Concert series continues through September in St. Joseph

Published 9:22 am Thursday, July 9, 2015

Submitted photo/JOSHUA NOWICKI

Submitted photo/JOSHUA NOWICKI

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Music has returned to Lake Michigan.

The St. Joseph Summer Concert Series officially kicked off on June 24.

Every Wednesday and Friday through Sept. 4, a different musical group will be performing in the John E. N. Howard Bandshell, overlooking both the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan.

“The bandshell has both bench and lawn seating,” said event organizer Jill Stone, executive director of St. Joseph Today. “So it’s an awesome place for all ages to experience the joy of listening to live music.”

All performances are free and open to the public. “The concerts are within walking distance of beaches, shopping and more family entertainment,” Stone said. “They’re the perfect way to interlude to your work or vacation day.”

Next scheduled to perform is Lee Murdock, a folk singer-songwriter who has a unique topic around which he themes his songs.

“In my general research for material, I came across songs about the Great Lakes,” Murdock said.

That was more than 30 years ago, and Murdock has been in love with the lakes ever since.

“I, like many people, did not really know the role that the Great Lakes played in the development of America,” he said. “Through music, I am able to make people aware of the Great Lakes heritage.”

Murdock said that he believes folk music is the best medium to inform people of the cultural history and significance of the Great Lakes.

“Regardless of who sang the song, who recorded the song, or who promoted the song, with folk music, it’s the song itself and that personal interaction with people that I think really brings history to life and makes a connection with a past that is more of an emotional than an intellectual connection,” the musician said. “That connection is what makes folk music different than other forms of music. That’s what drives me today.”

Murdock, who will perform July 15, is a veteran of the St. Joseph Summer Concert Series. He said he is looking forward to playing for the community of southwest Michigan yet again.

“It’s a fabulous setting,” Murdock said. “It’s always attended very nicely, and people come just to have a nice lunch and spend a wonderful day.”

Murdock will be performing as part of the Wednesday Brown Bag Concerts, sponsored by St. Joseph’s Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. Those performances are from noon to 1 p.m. every Wednesday through Sept. 2.

The Friday Night Concert Series, presented by The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, will feature larger groups and will occur every Friday at 7:30 p.m. through Sept. 4. After taking a few weeks off, the Friday concerts will return with The Snyders on July 24.

The John E. N. Howard Bandshell is located on Port Street in northern St. Joseph. More information can be found at or by finding St. Joseph Today on Facebook.


Wednesday Brown Bag Concerts

sponsored by St. Joseph’s Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

Noon to 1 p.m., June 24 to Sept. 2

June 24: Rum Boogie (classic and contemporary blend)

July 1: Jack Adams Band (oldies, rock and pop)

July 8: Attila Trio (acoustic classics and rock)

July 15: Lee Murdock (songs and tales of the Great Lakes)

July 22: Deep Fried Pickle Project (kid-friendly tunes)

July 29: The Backsliders (classic rock) Aug. 5: Blue Water Ramblers (Great Lakes folk)

Aug. 12: Jeff Brown (acoustic classics)

Aug. 19: Susan Harrison (soulful rock)

Aug. 26: Tim Velez (acoustic classics)

Sept. 2: Keith Scott (blues)


Friday Night Concert Series

presented by The Boulevard Inn & Bistro

7:30 p.m., June 26 to Sept. 4

June 26: The Moonlighters (big band)

July 3: Marty Miles Band (folk/rock)

July 24: The Snyders (blues)

July 31: Lake Effect Jazz Big Band (jazz)

Aug. 7: Harmonie Municipale Dudelang

Aug. 14: Guitar-Banjo Band (bluegrass)

Aug. 21: Seventh Son (blues)

Aug. 28: Blue Shoes (big band jazz)

Sept. 4: Frederic & Ronza (R&B, soul and jazz)