Fort Lee News

Rainbow Mountain Resort

Christmas in July , July 8-10 Wasn't it considerate of Mother Nature to turn off the rain momentarily and give us snow for our Christmas in July celebration? Actually, MN was fairly kind this weekend and the heavens parted for only several hours of deluge on Saturday evening - late enough not to ruin the pool, early enough not to ruin the after hour hot tub traffic. Not to fear, our ark is almost half done. Amanda appreciates your initial reaction to our Krunchy, Kitschy, Kristmas Koncert may have been reserved, but the crowd came out and acoustic duo Jeff and Karen were sensational! They blended some 60s and 70s standards with some original material with some Christmas ditties - to the delight, dancing and sing-a-long participation of all. Their voices were soaring, their harmonies were tight and their act was right on target.

It was definitely an engaging opportunity to reminisce about the popular hits of the 60's and 70's. I especially enjoyed "California Dreaming," "I'm A Believer," The First Cut Is the Deepest," and the Peter, Paul and Mary medley. I also thought that some of Jeff's original compositions were very stirring and moving as well. The audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves as well. I saw many people clapping, toe-tapping, and swaying with the music and the feedback was also extremely positive. Some of the comments included "what a delightful and uplifting program," "the two-part harmony was fantastic," and "it was a fun musical journey that took me back to my carefree youth."

Rainbow Mountain Resort

Acoustic duo Jeff and Karen joined us on Friday with their show "Jersey Fresh". We love the Jeff, we love the Karen. It's tight harmonies and lots of fun with playful music you can recognize and dance to - as some folks did! Click on the pic to see where they will be performing next.

 

The Gazette Newspaper

Gazette_Article.jpg

It was a delight to have you and Jeff perform for us again. The concert tied in
perfectly with our Adult Summer Reading Club theme. I thoroughly enjoyed the
program, especially the songs by ABBA, Sonny and Cher, Madonna, and Donna
Summer.

The Bergen Record

Spotlight on Jeff & Karen
Sunday, August 15, 2010
The Record

Guitarist and folk singer/ songwriter Jeff Penque knows the meaning behind the phrase, "The show must go on!" Despite the July collapse of the underground parking garage at his residence, Hackensack's Prospect Towers, he continued to practice with his musical partner, vocalist Karen Fairweather, using a specially requested room at the Hilton in Hasbrouck Heights where he is temporarily living with fellow displaced residents.

Jeff & Karen, who hit the road regularly for gigs around New Jersey, will perform at the Hilton's lounge on Wednesday, delivering their harmony-driven mix of original tunes and favorites from John Denver to Lady Gaga.

LUCKY BEGINNINGS: Penque, a songwriter for 30 years and a national events manager at Barnes & Noble, was performing at the now-closed Sanctuary Café in Little Falls when Fairweather of Fair Lawn walked in with a mutual friend.

"He does a lot of '60s, '70s and contemporary music, so I knew a lot of the songs and was humming and singing along at my table, mostly to myself," says Fairweather, who works for a Mahwah-based insurance consulting agency. "Or so I thought."

Penque picked up on Fairweather's harmonies and soon asked her to join in on a song with him. Before long, they became partners in music.

"I was kind of bored with singing by myself, too," says Penque, who had released a solo CD prior to meeting Fairweather.

SOUNDS LIKE: Jeff & Karen play a range of venues, from bars and restaurants to senior centers and libraries. Their lineup of covers takes a cue from an eclectic roster, who also happen to be big influences: Carly Simon, Dolly Parton, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Peter, Paul and Mary and pop singers from today.

Original songs are taken from their 2006 album of songs written by Penque, "Jersey Fresh." As for Fairweather's songwriting career, she has yet to make her debut.

"I have a song written, but maybe one day I'll have the gumption to put music to it," says Fairweather, who had sung in church for most of her life and participated in musical theater.

GETTING THE GIG: Jeff & Karen had been practicing for weeks in a room at the Hilton, spurring other tenants of Prospect Towers and hotel guests to request a song or two.

"I didn't want to whip out my guitar in the middle of the hotel lobby," Penque explains. So, he went to the hotel bartender and requested a night to perform. The Hilton, which Penque says has been "very nice to everybody" undergoing temporary displacement, granted Jeff & Karen two hours of performing time at the hotel lounge on Martini Wednesday. The event is open to the public.

DETAILS: 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Lounge at the Hilton, 650 Terrace Ave., Hasbrouck Heights, 201-281-6100 or hilton hasbrouckheights.com. No cover. See JeffKaren.com.

— Alfa Garcia

Guitarist and folk singer/ songwriter Jeff Penque knows the meaning behind the phrase, "The show must go on!" Despite the July collapse of the underground parking garage at his residence, Hackensack's Prospect Towers, he continued to practice with his musical partner, vocalist Karen Fairweather, using a specially requested room at the Hilton in Hasbrouck Heights where he is temporarily living with fellow displaced residents.

Jeff & Karen, who hit the road regularly for gigs around New Jersey, will perform at the Hilton's lounge on Wednesday, delivering their harmony-driven mix of original tunes and favorites from John Denver to Lady Gaga.

LUCKY BEGINNINGS: Penque, a songwriter for 30 years and a national events manager at Barnes & Noble, was performing at the now-closed Sanctuary Café in Little Falls when Fairweather of Fair Lawn walked in with a mutual friend.

