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Event information for the 2016 season will be posted here in earliest event first order. Please visit this page to obtain the most current scheduling information.

Free admission to all shows during the Friday Summer Concert Series!
All shows begin at 7pm unless otherwise indicated.


Note: Dates and Artists are subject to change. Please check back for updates.

July 1 - Patrick Fitzsimmons
July 8 - Smokey Hormel's Round-Up
July 15 - Laura Rain & The Caesars
July 22 - Ali Ryerson featuring Mark Egan & Karl Latham
July 29 - Mulebone
August 5 - Murali Coryell
August 12 - Peter Karp & the Roadshow
August 19 - Billy Hector
August 26 - Marko Marcinko's Latin Jazz Quintet
September 2 - The Pfeiffer Twins

Please Note: rain policy for 2016. All shows will be at the Nicholson Pavilion in Dykstra Park. If there is a significant threat of inclement weather, the show will be held indoors at the Mohawk Ave School Auditorium at 7pm. Please check the home page on the day of each show for updated information regarding postponement or relocation.


August 5th - Murali Coryell

Murali Coryell Coming To Sparta

The Sparta Summer Concert Series is proud to announce the appearance this Friday night of award winning blues guitarist Murali Coryell.

As the son of guitar legend Larry Coryell, Murali grew up around the likes of Jimi  Hendrix, Miles Davis, & Carlos Santana. Now with 8 CD’s to his credit, Murali Coryell was inducted into the New York State Blues Hall of Fame in 2013 and was a 2014 BMA Nominee. Murali is a triple threat contemporary blues artist who can sing, write and play guitar with the best in the business.

In 1994, Murali got his first touring experience backing up Folk Music icon Richie Havens. In 1995, Murali joined Duke Robillard’s touring band and was quickly signed as a solo artist resulting in the Stax/Volt influenced “Eyes Wide Open”. In 1999 Murali recorded “2120” for Marshall Chess in which Rolling Stone named Murali “One promising new hound”. In addition to touring with his own band, Murali has toured as a featured artist with Larry Coryell, Bill Evans, and Joe Louis Walker. "Murali’s 2009 CD release "Sugar Lips" reached #5 in 2010 on the Living Blues Radio Chart and was recorded in Nashville with Tom Hambridge, Grammy winning producer of Buddy Guy. Cortney Harding of Billboard called it “one sweet triptych across the musical map”. The 2013 release Murali Coryell-Live spent 3 months in a row in the top 25 on The Living Blues Radio Chart. The 2014 release “Restless Mind” recorded in Austin, TX has been described by many as Murali’s best work to date. "Mr. Coryell fires on all cylinders, track after track, with strong originals, his reliably soulful vocals and subtly dazzling, fluid solos" says Duane Verh/Roots Music Report.

Murali has been featured in Guitar Player Magazine and has endorsements with Fender Musical Instruments, D’Addario Strings, & Sennheiser Microphones. You can also find Murali’s music on Pandora.

Opening the evening will be local singer/songwriter/musician Dave Grieco. The FREE concert starts at 7PM Friday at the Nicholson Pavilion, Dykstra Park, 22 Woodport Road, Sparta, NJ. Rain location will be the MAS school. Please see for more information and for updates regarding possible relocation due to weather conditions.  Please note that Sparta Township ordanances prohibit dogs in public parks.


August 12th - Peter Karp & the Roadshow

Peter Karp Returns to Sparta Summer Concerts

Peter John Downing Karp is an American roots/blues singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Peter Karp is a multi-instrumentalist whose Roots Rock style, mixed with Blues and Folk humor, give a unique and unusual look at life’s sometimes happy, sometimes sad reality.

Karp was born in Leonia, NJ. His father John was a military pilot and his mother Ruth was a copywriter and avid music fan. His stepmother Ruth Turner was an African American woman from the lowlands of South Carolina. By the time he was 8 his mother had taken him to see many of the popular musicians of the day. (The Beatles, The Stones, The Animals, The Temps, The Supremes, etc.). Living with his father in a trailer park in Alabama, he heard southern “race” radio playing  Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Howlin’ Wolf and regional country music. His love for this music would lead him to Dylan, Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and other rock luminaries of the day. He started to play the accordion at 7, the guitar and piano at 15.

