The Asbury Park Music and Film Festival has been going on for a mere few years now, but music in Asbury dates back to the heady days of 1904 and our own Arthur Pryor, the music industries very first “Rock Star.” From those early days through the ‘60s and ‘70s times where clubs ruled the coast Asbury Park was a fabled destination for musical exploration and discovery. Even today, amongst the big money condos and priceless real estate dealings that have abandoned many of the people who kept the town going in its lean years, Asbury Park is enjoying an economic blast not seen around these parts since the ‘30s or ‘40s.
And that’s what the Asbury Music and Film Festival are attempting to capitalize on this year. The fact that music and film unite a town with many divides, and provide substantial entertainment value to those who might otherwise not understand what makes this area of New Jersey so iconic, is a critical factor with this festival. Their bio also states that the festival will benefit the underserved children of Asbury Park by providing music education, instruments, and social connection opportunities. Specifically, funds raised through the AOMFF will support several programs including Hope Academy and the Asbury Park Summer Recreation Music Camp.
Speaking of festivities, this year boasts some pretty big names on the main stages along with many of our deserving local acts all playing side-by-side during the multi-day festival.
The music that Wyclef Jean has written performed, and produced — both as a solo superstar and as founder and guiding member of the Fugees — has been a consistently dominant, pop cultural force for over two decades. In 1996, the Fugees released their excellent album The Score. As a solo artist, Wyclef has released seven albums that have sold nearly nine million copies worldwide, including his 1997 debut, The Carnival, and 2000’s aptly titled The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. Jean’s latest studio album, Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee, his first in eight years, was released on Sept. 15, 2017.
The album was named one of the “25 Most Anticipated Albums” of the fall by Billboard that year. In November 2017, Wyclef also released a mixtape, entitled, Inspired By… that paid tribute to the music that inspired him that year. The project received high acclaim from critics and fans alike. In December, Wyclef wrote and performed a song, “Dimelo,” along with X-Factor winners Rak-Su. The song rose to the top of the charts in less than a week in the UK.
Proceeds from Jean’s performance at the APMFF will help fund the operation of a new Mobile Recording Studio, which is designed to bring music directly to the kids who need it the most.
“The talent that these kids have is incredible. All they need are the right tools. With this studio, I hope that we can provide an outlet where they can let their talent shine. I’m excited about this studio, and even more excited to hear what the young people of Asbury Park come up with,” said Jean.
Jean is the latest addition to a robust APMFF content line-up that features An Evening with Danny DeVito, an intimate evening at the Paramount Theatre taking place on Saturday, April 28. The evening will feature video vignettes and stories from DeVito’s illustrious career integrated with discussion, a Q&A session, and other individual presentations.
Other musical performances set to highlight the APMFF include Sublime with Rome at Convention Hall (April 28), Gov’t Mule at the Paramount Theatre on April 29, and Michael Franti at the Paramount Theatre on April 27. Franti’s performance will follow the world premiere screening of his documentary Stay Human, along with a panel discussion. The Asbury Park Music & Film Festival (APMFF) announced today that Michael Franti had been added to its line-up, performing on Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ. The performance will follow the world premiere screening of Franti’s documentary Stay Human along with a panel discussion focusing on the film.
Tickets for the evening are available as of this writing by visiting apmff.org. Additionally, there is a variety of VIP passes available.
In Stay Human, Michael Franti reflects on his journey facing adversity as a child, struggling to find his voice as a musician, and how he came to see inspiration through six stories of extraordinary change makers from the Philippines to South Africa. In a quest to find a path to “stay human” and hold on to humanity in the craziness of the world we live in today, Franti takes us on an experiential journey through his songs and stories of people who have chosen to overcome cynicism with optimism and hope. Franti shares the tales of Robin Lim, a midwife who opened a birthing clinic in the aftermath of a devastating typhoon in the Philippines, Steve & Hope Dezember, a young couple whose love carries them through Steve’s battle with ALS, Arief Rabik, an environmental scientist in Bali who perfected a method to make industrial and household products with bamboo in an effort to curb deforestation, and Sive Mazinyo and Busisiwwe Vazi, who help inspire their community of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, through music and education.
He hopes to inspire people to become change-makers by utilizing creativity, tenacity, and heart to face our daily challenges as individuals, and together as citizens of our planet to “stay human.”
“We are thrilled to have Michael Franti joining us at the APMFF and to be hosting the world premiere of Stay Human,” said Peter Hurley, Executive Director. “Michael has been inspiring people around the world, and the stories showcased in this film are compelling.” Besides Franti, also being added to the APMFF lineup are Dentist, who will be appearing with Beams and Sharkmuffin.
The APMFF also features An Evening with Danny DeVito, an intimate evening at the Paramount Theatre on Saturday, April 28 featuring video vignettes and stories from DeVito’s illustrious career, integrated with discussion, a Q&A session and other individual presentations. Performances from Sublime with Rome at Convention Hall, also on April 28, and Gov’t Mule at the Paramount Theatre on April 29, highlights the musical program.
Previously announced artists and films include Built to Spill, North Mississippi Allstars, Low Cut Connie, Bobby Bandiera and Friends, Patrick Davis and His Midnight Choir, the Kitchen Dwellers, Dark City Strings and the Tangiers Blues Band, who will serve as the opener for Gov’t Mule. The APMFF will also include Dylan Archives III, a series of rare gems from the vault, along with the films, Long Strange Trip, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the film’s producers Eric Eisner and Justin Kreutzmann, and the world premiere of Break on Thru: A Celebration of Ray Manzarek and The Doors.
The Asbury Park Music & Film Festival has welcomed a variety of world-class music, film and panel discussions to its stages and screens. Highlights have included a jam session featuring Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Van Zandt, Southside Johnny and others in support of the documentary Just Before The Dawn about the history of the famed Upstage Club; Q&A sessions with award-winning actor and director Don Cheadle around the NJ film premiere of Miles Ahead; exclusive Bob Dylan archival footage; performances from Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Gene Cornish (The Rascals), Colin Hay (Men At Work), Brian Fallon (Gaslight Anthem) and Robert Randolph; panel discussions with industry leaders Tom Bernard (Sony Pictures Classics), Adam Block (Sony Legacy Recordings) and photographer and director Danny Clinch.
All schedule, venue and ticket/pass information is available at apmff.org.