I’ve missed some of the poetry/spoken word and jazz events around Atlantic City recently, but I am sure having a great time this month at the ones I do attend.
Kelsey’s restaurant's newest location at Kentucky and Pacific avenues has been jammin’ every Friday and Saturday night with Tony Day and Friends, Eddie Morgan and other local talent.
Sometimes, there’s even been a waiting line, but people don’t seem to mind. Local residents, anxious to help support Kelsey and Kim through the winter months, have filled the place for meals and music, and even some tourists have ventured away from the casinos and Boardwalk, braving the cold for delicious soul food dishes and live jazz well into the night.
Elsewhere, poet and radio personality Ray Tyler partied with supporters of the Little Wellness Arts Center and artists of many genres in the Foundation Room at the Showboat last Saturday.
At the Asbury United Methodist’s Jazz Vespers last Sunday, a monthly program that is now going on two years, percussionist Tony Day appeared. On the third Sunday of every month from 4-6pm, you can fellowship in the sanctuary with a little bit of prayer and a whole lot of jazz. Light refreshments are also provided.
On Feb. 17, Day was joined by friends and fellow musicians Teddy Royal on guitar, Lee Smith on bass and Yoichi Uzeki on the piano, all the way from Japan. The ensemble paid tribute to the legendary Duke Ellington with several of his signature tunes.
With prayers to the Great Creator of the Universe, the Divine Maestro, the Master Musician and the Great Composer, about 30 people asked blessings on the musicians and their music and enjoyed an evening of excellent live entertainment with only an offering basket passed around midway through the program.
It doesn’t get much better than that!
Former state senator William Gormley and his wife, Ginny, joined Atlantic City school administrators, parents and friends to hear the Orchestral Academy’s first public concert at Sovereign Avenue School, and they were overjoyed to see what the students had accomplished in the first year.
This year marks the 17th year of the Academy of American Poets’ launching of April as National Poetry Month.
Everyone in attendance agreed that the talent was spectacular and often informative, and we’re all looking forward to next year’s event.
A banner with the name Slappy White on it hung across Kentucky Avenue all summer. The late comedian and actor (who died in Brigantine in 1995) was booked for the entire season at Atlantic City’s famed Club Harlem. On this particular summer night, however — July 24, 1964, to be precise — hanging above the banner was yet another banner. It read: “Sam Cooke.”
It was a great turnout and Ralph Hunter was in rare form last Saturday when the African-American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey was honored with the U.S. Postal Service’s unveiling of the Rosa Parks commemorative stamp on the 100th anniversary of her birth.
From the famous organ at Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Pop Festival of 1969, to Boardwalk Empire era tales and KY & the Curb.
From Pop Lloyd to Pattie Harris to Nucky Johnson and the Northside, not to mention Nina Simone and Sam Cooke and other entertainers' connections to Atlantic City and region.
For one day — Sunday, Sept. 18 — the Asbury United Methodist Church in Atlantic City, home of the South Jersey Jazz Vespers, will be transformed into the bygone Club Harlem as a tribute to a name nearly as legendary as the club itself. Chris Columbo (1902-2002) was a jazz drummer who led the Club Harlem orchestra for 34 years, right up until the club closed its Kentucky Avenue doors forever in 1978
My fondest Kentucky Avenue memory is gaping in awe at the mere size of Muhammad Ali as he lifted me into the air with one huge hand.
Renovated housing attracts better tenants, which attracts more renovations in the neighborhood. By fixing what we have already, we can immediately put local people to work without the politics of the unions and commercial construction or out of town development interests.
Summertime, and the groovin’ is easy. Tourists fatten the regular jazz crowd cramming Kentucky Avenue, where the night never dies. Inside Club Harlem, they press against the bar and each other, as the organist and his quartet tune up on the bandstand. The music comes fast and the band is tight and the organ looses a torrent of sound. And there’s an added bonus for posterity: the live session is being recorded for an album, a rare occurrence in Atlantic City. This was the scene on the Saturday night of Aug. 9, 1969, when master jazz organist Lonnie Smith and company cut Move Your Hand, an exemplar of ’60s soul jazz, for the legendary Blue Note label. The title song, which became a hit, borrowed its lyric from a joke that Smith’s drummer told about a substitute preacher who couldn’t deliver the sermon because someone else’s hand was covering the text. (The joke is less than hysterical, but the number’s a grabber.) “One night, I was playing a little lick and just happened to say [“move your hand”] to the fellows in the band,” says Smith, now 67 and as busy as ever. “People loved it and always requested it.” It became...
Unlike most people, Dan Fogel had already found his life's calling by the time he was 10 years old. Routinely sneaking out of the second-floor bedroom window of his parent's colonial house in Margate...
THE ADDRESS WAS 32 North Kentucky Avenue, and it was a place where the music -- and the night -- never died. If the entire block, including the likes of Grace's Little Belmont and the Wonder Garden b...
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