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January 31st, 2016

Exit Zero Jazz Festival Spring Press Release

Exit Zero Jazz Festival Spring Press Release


CONTACT: SFPR – 2125-627-0801
Sharla Feldscher, #101, cell 215-285-4868,
Hope Horwitz, #102, cell 215-760-2884,

Exit Zero enters the big time with its star-studded festival. It’s become bigger and more eclectic than any jazz festival New Jersey’s southernmost town ever has seen.” … Jay Lustig,

  • * *
    Presented by Exit Zero Publishing and Motema Music & Produced by Spy Boy Productions, Exit Zero Jazz Presents Headliners Pat Metheny & Ron Carter + Lisa Fischer Grand Baton on The Schmidtchen Theater Main Stage & Features Jazz Wunderkid Joey Alexander, René Marie, John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet & Legendary Soul Artist Lee Fields & The Expressions on the Cape May Convention Hall Stage + More than 30 Club Shows

Cape May, NJ (January 22, 2016) – Twice a year Exit Zero Jazz Festival transforms Cape May into a jazz village as fans and musicians make their pilgrimage to the little town by the sea. Now in its fifth year, the Festival is a celebration of music with more than 30 sets of jazz, blues, New Orleans jazz and R&B, and more presented on stages and clubs in charming Victorian seaside resort. The Festival is supported through the efforts of Festival Presenters: Motéma Music and Exit Zero Magazine, and stage sponsors, The Whale’s Tale, It’s a Breeze, Hawk Haven Vineyard + many other Cape May & Cape May County businesses.

With first-rate performances from award winning, critically acclaimed artists, exciting new artists and local favorites, the Festival has quickly become an attraction for world class musicians as well as music aficionados. Due to the festival’s popularity and the need for larger performance space, Schmidtchen Theater in Cape May has been a great addition to Cape May Convention Hall, the clubs and restaurants that host concerts.

Exit Zero Jazz Festival is produced by Spy Boy Productions, led by Michael Kline, who celebrated many summers in Cape May and returned in 2005 from New Orleans. He shares his thoughts about presenting the festival in Cape May. He said, “We wanted to offer a world-class cultural experience in Cape May that would launch the Spring shoulder season and let people know there is a vibrant, thriving community in Cape May beyond the incredible beaches and Victorian architecture. Through music, we celebrate the spirit and creative energy in Cape May, bringing a little of that New Orleans street party flavor to the beach. It’s always a great party and we’re thrilled that people keep coming back for more.”

Named for the exit to Cape May off the Garden State Parkway, the festival attracts a loyal, diverse audience of thousands from the major metropolitan regions surrounding Cape May including New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., all within a four or five hour drive of Cape May. The Festival features Grammy Award-winners, living legends, NEA Jazz Masters, emerging jazz stars, international musicians and home-grown talent too.

Ticket Information. Tickets can be purchased on-line at or by calling the Exit Zero International Jazz Festival at (609)849.9202. Hotel packages are available from Congress Hall, the Official Hotel Partner of Exit Zero Jazz, and from Hotel Partners on the Festival site. Individual tickets are available to all Main Stage performances in Schmidtchen Theater. Festival Passes provide the best value for fest-goers: VIP Pass: $165 plus tax and ticket facility fee includes reserved Orchestra Seat to headline performances, VIP room access Cape May Conventional Hall, priority seating all Cape May Convention Hall performances; Duke’s Pass: $150 plus tax and ticket facility fee Includes Orchestra reserved seats to headline performances, priority seating in Cape May Convention Hall and entry to all club venues all weekend. Friday Pass: $75 plus tax and ticket facility fee Includes reserved seat to Lisa Fischer Grand Baton, general admission seating to Pedrito Martinez Group and Joey Alexander Trio & first come first serve entry into all Festival club shows Friday, April 22. Saturday Pass: $100 plus tax and ticket facility fee Includes reserved seat to 5:00pm or 8:00pm Pat Metheny & Ron Carter performance, general admission seating to René Marie, John Scofield & Joe Lovano 4tet, Lee Fields and the Expressions & first come –first serve entry into all Festival Club Shows on Saturday, April 23. Sunday All Access Pass: $30 plus tax and ticket fee includes all club venues on Sunday, April 24. Pop’s Pass: $45 plus tax & ticket facility fee Includes all Club Shows all weekend.

