Be a Part
By Luke Morsa | Posted November 14, 2016
The current music scene that has built itself around Hammonton, NJ started with a small idea back when I was still in high school. My good friend Jose Martinez (now President of Grandaire Booking) and Michael Pezzuto (CEO of Grandaire Booking) revived our music scene by throwing a "Shed Show." I’ll get more into that later, but this is what sparked the fire for everything that has happened since then. We have so many amazing bands and music supporters in this scene and several music scenes outside of Hammonton that came from this. SADfest and Electric Halloween, Grandaire Booking’s two largest annual events, are only possible because of the love and support we have all found in music and each other.
What were “Shed Shows”?
About 5 years ago now, Jose and Mike started throwing shows in Mike’s backyard in a shed. Shed shows were extremely hyped between all of our friends and even people I didn’t know in our high school. We would have flyers going around from friends to friends of friends and so on. Knowing Jose for a while at the time of the second shed show back in 2012 and having a band or two myself, I went to the show with not many expectations. I was immediately hooked to the DIY (Do It Yourself) experience. It was a genuine event of bands playing and people hanging out and enjoying each other’s company along with the music. Grandaire Booking started shortly after this show and has continued ever since. Shed Shows continued for another two years or so until Mike moved out of that house.
Here is a link to a video of The Last Shed Show:
What Does it Mean to “Be a Part”?
With a tear in my eye, I’m remembering back to as far as early 2012 hearing Jose tell me for the first times “It’s all about being a part.” Because of this I have traveled and will continue to travel with my band Clearview and continue to find catharsis for myself and hopefully for others as well through the amazing thing that is music and music scenes. The Grandaire Booking community and all associated with it isn’t just a music scene: it’s a group, it’s friends, it’s a family. No matter who you are, who you love, where you came from, and where you’ll go, there’s a place for anyone with a good heart and a love for the arts at a Grandaire Booking event. Being a part is bringing a friend to a show, introducing yourself and your friends to someone who’s never been to a show before and doesn’t know where they belong, playing in a band, helping with a show, giving someone a ride, making a friend through music, maybe even saving a life through music and community.
SADfest NJ is a music festival started and ran by Grandaire Booking. SAD stands for Suicide, Addiction, and Depression awareness. The festival’s purpose is to end the stigma that society has on topics like suicide, addiction, and depression while also having many resources on where to get help for yourself or a loved one who is struggling with a similar issue. As an advocate of this myself, I think it is very important for people to understand that just like a disorder of any other part of the body, a mental disorder such as depression is treatable and not something to be ashamed of.
Here is a link to a short montage of the first SADfest NJ:
Without Grandaire Booking I know I would be a different person than I am today and I wouldn’t want that. Being a part of this family has taught me so many things and has made me a better musician and better person. Find your local music scene and turn it into a family. Find your home away from home.
Be A Part.
About the Writer
Luke Morsa is a musician and writer from Hammonton, NJ. Luke is the guitarist and one of two vocalists in Clearview, an Emotional Post-Hardcore band. Luke began writing music articles and conducting artist interviews two years ago for his own music blog. Luke is currently in college working towards a degree in Psychology. He has booked under Grandaire Booking and is a supporter of the music scene in NJ.