JSJBF Youth Open Mic

Oct. 15, 2021

Written by: Michael Murphy

Submitted by: Joseph Vincent Riggio

October’s Mark LaRochelle Youth Open Mic on October 15th was a success.  Coordinated by board member Joseph Vincent Riggio, this was the Halloween-themed installment of the monthly event where all the performers donned costumes.

Notable performers of the evening included Eve Riggio playing an original caustic torch song as yet untitled as well as covering CCR’s I Put a Spell On You in a spooky style. Carlotta Schmidt, whose family has been indispensable to this event in both setup/breakdown and helped to provide snacks, drinks and Halloween decorations, covered three classics with her consistently improving deeper vocal range reminiscent of Cher. Most notable was Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools and The Jets’ Why Not Me which she made her own with a nice unique twist. Carlotta plays in The 10 O’clock Jazz Trio and is slated to perform some Jazz at the Foundation’s holiday dinner on December 12. If you want to see this gifted 14-year old’s chops, then book your seat pronto. Next, past JSJBF scholarship awardee Ruby Riggio, on her uke, belted Billie Eilish’s NDA with beautiful vocal high notes and covered Halsey’s Haunting, supporting the evening’s theme. Relative newcomer duet Annabel and Andie Sparrano overwhelmed us on keys, notably with an original, Fake Smiles, and Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot, which gave me goosebumps.  Veteran participant Melissa LaRochelle, dressed as Velma from the Scooby Doo series, dedicated Ed Sheeran’s Perfect for her mom’s birthday in a beautifully slow, dragging tempo with an almost labored delivery of lyrics. In keeping with her costume, she covered What’s New Scooby Doo by Simple Plan. Twelve-year-old prodigy on keys, Maddie Freeman, closed the festivities with vocal accompaniment from her friend Camille DelaCruz. They played a vehement and fierce rendition of Olivia Rodrigo’s Jealousy, Jealousy, and then Journey’s classic Don’t Stop Believin’ with very nice vocal harmony.

Our next Youth Open Mic is scheduled for Nov. 12, 2021 at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank where any of the local musical youth will find a friendly, supportive and fun forum in which to perform.

Signup sheet is available 6:30 pm.

Music starts 7 pm.

$5 donation to perform or attend.

Under 21 to perform, all ages may enjoy.

Music is not limited to Jazz and Blues.

Full backline provided, musicians bring instruments and pedals.

For further info contact Joseph V. Riggio @ 732-670-2157.

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Instagram: @jsjbf_youth_open_mic