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Springsteen surprises crowd during jam session in Asbury Park [PHOTOS]

Rumors about a possible Bruce Springsteen appearance at the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival Friday night began circulating days before the annual event kicked off. It’s not unusual when big musical affairs are planned in the shore town. This time, though, the buzz turned out to be true.

Following the premiere of a documentary film chronicling the history of the Asbury Park music scene, The Boss surprised a packed house at the Paramount Theater by taking the stage for a jam session with the likes of E Street Band mate Steven Van Zandt as well as Southside Johnny and other legendary Jersey rockers.

Asbury Park Music and Film Festival 2017 lineup

Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt
Springsteen makes a surprise appearance at the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival. (Toniann Antonelli/Townsquare Media)

The concert took place following the world premiere of “Just Before the Dawn,” a film narrated by New Jersey 101.5’s own Big Joe Henry. The movie tells the story of Upstage, one of the most legendary music venues in Asbury Park’s history. Located on Cookman Avenue, the club, which didn’t serve alcohol, only stayed open from 1968-71, but during that time it played host to countless up-and-coming musicians including Springsteen as well as members of the E Street Band and Asbury Jukes.

Following the screening of the film, the Upstage All-Stars — made up of some of those legendary acts — took the stage for a jam session that quickly brought the crowd to its feet.

The music and film festival runs through Sunday and will include concerts, films and art at venues throughout Asbury Park.

Check out Big Joe Henry as he introduces the premier of “Just Before the Dawn”:

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Toniann Antonelli is digital managing editor for programming at NJ 101.5. She can be reached at toniann.antonelli@townsquaremedia.com, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015 or @NJ1015.

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