The signature summer program features a mix bag of performers through Aug.
By: GRACE MAIORANO
Continuing a more than 25-year tradition, the ambience of a South Jersey summer will soon be set to the sounds of string bands, Broadway and more.
Camden County is kicking off its annual summer concert series on June 6. The free outdoor performances feature the music of many genres from talent discovered around the area.
From rising stars to Grammy Award-nominated artists, the lineup will serve as the soundtrack of the summer.
The genesis behind the shows dates back nearly a quarter century.
“The idea was to provide affordable entertainment and recreation for residents,” said Freeholder Jeff Nash, who has been serving Camden County since the program’s inception. “The concert series was a component of that.”
Initially, performances were limited to the banks of the Cooper River, but over the years, the extravaganza evolved to other quarters to reach more residents.
“We want to cover the four corners of Camden County … bottom line is — it’s very important that every Camden County resident has the opportunity to enjoy the concert series,” Nash said.
The three-month spectacle kicks off June 6 featuring artists Liza Anne with Jason McGovern as part of the Sundown Music Series at Haddon Lake Park in Haddon Heights.
While Haddon Heights is home to the sundown shows, other staging includes the Sunset Jazz Series at Wiggins Waterfront Park in Camden City, Cooper River Twilight Concert Series in Pennsauken and the South County Music Series at Lindenwold Park and the New Brooklyn Park in Winslow Township.
Nash says Winslow Township is the latest edition to the series and sees a significant turnout each year — a reflection of the growing community.
Overall, the series draws tens of thousands of people from across the Delaware Valley, which could be attributed to the assortment of shows. Nash says the jazz series alone experiences 5,000 attendees on any given evening.
“It’s important to have different genres because of the variety of tastes of residents,” Nash said.
Noteworthy performances this year include multi-Grammy-winning pioneer of jazz fusion Stanley Clark, Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Raúl Midón and Grammy-nominated blues and folk singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster.
On Independence Day, “Two Tickets to Paradise” ace Eddie Money, as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Spinners, will take the stage at the Camden County Freedom Festival at Wiggins Waterfront Park, which will be followed by a fireworks spectacular over the Delaware River.
And although performance managers do not check identification to verify Camden County residences before each show, bringing in out of towners each summer has proven to have a positive impact on the local economy.
“People enjoy an affordable night not far from home that is great entertainment,” Nash said. “ So, it doesn’t really get better than that.”
Full list of series:
Sunset Jazz Series at Wiggins Waterfront Park
At the foot of MLK Boulevard, Camden City
All concerts start at 8 p.m.
June 11 — Red Baraat
June 25 — Stanley Clarke
July 16 — The James Hunter Six
Aug. 6 — Raul Midón
Aug. 13 — Special EFX featuring Chieli Minucci, Lao Tizer and Elliott Yamin
Aug.27 — Grace Kelly
Cooper River Twilight Concert Series
North Park Drive, Pennsauken
All concerts start at 8 p.m.
June 14 — South Philadelphia String Band
June 28 — Tusk (top Fleetwood Mac tribute band)
July 19 — Broadway, Opera and Beyond
Aug. 2 — Atlanta Rhythm Section
Aug. 16 — Point Blank
Aug.30 — Darlene Love
Sundown Music Series at Haddon Lake Park
13th Avenue, Park Drive and Prospect Boulevard, Haddon Heights
All concerts start at 7:30 p.m.
June 6 — Liza Anne with Jason McGovern
June 20 — Orleans with Kevin Burke
July 11 — Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express with Milton
July 25 — Ruthie Foster with Frank Brown
Aug. 1 — Dave Hause & The Mermaid with April Mae & Catfish
Aug. 15 — The National Reserve with Michelle Nagy
South County Music Series
Winslow Township — New Brooklyn Park
Erial-New Brooklyn Road, Sicklerville
All concerts begin at 7 p.m.
June 19 — Bootsie Barnes & Larry McKenna Jazz Sextet
July 21 — Urban Guerrilla Orchestra
Aug. 21 — Billy Hector Blues Band
All concerts begin at 8 p.m.
June 22 — Edgardo Cintron & The Inca Band Tribute to Santana
Aug. 3 — Ladies of Rock & Soul
Aug. 24 — Danny V’s 52nd Street Band Tribute to Billy Joel
For more information, visit CamdenCounty.com.