About Exit Zero Jazz Festival. Distressed at the loss of the semi-annual Cape May Jazz Festival, which ended a 17-year run in 2011 due to economic difficulties, jazz industry veteran Michael Kline launched the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in 2012, following in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Exit Zero is produced by Spy Boy Productions, an events company founded by Kline, who runs Michael Kline Artists, an international booking agency representing NEA Jazz Masters and emerging artists. Kline left Cape May in 1992 for New Orleans, where he hosted a show on WWOZ FM and worked in jazz.

Partners. There are excellent partnerships associated with Exit Zero that support the positive cultural and economic impact for Cape May and the surrounding community Exit Zero International Jazz Festival strives to make. Consumer Business: Motema Music, Exit Zero Magazine. Spirits. Cape May Brewing Company, Auburn Road & Hawk Haven Vineyards Tourism: South Jersey Tourism Corp. Arts: Cape May Center for Community Arts. Hospitality: Congress Hall & Cape Resorts Group Properties /The Montreal Beach Resort. Retail: It’s A Breeze, West End Garage, Just 4 Wheels, Whale’s Tale & Splash, and Exit Zero Retail. Media: Jazz Times Magazine / WCFA-LP / WRTI FM / WURD AM/ WEAA / WXPN Community. Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May / Flying Fish Studio / Sea Star Boutique / A Place on Earth / Patricia Jackson Jewelers / Linen Ladies. For more information about partnership, contact * * *


November 9th, 2015

Exit Zero Jazz Hits Big Time With Most Star Studded Lineup Yet!

Exit Zero Jazz Hits Big Time With Most Star Studded Lineup Yet!

Sunday, November 9, 2015 NJ

Bettye LaVette visited Cape May for the first time Friday, and said, from the stage at Cape May’s Convention Hall, that the town was “the cutest little place I’ve ever seen.”

If you are wondering why the great soul singer — who also said, during the course of her set, that she will soon be 70, and that it has been 51 years since her first album — has never been in Cape May before, keep in mind that the town has never presented an event quite like this weekend’s Exit Zero Jazz Festival before. Yes, jazz festivals in Cape May are a long-standing tradition. But in its fourth year, the biannual Exit Zero festival has become something bigger and more eclectic than any jazz festival New Jersey’s southernmost town ever has seen.

There were theater shows not just at Convention Hall, but at a larger theater at Lower Cape May Regional High School, too (attendees were transported back and forth on free shuttle buses, with jazz and blues music playing on the speakers). There were also sets in various bars and restaurants around town.

Throughout the weekend, I was able to hear music in an extremely broad range of genres: a virtual survey of jazz history by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis; more contemporary jazz by Terri Lyne Carrington and Mark Whitfield; reggae by the Skatalites; country and rockabilly by Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue; blues and dixieland music by Davina and the Vagabonds; and percussion-heavy, Brazilian-flavored dance music by PhillyBloco.

There was enough music at this three-day festival, in fact, that you could focus on jazz, or hear hardly any jazz at all, depending on your tastes.

The biggest shows, at Lower Cape May Regional High School, were by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (who presented two shows, Saturday night), and Carrington.

Marsalis’ 15-piece, virtuoso-packed orchestra played a consistently tasteful, chronologically constructed set of classics by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and other jazz giants, capped by an encore of quartet performances featuring trumpeter Marsalis and his bassist, drummer and pianist.

Drummer Carrington, who played at the school Friday night, presented a more contemporary set that included everything from an instrumental deconstruction of The Beatles’ “Michelle” to R&B numbers with guest vocalists Valerie Simpson (who was at her most impressive on her deeply soulful take on “God Bless the Child”) and Jaguar Wright.

My favorite set of the weekend, though, was by LaVette. Performing at the Convention Hall stage to kick off the festival on Friday, she sang with so much raw emotion that you almost felt, at times, uncomfortable looking directly at her: It was like you were intruding on a wrenching, deeply personal moment. She made classic-rock songs such as The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin,” Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” and The Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me” her own, and also sang gems by the likes of Lucinda Williams, Joan Armatrading and Fiona Apple.

LaVette’s story is very familiar now: decades of unfair obscurity, capped by an unexpected comeback about a decade ago. But her set still felt like a revelation.

Pat Martino was scheduled to present a set at noon, Saturday, at Convention Hall, with his band, plus two horn players (trumpeter Alex Norris and saxophonist Adam Niewood). The 71-year-old guitarist was suffering from bronchitis, though, and had to cancel.

