Asbury Park Press


Fancy some holiday jazz and blues, played by a big band, in a proper venue with a good sound system? Look no further than the Langosta Lounge on the Asbury Park promenade for a performance tonight from Ocean Grove native PJ Rasmussen and his Boardwalk Jazz Band.

Most of the members of PJ Rasmussen and the Boardwalk Jazz Band, a 21-piece orchestra, are now based in New York where they were quickly accepted into a prestigious venue, Michael Dorf’s City Winery club on Varick Street.

“We’re always excited to return to Langosta since that’s where the Boardwalk Jazz Band started,” Rasmussen explained in an email last week.

“Every show we do is different, but all feature mostly original music. The originals blend blues, rock, soul, funk, barbershop quintet styles and more, while staying true to our jazz roots, and for the Langosta show, we’ll be adding some holiday classics,” he said. he explains.

The band’s choice of cover songs, which no doubt help broaden jazz audiences, range from big band renditions of Bob Dylan to avant-garde interpretations of Led Zeppelin, he said.

“The show is a modern embodiment of Duke Ellington’s famous statement: ‘There are only two kinds of music – good and bad.’ The show embraces variety and treats audiences with respect, accompanying them every step of the way, no matter what genre takes them through.

Rasmussen’s Boardwalk Jazz Band will showcase the talents of four singers, April May, Kate Victor, Candice Reyes and Rasmussen himself on vocals. Rasmussen’s other band mates include Billy Test on keyboards, Daseul Kim on bass and Jon Difiore on drums.

“This is the first year that we will be doing a holiday show in Langosta. The band originally played Langosta in September 2013, as a special ending for the first series of Boardwalk Jazz,” Rasmussen explained. Manager Peter Mantas came up with the idea for the Christmas show and mentioned it to Rasmussen in August.

“As far as holiday tunes go, I made it a point to dig up a few lesser played chestnuts to sprinkle throughout the evening. You’re not going to hear the same 10 songs that have been on every Christmas album from 1920 to today. I love this music, but we have to keep it fresh! These will be holiday classics like you’ve never heard before! And, like all Boardwalk Jazz shows, you’ll hear mostly original music that explores rock, blues, funk and more, all while staying true to my jazz roots.

Rasmussen has lived in New York for about a year and added that he’s been trying to build a career doing the music he’s most passionate about.

“I am committed to sharing this love of music with others,” he added.

“Boardwalk Jazz is one of them. It’s about presenting jazz in a new light, saying: “Jazz is music anybody can love.’ ”

There is never an admission charge at Langosta Lounge, 1000 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park, 732-455-3275. The first set is expected to start around 9 p.m. For more information, visit

Country, bluegrass and blues

Barbecue Bob Pomeroy, ever resourceful musician, bandleader, songwriter and impresario, has put together a special showcase of bands for this evening at Crossroads Bar and Restaurant on Route 28 in Garwood. The venue, owned by Bernie Brausewetter’s former guitar student Lee Frankel and his parents, serves superb New Orleans fare and has an excellent stage, lighting and sound system.

Pomeroy put on a show reminiscent of the ones he used to see in clubs in Lower Manhattan when he attended Columbia University in the late 1970s.

Titled “Country, Bluegrass and Blues,” the show kicks off at 8 p.m. tonight at 78 North Ave. (Highway 28) Garwood. Performers include Laurie Ann and the Saddle Tones, Citizens Band Radio with Mike Flynn on guitar and Dave Ambrosy on drums, and Barbecue Bob Pomeroy himself with his band, the Spare Ribs, which includes David Lee Ross, drums, Tom Diello, bass and Ira Spinrad, guitars and mandolin. Pomeroy sings and plays guitar and harmonica.

The cover charge for tonight’s show, hosted by Pomeroy, is $10. Call Crossroads at 908-518-0323.

Ernie White and his friends

It may have been hard to get into the Christmas spirit in recent weeks, with temperatures reaching the 50s and 60s. One solution is to commit to hearing an avalanche of Christmas music this Sunday night at Princeton Manor, formerly known as Cedar Gardens, on Highway 33 in Hamilton Township.

Performers include a who’s who of musicians from the Bucks-Trenton-Princeton corridor, including guitarist and studio owner guitar teacher Ernie White, Lisa Bouchelle, Paul Plumeri, Joe Zuccarello, Tom Reock, Charles Laurita, Hal Selzer, John Bushnell and literally dozens more.

In 2013, former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora showed up and took the stage with guitar titans Trenton Plumeri and Zuccarello while dozens of patrons whipped out their cellphone cameras.

Sambora sat with the assembled group for a good half hour, then spent the rest of the evening graciously signing autographs and posing for selfies with literally hundreds of fans. You never know who may show up this year.

The 16th Annual Ernie White and Friends Christmas Concert will take place from 7-11 p.m. Sunday at Princeton Manor, 661 Route 33, Hamilton Township.

The donation is $25 at this extremely well-organized event where you’ll hear and see dozens of Christmas and holiday melodies rendered by a dizzying array of musicians with lightning-fast scene changes.

White’s annual event is a fundraiser for the Trenton area soup kitchen. Call 609-587-1511 for details or directions.

Source link

Henry R. Wright