KALAMAZOO--Concerts in the Park is one of Kalamazoo's long-standing traditions and is offered each Sunday beginning in June.
Featuring musicians from Kalamazoo and the surrounding area, many with ties to Western Michigan University, they perform in an outdoor setting in Bronson Park downtown. Concerts are free and begin at 4 p.m. The rain location is First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave., unless noted otherwise.
- June 3, Kalamazoo Singers--Kicking off the 2012 Concerts in the Park, join the Kalamazoo Singers as they present a variety of popular and patriotic musical selections. Offerings range from Broadway gems from Irving Berlin, show tunes by Rodgers & Hammerstein, plus fun selections from Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Come and enjoy the vocal talents of some of Kalamazoo’s finest singers under the direction of Rick Phelps and supported by pianist John Griffin.
- June 10, Michigan Monarch--Michigan Monarch is a female brass ensemble comprised of professional players from all over the state of Michigan. This all-star ensemble will perform an exciting varied program of music from old standards to cutting-edge contemporary music for brass. This free concert is the final event of the International Women’s Brass Conference, hosted by Lin Foulk and Deanna Swoboda and WMU School of Music. For more information about IWBC 2012 visit www.iwbc2012.org.
- June 17, Whiskey Before Breakfast--Whiskey Before Breakfast performs Irish traditional dance music; jigs, reels, hornpipes and all manner of tunes and songs. Our approach to the music is clear and simple: capture the essence of the tradition melodically and rhythmically. The free concert is fun and appropriate for all occasions.
- June 24, Kalamazoo Concert Band--Featuring more than 100 local musicians, the Kalamazoo Concert Band is one of Michigan's oldest adult metropolitan bands.
- July 8, Susan Harrison Band--Soulful rock is infused with blues and jazz traditions. Enjoy the musical journey as Susan the song slinger pulls you in with her melodies and keeps you there with her lyrics as she weaves her award winning original songs with familiar favorites. Supported by top-notch musicians with extended resumes of their own. Tom Tomas (drums) and Larry Lowis (bass) skillfully hold down the rhythm section with their romping rhythms. On keyboards Willie Phipps adds his melodic finesse. More than blues and joy there are shades of purple and hues of turquoise. Sweet, sassy, soulful, clever and fun.
- July 15, Greater Kalamazoo Dixieland Society Jazz Band--Known for its New Orleans performance style and sound, the band was formed in 1981 by pianist Dale Wells out of his love for early traditional jazz and ragtime.
- July 22, Keith Hall All-Stars featuring John Wojciechowski--Jazz Drummer Keith Hall has assembled a group of all-stars from around the country including Chicago Saxophonist John Wojciechowski to perform familiar jazz standards and exciting original compositions. These critically acclaimed individuals combine to bring a joyful experience to Kalamazoo.
- Aug. 5, Jazz on a String--Jazz on a String featuring Barry Ross, Steve Kamerling, Lana Hawkins and John Wegge.
- Aug. 12, Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band--From "the Mountains of Kalamazoo, Michigan," the Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band features unique blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass music. Featuring: guitar, 5 string banjo, bass, mandolin and fiddle, Schltiz Creek delivers homegrown arrangements of instrumentals, bluegrass music, harmonies and humor that have delighted audiences around the Midwest since 2002. The band frequently adapts popular songs by artists like Elton John, The Monkees, Beatles, Bob Seeger etc. to the Bluegrass style, which always makes for an interesting performance. More about Schlitz Creek can be found at www.schlitzcreek.com.
- Aug. 19, Kalamazoo Big Band--For more than 30 years, the Kalamazoo Big Band has quietly gained a reputation as West Michigan’s premiere swing band. The 13-member group, which specializes in playing authentic arrangements from Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Buddy Rich., as well as more modern Motown, and Chicago tunes. The Kalamazoo Big Band is comprised for some of the top free-lance professional musicians from all around West Michigan, including Edye-Evans Hyde on vocal and Terry Lower on piano.
Concerts in the Park is a program of the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, with support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the city of Kalamazoo. For more information, visit kalamazooarts.org.