New Jersey Stage

Sunday, February 27, 2011


(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- The ShowRoom, Asbury Park's art-house movie theater, is partnering with author and Asbury Park historian Helen Chantal Pike on Sunday, March 27 to present "Roots, Rock and Ray." The interactive event will start at 1:00 p.m. and include a panel discussion led by Pike and Gary Walker of WBGO, the nation's premier jazz radio station.

"Roots, Rock and Ray" was planned in conjunction with the Smithsonian's traveling exhibition "New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music" on display at the Asbury Park Library from March 12 through April 17. It will also coincide with a city-wide jazz and blues themed weekend slated from March 25 to 27.

Pike, editor of the anthology, "Asbury Park: Where Music Lives" and curator of "Roots, Rock and Ray," will join Walker in discussing excerpts from the film "Ray Charles: America," examining the musical influences that informed the iconic artist's work. A notable event in Asbury Park's rich music heritage, Ray Charles performed two sold-out concerts at the Paramount Theatre in 1962. Pike, Walker and other panel members will use this noteworthy event as a springboard into the exploration of Asbury Park's jazz and blues history.

"The ShowRoom is looking forward to partnering with our friend Helen Pike for ‘Roots, Rock and Ray.' This afternoon of film and music hosted in an intimate art-house setting is the perfect representation of the original programming that is happening throughout Asbury Park in conjunction with New Harmonies. I am happy our venue provides the resources needed for a presentation of this caliber," said Michael Sodano, co-owner of The ShowRoom.

Following the panel discussion and film outtakes, guests will enjoy performances by Sandy Sasso, an internationally acclaimed jazz singer and former owner of Sasso's Music in Long Branch; Dorian Parreott, a jazz saxophonist whose band opened for Ray Charles in 1957 and later went on to become band director and chair of the Fine Arts Department at Asbury Park High School from 1968 to 1991; Gladstone Trott, conductor of the Downtown Glee Club in New York City, member of the Lakewood Jazz Ensemble, and longtime conductor and organist for the St. Augustine choir in Asbury Park; as well as performances by bluesmen Willie Mitchell and Al Holmes.

Pike's anthology "Asbury Park: Where Music Lives" will be available for purchase at "Roots, Rock and Ray." Essays from performing musicians Perreot, Trott and Mitchell are included in the historical anthology.

"Roots, Rock and Ray" will kick-off at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 27. Tickets for the event are $12.00, $5.00 for students. For more information or to reserve tickets, please visit or call 732-502-0472.

About The ShowRoom

Since opening in April 2009, The ShowRoom has continued to present relevant and provocative movies and events that engage audiences for a memorable experience. It is a versatile entertainment space on Cookman Avenue's Art Bloc that is renowned for its roster of critically acclaimed, independent, classic, foreign, family and festival-winning films. In addition, The ShowRoom endeavors to provide the community with a welcoming and acoustically ideal environment for live performances, workshops, seminars and mixed-media presentations. Owners Michael Sodano and Nancy Sabino are film-industry veterans with more than 25 years of experience in creative communications for corporate productions. With The ShowRoom, first-rate cinema and a dedicated entertainment venue has returned to Asbury Park's growing downtown arts community. For more information, please visit or call 732-502-0472.