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In case you missed it!
Spring Lake NJ Irish Festival Saturday May 16th. Live music, cultural food, beer garden, contests, kids activities, Atlantic Ocean, Jersey Shore ambiance, sports personalities and more.




It’s not often when I leave my journalistic confines of Central Jersey and actually head north on the Garden State Parkway, passing several toll plazas, traversing my old Essex County stomping grounds ( I was born  there) and landing just off Route 17 in Paramus, Bergen County.  Some people would walk a mile for their proverbial indulgence; I would drive over an hour for mine; exploring musical offerings in new worlds.  And thanks to all the advancements in social media, my name and occupation (journalist with proclivities in music, environment, homelessness, hunger) was  picked out of a random hat and I was asked if I’d like to explore the Ridgewood Conservatory/School for the Performing Arts in Paramus. The decision was instant; it would be a positive wonderful learning experience.




Donna Baccaro, Program Director actually found me and my writings on social media and NJ Discover. Just prior to meeting Louis Caimano, Director and Jan King Caimano, Associate Director, Donna and I went through the discovery process as she enhanced my understanding of all they do at Ridgewood Conservatory. Of course I was taken with the depth and breadth of their programs as we toured the facility. To me, there are music schools all over, but there was something special here from the physical plant, to the faculty, most with Masters Degrees, to the wide variety of programs for all age groups, even mine.

Rather than outlining all that I absorbed, I asked Jan Caimano to provide me with general information

Calvin Schwartz   May 17, 2015  

Thanks to Jan Caimano for the encapsulated information:

The Ridgewood Conservatory School for the Performing Arts offers premium instrument, vocal, acting and dance education for students of all levels and ages without going into Manhattan.

The Conservatory’s Director, Lou Caimano, is a consummate professional performer with credits including three degrees in music, 14 Broadway shows, three CD-releases, and too many live and recording performances to possibly list here. Critically acclaimed as an “extraordinary saxophonist,” Lou’s latest CD Dyad Plays Puccini, recorded with pianist Eric Olsen, and was listed as one of the Top 50 Jazz CDs of 2013 by Jazz Times.

The current location has 14 private teaching studios, a large Early Childhood Music room and an elegant Dance/Recital space. This year, The Ridgewood Conservatory’s dance program is undergoing enormous growth under the direction of professional dancer, choreographer and educator, Donna Baccaro. The Conservatory’s newly expanded Dance Program includes private instruction and group classes for students of all ages and levels in ballet and pointe, modern/contemporary, jazz, tap, hip-hop, dance acrobatics, musical theater and ballroom, as well as in pilates for adults.

The Ridgewood Conservatory offers private music lessons by world-class virtuosi on strings, woodwinds, brass, piano, percussion, guitar, and voice; private acting lessons and group workshops; chamber music and jazz ensembles; jazz improvisation workshops; theory and musicianship, composition, music history, audition preparation and music AP coaching for children, teens and adults at all levels.

The Rock Shop offers private lessons as well as band, performance and songwriting coaching, to aspiring rock musicians and vocalists of all ages by our staff of top Rock and R&B professionals. The Early Childhood Program at The Ridgewood Conservatory includes joyful, non-competitive, Music and Dance classes specially designed to meet the developmental needs for the youngest students.

To find out more about The Ridgewood Conservatory, call 201-612-6686 or visit them on the web at





















It’s heavy. It’s not my brother or a hard rain but the old Upstage Club in Asbury Park, NJ, USA         A Memorial?    April 12, 2015       By Calvin Schwartz It’s heavy. It’s not my brother or a hard rain but the old Upstage Club in Asbury Park, NJ, USA A Memorial? April 12, 2015 By Calvin Schwartz(0)

It’s heavy. It’s not my brother or a hard rain but the old Upstage Club in Asbury Park, NJ, USA  A Memorial?    April 12, 2015       By Calvin Schwartz




This op-ed or whatever it is, structurally, is best designed to be that stream of almost absurd consciousness that I’ve grown accustomed to these past few literary years. Suddenly, last summer, I heard The Everly Brothers singing ‘Bye Bye Love’ in a pinball amusement place on Ocean Avenue in Belmar, New Jersey. It’s 1957 and my parents rented a bungalow for August. If I behaved all week, watched my three year old sister Hildy, walked her in a stroller around the block every weekday morning, then when my father came down by Jersey Central rail train on the weekend, the family would go to Asbury Park’s boardwalk on Saturday night. My first experienced love of the city.



