Count Basie Center announces plans for DiNizio scholarship fund

DiNizio scholarship

PAT DiNIZIO

It would have been the late Pat DiNizio’s 63rd birthday today and, to honor the occasion, the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank is announcing, today, the application process for those who would like to benefit from the Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship.

Two $500 scholarships will be awarded to students 18 and under, annually. Winners can take classes at the Count Basie Center Performing Arts Academy, take lessons from the Basie’s Monmouth Conservatory, or participate in partner programs such as the Rockit! Live Academy or Jazz Arts Project.

Interested students should complete the online form and submit an maximum 90-seconds audition video at thebasie.org/dinizio. Finalists will be announced on Dec. 3.

“Music was the most important part of Pat’s life, second to his love of New Jersey,” Smithereens members Jim Babjak and Dennis Diken said, in a press release. “The Smithereens are honored to present, along with the Count Basie Center for the Arts, The Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship. We feel this is a fitting tribute to Pat’s memory.”

DiNizio died on Dec. 12, 2017, and a planned January Smithereens concert at the Count Basie Center for the Arts became a tribute, with guests such as Steven Van Zandt, Dave Davies, Marshall Crenshaw, Ted Leo, Richard Barone and Gin Blossoms frontman Robin Wilson. Some proceeds from that concert and its live webcast helped created the scholarship fund.

Also, members of DiNizio’s band The Scotch Plainsmen, plus guests such as Joe D’Urso and Marc Jonson, will perform at a Pat DiNizio Birthday Bash, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. at Crossroads in Garwood, with proceeds going to the fund.

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