MANVILLE: County announces schedule of summer concerts

Kickoff — with fireworks — is on July 4

   Calypso and disco on Independence Day will kick off the Somerset County Park Commission’s Sunday evening summer concerts at Duke Island Park on Old York Road in Bridgewater.
   All concerts are free. Bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets and enjoy relaxed Sunday evenings with live entertainment.
   All will take place from 7-8:30 p.m., except for Fourth of July Family Festival, which will run from 5-11 p.m., and the Annual Bayou Fest on Aug. 11 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
   The July 4 Family Festival features Verdict, which will turn North Branch Park into a tropical paradise with a blend of classic reggae, calypso, soca and funk island music. They’ll be followed disco hits of the 1970s by headliners Dancin’ Machine.’
   Other highlights of the day include children’s activities, historical re-enactments and fireworks.
   Here’s the schedule for other summer Sundays:
   July 7: Ruthie Foster is a singer-songwriter of blues and folk music, whose family background is gospel. She 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 was also a nominee for the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.
   July 14: Louis Prima Jr., best known for carrying on the legacy of his father Louis Prima, the original “King of Swing,” and his band, The Witnesses, will perform. He began playing the drums at five years old and piano at age eight. By high school, he also mastered the trumpet and guitar. He pursued a business career until recently deciding his father’s music is his fulltime calling. He and singer Sarah Spiegel have recently released an album, “Jump, Jive, and Wail.”
   July 21: Jazz guitarist Ken Navarro will perform. Over the past 22 years, he 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 number-one contemporary jazz album of the year by the Jazz Times.
   July 28: The Duprees, who struck gold in 1962 with “You Belong to Me,” have never slowed down, and are still touring and recording after more than 50 years. Their hits kept rolling, including “Have You Heard,” “My Own True Love” and “Goodnight My Love.”
   Aug. 4: Tusk, who covers all hits of Fleetwood Mac, the British blues and rock band that became a California-based pop group in the mid-70s, will take the audience on a ride down Memory Lane. They’ll play chart-topping hits such as “Landslide,” “Rhiannon,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop” and “Say You Love Me.” Tusk’s five musicians have been making music together for more than 25 years.
   Aug. 11: The 16th annual Bayou Fest features the VooDudes and Beau Soleil.
   The VooDudes incorporate elements of R&B, boogie-woogie, Zydeco, Latin, honky-tonk gospel, Southern folk and island music into a distinctive blend of Louisiana music with a New Jersey accent.
   BeauSoleil is a Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music group. Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, the group is led by brothers Michael and David Doucet. 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.
   Aug. 18: The B Street Band, “the original Bruce Springsteen tribute band,” was originally known as Backstreets and formed in Asbury Park in 1980. Springsteen look-alike Glenn Stuart plays Springsteen favorites, as well as dance music. Selections come from Roy Orbison, Billy Joel, ‘70s disco, Motown, Tom Petty and John Mellencamp.
   Aug. 25: The Smithereens, a rock band formed in 1980, hail from Carteret and Scotch Plains. The band’s name comes from a Yosemite Sam catchphrase about Bugs Bunny. “’”Their music has been featured on Miami Vice and in movie tracks. Their influences vary widely, including Buddy Holly, The Who, The Clash, and Elvis Costello.
   Individuals with hearing/speech impairments may call the Relay Service at 711.Information on all Somerset County Park Commission activities may be found on the Internet at Like us on Facebook and Twitter.