"He does a lot of '60s, '70s and contemporary music, so I knew a lot of the songs and was humming and singing along at my table, mostly to myself," says Fairweather, who works for a Mahwah-based insurance consulting agency. "Or so I thought."

Penque picked up on Fairweather's harmonies and soon asked her to join in on a song with him. Before long, they became partners in music.

"I was kind of bored with singing by myself, too," says Penque, who had released a solo CD prior to meeting Fairweather.

SOUNDS LIKE: Jeff & Karen play a range of venues, from bars and restaurants to senior centers and libraries. Their lineup of covers takes a cue from an eclectic roster, who also happen to be big influences: Carly Simon, Dolly Parton, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, Peter, Paul and Mary and pop singers from today.

Original songs are taken from their 2006 album of songs written by Penque, "Jersey Fresh." As for Fairweather's songwriting career, she has yet to make her debut.

"I have a song written, but maybe one day I'll have the gumption to put music to it," says Fairweather, who had sung in church for most of her life and participated in musical theater.

GETTING THE GIG: Jeff & Karen had been practicing for weeks in a room at the Hilton, spurring other tenants of Prospect Towers and hotel guests to request a song or two.

"I didn't want to whip out my guitar in the middle of the hotel lobby," Penque explains. So, he went to the hotel bartender and requested a night to perform. The Hilton, which Penque says has been "very nice to everybody" undergoing temporary displacement, granted Jeff & Karen two hours of performing time at the hotel lounge on Martini Wednesday. The event is open to the public.

DETAILS: 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Lounge at the Hilton, 650 Terrace Ave., Hasbrouck Heights, 201-281-6100 or hilton hasbrouckheights.com. No cover. See JeffKaren.com.

— Alfa Garcia

 

Provincetown Banner

Jersey duo rolls into Provincetown for singing gig at the Mews

Photos

Karen Fairweather and Jeff Penque perform original and reformatted tunes Monday in Provincetown.

  
By Melora B. North
Posted Nov 27, 2010 @ 08:24 AM
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About seven years ago musician Jeff Penque, who will be performing at The Mews in Provincetown at 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 29, was playing a solo gig in a coffee house in New Jersey. Always attuned to the audience and its response, he noticed a woman in the crowd was joining in on his glee. “She had a nice voice. She was so comfortable,” he says.

That woman was Karen Fairweather.

“He played a lot of cover tunes, I was humming and singing along, he had his eagle ears on and heard me. After the performance he asked me if I wanted to sing with him, I said yes. I didn’t really have to think about it, I had been singing off and on for years,” Fairweather says.

The duo formed, an agreement was reached and now they perform several concerts together every year throughout the Poconos, New Jersey and points north.

“I thought it would be fun to try to be a duo,” says Penque. “It’s more fun with another person — we do fun harmonies and arrangements. For The Mews we’ll perform some original songs from our CD, a couple of holiday songs, some folky pop, fun folk music. We like to do songs from when were young, the ’60s and ’70s, like The Partridge Family, The Monkeys; we create new arrangements with old songs. John Denver to Lady Gaga,” he says, laughing.

To land on the mike at The Mews, Penque googled the establishment and found it fit the duo’s comfort level. He then e-mailed Peter Donnelly, who responded with a thumbs-up.

The pair is psyched to be coming to town. Fairweather was here about a year ago and has visited off-season a few times before. As for Penque, well, his partner has a home in Orleans, so he is a pretty frequent Cape visitor.

Both musicians are from New Jersey and still live there, though Penque has been a bit displaced since the three-story parking garage in his apartment building in Hackensack collapsed last July, forcing the tenants to be evacuated. Miraculously, no one was killed, and the building renovations should be completed in December. Happy holidays to be sure.

Penque was a communications major at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, but upon graduation he decided to give acting a chance. For 10 years he toured and did musicals all over the country and Canada.

“I got tired of that path after a while,” he says. “When I was in college I played guitar, sang and wrote songs but not when I was an actor.” So he picked up the pen and guitar again when he made a leap to the business world. 

“I work for Barnes & Noble now, I arrange the author events,” he says. “I match authors who tour with the stores, it’s kind of interesting. Before this I worked for a publisher for seven years where I also did author events.”

Fairweather is also in the corporate world; she has been an administrative assistant for an insurance consulting firm for the last seven years. With an English degree from Douglass College, in New Jersey, she says she has been singing in church choirs for several years, mainly cantoring in the Catholic Church. In addition, she has done musical theater and private singing engagements. For the most part she says she is self-taught.

While Penque plays guitar, Fairweather has become adept at the tambourine, triangle and shaker eggs. But mainly it is her voice box that she plays with passion. And, oh, yes, she does some interesting things on stage to keep the audience on its toes, or in this case, her own. For instance, in “Brand New Key,” she dons a pair of rental roller skates and buzzes the stage.

What will she come up with next? Find out Monday.

Various reviews of Jeff's solo CD, Hidden Feelings.

What People Are Saying about Jeff and Hidden Feelings "Jeff's songs tell powerful stories that make strong statements - His vocal colors create a wonderful contrast that keep us moving through the journey of the songs" - Pamelia Phillips, author of Singing For Dummies "Sensitive Vibrato reminiscent of Phil Ochs" Joe Reynolds, Hillside Cafe "JEFF PENQUE generally stays in New Jersey wowing The Coffee House Crowds with his Beautiful Lyrics. He’s Probably booked Solid through March, but We should Really beg him to get over to the City and Impress us All with his Heartfelt Songs." RadioMikeNYC

The Coaster

www.jerseybites.com