Search Results for: Zack Sandler

Musicians & The Mosaic: Zack Sandler

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OK, maybe….technically…Zack Sandler was the first musician I shot in front of the Empress Hotel mosaic wall.

Yes, technically speaking, he was on the set before Remember Jones.

Buuuuut….Remember was the first cat I set up a shoot with. Zack was down in Asbury Park for the afternoon and swung by as I was setting up. He’s also managing some bands this summer and is working with Remember on some things, too.

Zack is no stranger to my camera. I’ve shot him a bunch of times, on stage and off, over the past few years. We had a great time shooting last summer. Then I provided photos for his first promoted concert, A Set For Vets, last winter.

Zack continues to be busy. He just finished his freshman year at Monmouth University, and when he’s not lending his sax talents to Bobby Mahoney And The Seventh Son, he’s sitting in with Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes. Not to mention doing more promotional work for bands in and around Asbury Park. I guess he sleeps at some point, too.

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It was cool Zack was there while I was getting set up for Remember Jone. Not only was I able to check light with him, he’s a great addition to my project.

For Zack, it was same gear: Natural, mid-afternoon (about 3:30 p.m.) light, Canon 70D and Fuji X100T.

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I actually forgot to put him on the black background. Later this summer, I hope.

I did, though, have to get some shot of him and remember together.

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That wall is weird, right? Keeps giving me different colors depending on various changes in my processing. I love it.

Had to get the group photo in, too. Even got to include Flo!

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So, we’re off to a good start indeed!

More to come…

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017

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Leaving On A High Note

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I’ve written about Zack Sandler many times on this blog.

After meeting him and his family on the boardwalk back in in 2011, and keeping in touch since then, we’ve become good friends.

And now, he’s ready to start the next chapter in his life.

This spring, Zack graduated with magna cum laude honors in Music Industry from Monmouth University.

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This accomplishment comes about the music business in school while working on his own musical career, both onstage and promoting shows.

He’s played his sax on many stages, promoted a few Light of Day show in Asbury Park, joined Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son when they opened for Bon Jovi and spent countless hours in a van and backstage as tour manager for Remember Jones.

The young cat has worked hard to do so well in school, graduate with honors and keep getting better as a musician.

So when he pinged me about shooting some cap-and-gown photos down in Asbury Park the other week, I was more than up for it.

Yes, it’s the time of COVID, but I knew we could do this at a safe distance, with masks, and a long lens.

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So, a couple of weeks ago, on a beautiful, warm Friday afternoon, we hit the high spots in and around Ocean Ave.

Zack played some tunes on his sax while I snapped away. Then we switched it up so he could give his guitar some play. Literally.

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Monmouth U hadn’t sent his actual cap and gown yet, so he wore his mom’s gown and his older sister’s cap. I had packed my truck full of lighting and a seamless had a few different ideas and set ups we could try.

But once I got there and I started shooting, I bagged all that. Just used the sun and shade we had available, slung my Fuji X100T around my neck and my Canon 70D with the 70-200 mm (my 24-105 is in the shop getting fixed) and went with what we could find.

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No fuss or muss to these. Music is such an important part of Zack’s life,  and his love of Asbury Park runs deep, so the goal was just to infuse him with the setting. He did have one shot in mind that we had to get: A hero shot in front of The Stone Pony, a place where he did do an internship a couple of summers ago.

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Lots of great memories there for him. We shot for about an hour or so, starting at my favorite Empress Hotel mosaic wall and working our way up and down the boardwalk. The shot that leads off this post is one of my favs. Got lucky how it all came together there.

Here’s a short video of the full shot, backed with some sax by Zack himself.

Of course, I had to make prints. A few 8x10s, the rest 5×7. I’ll be sending them out to him this week. Hopefully, one or two will find a home on the wall of his studio.

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This was a great honor for me. Really happy I met him back in 2011 and really happy our friendship has continued.

Good luck to Zack! I can’t wait to see where the next phase of his life and career takes him.

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© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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Event: A Hot Night At The Stone Pony

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Note: This is a recap that I wrote for Backstreets.com which ran on July 7. Re-running it here because there’s only so many ways to write a recap! But more photos are included here!

In the middle of the first heat wave of the summer in New Jersey, things got even hotter at The Stone Pony on Saturday night.