I’ll get to the Upstage. What I’m doing now is creating the background to suggest I am eminently qualified to deliver all kinds of coinage (two cents) about the city of Asbury Park and this special place on Cookman Avenue that launched a thousand musical ships, future careers and dreams. Well maybe not a thousand. Let’s cut to four years ago. Suddenly, during the summer of 2011, I became a journalist covering all aspects of Monmouth County life. The epicenter of that life for me was Asbury Park. I’ve covered the President visiting the boardwalk, Zombie Walk, Jersey Shore Dream Center (food pantry & kitchen), NJ Hall of Fame Induction, Light of Day, Hurricane Sandy, Asbury Lanes and Dr. Sketchy, all the historic music venues, Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation, Asbury Park Comedy Festival, Bamboozle, Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Jersey Shore Arts Center (the old Neptune High Building, hmmm?) and have spent countless days and nights, seemingly full-time becoming a denizen of the boardwalk.

As much as four or five times a week, I absorbed music all over the city; even a collection of indigenous drummers, percussionists and hula-hoop purveyors on the boardwalk, before police would chase them away, all reveling naturally in self-expression before a setting summer sun. Yes, the ingredients of a real music city.


A few years ago, I got off a tour bus in Asbury Park, part of the Springsteen Symposium at Monmouth University, and heard local historians/journalists(Jean Mikle and Stan Goldstein) talk about Bruce, Convention Hall and the Stone Pony. Later, we stood in front of a building signed ‘Extreme,’ (back in 2001, the first floor was a shoe store) the top two floors, windows extant but covered over with concrete, like deliberately sealing a part of its past; a sarcophagus perhaps. They explained the hidden floors were the old ‘Upstage Club,’ founded by visionaries Margaret and Tom Potter, where Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Little Steven Van Zandt, Vini Lopez, Garry Tallent and Danny Federici were all regulars from 1968 to 1971 until it closed permanently. The door was padlocked and the last four decade history was explained to the group. Actually there is no history just endless abandonment and rumors that it might be torn down for condos. Back then, it was an almost all night (no alcohol) club where creative young musicians performed and explored until early morning hours. It was all for music’s sake; a brilliant concept and launching pad of expression and destiny. How synchronistic; the granddaughter of Margaret and Tom  Potter, Carrie Potter Devening, published this wonderful book, ‘For Music’s Sake’ giving the history of the Upstage Club.  I was haunted standing there, looking up, imagining what it must’ve been like all those years ago with incredible musical talent that has gone on to the global stage. This was my first ‘Upstage’ exposure and the early particulates of the molecular energy that birthed my love affair with the building, its history, founders and supporters.

I was smitten with sentimentality and history. On several occasions, over the years, around midnight,(like the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere)  I went to Asbury Park on a meditative sojourn, stood outside the Upstage Club, looked up to a snow flurry or a starry summer sky and dreamed what was and what could be. I took pictures of the silence of the building and posted on social media. That’s when Carrie Potter Devening saw my posts, pictures and we became friends.



My dream collection process was accelerated; why couldn’t Asbury Park take its place as an international music destination so that one day it would be impossible to find a parking space on Cookman Avenue in the dead of winter; the city would be frenetic and alive with the sounds of music and the Upstage Club would again become that creative purist musical mecca. If you want to make it in New York, you have to make it at the Jersey shore first. If the club was crowded, I’d even sit on the floor, stare at vintage art on the walls and dreamily listen to music until 4 am, with just a cup of espresso. The music closed my eyes to dreams. I remember Robert Kennedy’s quote, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” The streams of consciousness remind me of a scene from Henry Fonda in ‘Mister Roberts.’ What’s this I hear, that so many in the Asbury Park concentric circles of commonality, are letting the concept of Margaret and Tom Potter, musical creativity and even the brick and mortar of the Upstage Club disappear.



More streams. There’s a skeleton of a building, concrete pillars and a make-shift fence surrounding the massive property; a project started and quickly abandoned years ago. It’s on Ocean Avenue, a few blocks from Convention Hall. Of course, it’s an eye-sore, but for me it dramatizes a part of the Asbury Park experience. On several occasions, I conducted tours of Asbury Park and explained to foreign visitors, this was actually a commissioned sculpture depicting the future rising of Asbury Park. I can’t remember if I ever finally told them the truth. It doesn’t matter. The only truth is there are so many circles (‘interest’ groups) that want Asbury Park to finally arrive, but with so many different agendas on pastel brick roads.

