Assembling some of Michigan’s most talented, emerging artists, the popular Tuesday series kicks off in the amphitheater tonight with Hannah Rose & The GravesTones and Rachel Curtis. See the full lineup.
For singer-songwriter and series founder Ralston Bowles, the Tuesday Evening Music Club at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park resonates with an atmosphere and approach that’s “entertaining, encouraging and world-class.”
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In its 16th year, the concert series that he dreamed up as a way to provide a major stage for Michigan musicians who have developed their craft amid music careers that rely heavily on collaboration and community features nine summer evenings of genre-melding, grooving and gorgeously performed music.
“I am very proud of this series and how it has grown to represent some of the best Michigan has to offer musically,” Bowles said. “All ages, family-friendly and inspiring to aspiring young artists in an amazing setting. Grand Rapids has as much of the cool and class of any of the tour stop-offs on any band’s itinerary.”
The Tuesday concerts that begin tonight (July 3) in the amphitheater — with Grand Rapids’ Hannah Rose & The GravesTones and Lansing’s recent “American Idol” contestant Rachel Curtis — are included in the regular admission price ($14.50 adults) to Meijer Gardens and are free for members.
Another perk: The entire Meijer Gardens complex is open for attendees until 9 p.m. Also, picnic food can be brought in or attendees can enjoy items from the Taste of the Garden’s café and concessions. Chairs of any height are also acceptable at these shows, unlike the regular summer concert series that attracts national artists.
Along with assistance from individuals such as Sally Littlefair-Zarafonitis, Brent Dennis Bowman and Ted Bufkin, Bowles said he’s been able to continue to book artists for this series over the years from a wide array of genres who are aiming to establish a national presence.
The lineup this year boasts a wide range of acts, from those focusing on music from the 1960s, a 2018 “American Idol” finalist (Curtis) a group specializing in putting a progressive spin on Celtic tunes and much more. Details online here.
“I’m super excited to be apart of it all because this venue has a lot of meaning to me,” said Graves, head songstress of the Grand Rapids band playing the first night of 2018’s series.
“Getting this chance means the world to me because I have seen some of my favorite artists here such as Susan Tedeschi who is a huge inspiration to me.”
Graves — whose band last weekend played a Local Spins Showcase at Kalamazoo’s Old Dog Tavern with seriously groovy tunes that oozed everything from rock to funk to bluegrass — said Bowles does a fantastic job hyping the bands and their merchandise.
“Just as many people show up for these local musicians as national acts,” Graves added, “and there is always fantastic energy.”
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