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Free Concerts in the Park Sundays through August

by Deanne Puca

June 4, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU's Keith Hall and Tri Fi.
WMU's Keith Hall (right) and Tri Fi perform Aug. 21.
KALAMAZOO--Concerts in the Park is one of Kalamazoo's long-standing traditions and is offered each Sunday June through August. 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 5--Kalamazoo Singers
Kicking off the 2011 Concerts in the Park, the Kalamazoo Singers present "Broadway in Bronson" featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim and selections from "Children of Eden" and "Ragtime." The Kalamazoo Singers is directed by Hal Hobson. Rain site is the Kalamazoo Civic Auditorium.

June 12--Michigan Nightingales
Formed in 1972, the Michigan Nightingales blend traditional gospel songs and vocal arrangements.

June 19--Mas Que Nada
Mas Que Nada is an award-winning Afro Cuban/Brazilian Project developed by WMU Jazz Studies that performs the primal energy, sophisticated rhythms and harmonies of music of the Caribbean and Brazil. Mas Que Nada was named "Best Latin Group" in the undergraduate category in Downbeat Magazine's 2010 Student Music Awards and "Best Blues/Pop/Rock Group" in 2011.

June 26--Kalamazoo Concert Band
Featuring more than 100 local musicians, the Kalamazoo Concert Band is one of Michigan's oldest adult metropolitan bands.

July 10--Fonn Mor
With fiddle, flute, accordion, persuasive percussion and modal guitars, Fonn Mor performs traditional and contemporary Celtic dance music.

July 17--Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band
The Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band features a repertoire of standard bluegrass tunes as well as a collection of more unusual song choices.

July 24--Red Sea Pedestrians
The band is a melting pot of six distinct singer/songwriters and multi-instrumentalists, performing a blend of songs with Klezmer, Greek, Gypsy, Jazz, Rock and American roots.

August 7--Aryk Crowder
Started from a four-track tape recorder in the corner of studio apartment, Western Michigan University graduate Aryk Crowder began laying the groundwork for what would later become described as soul/rock. Drawing influences from R&B classics like Al Green and Stevie Wonder, Crowder also mixes in modern flavors of current neo-soul and one of his biggest influences, Jimi Hendrix.

August 14--Keith Hall and Tri-Fi with special guest
The jazz piano trio, Tri-Fi, has released its third CD entitled "3." Since 2003, Matthew Fries (piano), Keith Hall (drums) and Phil Palombi (bass) have developed a trio sound that is contemporary, full of swing and rooted in the tradition of the classic jazz piano trio.

August 21--Gull Lake Jazz Orchestra
The 18-piece Gull Lake Jazz Orchestra is considered one of the premier big bands in the Midwest. Established in 2005, the ensemble is a mix of professional musicians, music educators and devoted big band "junkies." The GLJO reproduces traditional and contemporary pieces.

August 28--Verve Pipe
In collaboration with the Kalamazoo Public Library Summer Reading Program, summer ends with the sound of indie rock group, the Verve Pipe. Rain site is the Kalamazoo Civic Auditorium.

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