Sparta Education Foundation

Sparta, New Jersey

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Hot Jazz makes a Cool Night at Snow Ball Cabaret

Posted Mon, Mar 7th, 2011

Snow Ball Cabaret

World-class jazz musicians, including local drummer Karl Latham, will heat up Snow Ball Cabaret on March 19 at the Lake Mohawk Country Club. The event marks the 5th consecutive year that the Sparta Education Foundation (SEF) has hosted the much-loved Sparta event, which benefits Sparta’s public schools.

Latham will be joined by saxophonist Don Braden, pianist Nick Rolfe, bassist Calvin Jones, and trumpet player Matt Hilgenberg. “All five are highly-regarded professional musicians who tour nationally and internationally. We feel very lucky to have them perform at Snow Ball Cabaret,” said Jennifer Passerini, SEF Vice President and Cabaret committee co-chair. “Best of all, they really understand what this event is all about. When we explained the SEF’s mission to support our schools, all they said was ‘let’s play!’”

In keeping with this year’s theme, guests at Snow Ball Cabaret will find Lake Mohawk Country Club transformed into an elegant winter wonderland where they will enjoy a cocktail hour with live jazz, buffet dinner, open bar, dessert and dancing after dinner to music by a DJ. As always, the evening will feature silent and live auctions that include truly exceptional items on which to bid such as vacations that include a whitewater rafting trip; your own backyard/neighborhood  movie night, complete with 9’ screen, tent, and popcorn machine; and the popular “Principal for a Day” packages designed for a lucky student from each of Sparta’s public schools.

Latham is well-known to many Sparta residents not just for his national and international performances, but for his commitment to the local community and his leadership role on the Sparta Cultural Affairs Committee. Many residents have heard him play as part of the Sparta Summer Concert Series in Dykstra Park.

“I’ve enjoyed living in Sparta since 1993 and in Sussex County for more than 30 years, so I really do try to give back to my community,” says Latham. “Getting some musician friends to play Cabaret and help benefit our community’s schools and the children they serve is an easy and fun way to do it!”

All five musicians maintain busy schedules but are making time to play Snow Ball Cabaret. Latham and Jones and just completed a tour with the Johannes Mossinger Quartet in Germany and Switzerland. Braden has just returned from a Faculty Assignment at Prins Claus Conservatiore in the Netherlands. Rolfe will soon be traveling to play in Haiti while Hilgenberg plays weekly as a member of the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the legendary New York City jazz club, Birdland.

The SEF is one of many local education foundations working to encourage individual, business and community support for public schools. To date, the SEF has made grants totaling over $200,000 to Sparta’s school district for educational programs and services that enhance the curriculum and learning environment.

Tickets are still on sale now for Snow Ball Cabaret and can be purchased online at For more information about Cabaret or other ongoing SEF fundraising initiatives, visit or contact the SEF at


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Grants Donated :

  • 5 Rowing Machines for Physical Education Department,   6/6/17   $4,375
  • 8 Sound Systems for Audio Amplification,   6/6/17   $11,587
  • Year 2 of Chromebooks,   6/6/17   $62,277

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