TEANECK ― Hoping to nurture the area's multi-generational musical talent, sometime drummer and networker Rodney Green has opened a new jazz club on Cedar Lane.
Brvsh Cul7ur3 Jazz Club (pronounced Brush Culture) serves up music, dinner and drinks on New Jersey's side of the George Washington Bridge.
"The pandemic showed us how fragile music is," Green said. "It's a lot to pay tolls, parking and tickets to jazz places in Manhattan. I wanted a place where residents could go locally and less expensively."
Considering the stunning array of musicians who have lived in the township — from Pat Boone, Thad Jones, Ben E. King, Ricky Nelson and the Isley Brothers to Kimberly "Lil' Kim" Jones and Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace — Green contends there needs to be a place on the west side of the George Washington Bridge where established jazz artists can mingle with up-and-coming musicians to create that on-the-spot classroom so essential to the music's improvisational character.
"I'm hoping to do all kinds of jazz, jazz brunches, jazz for kids who don't even know what the instruments are," Green said. "I'm hoping to do a jazz festival next summer."
The Camden native quickly jumped into the music scene after graduating from Pennsauken High School at 16.
"I was a nice kid, but my parents saw I could easily go to the right or the left, and wanted me to get out of the area," Green said. "College for me would have been a waste of money and time. Nobody was offering me a scholarship, and I figured the worst that could happen was I'd end up a 19- or 20-year-old freshman. So I thought I'd try music for a couple of years."
Green ended up playing drums for singer Patti LaBelle at her Philadelphia club, Chez LaBelle.
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