Concerts in the Commons to feature weekly shows
Lark and Spur will perform on July 14 in honor of the French national holiday Bastille Day. (Excellence in the Community)
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In its second year, the Holladay Arts Council’s summer concert is adding more shows in the hopes of drawing a bigger crowd this season. According to Kathy Murphy, the treasurer of the Holladay Arts Council and the concert chair, there will be eight concerts this year as opposed to last year’s four concerts.
“We felt that the concerts were well received and our numbers, as far as attendance, were growing with each concert. I think it was a decision by our city council who wanted to expand the number of concerts,” Murphy said. “In putting them on once a week, they were hoping it would keep the momentum going versus once a month, which is what we were doing last year.”
The concerts will begin on July 8 and will happen every week until Aug. 26. Murphy believes by having them every week, residents will have something to look forward to. All concerts will begin at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted and will be at the City Hall Park, 4580 South 2300 East.
The first concert will be the Joe McQueen Quartet. The 98-year-old saxophone player is a jazz and civil rights pioneer in Utah. McQueen has performed with Will Rogers, Bob Hope, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole.
In celebration of the French national holiday Bastille Day, the July 14 concert will feature Lark and Spur, who will perform classic French cabaret and French folk songs, as well as gypsy swing, jazz and bossa nova.
The Salt Lake Sax Summit will perform on July 22. The ensemble is made up of five of Utah’s top saxophone players, backed up by piano, guitar, bass and drums. The program will feature original arrangements by George Gershwin as well as award-winning ballroom dancers.
The July 29 concert will be a night on Broadway featuring the vocal talents of Michael Chipman and Melinda Kirigin-Voss. They will perform songs from such Broadway hits as “Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables,” “Miss Saigon,” “Wicked” and more.
The annual Blue Moon Festival will take place on Aug. 5 and will feature the Joe Muscolino Band. The band performs songs from various artists including Frank Sinatra, the Temptations and Adele.
“They will be the biggest one for the season for us. We tried to pick our favorite of that,” Murphy said. “Last year, we had a couple of bands. This year, we’re not going to do that. We’re just going to have the one main one and then some recorded music in the interim.”
In addition to the music, the Blue Moon Festival will feature local artisans and craft vendors, food vendors and beer and wine for sale. The night will conclude with a fireworks show.
Aug. 12 will feature the Philip Kuehn Orchestra. Kuehn directs the music department at Snow College. He has worked with Harry Connick Jr. and Jon Baptiste and the performance will feature both soul and pop tunes with horns, vocals and strings.
The Night Star Orchestra will perform on Aug. 19. Night Star is an 18-piece big band directed by Randy Madsen and will feature singers Katrina Cannon and Con Curran. The performance will include a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.
The last concert will take place on Aug. 26 and will feature Michael Bublé and Frank Sinatra music.
Like last year, the Holladay Arts Council has teamed up with Excellence in the Community, a nonprofit based on the premise that Utah’s best musicians and dancers represent a powerful resource for bringing people together and enhancing communities. Excellence in the Community provides free music concerts at the Gallivan Center in downtown Salt Lake, the Viridian Center in West Jordan and at the Covey Center in Provo. Murphy explained the council is working closely with Excellence in the Community’s founder Jeff Whitely.
“He’s a wonderful person to work with. He has been so accommodating in giving us a list of some of the best local performers. We’ve chosen from those and it’s great being back with them and working with them,” Murphy said. “They do a fantastic job. They have a great sound crew. Every one that I’ve attended, I’ve been really impressed.”
To learn more about the Concerts in the Commons series, visit http://www.holladayarts.org/concerts.html.
To learn more about Excellence in the Community, visit http://excellenceconcerts.org.