Whitfield stepped in, and led the band, and the horn players, through a dazzling set. They all made it it look easy even when, on the set-closer “The Way You Look Tonight,” they seemed to be trying the song out for the first time together.

November 7th, 2015

LISTEN!  Jazz: Color and Paper Constructions  by Ellen Priest at Splash in Cape May

LISTEN! Jazz: Color and Paper Constructions by Ellen Priest at Splash in Cape May

Works from Ellen Priest’s two most recent series – Jazz Cubano and Jazz: Thinking Out Loud, Reaching for Song – will be on view at Splash Whale’s Tale Gallery November 6-16 to celebrate the music at the Exit 0 Jazz Festival in Cape May, NJ. A meet the artist reception is scheduled for Saturday, November 7th from 1-4pm. The gallery is located at 513 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May. Light refreshments will be served. For more information please call 609.846.7100, visit our Splash Cape May Facebook page or follow splashcapemay on instagram.

About the 2012-14 Cuban Series, Priest writes, “The movement and space in Afro-Cuban jazz has long fascinated me, especially the percussion. In Jazz Cubano I take those complex rhythms and melodies apart to reconstruct them visually.”

Priest’s abstractions balance directly on the border between painting and sculpture – vibrantly colored spatial illusions when read from a distance, and 3-D relief constructions of layered, collaged paper when seen up close.

Jazz has been Priest’s subject matter since 1990. Drawing is always central to her process, as well as standing on its own. As an artist, Priest is largely self-taught.

Jazz: Thinking Out Loud, Reaching for Song was an experimental joint painting/jazz project Priest completed in 2011 based on student music from Berklee College of Music’s elite Global Jazz Institute in Boston.

In July 2010, art critic Victoria Donohoe wrote about Priest’s work in two Wilmington, DE exhibitions for The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Priest deliberately blurs the boundary between painting and jazz in her…painted collages. These use form as a language of music… Seeing jazz as full of joy and energy, able to transform sadness, Priest uses it successfully here to create materialized movement in actual worlds of colored space.”

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has twice awarded Priest major grants to support her innovation. Priest received her Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School in 1977 with a dual concentration in Christianity and the Visual Arts. For more about her art and her unique process: and

September 16th, 2015

Exit Zero Jazz Launches Music Connects Educational Outreach Initiative

Exit Zero Jazz Launches Music Connects Educational Outreach Initiative



Launching Thursday, September 17 at Lower Cape May Regional High School
with Singer/Musician Paul Jost’s Interactive Workshop “Finding Your Voice”

Cape May, NJ (September 12, 2015) – Enriching the lives of students in Cape May County is the goal of a new collaboration called MUSIC CONNECTS that has been formed to bring music, the arts and enhanced business awareness to students of all ages. The Exit Zero International Jazz Festival, South Jersey Jazz Society (SJJS) and the Center for Community Arts in Cape May are working together to provide students educational programs, community outreach with free tickets to music events and the opportunity to join together and perform in the soon-to-be-formed Exit Zero Jazz Festival Big Band.
It will launch on Thursday, September 17 at 11 a.m. with an educational program at Lower Cape May Regional High School (LCMR). Vineland’s singer/musician/arranger Paul Jost presents an interactive workshop called “Finding Your Voice”. In this program, Jost encourages students to think of themselves as unique individuals. He’ll share the story of his career, involve students in group exercises and sing and play guitar. Paul explains, “It’s all about freeing your spirit in music, being proud of your work and valuing your individuality.”
“Paul’s program is the perfect launch for MUSIC CONNECTS,” said Michael Kline, producer of Exit Zero and a West Cape May resident. “Paul’s topic applies to so much more than music. All of us at one time or another have struggled to find our voice, the language to communicate whether it be in the board room, the classroom or the dining room. We hope the program inspires students to find their own individual voice and unlock the potential within themselves.”
Michael Pedicin, the well-known saxophonist, teacher and the South Jersey Jazz Society Education Director, is equally excited with the prospects of the initiative, “I am very happy to be part of this jazz education initiative. This is a wonderful opportunity for us, as musicians and educators, to provide students with a platform of understanding, appreciation, and understanding about JAZZ, which is America’s original art form. The evolution of this music is never-ending, and provides a journey that continues to inspire so many other forms of global art, i.e. drama, dance, painting, poetry, and sculpture.”
LCMR Music Director John Drechen is proud to be a part of this collaboration and appreciative of the opportunities for his students. He said, “The education programs that will be offered at our school and other schools in Cape May County are a gift that just can’t be measured. Learning from musicians and from industry professionals will be lessons that can last a lifetime for our students.”
Another educational aspect of the collaborative, will be teaching students about the business of the music industry. Kline looks forward to working with LCMR business students. Throughout the year there will be guest speakers that will include recording company leaders, marketing experts, public relations professionals and many others. “One of the many positives of moving the Exit Zero Jazz Festival Main Stage to LCMR is the prospect of engaging the students in all facets of the Festival – from the initial planning through production on performance nights. The energy these students will bring to the festival will be great for our guests and for us and the educational experiences they will gain will be enormous for them.”
The education programs are only one facet of MUSIC CONNECTS. Another aspect is community outreach. On November 7, 100 tickets will be given free to children of all ages to see the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis concert during Exit Zero Jazz Festival. Working through the Community Center for The Arts, some of the tickets will be given to underserved children in the community. David McKenzie of Community Center for the Arts is delighted to participate in the program. He said, “This is very important to the children of Cape May who will gain so much from the opportunity to hear such talented musicians. We are thrilled to be part of this team.”
The third facet of the program is the formation of the Exit Zero Big Band that will be coordinated by Michael Pedicin and LMRH’s John Drechen inviting participation from other nearby high schools.
Community Sponsors for MUSIC CONNECTS are: DeSatnick Realty; Paramount Air Service; Patricia Jackson Jewelers; Barry,Corrado,Gibson Attorney’s at Law; Cellular Tracking Technologies; Chris Clemans Sotheby’s International Realty, and Schaeffer Family Homes. Each sponsor supports the free ticket program for students to attend Exit Zero and the on-going educational outreach efforts. More sponsorships are available.
Kline is delighted that the collaborative is going to be such a benefit for the underserved youth in Cape May County. He added, “The festival brings in so much talent to Cape May, we are thrilled to share this musical wealth with the community, giving back to the people who support us all year long.”
For more information about each of the partners, visit;; and, For more information about Paul Jost, visit

