The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 16, 2014

Beautiful weather for first performance of ‘Big Bands On The Beach’

ASHTABULA — Big band fans got out their blankets and folding chairs and gathered at Walnut Beach on Sunday to hear the Madison Jazz Project. It was the first performance of this year’s Big Bands On The Beach concert series.

Madison Jazz Project Director and bass player Jonathan Beveridge said the 20 piece big band played two hour long sets of music from the swing era to an enthusiastic crowd of over one hundred people. Two vocalists were featured for the Father’s Day concert.

“Playing Big Bands On The Beach is always a great gig,” Beveridge said. “It’s always a good sized crowd and the people really enjoy the music.”

Sunday’s performance was hosted by concert pianist and ethnomusicologist Dr. Timothy Kalil. Before the show, Joyce Aruda sang the national anthem and a color guard from VFW Post 943 raised the flag in honor of World War II veterans. Father Rodriguez of Our Lady of Peace Parish gave the benediction.

“Big Bands On The Beach is a great time for everyone,” Kalil said. “We’ll be having our next one in July. People look forward to this concert series throughout the year.”

Ashtabula City Manager James Timonere attended the concert, and said he wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

“This is when you can really see first hand what a great asset to the community Walnut Beach, the concession stand and the Big Bands On The Beach concert series are,” Timonere said. “But Big Bands On The Beach wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of Ashtabula County Medical Center. “

Timonere said the City of Ashtabula sponsors the event, but all the money to pay for the band and other concert necessities comes from ACMC donations.

“The weather was great, the music was great and you couldn’t have asked for a better Father’s Day concert,” Timonere said.

The enthusiastic crowd gave a big round of applause for every number.

Carol Butler of Geneva said she and her husband attend the big band concerts every summer, and love the experience.

“It’s the music, the nice weather, the Lake, the whole atmosphere,” she said. “We enjoy it all.”

Celeste Corbissero of Ashtabula agreed that Big Bands On The Beach is a great way to spend a summer afternoon.

“My dad played big band music all the time, so I was raised on it,” Corbissero said. “I love Big Bands On The Beach, and I’m here every year.”

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