It’s really not my place here to talk about the haunting history and emotional evocation of this magical place, The Upstage Club; so much has been said, written, talked about on radio or in restaurants up and down our Jersey shore. It’s the lighting of a fire, somewhere (someone) and installation of commitment to keep the concept within the city alive (or perhaps a block away?). Carrie Potter Devening has been tirelessly working for the past ten years to keep it alive; perhaps make it a museum and night club (without alcohol) again. There are efforts to raise money to buy the building, petitions to all those circles rolling around.





In 2012, on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, was the Asbury Angels first induction ceremony. The Angels are people who’ve passed, but contributed much to the rich musical history of the city going back way before Margaret and Tom Potter, who were also inducted that September day.  Music came to Asbury Park basically from the day it was born in 1871. From John Phillip Sousa and the city’s own Arthur Pryor, one of the greatest trombone players, to the clubs along Springwood Avenue on the city’s Westside where the likes of Billie Holiday (who would’ve turned 100 as I’m writing this) Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and many other jazz and blues greats performed, to the Upstage, and right up to today, music is Asbury Park.






I met Carrie at the Angels Induction Ceremony, after her book, ‘For Music’s Sake’ signing in Convention Hall Arcade and later she facilitated my first visit to the Upstage Club. The building owner had graciously opened (for a few) the top two floors, left absolutely intact since 1971, with the walls still replete with unique psychedelic art. In the men’s room, I saw scrawled on the wall, ‘Steel Mill 1971.’(Springsteen’s early band).  There was a strange silence walking around; one of those hard to explain moments. I stopped in front a brightly painted psychedelic wall and posed for a picture by a photographer who took the same picture of Bruce Springsteen just a year earlier, when he stopped by for ostensibly the last time. Sentimentality crosses barriers of time, space and people.







Walking around in the sounds of silence of the Upstage, I asked questions of a few who were there when it mattered. Tom Potter wanted a place with no peer pressure, where you can refine your skills and play music if you were too young to play at bars; the beauty of a non-alcoholic stage and the fact the Upstage was never a business just a club. I wonder who wrote the book of love and if all the ‘circles’ realize this. Jam sessions would seemingly never finish. Vinnie Roslin once started a song and it lasted 140 minutes. Things happened fast at the young club. Sometimes before a band could come up with a name, the band broke up. But those days are long gone. Things are different now; sound, technology, smart phones, fracking and internet.



My impulse as a sentimental journalist (oxymoron?) is to find a way to save this part of Americana and musical history. ‘You Can’t Go Home Again,” by Thomas Wolfe rings in my ear like a troublesome tinnitus. Perhaps you really CAN get home despite his admonition; so I’d like to believe. That’s why I’m doing this writing. Then slowly I turned around, came full circle and an epiphany (it was that strong) slapped sense and sensibility which means inevitability and probability. I heard what one of the E-Street Band members said that The Upstage is only brick and mortar and the memories last forever; some truth and maybe not an evasion. But what’s really important is the future of Asbury Park, NJ, USA. The concept of the Upstage Club must never fade away like an old general. The spirit must endure so today’s young musicians have something to propel Asbury Park into the future and a place where they are nurtured. And the future is slowly getting there. I have that dream of seeing Asbury Park as a global musical destination. Another ingredient is a first recording studio which is now here.  So to my ‘now’ epiphany, if its only brick and mortar, that’s alright ‘Mah’, we just have to keep the concept alive. The Upstage could find a different format if or when all the ‘circles’ decide to let the old tired walls come down.





Sometimes I ask myself, whom I’m going to call now. Ghostbusters or all those ‘circles’ I know of? A few weeks ago, I received an invite to presumably the last walk through of the Upstage. Then the best; I went back to the future when Vini Lopez, Paul Whistler, Joe Petillo, Rich Gulya, Jon Sebastian Brice and Sharon Lasher took the stage with all the holes behind them, paint was peeling from ceiling and walls and they jammed for a last time like there is a tomorrow. A box of plaster pieces for souvenirs rested to stage right; we stuffed our pockets with history; a Berlin wall?  I closed my eyes for a few seconds while the band played on. I dreamed again. Being there fueled my writing this piece. I’ve now said my peace.  One final thought as the clock on my computer approaches 4:44 AM Sunday morning. There’s a wonderful historic building a block from Asbury Park that used to be the old Neptune High School a long time ago. Now it’s the Jersey Shore Arts Center.  I wrote a feature article about them for NJ The Shore Thing last September. Yet another Calvin epiphany hit me a year ago; a new Upstage Club? And I wonder who really wrote the book of love.


