Rosemary Conte attempts to invigorate jazz scene with jam project

ROSEMARY CONTE

ROSEMARY CONTE

For six months, singer Rosemary Conte has been holding jam sessions in her home, and on Oct. 18, she will give the public a taste of what they are like, performing with a group of artists under the name Reality Jazz at the Monmouth Academy of Music Arts in Morganville.

The lineup is Conte on vocals, Brad Mandigo on piano, Tony Cimorosi on bass and Bob Boyd on drums, plus a special guest. The show begins at 3 p.m., and admission is $15 ($5 for students and seniors). For information, visit Conte’s Facebook page.

This show is part of a larger project titled Rosemother’s Jam – 100% Jazz. Conte, whose longtime nickname is Rosemother, explains it this way, in a press release:

“Decades ago, there were jazz listening clubs all over NJ and especially the Shore, where I and other jazz artists played. You could hear a pin drop in a live jazz scene. Today, you rarely hear live jazz played by local jazz artists in a listening context. Jazz died at the Jersey Shore as another music was being born to run. Ironically, in the 70s, a young Clarence Clemons who lived across the street on Ocean Avenue, would come to the old Blue Water Inn in Sea Bright and ask to sit in with my band. We let him.

” ‘Rosemother’s Jam – 100% Jazz’ is my answer to the lack of opportunity for accomplished local jazz musicians to play live, the kind of music they’ve studied and loved all their lives, and for multi-generations of people to learn about jazz. I’ve opened my home to monthly jazz jam sessions. I invite them three to five players at a time, to play their own compositions and classic and newer jazz repertoire, unencumbered by the roles they serve playing local bars and restaurants, and in pop oriented event bands.

“We’ve been jamming together for six months, and music fans have asked if they can come over when we play. This tells me that despite what I hear from Shore venues, there is an interest in jazz and people just might support it if they could find it. I want to do my part to develop a greater audience for jazz and to introduce it to the younger generations.

“My living room is too small for an audience of any size, so I’ve rented a recital room at a music school. The October 18 concert will be the first Rosemother’s Public Jam. …

“Jazz education and preservation is important to me, and there’s an education component to my jazz jam project that can’t be simulated in a classroom. Under the Rosemother’s Jam umbrella, I’ve created the Fly On Wall Program.

“I’m inviting music students interested in jazz, a couple at a time, to be ‘flies on the wall’ during jams at my house … to observe the pros discussing a piece of music, its form, improvising, and masterfully playing ensemble. I’m reaching out to local colleges and universities to connect their music students to this opportunity. There is no fee for this.”

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