You may know Pierre Dujué as the Cranbury Cobbler, the town’s own shoe-whisperer of sorts. But Dujué is a man of many talents, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what he has in store for Cranbury tonight.
Until recently, Dujué’s shop was a fixture on Main Street for more than two decades, but due to a failing industry, he has since packed up shop and turned his attentions to other ventures.
“If I were to have my druthers, I would be a professional musician,” the amateur saxophonist said in an interview last August.
It seems his dreams may be coming to fruition tonight, as the recently formed band called the Pierre Dujué Jazz Quartet will perform at Teddy’s Restaurant from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The group will perform their renditions of classic jazz favorites.
“The show offers an excellent opportunity for folks to come out in support of local talent, while at the same time, allows them the chance to support live music,” said event organizer Alan Stefanowicz.
Stefanowicz, a Teddy’s patron for several years, formed the quartet specifically for tonight’s entertainment. He said assembling a group of local musicians has always been a brainchild of his, but finding the right mix of talent was not an easy task.
Two years ago he was asked to solicit talent for the two-day Cranstock Music Festival. Since then, Stefanowicz has been itching to coordinate and promote music projects and provide the talent for successful events.
He said Teddy’s seemed the perfect location, especially considering Dujué and Drummer Bill Zane are frequent patrons there. Now everyone will get to see them in a different light, he said.
“Teddy's is one of those places where old friends meet and new ones are made,” Stefanowicz said. “What better place to stage an exciting night of music?”
Dujué will be performing on saxophone, something he recently took up again after playing in high school.
Zane formerly played drums with The Magnatones, a celebrated house-band at the Emerald Room in Wildwood for four years in the early 1960s.
Darla and Rich Tarpinian, a husband and wife duo from Lawrenceville, have been performing in and around the tri-state area for several years. Personal friends of Stefanowicz, they will round out the quartet, with Darla Tarpinian on bass and Rich Tarpinian on the lead guitar work. Both are vocalists.
“The Pierre Dujué Jazz Quartet is an extremely talented group made up of local musicians,” Stefanowicz said.
He said he looks forward to the event, as live music, particularly the interaction between performer and audience, generates a special kind of excitement and energy.
Jazz music especially embodies a soulful and soothing quality, Stefanowicz said, and he believes music lovers and people in general can appreciate its relaxing style and the atmosphere it helps to create.
“If you're looking to combine a relaxing evening of jazz music and great food, be sure to add this event to your calendar,” Stefanowicz said.
There is no cover charge for the event, and the restaurant is a BYOB establishment.