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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Centenary Stage Summer Jazzfest to feature The Doo Wah Riders

doo riders

Centenary Stage Company welcomes The Doo Wah Riders to the Lackland Performing Arts Center on Saturday, July 22 as the second installment of the 2017 Summer Jamfest series. Based out of Southern California, the band has been delighting audiences all across the United States with their unique sound, a blend of country music with Cajun influences. Their set list includes classic country tunes audiences know and love, as well as some original music infused with their own youthful energy. The Doo Wah Riders’ are known for their tight musicianship, powerful arrangements, and being “A real crowd pleaser!” as Rey O’Day exclaims. Since 1993, they have released seven albums and one live-concert DVD.

Two of the band members, Kenny Lee Benson and Lindy Rasmusson, have been making music together since they were in grade school at the Dick Grove Music Workshops in Studio City, California. It started as a western swing sound, but the music has evolved as they’ve traveled across the US and gotten to collaborate with other musicians and other genres of music. Benson noted, “When I was out in New Mexico, I met a friend who was making Cajun zydeco music and playing accordion, and I loved the sound. I started playing accordion specifically to make that kind of sound and it’s been a huge influence for our style”.

                Since they write all their own music, they’ve been able to pick up sounds and stories they’ve loved. Benson, the lead writer, says, “If you’re going to be a songwriter, you need to be a fly on the wall and respond to what’s going on around you.  Sometimes the best time to write will be by yourself and letting your mind be open, but a lot of times, things will pop into your head while at the store, while talking to people, and you’ve got to just run with it.”

Knowing the ins and outs of country has brought them to NJ numerous time. For years, they taught programs at schools about the history of country music through the Morris Arts Council (Morristown, NJ). While the band started just for fun, Benson recalls, “You know, one day I woke up and was 50 years old and had spent my whole life making music”.

Tickets for The Doo Wah Riders on Saturday, July 22 at 8pm in the Sitnik Theater of the Lackland Performing Arts Center are $30.00 for adults and $25.00 for students.  Ticket prices increase $5.00 the day of the performance. For more information on The Doo Wah Riders, visit doowahriders.com.

Centenary Stage Company’s 2017 Summer Jamfest continues through the months of July and August with The British Invasion Years on Saturday, July 29, Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra on Saturday, August 5, and Dr. K’s Motown Revue on Saturday, August 12. All performances are held in the Sitnik Theater of the Lackland Center and will begin at 8pm.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit centenarystageco.org or call the CSC box office at (908) 979 – 0900.  The box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center; 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ.  Box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5 pm and two hours prior to each performance.

The 2016-2017 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake, and Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

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