The Blues and Brews Festival Comes to Asbury Park on July 23rd
The Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation’s (JSJBF) Summer Series of Festivals is bringing the sweet summer sounds of the blues to Asbury Park, along with craft beer from Lagunitas Brewing Company. The festival will be held Saturday, July 23 from 12-8 p.m. in Bradley Park, across from Convention Hall.[broadstreet zone=”54949″]
Thousands are anticipated to turn out for a day of live performances by talented jazz and blues musicians, food, crafters and sponsor exhibits, a craft beer and wine garden, and activities for the entire family. The festival is rain or shine, free to the public, dog friendly and all ages are welcome to attend.
This year’s Blues and Brews Festival beer garden will feature Senor Sangria wines and Lagunitas Brewing Company craft beers. The brewing company is known for iconoclastic interpretations of traditional beer styles, and on tap will be Lagunitas Pilsner, Aunt Sally, IPA, and Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’.
The festival will showcase the best jazz and blues artists around, including the Shore Blue Band, Brian Brazil and The Hard Case Blues Band, Lee Delray Band, Incinerators, and Billy Walton Band. The Matt O’Ree Band will headline the festival with their mix of blues and rock’n roll.
For Matt O’Ree, Playing the Blues is Second Nature
Matt and his band have quite the local fan base, including music legends Bruce Springsteen, David Bryan and John Popper, all of whom have volunteered to perform on the band’s forthcoming album to be released later this year. Matt even joined rock legends Bon Jovi as their guitarist/backing vocalist on their 2015 stadium tour.
Matt and his band will take the stage as the headliner for the Asbury Park Blues and Brews Festival on July 23 in Bradley Park. The band will be playing some of their older material, which is more blues oriented, as well as a mix of songs from their upcoming record.
“The Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation is definitely true to its word,” Matt said. “They are keeping music alive in this corner of the world and they’re always there to help musicians.”
Just as music has evolved, so has the Matt O’Ree Band. The original bass players and drummers have changed, which he said is very common in the music industry. His band has gained momentum and has built up enough collaboration to be where it is now. Matt has built his band around playing and singing notes that will impact the audience. For Matt, it’s the passion of touching those people’s lives one note at a time.
“Having that audience be with you inside the music is almost like you’re on a journey and you’re bringing all these people in the audience on the same journey with you,” he said.
Each year, sponsor donations from the Summer Series of Festivals raise essential funds for the nonprofit Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation’s operational expenses. Sponsors this year include Comcast, Lagunitas, Hunterdon Distributors, and 95.8 FM the WRAT.
“Our award-winning summer festival has been entertaining jazz and blues fans on the Jersey Shore for more than 25 years,“ said festival organizer Dennis Eschbach. “We attract thousands of visitors of all ages, and in recent years the festival series has introduced new generations to the genre. Thanks to the support of our musicians, volunteers, sponsors and host towns, we’re able to keep jazz and blues music alive on the Jersey Shore.”
The third of the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festivals will be held in Long Branch on August 27, 2016 from 12 – 9:30 p.m. at The Great Lawn on the Boardwalk, located on Cooper Ave.