50 years since the Asbury Park riots: How music shaped the city

A documentary about the riots in Asbury Park reflects on how music shaped the city on the 50th anniversary of the unrest.

News 12 Staff

Jul 14, 2020, 1:29 AM

Updated 1,371 days ago

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A documentary about the riots in Asbury Park reflects on how music shaped the city on the 50th anniversary of the unrest.
It was July 1970 when social anger in the city spilled out into the streets in the form of violent protests.
“And Asbury Park’s got those fabled train tracks through the middle of town and the only thing that jumped across those tracks was music and musicians,” says filmmaker Tom Jones.
Jones’ documentary “Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption and Rock ‘n’ Roll” brings together pioneers of Jersey Shore music to reflect on that pivotal time.
“There was a moment in time when something happened here that wasn’t happening any place else,” New Jersey music icon Bruce Springsteen says in the documentary.
Jones says that Asbury Park is unique with how musical history is intertwined with the city’s culture.
“It’s always been a town that even in its darkest days, music kept the town alive,” he says.
Jones is also trying to make sure that music stays alive in Asbury Park through his POP Music Foundation and its commitment to music education.
Jeramy Orienza is among three promising musicians receiving scholarships to Asbury Park's Lakehouse Music Academy.
“I’m only 15. I can’t wait for what the future hold for me,” Orienza says.
When he was just 12 years old, the Neptune teen jumped in on a jam session with Springsteen and other rock ‘n’ roll icons.
“When I play live, my God, that’s like the best feeling ever. When I played with Bruce Springsteen at the Paramount Theatre, all the crowd was cheering on. I could feel the energy,” he says.
“Asbury Park: Riot, Redemption and Rock ‘n’ Roll” was previously released and is now streaming on YouTube for free until August.
 


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