The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey's first in the four-program Monday Night Jazz and Blues Series could hardly begin on a more distinguished note, as eminent South Philly-born jazz guitarist Pat Martino will appear at the college's Performing Arts Center Monday, Oct. 6, starting 7:30pm. "The main thrust of our program this year was to showcase New Jersey musicians who have achieved national recognition," says Stockton series coordinator Lance Olsen. "Although Mr. Martino hails originally from Philadelphia, he let us know that as a Margate resident he would be very anxious to participate in the series."
Martino, 64, began playing guitar professionally in 1961. He has released 23 jazz records since 1966 and was nominated for numerous Grammy awards. His latest CD, Remember, was released in 2006, and serves as a tribute to one of the greatest modern jazz guitarists of all time, John Leslie "Wes" Montgomery. Five of the last six CDs by Martino -- who along with fellow jazz guitar luminary Pat Metheny was enormously influenced by Montgomery -- were released on the esteemed Blue Note jazz label. Accompanying Martino at Stockton will be Rick Germanson on piano, Scott Allan Robinson on percussion and Harvie S. on bass.
"We're going to have a lot of fun," Martino tells AC Weekly. "I'm really looking forward to that."
When he's not performing, recording or engaged in ancillary projects he's teaching, and sees the Stockton show as an opportunity to help enlighten young people on a style of music that has had a storied evolution. "I believe students in general ... are primarily standing on the outside looking at things from a distance," says Martino. "Jazz today, in the long run, really has nothing to do with what jazz really was years ago, and that's what students are analyzing or trying to analyze -- a form of art that, as an extension of a culture, has evolved in different directions. Jazz has become much more than just music as a form of entertainment, or as a profession or a craft. It has become a form of redefining everything in life, and has become synonymous with the ability to be spontaneous under any and all circumstances.
The Somers Point Jazz Society forges ahead with live music and educational programming through the colder months.
“We haven’t had a disappointing month yet, and Dan and Sandi have been fantastic. They’ve gone above and beyond anything we could ask them to do, and the audience has been terrific. It’s been a lot of fun. We couldn’t do it without the support of the community and without the help of Dan and Sandi. They’ve really championed the cause of jazz music in the Somers Point community.”
It's another eclectic line-up for the Richard Stockton College Performing Arts Center fall and holiday season.
Weinberg will headline two days of performances and appearances March 26 & 27 in support of Seashore Gardens Living Center in Galloway Township.
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