Another summer, another free concert season
Don Dilego opens series, July 6 at Dykstra Park


Milagro Saints, appearing this summer in Sparta Photo provided

SPARTA — The Sparta Cultural Affairs Committee is proud to announce an exciting line-up for the 2018 season of the Sparta Summer Concert Series. The series will present a varied selection of original artists, both regional and national, in different musical genres including folk, pop, rock, blues and reggae. The planning and execution of the concerts is a collaborative effort between the committee of volunteers, Sparta Township, the musicians themselves, ASI Sound and the various corporate and personal sponsors that provide the much needed funds.
Many surprises await. Opening the series on July 6th is singer/songwriter/producer Don Dilego, who combines aspects of the country music of old alongside some serious 80’s indie-pop influences. The following week will feature reggae artist Richard ’Jah’ Ace & Sons Of Ace featuring Charley Marley (The British MC & DJ). Richard Ace has been singing and recording since the 60’s and played keyboards on many Bob Marley records. Reggae is perfect for any hot summer night.
Then Jersey’s own guitar god, Billy Hector, returns to the Nicholson Pavilion stage, rocking it out with his blues trio. Always a crowd favorite. Sparta loves Danielia Cotton, who will be belting out songs from her brand new recording “The Mystery Of Me” and likely bringing the kids to the stage for a tune as well.
New to the series will be Jocelyn & Chris Arndt, a rocking brother/sister duo from the Albany area. She has a killer voice and he plays stinging guitar. They have a rousing new CD entitled GO. Delivering songs inspired by his love affair with the American West, Marc Berger & Ride will be stopping in Sparta as part of his summer tour. A singer/songwriter who is a real storyteller at heart.
Milagro Saints are coming back from North Carolina, hopefully without the rain, to perform their own mix of Americana tunes, as featured on their new release ‘Signs On The Road’. And closing the 2018 summer season on August 24th, Frank Bang & The Cook County Kings are making the trip from Chicago to play their brand of Chicago blues. Frank, a guitarist and sideman for Buddy Guy, and his group of experienced blues musicians, were a true highlight of the 2017 season.
The series features local artists as opening acts, offering their services for the sake of music and community. So far we have Don Elliker with ‘Me And My Big Ideas’, new Sparta resident and singer Adam Jacob, singer /songwriter/guitarist Joe Cirotti, and popular band The KP Connection.
Thanks to series sponsor Eastern Propane and event sponsors Garlic & Oil, Blue Diamond, RB Painting Plus, Sparta Chapter of UNICO and Mark Unglaub at Farmers Insurance. Contributions were also made by Hart & Iliff, Dolan & Dolan, Thorlabs, SECTV, Lafayette Hilltop Chiropractic, Burkes Wine & Liquor, Shoprite, Anne Marie Richards @ Weichert, Sparta Dental Design , Laddey Clark & Ryan, Villa Capri, Highland State Bank, Sparta Tire, Bill Wright School of Music, Andre’s Restaurant and St. Moritz Restaurant. The committee still welcomes any and all new sponsors in their effort to keep the program alive and kicking. And thanks as well to WXPN 91.9FM, The Sparta Independent, The NJ Herald, and WNTI.org. for their promotion of the event.
All shows are on Friday nights starting 7 pm at Dykstra Park, 22 Woodport Road, Sparta, NJ. Concerts are rain or shine. In case of bad weather, shows will be held next door at Mohawk Avenue School. The concerts are entirely free and family friendly events. For information about the concert series or about becoming a sponsor, please visit www.spartaarts.org.
We look forward to a fantastic summer of music under the stars. Come out and join in the fun.