It's the Big Man's birthday, but it's also a chance to help get local schools' music programs hitting the right notes again.
With many local school facilities affected by Hurricane Sandy, organizers to the first "Clarence Clemons Day" concert are also raising money for programs where instruments and sheet music were damaged by the storm.
On Jan. 12, the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park will host "Celebrating Clarence: The Big Man's Birthday Benefit" honoring Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band's longtime saxophonist, who died in 2011.
New Jersey newly declared "Clarence Clemons Day" is Jan. 11 — this year's concert will be the first celebration of that. Organizers announced: "This event will also serve as a benefit to raise money for local school district music departments that have lost instruments, sheet music and classroom materials in the storm. All local music fans should attend, it will be a great event and for a great cause that will see immediate results for our local communities!"
Concertgoers should expect a real celebration of the sound and community Clemons came from. Some of the acts on the lineup are relatives and frequent collaborators of The Big Man:
- Steve Smith and the Nakeds, a powerhouse horn driven R&B band which featured the Big Man in many live performances.
- Special guest JT Bowen (formerly of Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers).
- Jobonanno & The Godsons, Marc Ribler, and Woodfish.
- The evening will kick off with a performance by the Nick Clemons Band, fronted by Asbury's own Nick Clemons, oldest son of the Big Man.
Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 at the door.