wanted. She closed with the song I seem to quote a lot these days, “Morning After.” McGovern is back on the East Coast. She’s happy about that. And I’m happy about Two River Theater.
ON ART IN ASBURY PARK with Calvin Schwartz(0)
Lately I’ve been pondering how curious topics arrive at my computer keyboard. Earlier this week, I wrote about Monmouth County Cemetery Chasing because NJ Discover writers (me) have been on the grounds of several local cemeteries for rather serendipitous reasons. At NJ Discover we’re all over Monmouth County doing our job description; discovering, elevating and exploring our home county. Last month, I’ve also immersed myself into the art scene in Asbury Park and an hour ago, I realized that I should be telling a tale of art discovery.
Through the magic of Facebook with never ending stories of networking and events, last month I heard about an ‘artsy’ item at Asbury Lanes called Dr. Sketchy Asbury Park and decided to click the JOIN button after getting an invitation from Tim. I checked Google first; a new tool of investigative reporting. “Since 2005, Dr. Sketchy’s has been the name in alternative drawing. From illegal flash mobs to the Museum of Modern Art, Dr. Sketchy’s has brought artists a rule-breaking cocktail of dames, drinking and drawing. Dr. Sketchy’s branches draw in over a hundred cities around the globe, from Akron to Zagreb. Whether you’re an art star or a scribbling newbie, Dr. Sketchy’s is the perfect place to get your fill of life-drawing.”
For me, all a new world; in the past I’ve thought that if Christopher Columbus had approached me way back in my medicinal and potions medieval shop, a mile from where Queen Isabella lived, I would’ve jumped at the opportunity for a long ocean voyage. Crazy after all these years; so I still jump.
Cut to a recent Sunday afternoon; fellow producer and writer Tara-Jean Vitale and I arrived at Asbury Lanes for the Dr Sketchy’s Asbury Park sketching session themed as vampire motif with young female models. Asbury Lanes is as close to back to the future, 1950’s ambience, as I’ve seen since Michael J Fox drove a Delorean car. An old self photo booth, bowling ball rack with the top shelf filled with candles, a vending machine, the kind you pull the handle to release (four selections available) set the mood for ambience. A bar that almost reminded me of the ‘The Shining’ was off to the left; neat eclectic art work on the walls; an image of Springsteen, Henry Winkler and a rhinoceros and four rows of liquor in a bright showcase. A sign in the snack bar read, “Menu on counter. Booze in back. Vegetarian eats too.” Even the water fountain arrested eye contact.
Then we met congenial and inventive Tim, the host of Dr. Sketchy and Christopher Fitzgerald, an extraordinary artist and force field. Meanwhile 60 real artists with sketch pads positioned over ten vacant bowling alleys did their thing drawing the beautiful ‘dames’ posing in vampire suggestive poses on a stage. Finally, posing for an old fashioned photo-op with striking model Tricia completed my day in a brave new artistic world.
A few weeks later, Tim invited me as a journalist to cover a special photographic shoot at a private studio in Asbury Park. Of course, there wasn’t much processing just what this shoot was all about. Entering a vestibule (neat descriptive word), I rang the doorbell of suite five, was buzzed into a voice calling down a flight of stairs. “I’m from NJ Discover,” I yelled towards the voice. Next, I entered the photographic artist studio of amazing Andrei Jackomets; a frenetic universe of sets, props, and four models being meticulously made up for a vintage art-deco classy pin-up shoot. More brave new world explorations for this reporter.
Tim was thrilled with my effort of being there. I was thrilled to be standing on the deck of the Santa Maria, so I thought; another Columbus voyage for me. Time and energy expended into creating this shoot amazed. I asked permission to photograph what was witnessed. Works of Andrei lined the walls; an extraordinary artist. Everyone was gracious. Space was tight and most of the time, I couldn’t find a place for my 6’5” frame. Andrei and I saw eye to eye; he asked me to pose and then he posed with a model for my camera. I remember what Winston Zeddmore said at the end of ‘Ghostbusters.’ “I love this city!” And I do love the invention of Asbury Park. And thanks Tim, Dr Sketchy.
