Some music for your ears
Local bands raise money for reservoir restoration
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Apr 13, 2014 | 6298 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Reservoir No. 3
A WORK IN PROGRESS – This is one of the structures that are included on Reservoir No. 3 property.
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The hills may not be alive with the sound of music, but April 27, Jersey City will rock as local bands come to Rock the Reservoir.

The rock and blues performers are participating in a fundraiser to support the Reservoir No. 3 Conservancy, a group converting the city’s old reservoir into a public park. The reservoir was built in 1871-1874 to serve as the Jersey City water supply system, but has become a historic monument to that era.

The musical gala takes place at the recently-renovated Lincoln Inn from 3 to 7 p.m.

Americana and roots rock singer/songwriter Christine Santelli will host a line-up featuring R&B band Better Off Dead, soulful singer Dave Rudbarg and Friends, classic rockers Enzo and the Bakers, and local Latin jazz/blues legend Joe Taino for a fundraising afternoon of food, art, and entertainment.

“It’s so generous of these amazing Jersey City performers to donate their time and music to help us Rock The Reservoir,” said Bill Miller, Reservoir Alliance Treasurer and event organizer. “Local bands who are nationally and internationally known are giving back to their home community,” he added, “and they’re really starting off the Reservoir’s 2014 season with a bang. I can’t thank them enough.”

The Conservancy has been involved in a study to understand current site conditions that include the magnificent stone walls, the earthen berm, the clay basin, two pumphouses, the screen tower, and the hydraulic system.
“It’s so generous of these amazing Jersey City performers to donate their time and music to help us Rock The Reservoir.” -- Bill Miller
Working with architects that have a proven record with projects such as Hoboken’s Pier C, the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Teardrop Park in Battery Park City, the Conservancy is looking to transform the reservoir into a park with trails for hiking and amenities for boating and fishing.

Founded in 2005, the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance, Inc. has been dedicated to preserving both Reservoir No. 3’s historically significant structures and its natural wetlands, while working jointly with the site’s owner, the City of Jersey City, to transform it into a public urban park for passive recreation.

The Alliance helps monitor, protect, and enhance Reservoir No 3 as a public historic and nature park. It serves to oversee the botanical sanctuary and wildlife habitat; to establish and promote educational and recreational events and programs, and to educate the public about the Reservoir’s important historic and environmental roles in Jersey City.

Reservoir No. 3 is a 19th-century urban waterworks system that was deemed obsolete, drained, and taken offline in 1994. By 2001, the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy declared the Reservoir a “landmark at risk.”

The site is a lush and diverse urban ecosystem that has evolved naturally at the abandoned site with native trees that include pin oak, birch, apple, cherry, locust, and hawthorn, as well as wildflowers and broad-leaf cattails, now thriving within the Reservoir walls. This green space also provides habitat and food for small mammals, amphibians, and migratory and local birds, while the reservoir's spring- and rain-fed pond also supports catfish, sunfish, carp, and largemouth bass.

Now this one-of-a-kind urban ecosystem has been designated as a Protected Freshwater Wetlands by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The Reservoir's mid-19th-century Egyptian revival and late-Victorian Romanesque architecture are also listed on both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

“Rock The Reservoir” supports the Reservoir Alliance as it kicks off this year’s programming of kayaking, fishing, nature walks, photography, and other passive recreation at Reservoir 3, located on one city block bordered by Summit, Central, Jefferson and Reservoir Avenues in the Jersey City Heights.

Jersey City musicians

Jersey City’s Better Off Dead has four albums and done hundreds of live shows and major musical festivals up and down the East Coast and charted hits in locations as far away as Greece and Belgium.

Jersey City resident and roots rock singer/songwriter Christine Santelli has been on the New York City music scene for more than two decades, and was inducted into the NY Blues Hall of Fame in August 2013 at Time Square’s BB King’s. She has released nine CD’s over her career.

Jersey City resident Dave Rudbarg is considered by his growing international fan base to be one of the most soulful and powerful singers around today. His first album, “Living in the Land of Yes” was praised by writers and fellow artists alike, from “Morning Joe” Scarborough to Grammy Award winners Gordon Chambers and Mark Hudson.

Enzo and the Bakers give energetic and fun-loving life to old soul like Sam & Dave, and classic and roots rock from Dylan to the Stones.

Joe Taino and the Blue Flames play a unique mix of blues, R&B, Latin jazz, reggae, calypso, and classic rock, all reflected in his latest release, “Incognito.” Guitarist Taino has been recording and performing since 1972, and has shared the stage with Peter Frampton, Judas Priest, Rick Derringer, Cindy Lauper, Gregg Allman, Carlos Santana, Jaco Pastorious, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Pat Travers, King Crimson, and many more. Joe Taino recently received the NY Blues Hall of Fame Award in August 2013 at NYC’s BB King’s in Time Square.

Get your tickets how?

Sponsored by the non-profit Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance, the event costs $35 in advance and $40 at the door (cash only). Advance tickets can be purchased by credit card online at the Reservoir Alliance’s website ( or by cash at the Lincoln Inn. All proceeds will go to benefit the Reservoir Alliance.

Ticket price includes one drink ticket, grilled burgers, hot dogs, and bratwurst, salads and side dishes, dessert, and four hours of hot rocking music. Children under 12 will be admitted free, with nonalcoholic beverages provided.

For more information about Rock The Reservoir, contact Bill Miller (Reservoir Alliance) at (201) 310-0405 and, or music organizer Christine Santelli at

Al Sullivan may be reached at

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