August 6th, 2015



Rebirth Brass Band at Exit o Jazz Fest | Photo by Roger La May

The amazing Exit 0 Jazz Festival, held this past weekend along the well kept beaches of Cape May, is one of this region’s best kept secrets. At least it was to me and almost all of the folks I have been telling about it. Who would have thought that a little taste of New Orleans, both in music and vibe, could be found at the very southern tip of the Garden State Parkway (thus “Exit 0”) with Atlantic breezes on a beautiful weekend?

I attended at the last minute to catch Paul Jost’s ambitious jazz take on the 40th anniversary of Springsteen’s Born to Run. (see Shaun Brady’s earlier report). As I drove the parkway, I listened to a story on “The World” about the 11 year old Indonesian jazz prodigy Joey Alexander, now being mentored by Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis. Walking into the convention center, I was stunned, even confused, to find Joey on stage. He definitely looks 11 but plays with the flair and chops of a seasoned musician. After listening to Jost’s fine band, I wandered to the short strip of music bars along the water and was delighted to find a trio of great bands.

Not only did it feel like N’awlins in that you could bounce from one bar to the next and find an incredible range of artistry but two of my choices were New Orleans stalwarts. John “Papa” Gros plays a funky swamp organ and offered up a great version of “Junko Partner”. Next door you couldn’t get more Big Easy than the infectious ReBirth Brass Band. I confess I caught three sets of theirs over the weekend and was hungry for more. I also sandwiched in a enchanting set by Cuban singer Gato Gatell with Sin Frontera in a tiny upstairs dining room. That was just Friday and I didn’t catch several acclaimed jazz artists playing in walking distance.

Given that Friday, I was back for Saturday kicking off outdoors at the Physick estate with compelling vocalist Charenee Wade and more ReBirth. Then one of the highlights of the weekend, Cuban singer and engaging showman Pepito Gomez, played an oceanfront hotel deck. It was idyllic and made me long for Havana’s Malecon. The headliner of the weekend took the New Orleans theme over the top. Dr John and the Nite Trippers started at the wrong time (about an hour late) but their funk was in the right place. For those who waited, the nearly two hour set just kept getting stronger as it went on. The good 74-year-old Dr’s voice is strong and his playing is the real thing. Then it was back to the bars for gypsy jazz violinist Daisy Castro. She may be just 18 but plays with soul and grace. A good way to end the night was the driving blues guitar of Selwyn Birchwood, someone I have been trying to see for some time.