Post script:  Watch for acclaimed director Tom Jones’ film about The Upstage Club to be released next year

Carrie Potter Devening book link:

GoFund Me to raise money to buy the building:

Sign the Petition at to save The Upstage Club:


The Making of a Contemporary Christmas Classic Song: “Your Love is All I Want for Christmas” by Jo Bonanno and the Godsons of Soul   By Calvin Schwartz   December 2, 2014 The Making of a Contemporary Christmas Classic Song: “Your Love is All I Want for Christmas” by Jo Bonanno and the Godsons of Soul By Calvin Schwartz December 2, 2014(0)

The Making of a Contemporary Christmas Classic Song: “”Your Love is All I Want for Christmas” by Jo Bonanno and the Godsons of Soul   By Calvin Schwartz   December 2, 2014





I’ve been ‘into’ Christmas and holiday music for a long time. Somehow when I listen, it magic carpets me back to my youth, growing up  in Newark,  going to Bamberger’s with my mom for holiday shopping and being caught up in the frenetic holiday spirit. It always snowed up to my knees in December and there was an endless line to see Santa. Even when I was small and a few years old, my mother told me the Santa line was too long even though the US population was only 157 million.  Bing Crosby sang ‘White Christmas’ and Gene Autry, a cowboy favorite of mine, did ‘Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.’ For me it is a precious time of year with its wondrous music, meaning and imagery.

Over the years, I’ve ordered Time Life Treasury of Christmas Music and listen over the four weeks starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. There’s nothing quite as moving as Pavarotti singing ‘Adeste Fideles.’ Now in the digital age, we have Sirius radio channel 17 called Holly playing holiday music 24/7 and same thing for 106.7. My auditory senses are replete in the car and at home. But I’ve also been on a bit of a personal quest these last few years to find contemporary holiday music to  latch onto and treasure, often asking myself why is it always music from the 1800’s or 1900’s that is classic. So when I hear a contemporary holiday song that moves and emotes me, I add it to my Holiday listening.





When I heard ‘Jo Bonanno and the Godsons of Soul’ sing “Your Love is All I want for Christmas,” it was instant like and attraction and now I listen often  (the CD). I say to myself, the song is “our time,” reflecting energies and lyrics we can identify with in 2014. I asked Jo Bonanno if we could talk about the origin of the song especially since both Jo and I come from Newark; a building block of commonality. So we talked with a bowl of peanut M &M’s and a huge untouched apple pie separating us.

For years people  asked Jo why he doesn’t release a Christmas song. He never had time to do it. “So I sat down last October. I said we’re going to do a Christmas song. They thought I was crazy to do a Christmas song. You can’t do this in such a short time.” Jo insisted they can do it. “So I sat down and started thinking of all the angles, different feels. I always liked the Phil Spector sound; the bells, orchestration and the arrangements. These songs always made me feel warm inside.”

Jo thought about a concept and what everybody wants. ,”When I look at myself, I feel like I’m very blessed. Basically I’ve had everything I wanted and I can’t think of myself. I have to think outside the box. What does everybody in this world really like? Everybody wants and needs love. Then I picked up a guitar and strummed a bunch of chords; just back and forth and it came to me little by little. Your love is all I want for Christmas.”





He talked about his having all the essentials needed  but something everyone could use is love. “The world needs love. So I got the guys together; the whole band and sat down with Dennis, the musical director. We went over the song and got the guys in the studio and told them to listen. Rob Libret was the engineer who co-produced. I said we needed some women vocals.”  Jo knows a lot of women voices. “I said Jody Joseph (Bon Jovi) who backs up. Being its Christmas and family, I had my son Jared back-up and realized my daughter Ava Grace could also do it.”

