At 68, New Jersey’s Bobby Bandiera’s music still going strong
My good friend Bobby Bandiera celebrated his 68th birthday this week. As a music legend here in New Jersey with a resume that reads like a Who’s Who of Rock n Roll history, Bobby continues to play to the enjoyment of so many that have been following him for years.
Like all musicians and performers the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out his scheduled performances and additional opportunities. It’s good to have him back performing at all the venues that are packed with those that appreciate his music.
From his days playing with Cats on a Smooth Surface, which was the house band at the famed Stone Pony in Asbury Park, to touring with Bon Jovi, playing with Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and so many music legends, performing is a fuel for Bobby to keep the music going to the delight of his fans.
Although he’s not a fan of turning 68 he hasn’t slowed down or lost a music step. His playing is the best it’s ever been and his voice is still strong.
Bobby has tremendous compassion for those in need. Very quietly he’s been a volunteer for the non-profit group Holiday Express who deliver music through music shows along with the gift of kindness to those in need. Holiday Express goes to soup kitchens, hospices, development centers and other places that serve the less fortunate. He’s been doing it for over 25 years.
He hosted and was the musical director for The Hope Concerts held at The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank. Every year calling on friends such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny, Gary US Bonds, Darlene Love and so many other big name artists to raise significant money for great local charities.
In nine years The Hope Concerts have raised over three million dollars, all for New Jersey based charities. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting most of those concerts.
Happy Birthday to Bobby Bandiera, thank you for your talent and giving, I’m proud to be your friend. Now where’s the birthday cake?
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.