A couple local legends, burgeoning talents and performing artists from across the Garden State turned out Saturday night for KYDS Soulful Showcase benefit at Danny Clinch Transparent gallery in The Asbury on Fifth Avenue.
“Thank you for welcoming me,” local blues man Stringbean said before performing a couple folk and reggae based songs.
The event was held in support of KYDS [Konscious Youth Development and Service], a nonprofit that works to help Monmouth County’s youth develop a holistic approach to life’s challenges.
Founded by Monmouth University graduates Mychal Mills of Neptune and Rodney Salomon of Marlboro, KYDS has administered programs in the Asbury Park, Neptune,
Ocean Township, and Marlboro school districts. They host the monthly Open Mic events at Kula Cafe on Springwood Avenue and have led programs in partnership with Red Bank based Project Write Now and Lunch Break. This year, the duo became directors of the 15-week Asbury Park Junior Entrepreneur Training program, which works with Asbury Park middleschoolers to bring a product from idea to fruition for sale at the annual Made In Monmouth fair.
Mills and Salomon hand picked the roster of performers, which included poetry from Jackson Middle School Principal Carl Carino and Ocean Township educator Cord Moreski; local legend Richie Blackwell performing with cowboy Ronnie Brant and Stringbean; and souful renditions from Wall High School students Michelle Greco, Elliot Smith, Cate Pasterchick, and Chloe Raichle.
Other spoken word performances came from Open Mic regulars Sunlight and Q’moshyn of Trenton, The Farmer Boyz – a father son duo from Pennsauken, and Mills himself.
Clinch, a famed music industry photographer from Toms River, launched the temporary gallery in January in partnership with local vintage, mid-century furniture purveyors Tina Kerekes and Lamar Vannoy.
Kerekes said the gallery space was a perfect pairing for the event.
“I’m so happy that we were able to introduce this to kids from the area,” she said of a group of local teens she personally invited to event.
For more information on Transparent, click here.
The Asbury Park Sun is affiliated with the triCityNews newspaper.