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Monday, March 5, 2012

Centenary Blues THIRD ANNUAL BLUESFEST March 9-10


A two-night extravaganza

HACKETTSTOWN — Internationally renowned Roomful of Blues and Rob Paparozzi (formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears) and his blues band, Hudson River Rats, are the headliners for the 2012 Centenary Blues Festival March 9-10.

The third annual Blues Festival, presented by Joe Hirsh Productions and the Centenary Stage Company, features two full days of the blues at Centenary College and around the Hackettstown area, with Roomful of Blues headlining Saturday and Paparozzi on Friday.

The Lackland Center at Centenary College will host music Friday and Saturday nights, preceded by “matinee shows” at Marley’s Gotham Grill in the late afternoon and a “post-show party” on Saturday night, also at Marley’s. The Centenary shows begin at 7 on Friday and 6:30 on Saturday, with the headliners scheduled for 8:30 both nights.

With a recording career that spans over 40 years, Roomful of Blues has toured worldwide and recorded many albums. Since 1967, the group’s blend of swing, rock and roll, jump blues, boogie-woogie and soul has earned them five Grammy Award nominations and many other accolades, including seven Blues Music Awards (with a victory as Blues Band of the Year in 2005). Billboard has called called the band “a tour de force of horn-fried blues. Roomful is so tight and so right.” The Down Beat International Critics Poll has twice selected Roomful of Blues as Best Blues Band.

Currently an eight-piece unit led by guitarist Chris Vachon and featuring long-time tenor and alto sax player Rich Lataille, also includes singer Phil Pemberton, bassist John Turner, drummer Ephraim Lowell, keyboardist Travis Colby, and baritone and tenor saxophonist Mark Earley.

New Jersey-based frontman, singer and harmonica player Rob Paparozzi has been a blues performer since 1967. But Paparozzi is at home playing a wide range of music, ranging from rock to blues to jazz to pop. This versatility is reflected in the long and remarkably diverse list of major artists Paparozzi has worked with, including B.B. King, Dr. John, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Carole King, Roberta Flack, Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, Randy Newman, Jimmy McGriff and James Galway.

Paparozzi has toured the world with the Original Blues Brothers Band, featuring guitar legend Steve Cropper and special guest Eddie Floyd and also as frontman and lead singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Rounding out the Friday schedule will be Quimby Mountain Band and the VooDudes, and on Saturday, Johnny Charles Band with Nasty Ned, and Rhett Tyler & Early Warning featuring Al Buonanno on bass and Jeff Prescott on drums.

Major supporters for this year’s festival are PNC Bank, Mr. Music, GBW Insurance, MoPromo Mgmt Co, Hackettstown Business Improvement District, Marley’s Gotham Grill, Investors Bank, Courtyard by Marriott — Mount Arlington, Residence Inn Marriott Mount Olive, Good Impressions Printing and Mailing, Mountain Ledge Music, United Jersey Blues Network, Cathy Miller Photography, and HTVProductions.

For ticket information and further details about the festival, go to or phone 908-979-0900.

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