Last year they performed the song at Count Basie Theater at the Darlene Love show with Gary US Bonds’ band. They got air play on CBS FM and 90.5 and internet radio; to me all the basic ingredients of that trip down the yellow brick road of becoming a classic Christmas song. I like to think I was there at the beginning of a classic. It’s a great song for the holidays.  I’ve listened countless times already. I’m down for its soulful molecular (energy) journey. Happy Holidays.

Calvin Schwartz


CD Baby:

I Tunes:





‘THERE’S STILL CHRISTMAS’   Clarence Clemons’ Christmas Song and the story behind it. AND Clarence Clemons 3rd Annual Birthday Party Jan 10, 2015  By Calvin Schwartz   November 29 th 2014 ‘THERE’S STILL CHRISTMAS’ Clarence Clemons’ Christmas Song and the story behind it. AND Clarence Clemons 3rd Annual Birthday Party Jan 10, 2015 By Calvin Schwartz November 29 th 2014(0)

THERE’S STILL CHRISTMAS’ Clarence Clemons’ Christmas Song and the story behind it. AND Clarence Clemons 3rd Annual Birthday Party Jan 10, 2015 By Calvin Schwartz November 28th 2014



A Clarence Clemons Birthday Celebration to Benefit Hometown Heroes

January 10th 2015  at BAR ANTICIPATION, Belmar, New Jersey
Doors Open 1:30pm Show Starts 2pm
Tickets $25 for Show
$50 VIP Dinner,Show,Meet & Greet.






Two years ago and last year I published the essence of this article on my blog ( and here at NJ Discover; some things at holiday time are timeless and classic; movies and songs that fill your spirit with warmth and sentimentality.  The story of this Christmas song richly recorded by the legendary Clarence Clemons is special and enduring and on its way to joining such classic holiday offerings as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the history of the movie reminds me of how “There’s Still Christmas” is evolving. This Christmas song becomes part of Clarence’s legacy; that audio gift at holiday time.

Two years through the magic of synchronicity and holiday spirit I came to interview Dennis Bourke(melody) and Jim Nuzzo (arranger) who helped  bring the Clarence Clemons Christmas song “There’s Still  Christmas” to our radar screens and Youtube etc. Yes, Clarence Clemons recorded this amazing song back in 1981. So a few years after he passed, he is still giving magic and his ‘bigness’ to us; the makings of another holiday classic; just like all the holiday Christmas movies I’ve talked about. Here is my article telling the story of this song. And please check out the link to listen to “There’s Still Christmas.”




A long time ago in another state, in another city (which has alternate side of the street parking), I was aimlessly flicking television channels with an antiquated remote when I caught the black and white beginning of a movie that I’d never seen, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  It was early autumn. Within a few minutes, I was drawn into the mystique and charm of this movie; throw an angel into storyline and I’m hooked for the long haul. I loved the movie’s message; about friends, family and dreams. The movie became a Christmas classic but not for many years after it was made in 1946. It was actually released in the summer that year and bombed at the box office.

When I finished watching the movie, I wondered why this wasn’t a classic with its timeless message of Christmas spirit, incredible cast and storytelling. Over the next few years, Ronald Reagan became President and the movie began surfacing on television during the holiday season with uncanny frequency. I said to myself, “I knew it would find itself holiday time;” and did it ever. Back in the Garden State, in the early eighties, a few weeks before Christmas on a Saturday afternoon, I was flicking channels again with a more modern remote and stumbled upon “It’s A Wonderful Life” on  six different channels at the same time, staggered so that you could see the ending if you were so moved; six times. “Atta boy Clarence,” Jimmy Stewart (George Bailey) says near the end; witness to the multi decade birth of a Christmas classic movie. Television stations today conspire to only do one showing per season; but it’s still a certifiable classic.  Segue to the title of this article, ‘Eyewitness to a new classic Christmas song.’ By the way, I find it particularly haunting in my microcosmic synchronistic world that the angel in this movie is Clarence, and I’m writing about Clarence (Clemons). Hmmm!!




I told the story of this movie because in our crazy mixed-up, digital, smart-phone, fast food world, we’re likely to be witnessing the birth of yet another classic; this time an incredible Christmas song with such a moving emotional voice, the late ‘Big Man,’ Clarence Clemons. If you want to get in the mood before reading on, here’s the You Tube link to ‘There’s Still Christmas.’ Go listen and come back here.