Last Saturday, March 24th the new Bangs Art Gallery (congratulations Doug Z’illa) in Asbury Park celebrated an opening. Christopher Fitzgerald displayed his dazzling mixed-media collages before its multi-gallery tour. Rather than describe; check out pictures. With artist Kortez, from Freehold; I stared at his mixed media/canvas and was transported far away; I like when art makes you think by reaching for an often misplaced social conscience. The gallery was crowded and folks talked not only about present art but how great it is to see Asbury Park alive. Prior to the gallery opening, we grabbed a sandwich on Cookman Avenue and afterwards walked across the street to The Press Room for Live Asbury Park’s presentation of ‘An Evening with Dusty,’ which recreated a 1969 concert experience with the original pop Diva and blue-eyed soul singer, Dusty Springfield. Dusty was delivered by “powerhouse singer Kirsten Holly Smith, complete with peroxide beehive and panda eye shadow, backed by a trio of pop-soul doo-wop girls who step out for their own funky star turns.” By the way, what a night; those that confine souls to the sedentary couch TV ought to know this entire evening in Asbury Park cost me $24.75 for two for everything.
August Wilson’s ‘Jitney.’ My Arrival by Calvin Schwartz, Red Bank, NJ(0)
Ever hear the expression about beating yourself up? Well I’ve been doing that since Thursday night February 23rd when I saw August Wilson’s play ‘Jitney’ performed at the Two River Theater in Red Bank, N.J. Here’s the deal. Early last week a friend messaged me on Facebook, that because of popular demand the play ‘Jitney’ was being extended several days and that I should see it. Well I do run around incessantly, taking in all I can find these last years and my friend imparts valuable judgment. I didn’t know August Wilson or his work. I ordered tickets and have never been to theater at Two River. Welcome to the beating up of this writer, a denizen of the magical state of New Jersey. How did I grow up, mature, absorb and celebrate new worlds of cerebral explorations without ever knowing the work of August Wilson? I’m so damned angry at myself.
On a jetty at the New Jersey shore I ponder the universe, environmentalism, trans-humanism, singularity, spirituality, parallel universes, vortex energy, and the list goes on but I never heard of August Wilson. I’ve listened countless times to the speeches from August 28, 1963 at the March on Washington and I wrote a novel about sixties urban experiences and yet I never heard of August Wilson. I aspire to be a renaissance man, dilettante and quintessential absorber of modern life so I play beer pong, do keg stands and run to the Hayden Planetarium to hear Dr. Michio Kaku or Dr.Neil Degrasse-Tyson speak but I never heard of August Wilson.
But now I have heard and what a wondrous night my wife and I had discovering Wilson’s work performed by an amazing ensemble cast at Two River Theater. Where do I begin? Well. Dinner in Red Bank; I thought we were in the Dolomites in Northeastern Italy; quaint ambience and obsessive attention to food taste. The theater experience was completely unique; it began 45 minutes before curtain with ‘Before Play,’ where actor, director and Professor Darrell Willis spoke about August Wilson in the lobby. Mine eyes were opening. It’s not within the boundaries of this article nor am I writing a term paper or a Times review but I felt the words of an amazing poet playwright rivet me to a seat; motionless and spellbound. (You might as well Google August Wilson and ‘Jitney’). The set design was so real, I wanted to drift on stage a few times to answer the phone. I love watching actors who are so precisely intense that their eyebrows even move in the middle of a scene when they’re not talking; they’re living the role. What a cast. How people in a 1970’s Pittsburgh car service (taxi) driver office depended, shared, learned from, and loved each other was movingly and exquisitely told. Wilson writes about the African-American experience (he wrote 10 plays covering different decades and all but one take place in Pittsburgh). So now I know, appreciate and love the writings of August Wilson, and his ‘Jitney’ and Two River Theater in Red Bank and I’ll never look back; I’m done beating myself up and thanks to a friend for being an accelerant to learning more about life.
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|JUNE 12th NJ DISCOVER LIVE TV SHOW: JACKIE ATKINS, NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, CRYSTAL WOODS, American Natural Bodybuilding Federation; “World Class Women Athletes Where You Least Expect Them BUT Life Journeys MORE Amazing” with co-hosts Tara-Jean and Calvin. TUNE IN!!(0)|
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