What began nearly 20 years ago as a humble gathering of local musicians has officially become a Jersey Shore institution, drawing hundreds of artists, collectors, vendors and fans to Brookdale’s Lincroft campus each year.
The 18th Annual Brookdale Guitar Show, held in the Student Life Center on April 12, was no exception.
Featuring an eclectic mix of merchandise, instruments, musicians’ workshops and live entertainment, the event offered something for every taste and level of experience.
“There are shows like this in Chicago and New York and Cincinnati, but there are really none like this in this area,” said Tom Brennan, station manager for Brookdale Public Radio, 90.5 The Night. “And it continues to grow each year, which I think speaks to the passion and the number of music fans we have around here.”
The Guitar Show, hosted by WBJB, is the radio station’s single largest day of fundraising each year, drawing sponsors, vendors and visitors from as far away as Ohio. It’s easy to see why.
For those interested in expanding their collections, there were more than 50 vendors were on hand offering exclusive Guitar Show discounts on guitars, accessories and assorted merchandise.
For aspiring artists, there were professional level workshops and clinics on everything from jazz and bass guitar to music industry marketing.
Downstairs and on the SLC patio, local acts like Cat London, the Accidental Seabirds and internationally acclaimed blues guitarist Davy Knowles gave rare, intimate performances for a standing room only crowd.
“It’s a really cool event,” said first-time attendee and lifelong musician William Bennett, of Eatontown. “There’s a lot of interesting pieces and a pretty big range of things to see.”
Long-time vendor Paul Nagy, on hand to represent Stirling Audio Services in Middlesex, said the Guitar Show has become a vital thread in the Jersey Shore music scene, providing musicians and businesses with a unique opportunity to come together, learn and show their community what they have to offer.
“It’s great for vendors as well as the public,” said Nagy. “You get to see things you don’t see every day, and it helps the music community survive financially and emotionally. You’re taking a lot of the younger people who come in and you’re showing them that they can be a part of this community as well. It’s a cool thing.”
Learn more about Brookdale Public Radio – and how you can become a member – by visiting their website.
Check out more photos of the 18th Annual Guitar Show here.