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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The New Brunswick Jazz Project is a local live jazz outlet created by Michael Tublin, Jimmy Lenihan, and Virginia DeBerry in 2010.
The project started out as a simple outlet for the state’s finest Jazz players—both students and professionals alike, to come together and perform.
Co-creator Michael Tublin, has been in and around New Brunswick most of his life growing up in Franklin Township. Over the years he has befriended most of the owners, managers, and patrons of many of the city’s prominent downtown resturants and bars.
Tublin and his three collaborators are all fanatics of jazz music.
“It was a collaborative between myself, Jimmy Lenihan, and Virginia DeBerry. We have been around town for decades now. We frequented most of the places in town and have relationships with the owners, managers, bartenders and staff.
“So it was an easy thought to get the jazz into these places. It just took a little persuasion on our part to get everyone to believe”
Tublin told NewBrunswickToday.com, “We make no money on this, it’s a labor of love, for the music, the arts, and our city here. We all put in countless hours on the project”.
The three hooked up with musical advisor, Ralph Bowen, while searching for musicians, according to Tublin.
“The musicians are the easy part. Ralph Bowen is our musical advisor, in the beginning he would recommend cats for us to book. From there, we starting meeting the musicians and it took a life of it’s own.”
Tublin says the group usually books a band leader who then recruits a full band.
“We book the leader then he fills in the band. So we are constantly meeting new people. And now that New Brunswick Jazz Project name is out there, we get 15-20 requests a week for a gig”.
Two years in, the project is a success, doing shows at more than a half-dozen bars and restaurants . They currently rotate venues between Makeda’s, the Hyatt Hotel, Mike’s Courtside Tavern, Catherine Lombardi’s, Tumulty’s Pub, and Sophie’s Bistro
Considering the popularity of the project Tublin hopes to officially become a non-profit by the end of the year.
“Our plans for the future are to become a non-profit, do some outdoor concerts, and see if we can start a jazz program for the elementary students in New Brunswick.”
The next show is tonight, featuring the Peter Park Quartet at Tumulty’s Pub at 361 George St., starting at 8 pm.
Editor’s Note: The author of this article is a member of the family that owns Tumulty’s Pub.