Jazz fans at the Jersey Shore and across the tri-state area know jazz guitarist, Jerry Topinka. Now, as Jerry faces serious health challenges, New Jersey's jazz community is gathering to celebrate his music, his accomplishments, and his friendship.
Jerry began playing guitar in May 1954, quickly displaying a passion for the instrument. Jerry studied with two of the top guitarists of the time, Al Caiola and Joe Cinderella. Since his first public appearances at just 16, venues for Jerry's performances have ranged from intimate jazz clubs to Las Vegas casinos, and major corporate fund-raising events, plus his special guest appearances with his long-time friend, Les Paul, at the Iridium in NYC. Along with a busy performing schedule, Jerry did studio work for the CBS television network.
Jerry's friends, fellow musicians, and admirers will have an opportunity to share a special musical afternoon with him at The Cranbury Inn, 21 South Main in Cranbury, NJ on January 13th, 1pm to 5pm. Part of the proceeds of the event will fund a scholarship in his name. For reservations, please call Doris Lazur (732) 933-1984.
Read Young's breakdown of Foster's infectious groove and how Foster 'colors' music with various textures and rhythmic motifs. As Young notes,"...he never gets in the way of a tune while continually rumbling beneath the ground. Sometimes, when the time is right, he’ll burst up from below the surface and react to and encourage soloists’ phrasing. Propelling his bandmates’ ideas with clear intention and intensity, Foster is a true conversationalist and interpreter of jazz."
The Jazz Foundation provides housing and emergency assistance preventing homelessness and evictions of musicians and families in need assisting with rents and mortgages. In addition, the foundation proides pro bono medical. In partnership with Englewood Hospital, they provide a network of physicians and specialists for uninsured musicians in health crisis.
Recently, the Jazz Foundation became known for its disaster relief efforts helping musicians rebuild homes and restore their lives after hurricanes, floods, and other catastrophes.
By facilitating jazz and blues programs in schools, nursing homes, and concerts in public spaces, the foundation has found perhaps the best way to help musicians: keeping them working. Their programs reach thousands in need and in low-income communities, helping them experience the music.