Historical Association Grand Opening and Lighting June 18, 6-8pm

mcha quartet black menFREEHOLD, NJ – A grand opening for Spirituals to Soul: African American Musical Heritage in Monmouth is being held at the Monmouth County Historical Association Museum at 70 Court Street on June 18 from 6-8pm. This exhibit explores the history of black music in Monmouth County from 1880 to 1980 and will feature the development of spirituals, jazz, gospel, rhythm & blues, doo wop, and soul music along with the places where they appeared.

Along with these photos and memorabilia, the exhibit will also have listening stations at each of the six musical genres featured to hear the music while looking and reading about the musicians. The exhibit grew from a collaboration by music historians Charlie and Pamela Horner and the Asbury Park Historical Society shown at Heaven gallery in Asbury Park which was then followed by a show earlier this year at the Monmouth University Pollak Gallery. The exhibit at the Association was designed by Stan Cain.

The exhibit will highlight part of the neon sign from Leo Karp’s Turf Club. The marquee was rescued from demolition by the Asbury Park Historical Society and restored by a volunteer, Horner explained, including restoring its ability to be lit. A highlight of the opening will be the introduction of Cliff Johnson, a nonagenarian saxophone player who played in the original Turf Club in Asbury Park, and the lighting after more than four decades, of that original Turf Club neon sign that will take place on the evening of the opening.

Monmouth County Historical Association is a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898.  The Historical Association’s Museum and Library is located at 70 Court Street, Freehold, New Jersey.  Museum hours are: Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Library is open Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Historic Houses are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  For membership or admission fees and further information, please call (732) 462-1466 or visit our web site at www.monmouthhistory.org. 

Monmouth County Historical Association received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.