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Montclair Center Stage is re-born - and crowds flock to Church Street

Hey - I became part of the stage crew at one point - what can I say? This free concert series is offering many voices - and will bring an exciting new dimension to Church Street on Saturdays.
Diane Lilli

By 11:30 a.m. yesterday, the new stage was set up on Church St. in Montclair, ready for the first, fierce free public concert in a series slated for every Saturday through early fall.

The Center Stage is the brainchild of Joann Smalls, who is producing these all day concerts every Saturday, with the help of the BID and Luther Flurry.
Smalls, preparing for the opening act Rainbow Fresh, a soulful mix of funk, rock and harmony, darted around the stage as it was being built, checking on the sound system, the seating, and the line up.

Standing nearby was Brian Brodeur, owner of ACIEM Studio, a hot business in town that offers not only audio but also all video needs, including that of the Montclair Film Festival.

Passersby stopped to ask what was happening, and inevitably, smile and say how great live music would be in Montclair outdoors.

This first performance and stage was dedicated to musician John Finnegan, who died young 2 years ago, on September 7, 2011. This musician was beloved my many, and known for his performances and inclusive approach to involving many in playing music. How many times did I see him playing his guitar and singing on Church Street? (often with Deivito.) John Finnegan was an artist - and shared his talent with all those who came upon him.

Finnegan's stepdaughter Vera,28, said, "I always used to tell him that his music was like "old people's music". As I kept going to see him I just got latched onto it and enjoy it and love it. Even now, Topsy Turvy and so much more that he sang and performed still is important to me."

Check back here for the full weekly schedule of this new concert series.

To reach ACIEM studios click here.
To read more about Rainbow Fresh click here.

Updates to follow.


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