Peter began his professional music career as a songwriter/keyboardist/guitarist with the critically acclaimed, seminal art-blues-punk band “They Came From Houses”. Karp became disillusioned with the music business, folded the band, walked away and began working in the film industry. He continued working in music, directing, producing and playing with musicians Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Johnson, Don Henley, Michael Brecker, Richie Havens, The Jacksons, Ric Ocasik and Jackson Brown.

Peter became deeply interested in the rich African American culture that has flourished for over 200 years in South Carolina’s South Sea Islands. Influenced by his stepmother, he immersed himself in learning about the Gullah and its musical roots, taking trips into and filming the South Sea Islands where the original Geechee language is still spoken. His song “Geechee Geechee Wawa” is based on those experiences.

Peter returned to performing with the life perspective he was seeking. In 1998 he made “Live At The American Roadhouse” a collection of original songs that included “Moments,” a song picked up and re-recorded for a JVC commercial. Karp then released “Roadshow” which received positive national reviews. Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor became aware of Peter after a DJ has sent him some rough recordings of songs. Taylor flew to the US to play guitar on Peter’s next record “The Turning Point.” Mick also toured with Peter. “Songwriters like Peter Karp, James Taylor and Bob Dylan embody Americana music – I’m a fan,” says Mick. One show at The Bottom Line in NYC was recorded but not released until 2016. “The Turning Point” tour brought Peter into the national spotlight, and he was signed by Blind Pig Records. “Shadows and Cracks” was released in 2007 to overwhelming critical success. After touring in support of the album, fate intervened when Peter’s Mary Lou was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Peter quit the road to spend the last remaining months of her life with her and their children.

While on the road, Peter met Canadian guitarist/singer/songwriter Sue Foley. Karp and Foley had kept in touch through letters. The struggles of touring, drinking and the death of Peter’s wife were chronicled in these letters which became the basis for the album Peter and Sue would record together “He Said – She Said.” The album went to the top of the Blues/Roots charts and entered the billboard charts at #5. Critics hailed the partnership as unique magic. Their 2nd release, “Beyond The Crossroads” also met with rave reviews.

In 2016, the tapes of the show at The Bottom Line in NYC with Mick Taylor  were released by Peter as the album “The Arson’s Match.” It’s part of a charity project he started in honor of his late wife to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Research. The album has received radio airplay, award nominations, and positive reviews. Peter has been steadily writing new songs and recording, with final touches being put on several new releases.

Opening the evening is Sparta singer/songwriter and guitarist  extraordinaire Don Elliker.

The FREE concert is Friday 8/12 at 7PM and is sponsored by the Sparta chapter of UNICO. Rain or shine at The Nicholson Pavilion, Dykstra Park, 22 Woodport Road, Sparta. Check for more information, especially after 2pm on Friday to learn whether or not the show has been moved indoors to the MAS due to inclement weather.



August 19th - Billy Hector

Billy Hector Playing Sparta Summer Concerts

The Sparta Summer Concert Series is proud to welcome Billy Hector back to town. Whether Billy Hector is teasing you with his sultry slide work, picking through delta blues or flat-out cranking it up and crunching out the electric blues/rock on his beloved vintage Fender Stratocaster, his   music reflects the true soul and origins of the blues; always passionate, engaging and dedicated to making the audience move and sweat.  Having honed his chops and style through three decades of performances, Hector is critically recognized as one of the hottest and most interesting guitarist/songwriters on the original circuit and has even been called “A New Jersey state treasure” by music writers.

Early in his career, Billy Hector identified himself as a deeply-grounded and versatile player drawing his influences from important predecessors including T-Bone Walker, Freddie King, Jimi Hendrix, Roy Buchanan and a host of others across musical style and genre. But, as with all truly great musicians, recognizable influences are interesting only insofar as they provide a departure point for the musician's spirit. It falls on the musician to shape his predecessor's ideas into music that does not simply replicate but engagingly adds to the whole. Most can only aspire to this level of creation; Billy Hector generates it in spades and it happens every night.