On my way out of town Sunday, I grabbed a set of upcoming XPoNential Festival artist The Lost Bayou Ramblers. XPN fans are in for a treat when they see the Michot brothers brand of Louisiana “Cajun punk.” Wow! It was an unanticipated weekend of discovery.

Hats off to Michael Klein and all the folks in Cape May that make this jewel of a festival happen. Apparently they do it twice a year and I don’t plan to miss it.

June 3rd, 2015

Exit Zero Jazz Festival takes over Cape May, Shaun Brady

Exit Zero Jazz Festival takes over Cape May, Shaun Brady

By Shaun Brady, For The Inquirer
POSTED: June 03, 2015
CAPE MAY- Michael Kline hoisted an enormous wrench in one hand as he stepped to the microphone at Cape May Convention Hall on Friday to welcome the audience to the Exit Zero Jazz Festival. The fest producer meant to signify the work that had gone into preparing the three-day festival, which takes over the Victorian Shore town twice a year.

The next night, on the same stage, it seemed not every bolt had quite been tightened. Headliner Dr. John appeared more than an hour behind schedule. And when Kline introduced him, saying, “Good things come to those who wait,” he was met with a surprisingly hostile chorus of boos.

Maybe summer was to blame for not being in full swing yet. Maybe the beachgoers were not yet relaxed enough to spend an extra 70 minutes waiting for the 74-year-old New Orleans legend. Those who declined to join the stampede of walkouts were treated to the sight of Mac Rebennack in a devilish red suit, black hat, and shades, taking the stage with the aid of a pair of walking sticks adorned with bones and feathers.

The Doctor’s trademark swamp croak sounded strong, his piano playing vigorous against the backdrop of his almost too-polished Nite Trippers band. The set was split between Rebennack hits (“Right Place Wrong Time,” “Such a Night”) and New Orleans classics (“Iko Iko,” “St. James Infirmary Blues”).

Friday’s Convention Hall headliner celebrated another classic, albeit in radically reimagined form. Jersey-born vocalist Paul Jost’s 40th-anniversary tribute to favorite son Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” took inventive liberties with its source material, leaving out guitar and sax in favor of Tony Miceli’s vibes and John Swana’s EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), a trumpet-synth hybrid. The show’s highlight turned “Night” into an atmospheric Beat poetry reading, segueing into a powerful, tumultuous “Backstreets.”

Not every performer at the festival had such history. Opening Friday’s set from the other end of the spectrum was pianist Joey Alexander, an 11-year-old prodigy from Indonesia who has captured a great deal of media attention. Barely as tall as the piano, Joey is undeniably impressive, with a sensitivity of touch and rhythmic and harmonic imagination that belie his years. His limited interaction with his bandmates and parroting of his influences won’t continue to reap the kinds of enthusiastic ovations he received in Cape May after adolescence, however, so it remains to be seen whether spectacle can be transformed into longevity.

The bulk of the festival happened in the bars and restaurants lining Beach Avenue. Strolling a single-block stretch, it was possible to hear New Orleans funk singer/keyboardist John “Papa” Gros in Carney’s main room, silver-maned blues-rocker Geno White in the bar’s second room, then dance past midnight with the Rebirth Brass Band at Cabanas.

Saturday brought the music outside to the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, a Victorian house museum. Chilean-born saxophonist Melissa Aldana showed off her impressive Sonny Rollins-inspired tenor work fronting her stripped-down Crash Trio, which allows her prodigious technique free rein over blistering drums and bass. Struggling against a distortion-plagued sound system, vibraphonist Joe Locke nevertheless played a vivid set with his “Love is a Pendulum” project, highlighted by the colorful interplay of his vibes and Robert Rodriguez’s Fender Rhodes.

Rebirth Brass Band then reappeared, with a more family-friendly but no less raucous performance after the previous night’s midnight set.

Soulful singer Charenee Wade ended the day with a tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, featuring the fiery sax playing of Lakecia Benjamin. Back on Beach Avenue, organist Brian Charette locked into smart, tight grooves with his trio despite the small dinner-hour crowd. Later that night, trumpeter Sean Jones engaged in snarky banter with the post-Dr. John crowd at Aleathea’s, the same looseness and humor reflected in his quartet’s window-rattling set.

Sunday morning offered weekend revelers a chance for redemption with a gospel brunch featuring the choir from Atlantic City’s Second Baptist Church, which celebrated its “45 years of declaring war against Satan in song” while listeners enjoyed coffee and waffles.

