Asbury Park a Music Mecca for Jazz and Blues

by Charles Wuth 

Asbury Park
Asbury Park Blues & Brews Festival 2014

I don’t know about you, but I am proud to be living in the area where the music still lives. It is a rich heritage that goes back to the early 20th century. It gave rise to the music scene currently existing. We all remember the profound impact “Greetings from Asbury Park” had, announcing to the world that Asbury was alive and well, and more was to come!

However, there are many other famous historical contributors that established Asbury Park as a music mecca for Jazz and Blues. The music scene in Asbury Park came long before Bruce and the E-Street band, long before the advent of rock music. The city’s African American community really brought the music to Asbury. The West Side’s Springwood Avenue was the epicenter of the music world in Asbury going as far back as the early 1900’s. The sounds of jazz, gospel and rhythm & blues filled the clubs and streets.

Springwood Ave and the west side of Asbury had quite a few famous clubs, and featured national stars of jazz and blues. When the top performers were touring back in the day, Asbury Park was on the way for those who toured between Philly and New York.

For more information on those early days in the clubs on Springwood, here is the link to the article “The Birth of the Sound of Asbury Park: The Musical History of Springwood Avenue and the West-Side” on Jersey Shore Vibe.

Sounds of Asbury Park

Sound of Asbury Park

Recognize this plaque? Do you know where it is?

It’s the Sounds of Asbury Park (S.O.A.P) plaque located by Convention Hall. The names on it are not all-inclusive. There are a few performers from the era that we will give a voice to through our newsletter and webpage who helped build Asbury Park and put it on the music map.

Looking forward to adding more names on this plaque as time goes on.

And looking forward to a time when we can gather in large and small groups to hear live jazz and blues!