The Mark LaRochelle Youth Open Mic presented by The Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation was presented on a beautiful night on February 10th 2023 coordinated by board member Joseph Vincent Riggio. As always it was an incredible night of fun, friendship, and music.
This month we were blessed to have three high school artists displaying their original artwork at The Anthony Reckless Estate coordinated by Woman’s Club Board member Peggy Masse. Kate Smigie, Fiona Gourlie, and Kalani Keiterborn-Johnson all displayed beautiful works in paint and mixed media formats. It was a much-appreciated addition to the event and a nice collaboration with our longtime partner, the Red Bank Woman’s Club.
Opening the night was a newcomer to the event named Brendan McGreevy who is a member of the Rockit! program. He played a beautiful 12 string Martin guitar that filled the mansion with beautiful tone in his hands. He showed off a high level of skill accompanying himself on three lesser known ‘70s era classic rock songs to much applause. With just a tiny bit of urging he then played an instrumental original that featured quite a slick melody.
Next up 13-year-old Maddie Freeman (a familiar face to the event), also a member of the Rockit! Music Program, brought her friend Teddy to accompany her on a nice gold top Epiphone electric. They performed three 2010 era pop songs showing off both their talents. Maddie is a multi-instrumentalist with her main instrument being keys and being proficient on drums and bass as well. Since the event was light on performers she agreed to play a few on keys much to the crowd’s excitement. Teddy then decided to come back and join her again. They then delighted everyone with Maddie switching over to drums and Teddy singing. Not to be outdone Brendan then returned to the stage borrowing Teddy’s gold top with Teddy switching to drums and Maddie going back to keys. Teddy said “It’s going to be a blues jam.” And jam they did, taking turns on solos and lead each in turn. Brendan then went to the keyboard and Maddie retuned to the kit laying down a slow melodic beat that the three friends locked into and enjoyed as much as the attendees in the audience.
All in all the night was a huge success and fun was had by all with the artists and musicians enjoying each other’s work and exchanging social media handles and families enjoying a great night out.