The humidity hung in the air all day, and the skies even opened over Asbury Park for a brief rainstorm at one point in the afternoon. All eyes were on the skies as the day wound down – there was a rock ‘n roll show to put on.

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Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes were scheduled, along with Garry Tallent of the E Street Band, and Remember Jones, to add a little firecracker pop to the 4th of July weekend on the Jersey Shore.

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Weather outlets were consulted, sounds checks were delayed, but by the time Garry (and his band, The Dellavantes) hit the stage, some sun was peeking out giving everyone hope that the show would go on.

Garry, a Neptune, New Jersey, native, was playing in support of his new album, More Like Me, due out on July 27. Influenced by early ’60s garage rock, the sound it bit rockabilly with a lot great guitar work.

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The crowd was enjoying the music but then things when to another level when Garry asked a friend to come out to help with vocals on a new song.

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Clad in a dark t-shirt, dark jeans, scuffed work boots and a faded New York Yankees cap, Bruce Springsteen came out to cheers from the crowd. Previously, he had been taking in Garry’s show, stage left, nodding along in rhythm to his friend’s tunes.

Saying it was his shortest song, Garry started off and Bruce followed in step on Garry’s new song, Dirty Rotten Shame. The crowed loved to see these two old friends jamming on a Stone Pony stage.

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It had been eight years since Bruce had stepped on stage at The Stone Pony (though he and Patti did attend the memorial there for long-time Asbury Park music supporter Kerry Layton in June). This would have been enough for the packed crowd, but it was going to get better.

After a brief intermission, one of Asbury Park’s hottest acts, Remember Jones, took the stage for a shortened set. Remember Jones, fronted by Anthony D’Amato, is a multi-piece unit that boasts a horn section, two keyboard players, backup singers and all the energy you can ask for. Their retro outfits looked like they would feel right at home in the new film set in the late ‘60s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.

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Near the end of the Remember Jones set, the sky had turned cloudy again, but their version of Let the Sun Shine by Aquarius made the early evening brighter.

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RJ’s outfit designed by Juda Leah Altier

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“The Horniest Men in Asbury Park”

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General Roshan

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Mark Masefield

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Singer Stevi Incremona

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Singer Taylor Tote

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Rain shorten set but super fun.

Between sets, my buddy Zack Sandler, who does promotion for Remember Jones, went about promoting, getting some RJ merch in the hands of the important people.

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Of course, the ripple across the crowd was…would Bruce join his old buddy, Southside Johnny, on stage. The last time they shared a stage together was at for the “Upstage Jam,” held during the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival in April 2017. Would it happen again?

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The Jukes came out blazing, starting off with I’m Not That Lonely, leading into All I Needed Was You and Woke Up This Morning.

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Southside Johnny and Jeff Kazee

 

 

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Jeff Kazee

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John Conte (rear), and Glenn Anderson in front.

Then, after about 12 songs, Johnny gave the crowed what they were hoping for.

“Come on out, Boss Man!”

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The packed crowd let out extended versions of “Brrrrrruuuuuccccce!” and grew even more excited as The Jukes and Bruce launched in to Sherry Darling, a special version of The Fever, and an animated Talk to Me.

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In all, Bruce would play seven songs with Southside and the Jukes. This didn’t seem to be a show-up-and-play show, this was a full-on performance.

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This hot day turned into one of those magical Jersey Shore nights, the kind where the people who missed will wish they had been there (or say they had been) and the people that were there will always remember it.

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The rain held up, the crowd stayed strong and music filled the boardwalk.

Pretty much a perfect summer night in Asbury Park.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019

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Event: Beating Parkinson’s With Rock ‘n Roll

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Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Famer Ricky Byrd

On Thursday, January 18, there was a threat of snow in the Asbury Park nighttime forecast.

There was also the threat of rock ‘n roll, too.

Only one of the predictions came true. With a whole host of concerts being held in support of Light of Day Winterfest all over Little Eden, perhaps the top place to be was Langosta Lounge on the boardwalk.

Because, really, when a small seaside bar has not one but TWO Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famers on the same stage, that’s about as big as it gets this side of the Grammy’s.

That’s what happened with Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez (RNRHOF 2014) and Ricky Byrd, guitarist for Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (RNRHOF 2015) shared the stage to grind up some guitars and bang the drums all night.