In the late 70s, Hector’s first stop was as the guitarist for The Shots, a horn-driven R&B group that took over the house band role from Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes at the renowned Stone Pony. He moved on as lead guitarist for Hot Romance, a band based at the infamous Mrs. Jay’s biker bar in Asbury Park that also began receiving New York City radio airplay for its original songs.

In the mid-80’s, drawn back to earlier musical roots, Billy Hector formed the five-piece blues/rock band The Fairlanes and, co-wrote and released three independent albums on the Blue Jersey label.

By early 1993, Hector regrouped as a power trio and renamed his band The Billy Hector Band. The band’s present lineup is guitars/lead vocals Billy Hector, drummer Sim Cain and bassist Tim Tindall. The Billy Hector Band also performs acoustic blues in multiple personnel configurations.

A prolific songwriter/composer, Billy Hector has fourteen albums to his credit, most on the independent Ghetto Surf label. And with over thirty-five years of performing under his belt, Billy Hector is recognized as one of the hottest guitarists and songwriters playing the original circuit and serves up what more than one reviewer has called "one of the best shows you'll ever see".

Opening the evening is eclectic local group Melissa Judge & the Usual Suspects. The concert at the Nicholson Pavilion, Dykstra Park, 22 Woodport Rd, Sparta begins at 7PM Friday night, rain or shine. See for additional information. Please check the website after 2pm on Friday for any inclement weather updates.


August 26th - Marko Marcinko's Latin Jazz Quintet

Marko Marcinko’s Latin Jazz Quintet in Sparta


The Sparta Summer Concert Series is proud to welcome Marko Marcinko’s Latin Jazz Quintet to the Nicholson Pavilion stage.

 Growing up in a musical family in Northeastern PA, Marko began his studies early and by 14 years old had started a professional career. He took lessons from NJ drum legend, Joe Morello.

He attended The University of Miami and gained an enormous amount of schooling in classical /ethnic percussion, drum set, piano, and arranging/composing. During my time performing with the University’s concert jazz ensemble, I had the chance to play with some of the greatest musical jazz mentors/performers, such as Joe Henderson, Red Rodney, Michael Brecker and Paquito D’Rivera.  

After graduating Marko created a four piece jazz ensemble named “Active Ingredients”. “AI” performed with or opposite of Randy Brecker, The Yellowjackets and Vital Information to name a few. He then was offered the chance to tour and record with jazz legend Maynard Ferguson. He spent three years playing drums throughout the world.  Marko’s experiences on the road taught him greatly about life inside the “music business”.                                                                                

Marko came back east in high gear. He created a non-profit organization called The PA Jazz Alliance that would dedicate itself to presenting the best jazz and world beat music and provide high- level music education to those who deserve access to it. This led him to becoming an adjunct professor at Penn State University.

Marko has  worked as drummer or pianist with such notables as pop sensations Jon Secada and Juan Gabriel, R&B Legend Melba Moore, John Legend, Clay Aiken, Connie Francis, and Little Anthony & The Imperials. Also comedians Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart and legend Don Rickles.

In the world of jazz he’s performed with; Kurt Elling, Tierney Sutton,  Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Anthony Jackson, Wallace Roney, Bob Mintzer, Terel Stafford, Mike Stern, Steve Turre & Dave Stryker. Also jazz legends; Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Al Grey,  Bob Dorough, Lew Tabackin, Bucky Pizzarelli & Urbie Green.  

For the past ten years Marko has been touring and recording with the great jazz saxophonist Dave Liebman, playing with The Organik Vibe Trio and presenting his Latin Jazz Quintet.

Local jazz ensemble ‘Meant To Be’ will open the show at 7PM rain/shine at Dykstra Park, 22 Woodport Rd, Sparta. for more info.




September 2nd - The Pfeiffer Twins

Nashville based country music 

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