The fall iteration of the Exit Zero Jazz Festival begins Nov. 29. The headlining act will be Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

May 26th, 2015

Paul Jost will put a jazz spin on Bruce Springsteen for the Exit 0 Festival  May 26th, 2015 | 4:20PM | By Shaun Brady

Paul Jost will put a jazz spin on Bruce Springsteen for the Exit 0 Festival May 26th, 2015 | 4:20PM | By Shaun Brady

Paul Jost will put a jazz spin on Bruce Springsteen for the Exit 0 Festival

Under normal circumstances, a jazz festival might not seem like the most appropriate occasion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a Bruce Springsteen album. But the Exit 0 Jazz Festival happens in New Jersey, and in New Jersey Bruce Springsteen is right for every occasion. And the album in question is Born To Run, which essentially qualifies as an extra gospel in the state.

So on May 29, South Jersey-based vocalist Paul Jost will perform his jazz reimagining of Born To Run in Cape May Convention Hall as the headlining event of the first night of this year’s Exit 0 Festival. Jersey or not, in Jost’s hands the music of the Boss’ most iconic album will actually sound like jazz. Jost, a veteran arranger who has worked in a variety of contexts – as a music director in Atlantic City casinos, as a musician for commercial jingles, and as a composer for major music libraries – has decades of experience under his belt molding music to fit any number of situations.

“As a journeyman arranger, you can be given a lot of different tasks,” Jost says. “Every few months I’d be asked for dramatic orchestral music or country or techno. Whatever it was, I loved diving into different things, exploring, and finding out what this stuff is about, which has been part of my whole make-up as a musician.”

A more personal side of that make-up was on display last week at City Hall, where The J?st Project performed as part of the afternoon “Jazz in the Gallery” series. The quartet, actually the brainchild of vibraphonist Tony Miceli but named – over his objections – for the singer, draws a large part of its repertoire from the classic rock songbook. On that Wednesday lunch hour, a moving vocalese rendition of jazz guitar great Jim Hall’s “Waltz New” was followed by a bossa-fied version of the Beatles’ “And I Love Her” and a blues-rooted rendition of Ashford and Simpson’s “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” featuring call-and-response backing vocals from the audience. The set also included a tender read of the folk classic “Shenandoah” and a rhythmically intricate “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” (Below, watch them cover Donovan at World Cafe Live last year.)

While Jost counts himself a fan of Springsteen’s music, he doesn’t consider himself a devotee. He worked with his friend, arranger and composer Barry Miles, to create new arrangements for a stellar band featuring Miceli, pianist Jim Ridl, John Swana on EVI and trombone, bassist Chico Huff, and drummer Anwar Marshall. With neither guitar nor saxophone in the band, Springsteen’s chugging riffs will necessarily be transformed, and when Jost sings “Then the big man joined the band” on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” there won’t be a Clarence Clemons-style sax line in response.

“I’m not an authority on Bruce, but I really love his lyrics and I’m a Jersey boy,” Jost says. “Bruce has done so much for music, he’s a great songwriter and a great humanitarian and I love the energy he puts out. I think we’ve honored his music. I try to take a different slant or viewpoint on the lyrics or present the story in a slightly different way than you might have already heard. But you’ll know what the songs are – they’re not so abstract that you won’t recognize them.”

The idea for the Born To Run performance came instead from festival director Michael Kline. Speaking before last year’s spring festival about founding Exit 0 in place of the defunct Cape May Jazz Festival, Kline explained, “Cape May is different than the other shore towns. It doesn’t roll up its sidewalks after Labor Day. It really is a year-round town and has much more to offer than just the beach. So I was excited about putting my own stamp on the festival and doing it in a different way.”

That includes concepts like Jost’s Born To Run show, but also explains the heavy presence of New Orleans jazz artists on the festival bill. While he was born in Reading and grew up spending summers in Cape May, Kline lived and worked in New Orleans from 1992 to 2005. This year’s line-up includes the Rebirth Brass Band and Big Easy royalty in the person of Dr. John, who headlines on Saturday night.

Other festival highlights include saxophonist Melissa Aldana’s Crash Trio, trumpeter Sean Jones, singer Charenee Wade’s tribute to Gil Scott-Heron, vibraphonist Joe Locke, and organist Brian Charette. 11-year-old piano prodigy Joey Alexander, recently featured in the New York Times, will open for Jost on Friday. For tickets and more information, visit the Exit 0 website.

