Plus, Tropicana's 'Go Red for Women'
Birdland Band Roosts at Stockton
By Ray Schweibert
A widely heralded 14-piece jazz band based in New York City will be performing at the Stockton Performing Arts Center (PAC) on the campus of Richard Stockton College Monday, Feb. 4, starting 7:30pm. Created by virtuoso jazz drummer Tommy Igoe in 2006, the Birdland Big Band has become one of the most popular weekly acts at revered NYC jazz club Birdland, and highlights a musical event at Stockton called Live at Birdland that features world music infused with the best of American jazz. The band’s newest recording, Eleven, has been nominated for four Grammy Awards including Best Arrangement (two), Best Large Ensemble and Best Engineering (Phil Magnotti). The NYC weekly dining-and-entertainment publication Time Out New York described the Birdland Big Band as “a completely unique NYC experience. There isn’t another band like this anywhere — a music experience you simply must witness.” Tickets are $40 for orchestra, $25 for mezzanine, and $10 for children with an adult purchase. Seniors take $5 off. Tickets are available at the Stockton PAC (101 Vera King Farris Drive in Galloway), by calling 652-9000, or by visiting stockton.edu/pac.
Tropicana’s ‘Go Red For Women’
By Lori Hoffman
To create awareness for Heart Month this February, The Tropicana presents a series of Heart Healthy events, specials and more under the banner of its “Go Red For Women” event Friday, Feb. 1.
Schedule of Events: 12pm, Free health screenings in Palm Walk — The day begins at noon with free blood pressure screenings and other heart health related services by AtlantiCare until 2pm. Tilton Fitness will also be on hand providing free body fat testing and consultations. Plus, there will be opportunities to win Tilton Fitness gift basket with competitions throughout the day including push-up and sit-up contests. 1pm, Photo Op with Tropicana Executive Team, Tilton Fitness, and Atlanticare. 4pm, Free Zumba Class in Palm Walk — Get your heart rate going at with a complimentary Zumba class led by Tilton Fitness. 8:30pm, Free Red Dress Fashion Show. — Check out the hottest trends in women and men’s fashion at the Red Dress Fashion Show held in Boogie Nights. The show kicks off with a performance by Savage Men and features McCullough Models wearing clothing and accessories from retails shops located in The Quarter. The first 50 attendees will receive swag bags ($50 value) and one special bag will include a free overnight stay at Tropicana. Must be 21. Then, get ready to boogie with free admission to the Lady in Red Cougars & Cubs Ball. Must be 21. 9pm, Free performance by Vicci Martinez from The Voice at Tango’s Lounge with SoJo 104.9.
There will also be dining, retail, and nightlife specials and promotions throughout the day and evening. For complete details go to acweekly.com and hit the events tab.
Despite the fact that the Los Angeles Times named him “one of the top jazz pianists in the world” and Jazz Weekly hailed him as “the most lyrical piano player of our time,” outside of mainly jazz-music circles, Kenny Barron is not a household name.
When Art Blakey, the legendary jazz drummer (and 2005 Grammy lifetime achievement award recipient), lived in Northfield during the late 1970s and early '80s, he could not help running his bicycle into the side of the 507 NJ Transit bus, which, at the time, stopped right in front of the home he shared with his longtime companion, Sandy Warren, and son, Takashi, at the intersection of Mill and Shore roads. "The bus driver would just sit there and look at him," remembers Warren. "He just never really learned how to ride his bike. But he kept trying because he thought, you know, that's a nice thing that you can do in Northfield--you could ride your bike. "It's so weird because you think of someone talented enough to be the world's greatest drummer, who can close his eyes and throw the sticks up in the air and catch them with his eyes still closed and never miss a beat - that he should be able to ride a bicycle and do some other things that require a bit of dexterity. He couldn't. Drumming was the only thing that required dexterity that he could do!" Thank heaven for that. In the decades after the Pittsburgh-born...
“My first gig with Art Blakey’s two-drummer Big Band was ironically at the Berklee College of Music [where Peterson now teaches],” says Peterson. “It was a scary band.”
"We both knew in that initial meeting that we would always be bonded and it changed our lives forever," says Warren. "Especially my life. I can't imagine who or what I would have been had I not met Art because my life changed so drastically."
Peering out of the second floor window of his white stucco home on East Mill Street in Northfield, Art Blakey could see nothing but sky and greenery. He used to say it felt like he was in a tree house -- miles away from the hustle and bustle of New York City or Paris. If the the late musician had peered into the future, however -- say about 30 years -- he couldn't have possibly foreseen the events that would transpire in his temporarily adopted hometown region this weekend. The Cape Savings Bank Jazz @ The Point festival, March 1-4, being presented as a multi-event tribute to the jazz legend, will honor a man who spent the better part of the 1950s through the 1980s helping to shape (and keep alive) the hard bop side of jazz. While doing so he performed all over the world, recording on hundreds of sessions and, perhaps most significantly, fostering the careers of numerous young jazz players who would become huge forces on the jazz scene themselves -- Clifford Brown, Keith Jarrett and Wynton Marsalis, to name a mere few. Although he was born in Pittsburgh and spent most of his life as a...