WESTFIELD, NJ -- The Westfield Memorial Library (550 East Broad Street) will present the Andy B.AND on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 2:00 p.m., and Marlene VerPlanck as part of the Weiss Family Jazz Series on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7:00 p.m.
The Andy B.AND performance will be by Andy B, aka Andy Bernstein, who is the singer, percussionist, harmonica player, and primary songwriter for The VooDUDES, who recently played at the St. Bart's Festival in Scotch Plains. Inspired by the rise of American and retro soul music, Andy began a solo recording project.
The soon-to-drop result is a collection titled, “My Roots Are Showing.” The tunes range around American root influences from the rhythmic mountain spiritual “Great Time Coming,” to the DAP Records-style soul of “Break Someone Else's Heart.” He sings all of his heartfelt lyrics in a voice that one reviewer described as the “sound of a bourbon bottle lined with gravel.”
Under the Andy B.AND moniker, he has performed at the Bourbon St. Blues Festival; Metuchen Rocks; the songwriters' showcase of 2016 Light of Day Festival in Asbury Park; and Hub City Music Festival in his hometown of New Brunswick.
Marlene VerPlanck, the final performer in the Weiss Family Jazz Series for 2016, is a stellar voice on the jazz scene. Millions of people first heard her crystal-clear voice anonymously, on radio and television, when she espoused the merits of dozens of commercial products.
She got her start in the big-band business, as a very young vocalist with Charlie Spivak and Tex Beneke. In time, Marlene became one of the nation's busiest studio singers, backing up vocalists ranging from Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme to KISS.
Following appearances on Alec Wilder's historic NPR series, “American Popular Songs,” in the 1970s, Marlene emerged as a leading solo performer. Appearances at Carnegie Hall, Michael's Pub, and the Rainbow Room brought rave notices. National TV shows, including “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Today Show” and CBS's “Sunday Morning,” featured profiles of the singer. Today, she performs across North America and much of Western Europe, while her CDs continue to win critical acclaim.
Established with a bequest to the Westfield Memorial Library Foundation, the Weiss Family Jazz Series commemorates longtime library patrons Joseph and Dorothy Weiss. The programs are free and open to Westfield Memorial Library ( 550 East Broad Street) and MURAL cardholders. (MURAL cardholders belong to libraries that are part of the Middlesex Union Reciprocal Agreement Libraries, including Scotch Plains and Fanwood.) To register, visit the library’s website at www.wmlnj.org, click on the Online Calendar, or call the library at 908-789-4090.