Monday, August 21- deSoL, Rock & Roll with a Latin Soul.

Next Tuesday, August 29 - "Sensational Soul Cruisers"

Asbury Park Music Foundation’s (APMF) Music Mondays exploded in a celebration of music, diversity, and love on August 14 in Springwood Park. The line-up included Sharon Lasher, JT Bowen, Arlan Feiles, and headliner Alexander Simone.

Sharon Lasher, the singer and musician responsible for bringing together the opening act at on Monday says. I am thrilled with the collective talent that came together on Monday.”

Sharon, an alumnus of Monmouth University is a well-known musician in the area. Sharon Lasher and The Flashers are well known in Asbury Park, playing McLoone’s Supper Club, The Wonder Bar, Bar A, Salty’s Beach Bar and all the outdoor summer festivals, but the Springwood Music Mondays is Sharon’s favorite venue.

Sharon Lasher, JT Bowen and Arlan Feiles opening up for Alexander Simone and Whodat? Live Crew at Springwood Park on August 14 Sponsored by the Asbury Park Music Foundation Credit: Brenda Hamlet

I’ve been singing at the Springwood Music Mondays for about four years… I am so excited to be living and singing in Asbury Park.

Sharon Lasher

“I’ve been singing at the Springwood Music Mondays for about four years. My involvement as a volunteer began some 5 or 6 years ago, because I support all the activities and shows. I am so excited to be living and singing in Asbury Park. “

Sharon, JT Bowen and Arlan Feiles have collaborated for some time, with Sharon singing backup vocals on JT’s album, “Dig Deep”.

JT Bowen is an R&B singer best known as the lead singer for Clarence Clemons & The Red Bank Rockers. JT is a veteran of the Korean War. When he received his honorable discharge in 1968, he began his singing career as lead singer Soul Flame in Asbury Park. Bowen then went on to work with Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen. JT and Bruce have a longtime association, documented on YouTube videos at the Wonder Bar and Giants Stadium. 

Sharon says she has always admired Arlan Feiles’ singing and writing, for at least ten years. Arlan grew up in L.A. and studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston before moving to New Jersey. 

Arlan says, “I have spent my life singing about financial equity, racial and religious equality and freedom, and the expansion of voting rights legislation. JT covered one of my most meaningful songs – a song honoring Viola Liuzzo. She was the only white woman murdered in the Civil Rights Movement, by the Klan.”

The August 14th event kicked off in style with Sharon Laher and JT Bowen on vocals, Arlan Feiles on Keyboard, Tom Meares on trombone, John Farnsworth on saxophone, Gary Oleyar on guitar, Kevin Stryker on bass guitar, and Gregg Shady on drums. The playlist included covers of The Three Degrees’ “A Woman Needs a Good Man”, Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally”, Delbert McClinton’s “Giving It Up for Your Love”, and “Viola” written and composed by JT Bowen and Arlan Feiles.

By the time Alexander Simone and Whodat? Live Crew got to the stage, the crowd was ready for the headliner’s message of unity delivered in his unique musical rapture style blending pop, hip-hop and rap. Simone began with a cover of his grandmother Nina Simone’s, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” followed by covers of Martha and the Vandellas, “Dancing in the Street”, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me To the Moon”, Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man”, James Brown’s “Get on Up”, Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”, and Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child”. 

Asbury Park Music Foundation was originally launched in 2011, as the Asbury Musical Heritage Foundation with a grant from the Smithsonian Institute and Bruce Springsteen through the Monmouth County Arts Council. Their mission to revive the City’s rich musical history began with an exhibit, which toured the country. By 2014, the Musical Heritage Foundation rebranded with a new name, the Asbury Park Music Foundation (APMF), and with a new focus on creating opportunities for local youth to create music and learn about the music business. The APMF program – Music Saved My Life – gives local kids the opportunity to participate in music education programs at public, private and charter schools. The APMF also offers after-school and summer programs at Mt. Carmel and funds scholarships to their partner facility, Lakehouse Music Academy. In addition, APMF created the Hip-Hop Institute where kids at The Boys and Girls Club can make and record music.

Crowd at the Music Mondays concert at Springwood Park sponsored by the Asbury Park Music Foundation on August 14 Credit: Brenda Hamlet

Music Mondays August Schedule

Tonight: Monday, August 21 – deSoL, Rock & Roll with a Latin Soul.

Next Tuesday, August 29 – “Sensational Soul Cruisers”

This series is sponsored by the City of Asbury Park, the Gia Maione Prima Foundation, New Jersey Natural Gas, Donna & Ron Troppoli, Rent Jersey Shore, Interfaith Neighbors, and to the Jules L. Plangere Family Foundation.

Brenda Hamlet is a journalist covering trends in the media and arts. Brenda lives in Asbury Park and teaches writing at Kean University. Her contributions will focus on the state of the Arts in Asbury Park.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *