Department: Committee Chair

John Dammacco

John Dammacco

John Dammacco is a Lifetime Member of the JSJBF and Co-Chair of the Public Relations/Marketing Committee. John is a dedicated musician and member of Jump Back, a JSJBF member band. When not spending time volunteering with the JSJBF or playing live around NJ, John is a Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a premier Italian Specialty Cheese manufacturing company managing the number one brand of real Italian cheese in the US. He has over 47 years of experience in brand building, education and promotion. John’s career has him traveling extensively in the US and Europe in the pursuit of knowledge and advancing the education of this specialty food as it relates to positioning, pairing and product awareness. John has 3 grown children and 4 grandkids.

Chris Zemla

Chris Zemla

Christine Zemla is a professor of American Studies at Rutgers University. Her research in music history – particularly the history of the blues – began years ago, following a week-long conference held at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, coordinated by JSJBF founding member Bob Santelli. This “best conference ever” inspired her to create the Rutgers course “Race, Roots, Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Rock music, she tells her students, is firmly rooted in blues music. To gain a better understanding of the origins and evolution of blues music, she reminds us, we need to consider the social, political and racial hierarchies of the deep South in the early-to-mid-20th century. She travels yearly to the Mississippi Delta and recently completed a graduate program sponsored by Delta State University in Cleveland, MS, which included classes in the history and geography of the South, as well as the sociology of the blues, and earned her recognition as an “International Blues Scholar.”

Wayne Kessler

Wayne Kessler

Wayne is a member of the Board and co-chair of the Public Relations/Marketing Committee. Wayne is a life-long musician and is a member of JSJBF member band, Jump Back. When not performing in local venues across New Jersey, he is a veteran communications advisor serving the legal industry. He has significant experience in global strategic communications, including media relations, executive communications (internal and external) and marketing messaging for leading law firms, service corporations and innovative technology companies. Wayne is a voting member of The Recording Academy.

Gary Neuwirth

Gary Neuwirth

Gary recently joined the Board of Trustees for the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation. He also serves on the board for Peter Cooper Village, West Long Branch. He holds a SCRREA (State Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser) license 1992-Present.