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The Booming Beats of Bryan Beninghove and his Band

The 100 brokers and agents who joined us at the September grand opening event of Gallery Lofts enjoyed a special treat, besides getting a first look at this very special project. That would be the sweet sounds of music man about town Bryan Beninghove. We were first introduced to Bryan’s many, many talents as one of the founding members of Manouche Bag, the beloved French gypsy jazz group that have a twice-weekly residency at Madame Claude Bis downtown (Tuesday and Thursday nights, to be exact). A multi-instrumentalist, Bryan alternates between melodica, saxophone and keyboards in this project. Then there is Beninghove’s Hangmen, his acclaimed six-member, freewheeling jazz-meets-surfer dude band that plays the 2nd Wednesday of each month at Fox and Crow in the Heights. An in-demand live performer, Bryan is out playing live 4 or 5 nights a week. And then there is his day job! Bryan is the Founder and Executive Director of Riverview Jazz. What this organization has accomplished since 2012 is nothing short of extraordinary, bringing 100 concerts (most of which are free) each year to audiences across Hudson County. Riverview’s Jersey City Jazz Festival in a short time has evolved into the largest jazz festival in the tri-state area. Last year’s event alone brought record crowds of 30,000 attendees to watch over 300 artists perform over 11 days in venues throughout the City.

A native of Baltimore, Bryan moved to Jersey City in 2001 and relocated with his family to Bayonne in 2008. That said, he’s had such huge impact on Jersey City and what makes it such a creative, vibrant place to live; “Jersey City is its own destination, there’s no need to go to Brooklyn or Manhattan to hear great music. We have so many good artists here. For me, it all started with a storefront I had on Brunswick Street downtown. I opened it up at night for parties where people would show up and jam for hours. There was a distinctly DIY environment back then in Jersey City.” Looking at all Bryan has accomplished, we think that applies to our ever-evolving City today. If by chance you have yet to hear Bryan play, we would add it to your New Year’s list of resolutions, it will definitely be the most fun one on your list!

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