Cornwall Park will be transformed into a musical arena for the 16th annual Summer in the Park free concert series.

The series begins this Saturday with the classic goodtime band, Tropical Downbeat Orchestra. Fronted by local songstress Margot Wuts, the Hawke's Bay based collective has been entertaining crowds since 2004.

With their trademark energetic style, Tropical Downbeat Orchestra plays an eclectic repertoire that is a fusion of funk, soul and roots music. Keyboard player Willie Devine says this is partly due to the different musical backgrounds of the band members.

Waitangi weekend will see a special double billing with local bands Cabin Fevre and The Kawekas teaming up for an afternoon of crowd pleasing music. First up, Cabin Fevre will play a mix of country, folk, bluegrass and Americana. The second set will feature the Kawekas who have been regular performers at Summer in the Park since its inception.

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The two concerts herald the start of a great summer of free music in Hawke's Bay. Summer in the Park has five concerts over five weekends.

- Summer in the Park, Cornwall Park, Sundays, from January 31-February 28, 3pm-5pm, Cornwall Park, Hastings.