JSJBF ‘Faces in the Crowd’ – Jill Baskind

By John Dammacco

The shining light of every event, with the warmest smile, is Jill Baskind.  I met Jill around 2012 at the Blue Moon, and from that moment it was clear that she was a person that projected great joy, happiness and love of live music.  Jill can be found on the dance floor when the music is moving, or just watching and taking it all in with a smile. It seems that if there is live music “happening,” Jill is there to keep the spirit moving.  She enjoys the Drum Circles in Asbury, so much so she’s been spotted donning her zydeco washboard and delivering joyous rhythms to the beat of the band.  Jill is also a valued volunteer for the JSJBF, offering insight and helping spread the word about live music, jams and music events.  If you see her out, know you’re in the right place.

Tell us about yourself-

I was born in Pittsburgh in 1949 and moved to New Jersey in 1980.  I was a public high school teacher for over 35 years. I moved to the Jersey Shore after my two children left the nest. Now I have two granddaughters.  Life is good.  Keeping a positive attitude is essential!

Tell us why you’re a fan of Blues and Jazz Music-

I grew up in a very musical family.  My parents always had jazz playing on the stereo and I took piano lessons for about five years. When I became an empty nester, I started frequenting venues with blues and jazz music.  Dancing is my passion, so that is one reason I like the blues.  Also, the lyrics often are sad and mournful, but the energy and liveliness makes it stand out for me.  Blues represents opposites…sad and happy.  Yin and Yang.   Very much my philosophy on life.  No joy until you experience sadness.

Who’s your favorite band to see love.. tell us a bit about that-

Billy Hector!  I just love everything about him !

Where’s your favorite local live music venue to see our bands?

 Salty’s is great.  I love the fact that you can stay in the back room to hear music and dance, but if you want some conversation, you can go into the front bar where it is usually quiet enough to talk.

Is there one event that stands out in your mind as a “wow” moment, tell us about it-

Harpin’ Help is great…my favorite.  I love the fact that there are two “stages,” one for acoustic and another for electric.  I love the energy at this event!