I love angels and synchronicity. A few years ago, I came to know Jim Nuzzo and Dennis Bourke (and the late Stevie Betts, lyrics) who created this song with Clarence Clemons back in 1981. I’m a story teller so here goes.

Back in 1981, Stevie Betts (lyricist) and Dennis Bourke (melody) wrote this song, ‘There’s Still Christmas’ and teamed up with Jim Nuzzo (arranger, producer) and got manager Matty Breuer (assistant tour manager for Springsteen back then) to approach Clarence Clemons. They all met at Clarence’s Sea Bright, New Jersey home, had some wine and presented the words of the song to the ‘Big Man.’ Being on hiatus from touring with Springsteen, Clarence wanted to do it. He loved the message of the song; when things look down, there’s still Christmas; simple yet poignant. And Clarence’s rich baritone voice that is silenced now; propels this to classic status.  At the first recording session in October 1981, Clarence arrived wearing a cowboy hat. The next day he was wearing a Santa Claus hat and red vest exposing a chubby belly. He had Christmas lights put on the music stand; he was so in the mood to do this song. They rehearsed the song at ‘Big Man’s West’ in Red Bank; Clarence’s club. Jim and Dennis both told me about getting chills being in the same room with him when he performed. “He was a gentle down to earth guy,” Jim said.  To relax during the recording sessions, they played video games. To prepare for record company submission, Clarence recorded the other side on solo sax another Christmas classic “The Christmas Song.” The record company never picked up the song so it’s been sleeping all these years waiting for classic beams of particulate historic energy. Last year the song was released but like the movie, so few of us knew it existed. I listened and was blown away; his voice and persona holds me in a suspended state; like I’ve known him all these years; like it’s a special legacy to all of us to have him back in our lives at Christmas this year.

Imagine, after all these years; this song comes to us from Clarence at this holiday time of year; part of his enduring legacy.

Here’s some links to this wonderful life song/info:


Available for purchase on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and

You can also find ‘There’s Still Christmas’ on Facebook.

Bottom line. Please go listen and fall in love with the song. Purchase it. Sit by the fire place with a glass of wine or egg nog. Enjoy the Happy Holidays. Listen to his wondrous voice.

Thanks again to Jim Nuzzo and Dennis Bourke for their passion and time. And to Stevie Betts for his wonderful lyrics and words.

And Clarence.

Calvin Schwartz



and book trailer:

ON THE AVE is NJ Discover’s new TV Show with Tara-Jean Vitale hosting, airing twice a week on Comcast TV channel 190 ON THE AVE is NJ Discover’s new TV Show with Tara-Jean Vitale hosting, airing twice a week on Comcast TV channel 190(1)


ON THE AVE is NJ Discover’s new TV Show  with Tara-Jean Vitale hosting airing twice a week on Comcast TV channel 190

ON THE AVE will be driving through New Jersey Towns discovering local businesses, restaurants and hot spots. We will take you inside these places and meet the people who make it all possible.

In this episode Tara-jean Visited  Escondido’s of Freehold, Green Flag at Wall Stadium and Krank of Hoboken.  Sit back and enjoy!

Watch ON THE AVE – NJ Discover TV and discover what local gems are in your neighborhood

Drummers…What’s Your MO? By Tara-Jean Vitale Drummers…What’s Your MO? By Tara-Jean Vitale(3)

Drummers…What’s Your MO?

Modus operandi (plural modi operandi) is a Latin phrase, which can be translated as “method of operation”. The term is used to describe someone’s habits. We Americans like to shorten it to “MO”, and Thino Cacciolo, owner and founder of MO DRUMSTICKS LLC.,  has chosen to build his own unique business around it. When first meeting Thino it is apparent his passion for music was the foundation for the creation of the Mo Drumstick. Thino believes “each and every drummer should be given the ability to create the perfect drumstick based on their own unique style of play, grip, age, physical abilities and experience”…a drummer’s MO. According to Thino, the music industry has taken tremendous strides in the development of better instruments both electronically and structurally, but stick design still had a ways to go. That is until MO DRUMSTICKS TM. was introduced just about 6 months ago.

Drummers across the country have re-discovered their ‘DRUMMIN’ MOJO” and are not shy about letting everyone know how special these sticks are. Here are just a few…





Tom Motts has appeared in Modern Drummer, Metal Edge and Billboard magazines. Tom and Serial Obsession has performed on many legendary stages like CBGB, ,B.B.Kings, Lamours,Terminal 5 and Kenny’s Castawys to name a few.

