With summer in full-bloom, the annual “Music Mondays” series is in full-swing and will keep rocking through Aug. 8, offering a variety of free live music—and the chance to dance—Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Karas Memorial Bandshell in Ludington Park.
The lineup of regional performers includes the Classics on July 11, Flat Broke Blues Band on July 18, Phil Lynch Quartet on July 25, ToHuBoHu on Aug. 1, and the Cadillacs on Aug. 8.
Ludington Park is ideal for live music, said Walt Lindala, of Marquette-based Flat Broke Blues Band. “We’ve never had a disappointing evening there,” he said, and people from “all walks of life” attend, with children dancing near the stage, adults relaxing, and “everyone having a good time.”
“Music Mondays” concerts, presented by the Bonifas Arts Center and the City of Escanaba, bring “people together,” said Escanaba City Manager Jim O’Toole, and offer “an opportunity to visit” and enjoy Upper Peninsula music, “the talent we have here.”
Before each show, music-lovers of all ages can spend a half hour talking with performers during “Ask the Band” sessions to begin at 6:30 p.m. under the white tent near the bandshell, learning about music and what goes into creating it.
“Ask the Band” sessions, alongside live music, could awaken a passion for music in children and teens, said Lindala.
Live concerts offer an alternative to the “artificial” music popular now, said Greg Curran, of the Escanaba-based Cadillacs, a return to shows focused on the music, the playing and singing, instead of the “visual art” of shows focused on dancing and stage effects, which, while impressive and entertaining, can distract youths from “understanding the musical side of it all.”
In case of inclement weather, the scheduled concert will occur the following day, on Tuesday, at the bandshell.
“Music Mondays” are supported by a $2,670 Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs mini-grant and the U.P. State Credit Union, Northern Insurance Agency, Andy’s Diner, and the Besse Foundation.