Atlantic Club Casino’s blending Happy hour specials with ocean vistas and the best jazz and blues musicians in the industry every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
When the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel was looking to complement two of its new dining establishments with some of the best jazz and blues musicians on the touring circuit, it sought out two individuals similarly at the top in terms of sterling industry connections.
The result was a slate of quality entertainment the likes of which would be tough to find anywhere in southern New Jersey, each overlapping happy hour drink and appetizer specials at their respective sites.
Every Friday and Saturday night, BB’s Beer and Burgers hosts a rotating list of four blues artists who have toured and/or recorded with many of the biggest names in the business. On Sunday from 6-9pm, jazz artists perform at Ono Chinese Bistro, which also offers some of the most stunning views around.
“Nearly every [entertainer] going into that room are high-end people with some ties to the area,” says Joe Donofrio, who partnered with Jeff Morgan of Zippy Productions to create the jazz and blues series. “This is a chance to showcase some talent that wouldn’t ordinarily be here. We’re bringing in something that you don’t normally see around here, and entertainment that will be totally unique to the room.
“And you get to see them outside of what they normally do, which is kind of cool,” adds Morgan. “I mean, they’ve played with everybody, but here you get to see them really cut loose and do their own thing — sort of pull out what they like to pull out from their personal bag of tricks. It’s very exciting.”
Bassist/vocalist Nathanial Peterson performs Friday, July 6, at BB’s, and Kirk Yano, a multiple Grammy-winning sound engineer, will sit in on guitar. Peterson was the lead vocalist on Hubert Sumlin’s Grammy nominated CD About Them Shoes that included Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Levon Helm, and has toured the world with such music luminaries as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Mitch Ryder and Buddy Miles. On Saturday, July 7, Michael Powers performs at BB’s followed later this month by fellow blues guitar sensation Scott Holt (July 13-14, 20-21), and longtime Jefferson Starship guitarist Kerry Kearney on Aug. 3.
At Ono on July 8, pianist Alex Brown — a member of renowned Latino jazz ensemble Paquito D’Rivera — will be accompanied by his brother, bassist Zach Brown.
“Alex is a young, upcoming jazz artist and his brother’s a well-known bass player,” says Donofrio. “The both have excellent credentials in the jazz world.”
The following Sunday (July 15), pianist Jim Ridl and bassist Andy Lalasis appear at Ono.
“Jim has a new CD out [Jim Ridl’s Blue Corn Enchilada Dreams], and Andy’s played with everyone from Sinatra on down,” says Donofrio. “These are all artists people will not see in this area in this context.”
The piano/bass combo of John DiMartino and Matthew Parish grace Ono on July 22, and saxophonist Andrew Neu performs with pianist Demetrious Pappas, the musical director for Smokey Robinson, on July 26. Pianist John Colianni teams with Mike Boone (former bassist for Buddy Rich) on Aug. 6, and Aug. 12 will see pianist Bob Albanese with noted Russian bassist Dmitri Kolesnik.
Another highly touted bassist, Harvie S, plays on back-to-back Sundays with pianists Don Friedman and Alan Broadbent, and pianist Lenore Raphael closes out the Sunday series Sept. 2 with guitarist Howard Alden. Raphael is also the popular host of her own hour-long jazz radio show (see purejazzradio.org), and Alden performed on every sound track in the 1999 Woody Allen movie Sweet and Lowdown that starred Sean Penn.
“It’s a very warm, inviting environment for listening, and [Atlantic Club] has been very supportive of the music,” says Donofrio. “It’s got a nice vibe. You can have a great little night out, enjoy some appetizers and a cocktail overlooking the ocean — it’s magnificent.”
Ono offers half-priced appetizers and bottles of wine during the Sunday series (from 6-10pm) as well as $5 Absolut martinis and wines by the glass. BB’s has two daily happy hours from 5-7pm and 10pm-midnight offering similar specials.
Every Fri. & Sat., 9pm-1am
Every Sunday, 6-9pm
Cover Charge: None
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