The Showboat Casino opened on March 31st, 1987 as The Showboat Hotel, Casino and Bowling Center. The Grand opening Ceremony featured comedian Bob Hope and New Orleans trumpet great Al Hirt. The Showboat property provided patrons with over 20 years of great “Traditional American Jazz Music” employing some of the finest musicians in the country. Patrons came from far and wide to enjoy the Mardis Gras “French Quarter” atmosphere of Jazz, stilt walkers, organ grinders, jugglers and big head characters. The Showboat still stands as the only casino hotel property in Atlantic City with a congruent theme that was promoted throughout the entire marketing plan.
Notable musicians who performed at the Showboat included Atlantic City’s home town drummer Chris Colombo, Franny Smith, Al Harrison, The Quaile Brothers, Ray Malach, Bob Ferguson, Robert Rawlins, Grant MacAvoy, Harry Himles, Rick Gaezda, The Midiri Brothers, Artie & Linda Schreck, Andrea Pinkett, Mark Allen Jones, Paula Johns and Vince Giordano of “The Nighthawks” the composer of The HBO Series “Boardwalk Empire”.
The Showboat had multiple performance stages providing virtually “round the clock” entertainment including jazz musicians performing on the Basin Street Float, which rolled down the Boardwalk daily, until Harrah’s purchased the property in 1998, opening of the House of Blues and The Foundation Room in 2005 with entertainment ranging from Elvis Costello to Tower of Power.
On February 21st at 7:30PM at Sandi Pointe in Somers Point, The South Jersey Jazz Society will present the musicians who performed at the casino for many years in “ The Showboat Jamboree”.
The Showboat closed August 31st, 2014 and the property was recently purchased by the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on December 13th, 2014 to be used as an extension of the Campus in Galloway, N.J.
Admission is $10 for South Jersey Jazz Society members and $15 for non-members.
This program is made possible in part through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Local Arts Grant administered by Atlantic County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs This program is made possible in part through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Local Arts Grant administered by Atlantic County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs
Additional funding is provided by Shore Medical Center
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