The Project Matters – Helping budding musicians grow and flourish in the Garden State

There’s probably not many of us that think about where musicians come from as much as we wonder where they all go. It is a short lifespan for most and the result is usually not as glamorous as they thought it would be. However, that does not scare too many back to accountant school. When you stop and ponder for a moment, New Jersey really does seem to be growing musicians by the bushel. The myriad of artists that got their humble start in Jersey are too numerous to even begin mentioning here, and the procession continues. I see it all the time. Every few months, hungry new names appear in local bars and clubs, climbing the performance ladder and hoping to make their mark on the scene that has been cash poor but creatively rich long before Francis Albert Sinatra allegedly pinched drinks in Hoboken bars.

Being a musician, especially an original musician, is no easy task. It takes lots of patience, time and a truckload of money. Your average musician probably spends well over $10,000 even during the briefest of careers, let alone a lifetime of guitars, vans, recording sessions, red leather pants and other crucial expenses. Moreover, with each new year of experience, the out of pocket payout become much bigger. Yes, you are still buying drumsticks and sexy guitar straps, but you are also paying lawyers, managers, merchandise companies and god knows who else just to stay viable and visible to the fickle public.

When you are first starting out there is usually no real way to find this out until your smack dab in the middle of it. That is why this Shoreworld organization piques my interest. The Project Matters is a group formed by the parents of Freehold, New Jersey musician Benjamin High.

Ben was a multi-talented young man who believed in the power of creativity and pushed himself to express whatever he found around him. At the tender age of five, Ben began playing with a band appropriately called The First Graders and was already composing music before he was six! He later advanced to creating a successful mix tape label before starting his band, The Green Arrows and recording their highly touted CD, Matters. Ben never stopped believing in the power of music and the excitement of what was coming just around that next bend in the road of life. Tragically, after a prolonged battle with an unidentified illness, Ben passed away at the young age of 19.

Most would concentrate their attention on that downbeat turn of events, however, even in death, his message of determination and positive stride in life continues. The Project Matters, which shares the partial name of the Green Arrows debut CD, stands in Ben’s honor and memory to help young musicians avoid the hurdles and mistakes that are so discouraging and financially draining. Assistance with legal, technical and educational areas is just a few of the ways The Project Matters helps young players under the age of 21. There is also the all-important role of emotional support.

In a business that takes no prisoners, many promising young performers quit before realizing their true potential. The Project Matters’ mission is to empower, support and encourage musicians to reach out and obtain their full potential before leaving the proverbial nest.

Bands such as Justin And Alina, Thomas Wesley Stern and Escape Directors are just a few of the promising young acts that have benefited from the actions of this grassroots organization. I love the concept and I wholeheartedly endorse a group that gives an opportunity where most of us in the past had none or had to learn the hard way. The Project Matters is a family run company that understands how important their role as guidance counselors in a child’s life can be. The insight and support that they supply is well worth the small donations asked for from all of us.

New Jersey’s musical legacy has always been the biggest and the best, and with a group like this, new musicians will be more prepared than ever to rock and roll here on the east coast. For more information on how to donate or help, please head over to theprojectmatters.org.

Quincy Mumford And The Reason Why CD/DVD extravaganza shoot! Live at The Saint March 2 and 3.

How would you like to get your mug on the web and possibly the big screen? Well that will be a real possibility on March 2 and 3 as Quincy Mumford And The Reason Why trek into Asbury Park to film their live set and sound for the fans. Quincy has decided to get the job done at Monmouth County’s premiere house of original music while, at the same time, supporting a couple of our most economically responsible charities out there today. Clean Ocean Action and The Surfrider Foundation have been protecting and preserving our beaches in New Jersey and New York for years, and all of us appreciate their efforts for all they do.

Quincy Mumford and friends are using this event not only as a way to raise cash for the Clean Ocean and Surfrider folks, but also to wind up his mid-winter tour with a live video shoot and companion CD that will highlight many songs performed on tour, including many from his latest album, Speak. Speak was produced by the ever-formidable Jon Leidersdorff (Lakehouse Music), and features a guest performance from bassist Jack Daley (Lenny Kravitz, Joss Stone, Jason Mraz) and a co-write with Asbury Park’s own Glen Burtnik (Don Henley, Styx, Patty Smyth). Leidersdorff and Mumford are a perfect fit when it comes to talent and know how.

Quincy is an unassuming and highly skilled songwriter who has received coverage here in the Aquarian for several of his recent projects. Compositionally ahead of his twenty young years, Mumford has been onto a great sound for the last couple of years and an even greater celebration of popularity and ongoing buzz. What he lacks in years of experience, he makes up through genuine likeability, voracious learning ability and honesty in his music and stage show. Culling from a multitude of artists and influences, Mumford tells me he really pays attention to how bands such as Sublime, G. Love and ALO tie their sound and continuity together through the utilization of multiple influences and their own unique styles.

The “Live At The Saint” series will have a real-time simulcast by 90.5 The Night on Saturday and, as explained, the entire two-day event will be recorded for a future release to be announced later. Sponsors such as Bands On A Budget, Surf Taco and Trinity Seafood will make this event absolutely spectacular. For more information on Quincy Mumford And The Reason Why, check them out at quincymumford.com.

 

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