The popular regional music series kicks off for 2015 with world music on July 7 and wraps up with Ralston & Friends, featuring a host of impressive local acts in between. See the full schedule.
Much of the hoopla at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park this week revolves around the 2015 national concert series that takes place at its outdoor amphitheater, with fans debating the pros and cons of the 30-show lineup that boasts stars ranging from Gary Clark Jr. to Tony Bennett to Steve Miller.
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But for those relishing regional music luminaries – and a much cheaper price tag for admission – Meijer Gardens’ Tuesday Evening Music Club series offers top-notch entertainment in a gorgeous, lush setting that performers say they adore.
Starting once again in July, this year’s Tuesday series features up-and-coming acts such as Traverse City bluegrass phenoms Billy Strings & Don Julin, Grand Rapids soul-rock band Vox Vidorra, twangy Kalamazoo folk-rockers The Go Rounds, the hard-touring Nathan Kalish & The Lastcallers and Grand Rapids folk group Bennett, who played the series two years ago.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be back again,” Nick Rolls of Bennett told Local Spins. “The energy of the crowd is fantastic and the appreciation for music amongst the community is apparent.”
He said the “gorgeous setting” and music “create an unmatched experience for concertgoers and musicians alike.”
As usual, Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Ralston Bowles – who founded the Tuesday Evening Music Club more than a decade ago and who emcees the weekly shows – will close out the family-oriented series on the final Tuesday in August with a collection of musicians and friends who’ll share the stage with the West Michigan acoustic music ambassador.
William Apostol, aka guitarist Billy Strings, says the bluegrass musicians are “stoked” to play the series because their pal Bowles will be there. “It’s always a good time hanging with Ralston,” he said.
The opening night of the series on July 7 will embrace the theme of Meijer Gardens 20th anniversary, with an evening of world music featuring dancing and songs from around the globe, including Africa, the Mideast, Latin America and Asia.
The second week will once again feature music students from The Piano Cottage, sharing the stage with veteran musicians to play classic rock and modern pop songs.
Skankadank, a soul, rock & R&B band from Grand Rapids, plays the series for the first time on July 28, though band member Tim Bober has performed on the Meijer Gardens stage with Afro Zuma.
“We’re fired up about it,” he said. “We’ve got our sound locked in pretty good and we’re starting to churn out some fun originals. We’re hoping for a nice sunny day.”
Meijer Gardens members get free entry to the series, with the public paying just the regular admission fee ($12 adults) to enjoy the live music and surrounding gardens.
Check out some highlights from last year’s series at Local Spins.
Copyright 2015, Spins on Music LLC