We lift our voices to lift others

Meet The Downtown All Stars of Red Bank

Introduction:

Allow us to introduce ourselves.  We are the Downtown All Stars of Red Bank, LLC.   We are a collective of local musicians and performing artists bound together to raise both funds and awareness for charities and worthy causes using the immeasurable power of music. We strive to meet our charitable goals by utilizing our voices to lift and enhance the lives of those in need.

Logo2wide

The birth of DTASRB:

Over the past few years many of us had participated in the Live Rock and Roll Karaoke on Thursday nights at The Downtown, one of the top restaurant/clubs in the hip town of Red Bank, New Jersey.  Every week we got together, and had the opportunity to perform some of our favorite hard rock songs on stage with a live band.   There were some incredibly talented people sharing the stage and cheering for each other week after week.

Great friendships developed over the years and the “Thursday night Downtown Crew” became a family of sorts.  Some of us eventually broke off and started performing in our own bands, but we continued our Thursday Night gatherings, and we followed and supported all the bands that were born from those rocking nights.

linda1       mikeD1     herbi1

Sadly, The Downtown’s Live Rock and Roll Karaoke nights came to an end in the Summer of 2013.  But the friendships and the All Stars live on……

The Concept (this is the long part):

Darren Johnson, who we lovingly know as Cobraman was one of our more passionate vocalists.  His performances were high energy and intense.  He’d get on stage and his whole persona transformed, as he got the “Darren look” in his eyes and absorbed himself into every song, interpreting it with his entire body!

One night, he started approaching us one by one, with this idea about recording a CD and selling it to raise funds for charity.  Interesting.  We would all respond, “Yeah, sure!” in a slightly dismissive way, because, really?  Who would get involved in such a project?  Most people are all talk, anyway.

Lo and behold, the “notebook” started making an appearance.  Every Thursday, Darren showed up to Rock and Roll Karaoke with his big red binder, where he had pages, and pages of information that he would show us about the development of this charity CD idea.  Son of a gun!  This was a real idea and a real project!  Those dismissive “yeses” became definitive, and one by one, the artists committed to participating in this project.

The Charity:

We went through various messages and meetings, where we suggested and discussed at length, charities and organizations that could benefit from the proceeds of this project.  And finally, we found it!  “Little Kids Rock”, a national non-profit organization that provides free instruments and curriculum designed to foster the skills kids need to lead creative, purposeful lives.

How fitting, that a group of people brought together by the power of music, would create their first charitable project to bring music to children, who would otherwise have no access to it!

It was a unanimous decision.        

Getting to Work:

Now the fun begins.  Darren reached out to various friends from our “Rock and Roll” circle, in order to form a Board of Directors.  These were people from various professional backgrounds, who could each share their time, talent, and expertise.   Singer/songwriter Deedee Montanaro, our den mother/matriarch, handles the marketing duties. Charity liaison and event planner, Debbie Noce adds her wealth of experience to the collective, while Larry Sherman deals with the financial end. The Jim Morrison-channeling one man festival that is Alan Manzo acts as band and concert coordinator.   All organizational and business matters are now properly handled.

Here are the board members in the order mentioned:

darren_BoardMasterPhotos  deedee_BoardMasterPhotos  debbie_BoardMasterPhotos  larrytemp_BoardMasterPhotos  manzo1a  marlo_BoardMasterPhotos

Darren reached out to every musician in the group, looking for enough songs to create a full length CD with 12 to 18 songs on it.  As a result, the CD would have a number of original songs generously donated by the artists.  In addition, brand new original songs were written and recorded for the purpose of putting them on the CD.  What a wonderful combination of styles and textures performed by both established performers, and upcoming artists!One song, written by Darren Johnson, was arranged, and recorded by teen musicians, adding that special touch of young blood to a project meant for bringing music to school-aged children!

We even had a “house photographer” Marlo Montanaro, who spent many Thursday nights shooting the Rock and Roll Karaoke Performances.  He even held an exhibit at the Downtown, consisting of 45 photos of our Rock and Roll Karaoke participants, letting out their inner rock star.  Montanaro is also a member of our board, and handles graphics.  So, as you see, our evolution is well documented.

Conlusion:

MUSIC BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER.  Sure, it’s a cliché.  But it is an absolute truth.  We all went to The Downtown, religiously, EVERY Thursday night, to perform and cheer each other on.  We became great friends, and we united to form a group that would make a positive difference in the lives of others.   All because of one 3-minute song that we got to do in front of our friends, once a week – at The Downtown.

To learn more about us, visit www.redbankallstars.com

Comments are closed.