April 30th, 2015

Cherry Hill Courier Post Trumpets Exit Zero Jazz

Cherry Hill Courier Post Trumpets Exit Zero Jazz

Not everyone is cut out for the music festival scene.

The first thing that becomes apparent to someone who may be in over their head is the notion that, woah, there’s no way we’re going to see all of these bands, eat all of this food and drink all of these drinks.

It’s too much. Of everything. Everywhere you look. Lots and lots of stuff to do.

And it goes on forever, seemingly. You start early in the day and then by noon you’re questioning the laws of the universe. Time: what is it? How does it work? Where are we all moving, in life?

Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and try on a festival more our size. The Exit 0 Jazz Festival, slated for May 29-31, is the perfect sort of vibe for anyone who isn’t ready to commit to Coachella-level craziness just yet.

Oh, and the lineup! This year features the legendary Dr. John & The Nite Trippers and Grammy winners the Rebirth Brass Band, in addition to more than 30 other house shows. You also have food vendors galore (including some incredibly inventive food truck options) and a whole lot of other live entertainment.

You can’t go wrong with this mellow, good time. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

— Matt Chimento

April 22nd, 2015




Cape May, NJ (April 20, 2015) — In 1975, who would have thought there would be a concert performance celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Springsteen’s epic, Born to Run? Now, Exit Zero Jazz Festival has commissioned vocalist, drummer, composer and arranger Paul Jost, himself a native of the Garden State, to reimagine in a jazz context the music of Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run. The concert will take place on Saturday, May 29, 2015 at 8 p.m. on the Bob Simon Memorial Stage at the Cape May Convention Hall with Joey Alexander and his trio opening, the 11 year old jazz piano prodigy.
Inviting Paul Jost to arrange and present Springsteen’s Born to Run was an easy selection according to Michael Kline, Producer of Exit Zero. He said, “When we began to think about the Springsteen project with its obvious connections to New Jersey, and how best to make clear the not so obvious connection Born to Run has to the jazz world, we began to think about an artist who could take the ideas and make it work for a festival audience. It took us about a half of a second before we selected Paul Jost.”

The innovative Paul Jost, a popular performer in the region who is becoming known on the international jazz scene, is a prolific arranger and composer. He has written over 40 CD’s, including the highly acclaimed song “Book Faded Brown,” that has been recorded by The Band, Carl Perkins and Rick Danko and is included in his latest recording “Breaking Through” (Dot Time Records.)

The Springsteen project is an exciting venture for Jost. He feels very appreciative of this opportunity and said, “I’m honored to have been tapped by Michael Kline, as the person to re-imagine the music of such an iconic artist from my native state. I love the images Springsteen paints with his lyrics and they serve as the inspiration for our reinvention of the music.” This is, in a way, a collaborative effort by Jost. In addition to his arrangements, Jost has asked internationally renowned vibraphonist Tony Miceli and legendary musician Barry Miles to write arrangements as well. Jost has assembled an incredible band made up of great artists and friends that include Jim Ridl-piano, John Swana-E.V.I., Chico Huff-bass, Anwar Marshall-drums, and vibraphonist Tony Miceli.”

Jost, who performs frequently in the Philadelphia and South Jersey region, has extended his stage credits to New York, Germany and South Korea. This year, he’s been performing at the well-known New York jazz club, 55 Bar, and this April he performed in Germany at Jazzahead!, the world’s largest jazz conference. With his band, The Jost Project – who perform the classic rock of the 60’s and 70’s in a jazz format, he toured South Korea last summer.

Originally a drummer, over the years Jost’s musical talents extended to guitar and harmonica, but it’s his voice that truly makes him a standout. His vocals are so soulful that music critic Buster Maxwell wrote, “He nearly single-handedly reclaims the male voice as a valid and critically important jazz instrument.” Peter McLaren in Jazz in Europe wrote about his new album and said, With “Breaking Through”, Paul Jost has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with and an artist that deserves to be seen on all great festival stages worldwide. This album is one of the best jazz CD’s I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.” Music Journalist Esther Berlanga-Ryan said, “Paul Jost is the very essence of Vocal Jazz today. Breaking Through is an album filled with beauty and perfection.”

Jost is involved in many exciting projects including the release of two recordings with Dot Time Records in a one-year period. His first solo CD is appropriately titled Breaking Through because he, literally, breaks through traditional boundaries and conventions in each song on the album. His arrangements are being applauded as much as his voice. In August, 2013, the album Can’t Find My Way Home was released by Dot Time Records, performed by The Jost Project, the band launched by vibraphonist Tony Miceli and including bassist Kevin MacConnell, drummer Charlie Patierno and Paul as vocalist/harmonicist/arranger.