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Guitarist and Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Famer ( 2015) Ricky Byrd

Byrd lived the rock ‘n roll lifestyle in his heyday…and hard. Now, though, he’s a certified recovery coach and has been clean and sober since 1987. At Langosta, he started his set with two acoustic songs, Lighthouse from his Clean Getaway album, and Stronger, from a forthcoming album. Reagan Richards, of the Asbury Park-based Williams Honor sang supporting vocals on Stronger.

“I hijacked Reagan backstage to sing background on it here,” Byrd said. “And she nailed it.”

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Reagan Richards of Williams Honor

After that, Byrd switched out his acoustic guitar and plugged in. Backed by Bobby Mahoney & The Seventh Son (Bobby on vocals, Andrew Saul on guitar, Jonathan Chang-Soon on bass, Monmouth University junior Zack Sander (who also helped promote this show) on sax and James McIntosh on drums), he ripped through a handful of Joan Jett songs.

MU’s Kristen Wilczewski (part of MU’s Blue Hawk Records label) more than ably held up Jett’s vocal standards by belting out I Love Rock ‘n Roll and Bad Reputation. Richards then rejoined the stage for rollicking, rolling version of Jumpin’, Jack Flash and a version of the song Springsteen wrote for the Michael J. Fox film of the same name, Light of Day (in the film, where MJF is playing guitar…yeah, that’s Ricky behind the scenes.)

The arrangement sounded so good, Ricky had an idea: “How about we call this new band Ricky Byrd & The Indictments?” Ricky asked Bobby in between songs.

“Ah…how about Bobby Mahoney & The Seventh Son featuring Ricky Byrd,” Bobby said with a smile.

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Kristen Wilczewski and Byrd

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Bobby Mahoney and Reagan Richards

After a short break in which Byrd signed his CD and take a break, Lopez then sat down in his office behind the drum kit to bang the skins and tell rock ‘n roll stories.

To kick off this portion of the show, Joe Rapolla, Chair of the Music & Theater Arts Department at Monmouth University, took on lead guitar and vocals for Springsteen’s Spirit In The Night while Sandler reincarnated The Big Man, Clarence Clemons, on the sax portions. Teacher and student playing together!

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Vini Lopez in his office

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(L to R) Jon Bass, Jonathan Chang-Soon, Joe Rapolla, Zack Sandler, Dan Amato, Gary Cavico

Langosta was filling up, including a few very enthusiastic fans from Germany. Vini told the packed house about the time he got arrested for inciting a riot (because he kept playing after curfew) that led into one of his favorites from the Steel Mill days, Goin’ Back To Georgia. He’d also take lead vocals on Ballad of Jesse James and Jersey Girl, to everyone’s delight.

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All the way from Germany

As a special treat, Joe D’Urso, a Jersey Shore music legend and a Light of Day Foundation board member joined the stage swelling with musicians to thank the crowd for coming out and handle co-lead vocals with MU student Dan Amato (who also fronts Dan Amato & The Sentimental Gentleman) on 4th of July (Sandy). There’s just something about hearing Springsteen classics on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. You get serious chills.

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Joe D’Urso and Joe Rapolla

The hour was getting late, and some flurries were falling outside, but the musicians weren’t done yet. As if the stage wasn’t crowded enough, Eddie Testa grabbed the mic and took the musicians through Springsteen’s 10th Annual Freeze Out, Rosalita, Glory Days, all building to a crescendo culminating in a raucous Twist & Shout.

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Eddie Testa taking the show home on a now-crowed stage

Every year, the highlight of the Light of Day festivities is the big Saturday night show, one Bruce has often jumped on stage and joined in, unannounced. That was not to be this year. (I won’t lie – I breathed a small sigh of relief since I wasn’t slated to shoot it.)

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Vini Lopez, Zack Sandler, Ricky Byrd

But if you were in Langosta Lounge on this night, you saw a good four hours of solid rock ‘n roll music – all of the above was preceded by other great young acts on the Blue Hawks Record label. So this was really a wonderful night to hear fantastic music and raise money to help eradicate one of the most devastating diseases of our time.

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That’s a lot of musicians. 

Click here to see a more photos from this night special night in Asbury Park.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2019

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