Around F.C., Arts & Entertainment

Summer Concerts in the Park Series Returns to F.C. This Month

Get ready for a summer of music and entertainment in Falls Church! For the 31st year, the Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) and the City Recreation and Parks Department will host their free Summer Concerts in the Park series, beginning on June 22.

The series takes place every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) through August 3. Each concert is free and open to individuals of all ages; guests are furthermore encouraged to bring blankets, chairs or other forms of transportable seating. Free parking is accessible on side streets, in the Kaiser Permanente garage, and at the Community Center (223 Little Falls St.).

The lineup begins with the Falls Church Concert Band. A community band, the group plays a wide repertoire, including classical compositions, marches, Broadway medleys and more. The band is open to all F.C. musicians to join — free of tryouts — providing the group with a relaxed atmosphere.  They will play on June 22.

On June 29, Big Howdy will take the stage. The group is a Wammie Award winner, recognized for their community influence as D.C. artists and awarded by a select pool of music influencers. The bluegrass group consists of four dedicated and talented musicians. Each musician within the group has received various awards for their banjo, guitar or singer/songwriting skills. The group’s members include Dede Wyland on vocals and guitar, Randy Barrett on vocals, banjo and guitar, Ira Gitlan on vocals and bass and Tom McLaughlin on vocals, mandolin and guitar.

Karl Stoll and the Danger Zone will perform on July 6.  A Wammie Award nominee, the band consists of three members: Karl Stoll on guitar and vocals, Brian Alpert on drums and John Dickson on harmonica. The band also has alternating members on bass (Steve Wolf and Glenn Shoup) and keys (Shep Williams and David Gorozdos).  Karl Stoll and the Danger Zone is a rock and blues band that highlights music from Chicago, New Orleans and more. The band also plays original songs, primarily written by Karl Stoll.

For the 31st year, VPIS and the City Rec and Parks will host their free Summer Concerts. (Photo: Katharine Wakeley)

On July 13, jazz takes the stage with The Hot Lanes performing. The Hot Lanes is composed of 16 individuals, playing a mix-up of saxophones, trombones, trumpets and a rhythm section, which includes piano, bass and drums. Bobby Jasinski is the group’s leader, composer and arranger. Also a Wammie Award winner, the Hot Lane, a big band, intends to promote jazz through their appearances and can typically be found performing in the D.C. area.

On July 20, Flowerbomb performs.  With an alternative sound, their music incorporates sounds of post-punk and 90s indie rock. Likewise a Wammie Award Winner, Flowerbomb has a lively community following, and is planning on touring the east coast this fall.  Information on their upcoming tour, including dates and locations of performances, and merchandise, is available on their website.

On July 27 the park will host esteemed and respected saxophonist Lil’ Maceo. A Grammy award winner, Lil’ Maceo features old school funky music, and with a new album, titled “Evolution” coming out July 14, the musician’s career is growing — quite well. Lil’ Maceo has many upcoming performances that can be found on his website.

Shenandoah Run ends the Concerts in the Park series on August 3. Composed of eight members, the folk ensemble plays a mix of traditional and contemporary folk music. The group’s aspiration is to keep folk music thriving, and they can be found playing all throughout the D.C. area.