Music is everywhere this summer in the Other Atlantic City, and most of it is free and open to the public.
At lunchtime or while visiting the Farmers’ Market at Center City Park (South Carolina and Atlantic avenues), you can catch all types of music on Thursdays from noon till 2pm.
Judah Dorrington and Paradise and Angela Burton and Passion feature many of the same local musicians, but you will experience two totally different sounds when they perform.
I chilled on my blanket while listening to Judah & Paradise one recent Thursday afternoon.
They performed a repertoire of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gay hits. Pedestrians stopped for a few minutes while doing business at the courthouse or shopping in the area, and employees from many of the area’s office buildings had their lunch in the park while grooving to the music.
On Thursdays throughout the summer, you can enjoy reggae, Broadway show tunes, classic R&B or jazz.
Chicken Bone Beach Offers Jazz Summer Camp for 2nd Year
For the second summer in a row, the Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation is offering a jazz camp for area youth ages 10-17. With help from Stockton College, the City of Atlantic City, the Tropicana, Borgata and others, classes are being offered in piano, trumpet, trombone, percussion and violin.
Each week, students also focus on learning the history of one jazz icon, such as Wes Montgomery, Chris Botti and Regina Carter. There will be awards given at the end of the camp session for knowledge of these artists, as well as awards for music theory.
Our own Joe Brown is the director with help from professional musicians, like Tony Day and Hassan Abdur-Raheem (my husband), who played with Brown in the South Jersey Area Wind Ensemble.
Also on board are Danielle Mendez, who has her own band in New York and attends Fordham/Juilliard, and Larry Lantz. The CBBHF Youth Jazz Camp runs for three weeks only and culminates in a performance at Jazz on the Beach, Kennedy Plaza on the Boardwalk, on Thursday, Aug. 2.
Eddie Morgan and Friends with Jazz 4 Kids
Eddie Morgan and Friends are doing their thing this year at McClinton Park, Maine and the Boardwalk, uptown. Master classes take place from 4-6pm and children and adults are welcome on Tuesdays to Aug. 14. After the free classes, there are free jazz concerts.
Even food vendors are available if you don’t feel like cooking dinner.
You can eat, listen to great music and enjoy a wonderful, cooling breeze off the ocean instead of suffering in this year’s sweltering heat. In an informal yet loving setting, I even found Eddie’s mom getting a keyboard lesson from Robin Van Duzee.
Eddie’s music connections helped him elicit Van Duzee, who still plays the keys at Dock’s Oyster House; Lee Smith (father of Christian McBride), a veteran bassist of 40 years; Fats Domino’s long-time drummer Teddy Royal, and Webb Thomas, a professional drummer from Philly.
I heard Bob Ferguson (of the Somers Point Jazz Society), who’s known Eddie almost since he was a baby, tell the brass students, “It’s not about right or wrong in jazz. It’s about what feels good to you.”
And what feels good to me this year is all the music that’s happening for our children and community.
All this in the Other Atlantic City and I didn’t even touch on the city's summer Gardner’s Basin line-up, which gets plenty of publicity from its sponsors, the City of Atlantic City and the A.C. Free Public Library. It’s become another reunion spot for A.C. locals so I’ll see you there!
There are also the International Night series shows each Wednesday evening at Kennedy Plaza, the Jazz on the Beach series each Thursday evening and various free music events in the region. See our cultural calendar for event listings and details.
Turiya S.A. Raheem was born and raised in Atlantic City. Currently an English teacher at Atlantic Cape Community College, she loves to describe her neighborhood as “the other Atlantic City,” because it was not the casino-resort mecca most people know today. It was a place with a “cozy, down-home feeling” as she describes in her 2010 book, Growing Up in the Other Atlantic City: Wash’s and the Northside.
Last Thursday, April 5, Henrietta Shelton and the Chicken Bone Beach Foundation opened their spring jazz series at Top of the Trop in the Tropicana Casino. With a room full of supporters, Mayor Lorenzo Langford was on deck to present Henrietta with a proclamation from the City of Atlantic City for service to the community by way of preserving family values, developing community engagement and promoting an appreciation of America’s classical music — jazz.
Atlantic City, like many other U.S. cities, once had segregated beaches, but they didn't start out that way. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Blacks and whites lived side-by-side, worked side-by-side and played side-by-side.
"I hope my daughter will be introduced to a different type of music. She usually plays rock and R&B. I've always tried to keep my daughters busy with something constructive during the summer, no sitting around on your butt watching TV for months."
Do you like the beach? And summer? And live music? And free? Well, the Jazz on the Beach series, which runs Thursday evenings through Aug. 12, is just for you. Especially if you love jazz. The 11th annual Jazz on the Beach concert series in Atlantic City is chock full of amazing talent this year and includes performances by Avery Sharpe with Pete Chavez opening on July 8 and John Blake Jr. with Hassan Abdullah opening on July 15. Each show — the series is put on by A.C.’s Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation (CBBHF) — is presented at Kennedy Plaza on the Atlantic City Boardwalk from 7-10pm. The series kicked off July 1 with Ralph Peterson Jr. Kennedy Plaza, on the Boardwalk between Mississippi and Georgia avenues, has a stage for the bands and offers beautiful...
It’s been 10 years since Henrietta Shelton first organized the Chicken Bone Beach free concert series on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. And despite a decade of bringing great jazz groups to the resort, the biggest testament to the series’ success may come on Thursday, Aug. 27, when New York’s Finest Jazz Ensemble (made up of N.Y.P.D officers, thus New York’s finest) takes the stage.
Summertime in Atlantic City means many things, but one thing locals have come to love is all the free music. The city, along with concert series such as the Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Concerts, keep the...
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