In addition, there are many other music collaborations he is involved in that include performances and recordings. He sings in The Diane Monroe Sextet, “What is This Thing Called Freedom” featuring violinist Diane Monroe. In the past few years, Paul has recorded three separate duo projects. One with bassist Tim Lekan, Side by Side (Independent), a second with flutist Mark Adler, Silver Whispers (Arabesque,) and a third (to be released late in 2014), Where We Meet with pianist, Frank Strauss. Jost is both singer and arranger in the jazz ensembles Antfarm Quartet featuring pianist Jim Ridl, Tim Lekan and drummer Bob Shomo. His recently released work includes CD’s with: Antfarm Quartet Dialogues Pt. 2 and Live @ The Colony Theater, (Dreambox Media); Andy Lalasis Fret Not (Independent), Carolyn Nelson Come a Little Closer (Independent) and as drummer for Susan Goodman’s Central Park West and vocalist on her, Live Out Loud (Soozaroo Music). He is guest lecturer and teacher at several colleges and universities including University of the Arts in Philadelphia and West Chester University in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Jost also played drums in the Off- Broadway production of Andy Warhol’s “Man On The Moon” featuring John Phillips (Mamas and the Papas).

Born and raised in Southern New Jersey, Paul still resides in the area and is proud to have served as musical director at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. He also served as music director for singer Morgana King. The list of artists he has performed or recorded with is extensive including Billy Eckstine, Mark Murphy, George Mesterhazy, Ann Hampton Calloway, Sylvia Simms, Bobby Scott, Sivuca, Dr. John, Bucky Pizzarelli, Teo Macero, Joe Farrell, Ron Carter, Bobby Tucker, Pee Wee Ellis, John Phillips, Mike Abene and many more. He is honored as well to have worked in collaboration with songwriter/producer Jim Tullio throughout his career.

When looking back at his childhood, he says, “Music spoke to my heart the instant I was exposed to it, and each experience has added to a continuing dialogue that becomes more beautiful and more meaningful in my life.” He learned to play piano at age six and quickly turned his talent to the drums. When he was 12, he started playing professionally, earning respect in the music community. After graduating Vineland High School where he was voted “best musician”, he studied at the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has performed all over the country, living for a while in New York and Chicago, but chose to make his home in New Jersey where he lives with his wife, Valerie. They are the proud parents of Daniel Jost, a highly respected musician/vocalist, and Juliana Jost, a high school art teacher and granddaughter, Olivia Grace.

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Exit Zero Jazz Festival:
Tickets, Sponsorship & Information

Since its debut in 2012, the Exit Zero Jazz Festival has quickly become an attraction for world class musicians and music aficionados alike. During the Festival weekend, Cape May transforms into a jazz village as fans and musicians make their pilgrimage to the little town by the sea to witness first-rate performances from award winning, critically acclaimed artists, exciting new artists on the scene, and local favorites. JazzTimes said of the Festival weekend it must be like that in Sundance when Hollywood comes to their town.

Exit Zero Jazz also wishes to thank personally the following people for their belief in the Festival and how it creates a positive cultural and economic impact for Cape May and the surrounding community: Deacon and Dixie Kline, Wendy Guiles, Will Pike, Joe Carney, Chuck and Hillary Pritchard, John Cooke, Robert Giddis, Sue Priester, Shane P. Meier, Jack Frank Scott, Ryan Krill, Bernadette Matthews, Jack Wright, Payton Bowman, Jason Black, Curtis Bashaw, Susan & Bryant Simon, Susan Ross, Milt Edelman, Pam Kaithern, Larry Hirsch, Stevan Overby, Yogi Kuertz, Sue Lotozo, Eliza Lotozo, Eric Wright, Carol Sabo, Jana La Sorte, Erika Duffee, Heather Saul, Ernest Gregory, Richard Conde, George Wirt, Thomas Von Muenster, Colleen Buckley, Mike Bernstein, Joanne and Dan Long, The O’Hara Family, Bill Bezaire, Chris Bezaire, Linda and Bob Steenrod, Patrick Logue, Cindy Smylick, Lori Francis, Christian Jacopec, Jana Herzen, Robin Tomchin, Chris DiAntonio, Todd Desatnick, Bill & Dorrie Laufman and so many more. Thank you!


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