DELANO, MN By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN It’s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, plus jazz and polka.
This year’s General Federated Women’s Club Concerts in the Park series seemingly has something for everyone’s musical tastes.
The annual series will kick off with The Jazzhounds Wednesday, July 11, and continue through the end of summer with the final concert scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 22 featuring The Bingos. All concerts are free and will take place at the gazebo in Central Park.
In the event of inclement weather, concerts will be in the Delano Middle School Auditorium.
Wednesday, July 11: The Jazzhounds
Enjoy an evening of traditional, swing, bebop, contemporary, popular, and more with this 17-piece jazz big band from Waconia.
This group begins rehearsing in October, performs holiday pieces in December, classic band selections at a March concert, then ends the season with Music in the Park.
For more information, visit www.jazzhounds.org.
Wednesday, July 18: Chmielewski Family Funtime Band
Hear the famous multi-generational Chmielewski family perform not only polkas and waltzes, but also a mix of ‘50s and ‘60s music, and some country songs, as well.
Since 1882, one of the Midwest’s most well-known entertainers, the Chmielewski Family has been synonymous with polka music.
More than 100 years later, and into five succeeding generations, the Chmielewski Family music has never stopped.
In 1989, the Chmielewski Family Funtime Band swept the Minnesota Music Academy, and for three consecutive years dominated by winning nine out of the 11 awards in the polka field.
They produced more than 1,800 television shows, broadcast throughout the US and Canada.
The leader of the band, Florian Chmielewski, was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in New Ulm in 1994, and into Ironworld Discovery Center Polka Hall of Fame in Chisholm in 1995.
For more information, visit www.funtimeband.com
Wednesday, July 25: The Dixie Hicks
The Dixie Hicks Band is a high-energy, honky-tonk and Nashville-style country music band.
The group is composed of talented, professional musicians that rehearse weekly and go beyond other country bands to make the music sound great, authentic, and always at the right volume for the event.
The band has its own professional production team and sound system, so fans get a complete entertainment package.
The band also has a great following and is a favorite among country two-steppers, line dancers, and country enthusiasts everywhere.
For more information, visit www.dixiehicksband.com
Wednesday, Aug. 8: Rhonda Laurie and Sidewalk Cafe
Let Rhonda Laurie take you on a musical journey to awaken your heart and soul as she performs standard jazz, blues, and bebop, to gypsy swing cabaret, and pops.
Laurie hails from New York City, where she grew up in a family of professional musicians and performers. She began her career as a cabaret singer in Manhattan nightclubs.
For more information, visit www.rhondalaurie.com
Wednesday, Aug. 15: Soul Sisters
With shimmering harmonies and powerful emotion, Delano’s own Soul Sisters serves up a healthy helping of entertainment.
Wednesday, Aug. 22: The Bingos
Top off the summer with The Bingos - a six-member band of guys who just love playing rock ‘n roll for you.
For more information, visit www.thebingosband.com
These concerts are sponsored by the General Federated Women’s Club of Delano and Delano Community Education. This activity is made possible by a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board, through funding provided by the Minnesota State Legislature.
The GFWC gratefully acknowledges financial support from several local businesses and organizations.
The GFWC of Delano is seeking sponsors for the series.
Sponsors will be included in all publicity, including articles, posters, and announcements at the individual concerts.
For more information, contact a member of the concert committee, Lisa Blodgett, Jeanie Pilarski, or Judy Vanderlinde; or Delano Community Education Director Diane Johnson.
The deadline to have sponsors’ names included on the area posters is Tuesday, June 10.
Highlights of upcoming and completed concerts will be published in the Delano Herald Journal.