New Talent On Board For 2011 Mayor’s Summer Concert Series

RAHWAY — Mayor Rick Proctor, the Rahway City Council and the Department of Parks and Recreation have announced a lineup of six concerts that begin on June 23 and continue every other Thursday evening, until Sept. 1 (weather permitting).

The concert stage in the “Back Stage Lot” of the Union County Performing Arts Center is in the heart of the Rahway Arts District. Audiences are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to these free shows and dancing in the street is highly recommended.


The series kicks off on June 23 with Total Soul an ensemble including lead singers, hot horns, a groovin’ rhythm section and a mix of four part vocal harmony. Total Soul plays everything from Motown, to today’s pop and R&B, to the jazz/Big Band standards of the 1940s.

Parrotheads (and everyone else) unite on Thursday, July 7 as Parrotbeach takes the stage. One of the few full time Jimmy Buffett tribute bands, this group has over 107 years of combined musical experience from live performances to the art of studio recording.

Following the spring release of her second album, Mondo Amore, Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea’s US tour will be stopping in Rahway on Thursday, July 21. This New Jersey born singer/songwriter has been featured in People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, on David Letterman, the Conan O’Brien Show and Last Call with Carson Daly. Referred to as “a female Roy Orbison”, Rolling Stone magazine named Atkins one of the Ten Artists to Watch. This show is rain or shine and will be moved to the Rahway Recreation Center in the event of inclement weather.

Swingadelic, the NYC Area’s greatest “little big band”, plays on Thursday, Aug. 4. This 12-piece group delivers the traditional big band and Great American Songbook music of Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack era, plus Motown, the Rolling Stones, and oldies and dance hits from the 50s to the 80s.

After a 13-year hiatus from touring, Buskin & Batteau are back on the road again, stopping in Rahway on Thursday, Aug. 18. Singer-songwriter-soloists David Buskin and Robin Batteau have put the finishing touches on their long-anticipated new CD, Red Shoes and Golden Hearts, released on May 12. Their new album and their performances continue to offer their audiences, in the words of The Washington Post, “an irresistible amalgam of melodic, sensual pop, folkie grit and killer wit.”

The concert series wraps for the season on Thursday, Sept. 1 with World Within. In true Grateful Dead fashion, each show this group delivers is a unique experience. Determined not to follow the standard “radio versions” of the tunes they played and unwilling to recreate note-for-note “sound-alike” renditions of the world’s greatest music, World Within paved their way into the hearts of many, opening for the likes of The Marshall Tucker Band, the Spin Doctors, Jefferson Airplane, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and Hot Tuna.

All concerts start at 7 p.m. and, with the exception of the July 21 show, will be cancelled and rescheduled in the event of rain based on the artist’s availability.

For more information, call the Department of Parks and Recreation at 732-669-3600.

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