Walter Parks and Rob Curto perform reels, spirituals, and swamp blues Jan. 17

Rob Curto and Walter Parks
Rob Curto and Walter Parks

Cathedral Arts Live will host Walter Parks, performing with accordion ace Rob Curto, on January 17 at 7 pm. BCB Bank is proud to sponsor this special night of live music at Grace Church Van Vorst, 39 Erie St., Jersey City.

Storyteller, singer-songwriter and finger-picking guitarist Walter Parks, a Florida native now living in Jersey City, entertains audiences with his creative mix of swamp blues, folk and jazz delivered sometimes in an ambient style and sometimes in a gritty-rootsy style. Find out more at

Rob Curto is an accordionist, composer, arranger, and keyboardist based in New York and Philadelphia. He is a founding member of the band Matuto, which was chosen to represent the United States State Department overseas as part of the American Music Abroad program in 2013 and 2015. He has released 4 CDs as a bandleader and is a prolific composer and arranger. Find out more at

The duo’s collaboration marks Parks’ third appearance at Cathedral Arts Live. He previously performed solo with a re-imagining of traditional spirituals with Jersey City singer Vivian Sessoms, and a reunion with Stephanie Winters, his former band mate from The Nudes.

“Along the path of a serious artistic career, certain situations, places and/or people eventually take us to a crossroads,” said Parks. “In working with Richie Havens for ten years I arrived at this juncture – I could take the route of being good, or go beyond, rising to my fullest potential and embracing, or at least striving for, the excellence that I knew was in me. The latter is a scary choice but
satisfying beyond measure if one can deliver the excellence one is capable of. A new sense of pride and confidence empowers wherein raw accomplishment motivates far more than does the ego.

“Grace Van Vorst Church is such a crossroads, where one is naturally inspired to do one’s best work instead of settling for less, for to do so would be boringly evident by contrast amidst such glorious sonic and visual beauty, having been created long ago by fellow artisans rising to their own occasions.”

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Hot food and cold beverages available for purchase. Doors open at 7 p.m. Visit to purchase tickets.

Cathedral Arts Live at Grace Church Van Vorst, 39 Erie St, Jersey City, NJ 07302.

Now in its fifth season, Cathedral Arts Live aims to create a transcendent musical experience and strengthen the Jersey City community by welcoming and celebrating a diverse group of artists, performers, and audiences in its space.

The oldest Episcopal church in Jersey City, Grace Church Van Vorst, founded in 1847, has a vibrant past and a promising future. In addition to being a welcoming and affirming home to a diverse set of congregants, Grace provides vital services to some of the most vulnerable citizens of Jersey City, offering a breakfast program to the hungry and a weekday program for seniors.

Building on its reputation as a fulcrum for talented artists of all kinds in Jersey City, Grace Church Van Vorst launched Cathedral Arts Live as an extension of the already successful and vibrant Cathedral Arts Festival, founded in 1989.

This program is made possible in part by funds from The New Jersey State Council on The Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of The National Endowment for the Arts, administered by The Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County Executive, and The Board of Chosen Freeholders. We also thank our Sponsor BCB bank for their generous support.