Music is alive and well at the Jersey shore

APMHF-New-LogoRide your bicycle through Asbury Park on a summer evening and succumb to the siren song of this musical seaside city. Whether it’s an Energizer Bunny- like drummer boy who pulls long shifts on the boardwalk for tips, the melodic duo Uke and Drum at The Beach Bar, or a Sublime concert on the summer stage at the Stone Pony, strains of live music reverberate through the air at sunset and into the warm, starry nights.

 From Arthur Pryor to Bruce Springsteen to Quincy Mumford & the Reason Why, Asbury Park has been home to generations of performers who came to entertain, inspire, and unite with their audiences, heart to heart and soul to soul.  The soul of the Jersey Shore is its music. This soul has found a new home: The Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation, Where Music Lives, located at 708 Cookman Avenue.

Susan Pellegrini, Executive Director, emphasizes that although the word heritage suggests history, her organization engages with the past, present, and future. Evolving organically from the yearlong celebration in 2011 of the Smithsonian exhibition New Harmonies, the Asbury Park Musical Heritage Foundation conserves and celebrates New Jersey’s rich musical heritage while actively working in the present to increase opportunities for a new generation of musicians.

When Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore last fall, and thousands of people were displaced, the heartbeat of the Shore, its music, proved essential in the recovery and the will to persevere in the face of unspeakable loss. Out of that loss was born the inspiration for creating a permanent home for music described by Susan Pellegrini:  “In the aftermath of the storm, we realized that as we rebuild the bricks and mortar to construct our future landscape, it is our music, the soul of the Jersey Shore, that will carry us through, indomitable, resolute, optimistic.”

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