A number of free summer concert series in the area will bring in some big-name acts in 2011
In the best of times, people love a bargain. And in economic times like these, people really love a bargain.
And the best bargain out there? Anything that’s free.
When it comes to southern New Jersey in the summer, the most plentiful freebie out there is music. Hey, even the sand and the surf aren’t free in most beach towns. But thanks to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the Somers Point bay beaches and other spots around the region, there’s never a shortage of free concerts to enjoy.
From smoking jazz to an international music celebration in A.C., and from a host of familiar local bands that make the rounds of area bandstands, you can always find a place to park the beach chair and listen to some tunes. The Wildwoods, Sea Isle City, Atlantic City’s Gardner’s Basin and Egg Harbor Township’s Tony Canale Park are all sites for free concerts.
Like we said, people love a bargain.
Here’s a look at the best in free summer concert series in the region. Print out the full schedules below and make plans to take in some tunes near the dunes.
Presented by the Atlantic City Free Public Library, the series, held on Wednesdays at 7pm at Kennedy Plaza on the A.C. Boardwalk (in front of Boardwalk Hall), is a celebration of international and ethnic sounds. Highlights:
• July 6: Cintron Band. The Cintron Band will kick off the series by playing songs from its new CD, Cintron Live, which features a mix of Latin jazz, salsa and popular dance music.
• July 13: Chinese Theatre Works. The Chinese Theatre Works will perform a dance/martial excerpt from the Kun Opera “Legend of White Snake” and an eclectic mix of other dances and music from different provinces in China.
• July 20: Raggle Taggle Gypsy-Os. The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-Os performs traditional and modern Celtic music.
• July 27: Barynya. The music, dance and song ensemble Barynya of New York is a world-renowned group regarded by some as the premier Russian folk ensemble outside of Russia.
• Aug. 3: Feraba. This high-energy group takes the audience on a musical journey to West Africa and performs many dances from the country of Guinea as well as introducing spectators to African rhythm tap.
• Aug. 10: Kinding Sindaw. Kinding Sindaw performs the dance and music of the Philippines. The repertoire features sacred, classic and secular dances that are graceful, yet vigorous, and reflect the country’s rich natural environment.
• Aug. 24: Han Heung Mhurt Tae Korean Dance Troupe of Southern New Jersey. Han Heung Mhurt Tae of Southern New Jersey is a performing arts and educational organization that promotes the understanding and appreciation of the beauty of traditional Korean dance and music by preserving traditional genres and nurturing innovations that reflect Korea’s dynamic and diverse cultural heritage. Mong J. Park is the group founder.
• Aug. 31: Everybody Loves Italian. Everybody Loves Italian celebrates Italian heritage through classically presented songs and dances, and warmly humorous stories.
Presented by the Atlantic City Free Public Library and the Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation, the series commemorates the jazz heritage of Atlantic City. The free concerts, which include opening act and headliner, are held Thursdays from 7-10pm at Kennedy Plaza. chickenbonebeach.org. Highlights:
• July 7: Bootsie Barnes and Friends. Bootsie Barnes is known as “the man with the tenor touch” because of his dynamic style on the tenor saxophone. The Dahi Divine Legacy Quintet is the opening act.
• July 14: Dave Valentin. Flutist Dave Valentin has recorded more than 15 albums in his illustrious career, including the Grammy-winning The Gathering, which was named Best Latin Jazz Album. ZAMAR featuring Keith Hollis is the opening act.
• July 21: Barbara Walker. Barbara Walker is a powerful vocalist who has enjoyed a successful and varied career. She released her debut CD, Making Love, in 2000. Eddie Morgan REK’D 4 Jazz is the opening act.
• July 28: Monette Sudler. A dynamite guitarist, writer, composer and arranger, Sudler (pictured, left) is a Philadelphia-born artist who has played with many all-time jazz greats. The Tony Day Quartet is the opening act.
• Aug. 4: Dominick Farinacci. An alumnus of the Julliard School, Farinacci is an award-winning trumpeter who includes the great Louis Armstrong among his biggest influences. He released his U.S. debut album “Lovers, Tales & Dances” in 2009. The Chicken Bone Beach Youth Jazz Ensemble is the opening act.
• Aug. 11: Tia Fuller. A dynamic saxophonist, composer and educator, Fuller was part of the Beyoncé Experience and I AM … Sasha Fierce world tours to promote the superstar’s CDs. The Budesa Brothers Trio is the opening act.
• Aug. 18: Helen Sung. Winner of the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition, Sung has been called “one of the brightest emerging stars in jazz today.” The Dwain Davis Quartet is the opening act.
The free Somers Point series has become one of the premier concert series in the area, bringing in a large selection of nationally know blues and jazz acts as well as local faves. The free concerts are held Fridays at 7pm at the William Morrow Beach on Bay Avenue in Somers Point. This year, the acts are stacked for August, dubbed “Awesome August on the Beach.”
• June 17: Kinsey Report. Caribbean funk, Chicago R&B and reggae will prevail at the first event when the Kinsey Report, led by Donald Kinsey, who co-produced and played guitar with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, perform their world music to open the series.
• June 24: Eric Lindell Band. One of New Orleans' hottest singer/songwriter recording artists, Eric Lindell brings his brilliant, jammin’ ensemble to perform the funky sounds and pretty melodies of his contemporary New Orleans recordings.
“The location was the key. A beautiful backdrop of the bay, with all types of boats cruising past, and the Ocean City skyline [across the bay].”
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