CALDWELL, NJ – Singer/songwriter Maria Dontas of North Caldwell, and group Pastele, with the lead singer hailing from Livingston, will be performing at the second in a series of free concerts in Caldwell, on July 31, at 7 p.m., on “The Green,” next to the library, in downtown Caldwell.

Labeled “An All American Showcase of Music,” the events will feature a variety of musical types including jazz and rock, provided by The Modern Music Academy, which is located at 371 Bloomfield Ave. in Caldwell, and will feature up-and-coming as well as professional musicians. Additional shows will take place on the last Friday of the month, Aug. 28 and Sept. 25. Concerts will not be held in the rain.

Local restaurants will be selling food at all of the events starting at 6 p.m. and guests are also invited to bring their own picnic baskets. Patrons may park in the Borough’s deck, which is located right next to the venue site and utilize the newly-installed ramp to take them to The Caldwell Green. 

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"I encourage everyone to attend our second free concert, featuring the amazing home grown talent, of North Caldwell resident, Maria Dontas and Livingston native, Pastele, as well as reasonably-priced food selections from The Great Wazu,” said Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing. “Take a night off from cooking and enjoy some live music, compliments of The Caldwell Modern Music Academy."

Performing on July 31 is Dontas, who has toured with EDM pop group Cash Cash, opened for rock band Jack’s Mannequin, and has had her music featured in a national Clearasil campaign. At the crossroads where soul, pop, rock, and folk meet, Maria said she finds her voice. With her large vocals and honest lyrics, she said she has carved out niche for herself, “urging the listener to linger just a moment longer.”

Also performing is Pastele, which is known for its edgy hybrid of reggae pop and indie art that draws inspiration from disparate influences such as Gwen Stefani and Andy Warhol, Bruno Mars and Keith Herring. According to the Caldwell Concerts’ website, “Pastele's unique reggae/ska vibe to her vocals creates an interesting dynamic when driven by hip-hop style beats, sweet guitar riffs, and infectious pop melodies.”

Born and raised as Brittany Dippold, but now known as “Pastele,” the 2009 Livingston High School alumna grew up in Livingston to a music family. Pastele performed throughout her childhood and by the time she was 16, her songs (which she sang as part of the group Candy Coated Chaos) were being used by MTV on their wildly popular TV shows, “The Hills,” “The City” and “Jersey Shore.” She also placed on VH1’s “Make a Band Famous” contest.

However, while suburban teens were hearing her music on TV, Pastele was also drawing inspiration from the art scene at the highly regarded Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.

In July, the event will feature food from the Great Wazu including their “famous sausage and peppers, and meatball and pulled pork sandwiches,” as well as deserts from Geotti’s.

In August, guests will enjoy a jazz ensemble and Sinatra crooner, paired with Cannoli’s from Calandra’s Bakery.

September’s show is set to please the younger set, featuring modern day music, rock and pop tunes. In addition, Taquerias Las Mexicanas of Caldwell will be selling their homemade Mexican delights.