Preserving History, Celebrating Community, Cementing Future
, 2022-05-18 21:43:58,
The Asbury Park African-American Music Project Team is pictured with Al and the Tribe at Tuesdays at the Turf on July 13, 2021. Tuesdays at the Turf will return for six weeks starting July 5 as a fundraiser for AP-AMP’s renovation of the historic Turf Club on Asbury’s West Side. That event will be preceded with the “Throwback Sunday: A Jazz Cocktail Sip” AP-AMP benefit on June 5 in the nearby garden of Blackbird Commons, 131 Atkins Ave. PHOTO BY CONNI FREESTONE
Around Memorial Day Weekend 1970 when I was 5 years old, my grandmother won me yet another prize at a wheel of chance on the Asbury Park Boardwalk: a copy of The Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” my first big-boy LP. A few weeks later, civil unrest broke out throughout the city, and I didn’t step foot onto the AP boardwalk for a decade!
The West Side of Asbury Park – a mecca not only for jazz, soul and R&B but black entrepreneurship – was burned down by its own residents in protest of racial and economic injustice in the city and throughout the country. Until very recently, I never wanted to venture to the shell that remained of Asbury’s West Side, but now I do, and it makes my soul sing to see how its returning to its former glory.
One of the reasons for that is a valiant and noble group of music and history lovers known as Asbury Park African-American Music Project. They are refurbishing the Turf Club, the only standing venue of what once was the Jersey Shore’s take on 52nd Street. Dozens of nightclubs, such as the Orchid Lounge, where a young Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band, got his musical start, were just steps apart.
But only the Turf Club now remains, and a benefit for…
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