Tom writes… “I was fortunate enough to be among the first drummers to road test this innovative stick, which I found added much control to my playing.

By adding a numbered weight system that allows you to customize the balance of the stick which changes the “sweet spot, fulcrum) it allowed me great comfort especially for my old fashioned stick twirls, thus creating the “MOTTS ROCKS #147”. Drummers, we no longer have to settle… Thino and MO DRUMSTICKS just made it personal!!! Having my Signature Stick makes me feel like a King and I’m loving mine!

Staff Sergeant Robert Hooks of The United States Army is stationed in Afghanistan. Every soldier carries a dream with him from back home to the forefront; Sgt Hooks dream was to play the drums. He found MO Drumsticks on Facebook. He sent a message through the internet asking about ordering custom drumsticks for when he comes back home.  Thino thought “why wait?’ He made Sgt Hook’s personal and unique drumsticks as quickly as possible and shipped them out to where the soldier was stationed in Afghanistan. MO Drumsticks can be found all over the United States, from California to Texas to NJ to Ohio. But the package he shipped to Afghanistan for one of America’s soldiers was one of Thino’s favorite.


Thino with John Castellano and Good & Plenty posing in front of Brown’s in Bay Ridge in the late 70’s. Good & Plenty played many local hot spots in NJ: Robins Reef Yacht Club and Venice Restaurant in Bayonne.  Left to right… Thino Cacciolo, John Castellano, Doreen Rose, Ray Naccari, Phil Castellan0

MO’s Patent Pending one of a kind, Grooved/Weighted Drumsticks combine machined ergonomic groove(s) filed into the stick at the fulcrum, (the sweet spot of the stick) with a weight distribution system that allows a drummer to customize the mass weight of each stick to match their play. Not just add weight to the stick, but distribute that weight across the stick! Thino believes that this custom design will give drummers of all levels of play the opportunity to reach their full potential just by using their own personally designed custom MO DRUMSTICK.










Facebook Page:

Writer TaraJean Vitale
With Thino at American Hotel, Freehold NJ

(Video)Monmouth & Ocean County Food Bank Fundraiser Event with SouthSide Johnny & the Asbury  Jukes.  Jason Nappi (Video)Monmouth & Ocean County Food Bank Fundraiser Event with SouthSide Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. Jason Nappi(0)

‘The Monmouth & Ocean County Food Bank Parter up with The Windmill Restaurant’s for the unofficial start of summer featuring Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. This celebration is to raise awareness and money for the food bank to help support the thousands of families who will go hungry this summer. The goal is to sell 10,000 or more hotdogs and raise over 50 thousand dollars for the food bank.’

Belmar 28th Seafood Festival 13th, 14th & 15th Belmar 28th Seafood Festival 13th, 14th & 15th(0)





28th Seafood Festival (Sat)

June 13, 14 & 15 – 2014, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

Silver Lake Park

5th & Ocean


For more info visit:

For sponsorship opportunities & information, please contact Patti Baxter 732-747-4449

WCBS 880 Small Business Breakfast 6/14/12 Parsippany, NJ [TaraJean Vitale Host – Video] WCBS 880 Small Business Breakfast 6/14/12 Parsippany, NJ [TaraJean Vitale Host – Video](0)

“New Ways Of Selling” WCBS News Radio 880  Small Business Breakfast in Parsippany NJ.

Joe Connolly, Business Reporter of The Wall Street Journal & WCBS-AM, hosted the business breakfast that was attended by over 300 participants. Offering their expertise were four panelists: Steve Kalafer, Chairman of Flemington Car and Truck Country; Deborah Smith, Business Owner and Social Media Consultant; Doug Cinella, Professional Baseball Instruction; Christopher Zane, Owner of Zane’s Cycles.

The program successfully presented ways for small businesses to expand and thrive. Topics included using Social Media outlets and the importance of having a website with a Video Commercial offering a sight, sound and motion experience for the internet costumer. Just as important for achieving a successful business are the traditional commitments to integrity and consistency.

NJ Discover is available to offer production and advertising services  to all companies that need Video Commercials on their websites.    For more information on NJ Discover Video Production Services call #(732)-303-8844.

NJ Discover’s TaraJean Vitale, covered the event.


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