JT Bowen will give a free concert at the Turf Club in Asbury Park NJ
It’s a September bonus at the Turf Club in Asbury Park.
Former Clarence Clemons and Red Bank Rockers frontman JT Bowen and Arlan Feiles, along with vocalist Layonne Holmes and drummer Santo Rizzolo, will play from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, September 25 at the Turf Club on Springwood Avenue.
Bowen just released the new album, “Dig Deep”, a Feiles production. The free show is presented by the Asbury Park African-American Music Project, aka Asbury-AMP, and is part of the band’s drive to raise awareness and restore the Turf Club.
“We are a small group, but we are dedicated and committed to the project,” said Yvonne Clayton of Asbury-AMP and member of the city council. “What’s been particularly energizing is the musicians coming in and saying they can feel the spirit of the other musicians and what happened at the Turf Club.”
The Turf Club is the last of the major Springwood Avenue clubs on the west side of town still in existence. Lenny Welch, the Broadways, Clemons (before he joined the E Street Band) and others played the spot in the 1960s.
Springwood’s once vibrant music and cultural scene came to an abrupt end in the summer of 1970, when civil unrest tore Asbury Park apart. Springwood blocks that were not burned down during the riots were later bulldozed in a failed attempt at revitalization.
History is rediscovered and the music begins to return. Asbury-AMP’s Tuesdays at the Turf Club over the past two summers have been a big part of that.
“Our vision is for it to be part community center, part museum, and then definitely a performance space for live music – so musicians have a place to play and for the community a place to go and discover. what it is,” Clayton said.
Recent grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund 2022 and Monmouth Arts Council have helped the cause, said Clayton and Asbury-AMP member Jennifer Ward Souder.
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Currently, the venue has no electricity beyond generators, no plumbing and no roof – but that may be part of the appeal.
“Musicians say, ‘Do we need a roof?’ said Clayton. “There’s something about playing outdoors and the sound resonates in such a unique way. We are considering shots where we may not leave it open, but we will make it transparent so that light can enter. Incredible things are happening.
Go: JT Bowen and Arlan Feiles, 3 p.m., Sunday, September 25, Turf Club, 1200 Springwood Ave., Asbury Park. Free. www.asburyamp.org.
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Jersey Shore native Chris Jordan covers music and entertainment for USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; email@example.com.