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The star power of the Jersey Shore is on the rise in the arts and entertainment world, from concert stages to TV and movies to Broadway. Here are the movers and shakers in the spotlight, and others who are behind the scenes making the magic happen.
If you think there's someone worthy who is not on these lists, email Executive Editor Phil Freedman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a brief explanation of why you think they are deserving and contact information.
Ryver Bey: Musician
Sure, we could certainly put Bruce Springsteen on top of this list, but Ryver Bey's influence on Asbury Park is special — and it's growing. Everybody's talking about the 10-year old rapping dynamo, who is sending the hip-hop world into a tizzy.
Hip-hop legend Rakim was more than impressed when the two shared the Stone Pony stage this summer.
“(Ryver's) the next train who's going to take the next load of people to hip-hop's future,” Rakim said. “Peace and love to the little queen.”
Ryver's independently released singles, including “Like Me” and “Lesson Plan (Get the Bag),” have generated hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and she makes headlines when she gets on a stage.
Asbury Park's had a disquieted past with hip-hop in the past, but Ryver is opening doors and leading by example. The recent Asbury Park's Got Talent showcase was loaded with pre-teen city kids who were inspired to perform by her.
Bruce Springsteen: Musician
The Boss named his debut album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” in 1973, a tribute to the seaside resort town, then in the midst of a decades-long downward spiral, where the future Boss honed his performance skills. Fifty years later, generations of Jersey Shore musicians — from Bon Jovi to Gaslight Anthem — have been influenced by him, and generations of fans have made the pilgrimage to the area to see the sites he and his bandmates played, stayed and rehearsed.
Bob Santelli and Eileen Chapman: Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music
Santelli and Chapman are the heads of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University, which hosts musical and community events at the university and elsewhere. Chapman is also an Asbury Park City Council woman and on the Board of Trustees of the Asbury Park Music Foundation.
Danny Clinch: Photographer, filmmaker
The rockstar photographer is the co-founder of Sea Hear Now music, art and surf festival in Asbury Park, and his Transparent Clinch Gallery is a must-see for music fans.
Rodney Coursey: Hip-hop advocate
A leading advocate for the area’s hip-hop scene and founder of Garden State Hip-Hop.
Debbie DeLisa: Wonder Bar manager
Manager of the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, which has become a focal point for the city's legacy acts. She's also the creator of the popular Yappy Hour for dogs at the Wonder Bar.
Jay Dermer: Sound engineer
Owner of Asbury Audio, which engineers the sound for the Stone Pony of Asbury Park, as well as other venues and community events. The person most responsible for the sounds of Asbury Park.
Pat Fasano: Venue owner
Owner of the Bond Street Bar, Capitoline, Lotería and more, he helped spark the revival of the city more than 20 years ago.
Jen Hampton: Art curator
Owner of Parlor Gallery in Asbury Park and founder of the city's Wooden Walls Project. She's also a former Asbury Lanes bartender.
Remember Jones: Musician
Anthony D'Amato, aka Remember Jones, is the frontman for the group Remember Jones, which bridges the Asbury Park rock scene and LGBT communities.
Jon Leidersdorff: Music educator
Founder of Lakehouse Music Academy and Recording studios in Asbury Park, and a member of the Asbury Park Music Foundation.
Virgilio Lozano: Event promoter
Lozano is the founder of the Tu Sello Latino Festival, a focal point for the growing Latin American arts scene at the Jersey Shore.
Peter Mantas: Event promoter
Music promoter and champion of new talent in Asbury Park as entertainment director of the city's Break and Low Dive, formerly the Langosta Lounge and Asbury Park Yacht Club.
Caroline O'Toole: Venue manager
General manager of the Stone Pony and the Stone Pony Summer Stage, which serves as a focal point for the Asbury Park music scene in the summer.
Tony Pallagrosi: Light of Day director
Pallagrosi, a former member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, is the executive director of the Light of Day Festival, which raises funds in the fight against Parkinson's Disease and bring thousands of music fans to the Jersey Shore.
Shep Pettibone: Paradise owner
Pettibone, the producer of Madonna's famous “Vogue” single, is the owner of the Empress Hotel, which includes the big Paradise nightclub, in Asbury Park.
Adam Philipson: Basie Center CEO
CEO of the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, which includes the Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, the Vogel, the Basie Center Cinemas and educational programs.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: Reality TV star
The star of MTV's “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” has a summer home in Toms River, and owns the Snooki Shop in Seaside Heights.
Pat Schiavino: Art gallery owner
Artist, owner of Art 629 Gallery in Asbury Park, and founder of Asbury Underground art and music crawl. He helped spark a revival of the city more than 20 years ago.
Alexander Simone: Musician
The R&B musician — frontman for the Asbury Park-based Alexander Simone and Whodat? — is a talent connector and community leader.
Kevin Smith: Filmmaker
The Highlands-raised filmmaker owns the Smodcastle Cinemas in Atlantic Highlands, and Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book store in Red Bank.
Jon Stewart: Comedian
Stewart, a native of Lawrenceville, hosts charity events in the area, and he owns the Hockhockson Farm Foundation in Colts Neck, an animal sanctuary.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Ryver Bey: Jersey Shore Most Influential 2024