Basie Center announces details for 2022 Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship

Pat DiNizio (Photo by Mary Frank)

(RED BANK – SEPT 17) On the day The Smithereens perform their first New Jersey show in since the onset of the pandemic, details have been announced for the 2022 Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship, named in honor of the New Jersey band’s legendary frontman, who passed away in December 2017.

Beginning today, interested students aged 18 and under may apply by completing the online form and submitting an audition video at Deadline for submissions is Nov. 16 and finalists will be announced December 7.

Scholarship winners can choose from any Basie musical performance program, including the Basie Center’s Monmouth Conservatory of Music, Lakehouse Music Academy at the Basie or the Jazz Arts Academy.

“All of us in The Smithereens began our lifelong love affairs with music at a tender age,” said Dennis Diken, founding member and drummer of The Smithereens. “It’s gratifying to know that the annual Pat DiNizio Musical Performance Scholarship at the Count Basie Center for the Arts is helping to foster creativity in young people at a time in their lives when they can look forward to following their muse with their whole lives ahead of them.”

At the time of his passing, DiNizio and The Smithereens had just announced plans for a Basie Center performance to be hosted by E Street Band guitarist and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Steven Van Zandt. The concert instead became a tribute to DiNizio, featuring Smithereens bandmates Diken, Jim Babjak and Mike Mesaros, fronted by an array of vocalists including Marshall Crenshaw, Ted Leo, Gin Blossoms lead singer Robin Wilson, Scandal’s Patty Smyth, Freedy Johnston, Richard Barone, Severo Jornacion and others. A portion of sales from that concert and money raised worldwide during a live webcast of the show helped create the scholarship fund.

The Smithereens return to the stage with guest vocalist Marshall Crenshaw on Friday night (Sept. 17) at Concerts On The Green at Suneagles Golf Club, Eatontown. A handful of tickets remain at and Ticketmaster.