Somerset County Park Commission Announces Free Summer Concert Series

BRIDGEWATER – The Somerset County Park Commission has scheduled another summer of free Sunday evening concert performance at Duke Island Park on Old York Road in Bridgewater. Concert-goers may bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets to enjoy the live entertainment.

The schedule includes:

Thursday, July 4 Fourth of July Family Festival featuring
At North Branch Park 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Verdict kicks off Independence Day at North Branch Park, turning the park into a tropical vacation paradise with their rich blend of classic reggae, calypso, soca, and funk island music. Then recapture the days of Boogie Fever and do The Hustle to all of the top Disco hits of the 70’s when headliners Dancin’ Machine hit the stage. With a great brass section and cool vocals, Dancin’ Machine will keep the party rocking! Other highlights of the day include children’s activities, historical re-enactments, and fireworks. Corporate sponsorship is provided by Courier News/ and Ethicon.

Sunday, July 7 RUTHIE FOSTER
Blues & Folk Duke Island Park 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Ruthie Foster is a singer-songwriter of blues and folk music, whose family background is Gospel. She began her career in the Navy, where she started performing. She has often been compared to both Bonnie Raitt and Aretha Franklin. Ruthie has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album and won Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year in 2010 at the American Blues Music Awards. She followed this with two more blues awards in 2012, and was also a nominee for the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year. Don’t miss this exceptional singer whose talent, faith, and determination are earning her a place in future blues history. Concert sponsor is the Hyatt House.

Swing Duke Island Park 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Louis Prima, Jr. is a Las Vegas based entertainer best known for carrying on the legacy of his father Louis Prima, the original “King of Swing.” Destined to follow his father’s musical greatness, he began playing the drums at old five years old and piano at age eight. By high school, he also mastered the trumpet and guitar. While he then followed a successful business career, he has recently decided his father’s music is his fulltime calling. In 2010, Louis Jr and the Witnesses performed in Las Vegas in honor of his father’s 100th birthday. Now also performing with singer Sarah Spiegel, they have recently released a new album to make the world once again, Jump, Jive, and Wail. Concert sponsor is the DoubleTree Hotel.

Sunday, July 21 KEN NAVARRO
Jazz Duke Island Park 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Over the past 22 years, Ken Navarro has performed jazz guitar in every major US city and has had numerous Top 5 hits on national radio. Navarro’s 2010 release Dreaming of Trains was nominated for Grammy awards in two categories, and his 2008 album The Grace of Summer Light was named the #1 contemporary jazz album of the year by the Jazz Times. His impressive discography of 20 top charting albums showcases his appeal to a wide range of listeners with inspiring compositions and superb guitar performances. Concert sponsor is the Hyatt House.

Sunday, July 28 THE DUPREES
Oldies Duke Island Park 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The Duprees are known world-over for their romantic interpretations of some of the most beautiful love songs ever written. Hailing from New Jersey, in 1962, The Duprees struck gold with You Belong to Me. Their unmistakable sound was born, and the hits kept rolling, including Have You Heard, My Own True Love, and Goodnight My Love. With 40 years in the recording business, The Duprees have never slowed down, still touring and recording after more than 50 years! Concert sponsor is the Courier News/ and Fulton Bank.

Sunday, August 4 TUSK
Rock & Blues Duke Island Park 7pm – 8:30pm

TUSK covers all the great hits of Fleetwood Mac; the British blues and rock band that became a California-based pop group in the mid-70s. They play chart topping hits such as Landslide, Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop, Say You Love Me, and many others. The five seasoned musicians comprising TUSK have been making music together for more than 25 years; paying homage to a group that dominated the charts for so many years. TUSK takes its audience members on a sweet ride down memory lane, and leaves no stone unturned in replicating the sounds of one of the world’s best-loved, top-selling bands. Concert sponsor is Magic 98.3-WMGQ-FM Radio.

Sunday, August 11
16th Annual Bayou Fest at Duke Island Park featuring

THE VooDUDES SPECIAL TIME 5:30 pm- 6:30 pm

New Jersey’s own Mardi Gras Party Band, the VooDUDES will strut their musical stuff to kick off this year’s Bayou Fest. A mixed bag of Creole Soul, Swamp Funk, and Bayou Boogie, the VooDUDES incorporate elements of R&B, boogie-woogie, Zydeco, Latin, honky-tonk gospel, southern folk, and island music into their own distinctive blend of what can only be described as Louisiana music with a New Jersey accent.

BEAU SOLEIL 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

BeauSoleil is one of the most well-known Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music groups, whose name translates to mean beautiful sun. Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, the group members are brothers Michael and David Doucet, along with other musicians. BeauSoleil is one of a few groups performing traditional Louisiana music to win several Grammy awards for Best Traditional Folk Album, Contemporary Folk Music, and Best Zydeco Album, and along the way, earned nominations a dozen more times. According to the band, they “take the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blend elements of zydeco, jazz, Tex-Mex, country, and blues and mix into a satisfying musical recipe.”

Bayou Fest sponsor is the DoubleTree Hotel.

Sunday, August 18 THE B STREET BAND
Rock The Original Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band
Duke Island Park 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The B Street Band, originally known as Backstreets, was formed in Asbury Park, in 1980. Since that time, the top drawing band has performed from Maine to the Bahamas for more than three million people. The addition of Springsteen look-alike, Glenn Stuart, furthered the success of the group, who plays powerful Springsteen favorites, as well as dance music. Selections range from Roy Orbinson, Billy Joel, 70’s Disco, and Motown to Tom Petty and John Mellencamp. Over the last 30 years, the band has played in more than 800 different nightclubs and 200 colleges through 20 different states and is now considered to be the longest running tribute band in the world. Concert sponsor is Magic 98.3-WMGQ-FM Radio.

Rock Duke Island Park 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The Smithereens are a rock band formed in 1980, hailing from Carteret and Scotch Plains. The band’s name comes from a Yosemite Sam catchphrase about Bugs Bunny, “Varmint, I’m a-gonna blow you to smithereens!” While enjoying a local influence, their music has been featured on Miami Vice and in several movie tracks. Their influences vary widely including Buddy Holly, The Who, The Clash, and Elvis Costello. After 30 years, the group is still active and tours frequently. End the summer with NJ Rock! Concert sponsor is the Hyatt House.

For further information on the concerts, call 908-722-1200. Individuals with hearing/speech impairments may call the Relay Service at 711. Over the weekends, in case of threat of inclement weather call 908-722-1200 ext. 7.

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