Free Summer Concerts
Mayor's Free Summer Concert Series 2015
Join Mayor Samson D. Steinman and the masses of music lovers this August for FREE weekly concerts every Thursday at 7:00 pm!
All concerts will be held in front of the historic UCPAC Mainstage theater at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway, New Jersey. Food vendors, concessions areas, and the UCPAC cafe will be open and available at each concert. In the event of rain, the UCPAC Mainstage will host that night's concert. Check out this year's artists!
Thursday, Aug. 6th
Thursday, Aug. 13th
Thursday, Aug. 20th
Soul Asylum and the BoDeans
Thursday, Aug. 27th
Aaron Neville Duo
Thursday, Aug. 6th – Buckwheat Zydeco
Over the course of Buckwheat Zydeco’s career, Buck has gigged with everyone from Eric Clapton (with whom Buckwheat also recorded) and U2 to The Boston Pops. The band performed at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics to a worldwide audience of three billion people. Buckwheat Zydeco even performed at both of President Clinton’s Inaugurals.
More national television appearances include PBS’s tribute to Paul Simon, where Buck performed with Lyle Lovett; sitting in with Paul Shaffer on The Late Show With David Letterman (and playing “Hot Tamale Baby” for Martha Stewart); and feting Ozzie Ozbourne among other’s on VH1’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Buck was recently profiled in a ten minute feature by Scott Simon, on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday. The band has appeared six times on Letterman, and on CNN, The Today Show, MTV, NBC News, CBS Morning News and many others.
Thursday, Aug. 13th – Garland Jeffreys
In 1966, Jeffreys began to play in Manhattan nightclubs including Gerde's Folk City, The Bitter End, Gaslight, Kenny's Castaways, and later Reno Sweeney, where he began to explore racially conscious themes in his work, sometimes utilizing blackface masks and a rag doll named Ramon in performance. Jeffreys played guitar on John Cale's 1969 debut solo album Vintage Violence and contributed the song "Fairweather Friend". In 1969 he founded Grinder's Switch with Woodstock-area musicians including pianist Stan Szelest, guitarist Ernie Corallo, and percussionist Sandy Konikoff. Lew Merenstein produced this one album before the band dissolved in 1970.
In 1973, he released his first solo album, Garland Jeffreys, on Atlantic Records. Around the same time Atlantic also released a single, "Wild in the Streets", that was not included on the album. Dr. John played clavinet and helped arrange the song, with backing from guitarist David Spinozza, drummer Rick Marotta, the Brecker Brothers on horns and David Peel on background vocals. The track received airplay on progressive FM album-oriented rock stations, and has become one of his best-known songs.
Thursday, Aug. 20th – Soul Asylum and the BoDeans
Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band that formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1983. The band recorded three albums with Twin/Tone Records and two with A&M Records to little commercial success. But in 1992, they released the triple-platinum album Grave Dancers Union, featuring their Grammy Award-winning single "Runaway Train". The band played the Bill Clinton inauguration early the next year. They also scored a platinum record with the album Let Your Dim Light Shine three years later. In 1998 they recorded Candy from a Stranger. In 2006 they released The Silver Lining. Their most recent effort is entitled Delayed Reaction, which was released on July 17, 2012.
Their 1984 debut album, Say What You Will... Everything Can Happen was originally released on LP and cassette by local record label Twin/Tone as a nine song EP. This is since out-of-print, but was re-released on CD as Say What You Will, Clarence... Karl Sold the Truck, which included five additional tracks that were cut from the original album. Between the release of Say What You Will and their second album, Grant Young joined the group, taking over the drums from Morley. In 1986, Soul Asylum released three albums, Made To Be Broken followed by the cassette only release of Time's Incinerator and While You Were Out.
Along the line, lead singer Dave Pirner became friends with film director Kevin Smith, a longtime Soul Asylum fan. Soul Asylum have contributed music to three Kevin Smith films, Clerks, Clerks II, and 1997's Chasing Amy (in which Pirner provided the score). Smith directed the music video for the song "Can't Even Tell," which was featured on the Clerks soundtrack.
Long known as one of the best live acts in the business, the BoDeans continue to tour year round and continue to deliver amazing, high-energy performances.
“I realized some time ago that the key to the BoDeans identity is the fans’ connection to our music – nowhere is that more evident or rewarding as when we come together live. We love to connect with the fans who have supported us for so long and who have brought us so much inspiration,” says Kurt Neumann, the band’s founder and frontman. “We will continue to play as long as they continue to come out and sing along.”
Chart topping songs like “Fadeaway,” “Only Love,” and “Dreams” won them Rolling Stone‘s readers poll for Best New American Band in 1987, and they were part of a small contingent of bands that inspired a new radio format known as Adult Alternative, Album Rock-Triple A. Their reputation for delivering a dynamic live show garnered support slots with U2/Joshua Tree Tour, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie, and appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, and ACL, among others. They’ve been featured on SNL, Letterman, Today, Imus, CNN, ESPN, and many more.
Thursday, Aug. 27th – Aaron Neville Duo
Aaron Neville is an American R&B singer and musician. He has had four Platinum-certified albums and four Top 10 hits in the United States, including three that went to #1 on Billboard's Adult contemporary chart. His debut single, from 1966, was #1 on the Soul chart for five weeks.
He has also recorded with his brothers Art, Charles and Cyril as The Neville Brothers and is the father of singer/keyboards player Ivan Neville. Of mixed African American and Native American heritage, his music also features Cajun and Creole influences.
The first of his singles that got airplay outside of New Orleans was "Over You" (Minit, 1960). Neville's first major hit single was "Tell It Like It Is", released on a small New Orleans label, Par-Lo, co-owned by local musician/arranger George Davis and band-leader Lee Diamond. The song topped Billboard's R&B chart for five weeks in 1967 and also reached #2 on the Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. It was the label's only release.
In January 2013, paying tribute to the songs of his youth, Blue Note Records released Neville's My True Story, a collection of 12 doo-wop tunes, produced by Don Was and Keith Richards, with backing by musicians such as Benmont Tench and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.