Summer is officially under way, and Jennifer Provenzano from Canton Leisure Services hopes residents will soak in some live music — along with some sun — at the various concert series in the township this season.
The department is offering a variety of outdoor concert options for residents and visitors this summer, including Monday concerts at the historic Cherry Hill School lawn, Wednesday performances in various local neighborhoods, Thursday night concerts at Heritage Park and Friday Color Tour jazz concerts at various shopping centers along the Ford Road business district.
"We're full speed ahead in the summer now," Provenzano said.
Thursday Night Concerts offer variety
The Saline Fiddlers will take the stage at the Heritage Park amphitheater tonight at 7:30 as part of the department's Thursday Night Concerts series. The performance is free and open to the public.
Provenzano said the series runs the gamut of musical genres, from rock, Motown and country to the bluegrass, folk and Celtic influence of the Saline Fiddlers.
The concerts can draw anywhere from 200 to 600 music fans, she said, and run until about 9 p.m.
The full summer Thursday Night Concerts lineup can be found here on Patch.
Canton Color Tour jazz concerts spice up Ford Road on Fridays
One concert series that Provenzano said draws people to Canton from other communities is its Canton Color Tour jazz series on Fridays, where musicians perform at different shopping centers along Ford Road, scheduled according to the colored flags designating particular sections of the business district along the busy street.
"Jazz fans are a passionate group," Provenzano said, and the weekly concerts can draw as many as 400-500 people to local retail spaces.
"Jazz lovers love it," she said. "Once the sun starts setting, it's very nice. It shows Canton is alive and electric."
Provenzano said the concerts are a hit for business owners, as well, as they see a boost in traffic on concert nights.
Subsequent performances include Nate Harasim (July 13, Sam's Club); Alexander Zonjic (July 20, Centre Village at Kroger); Demetrius "Krayon" Nabors (July 27, Lowe's); John E. Lawrence (Aug. 2, Willow Creek); Kimmie Horne (Aug. 10, Super Bowl); Randy Scott (Aug. 17, IKEA) and Lin Roundtree (Aug. 24, Home Depot).
Backyard Beats brings music to neighborhoods
Canton kicked off its 2012 Backyard Beats series Wednesday in the Cobblestone Ridge subdivision with jazz group All Directions.
The weekly series is held 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at different neighborhoods each week, July 4 excluded. The July 27 performance, featuring the Scott Martin Band, will perform at the Lexington Square subdivision.
Provenzano said the neighborhoods, which are selected to host the concerts each year, often build block parties around the performances. The concerts are free and open to the public.
"Hundreds of folks from the neighborhood come out," she said.
Future performances include the Fun Guys (July 11, Cherry Hill Orchard); the Scott Martin Band (July 18, Royal Pointe West); the Stardusters Big Band (July 25, Windsor Park) and an encore performance by All Directions (Aug. 1, Fellows Creek).
Provenzano said neighborhood associations enter a lottery to bring the concerts to their subdivisions. Those interested in hosting the series in their neighborhood next year can contact Canton Leisure Services at (734) 394-5460.
Mondays come alive with Music in the Village
Music fans can enjoy free live music on the lawn of the historic Cherry Hill School on Mondays in July, beginning July 9 with PanaMO.
The concerts run from 7-8:30 p.m. and pre-concert "Ultimate Block Party" activities will be offered beginning at 6 p.m. each Monday, where neighborhoods can compete in a series of challenges for a chance to win a neighborhood block party the following summer.
Additional performances include the Fun Guys (July 16), Pete Big Dog Fetter (July 23) and the Canton Concert Band (July 30), which also will feature an ice cream social and the announcement of Canton's winningest neighborhood and recipient of the 2013 "Ultimate Block Party."
Plymouth also offers variety of concert series
Just north of Canton, Plymouth is offering live music options of its own. Its popular Music in the Air series, already under way in 2012, typically draws upwards of 2,000 patrons. The concerts are held each Friday — aside from July 13, when Art in the Park comes to town — at 7 p.m. at Kellogg Park in downtown Plymouth.
The Plymouth Community Band performs at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays at Kellogg Park, and Music in the Park, a children's concert series, kicked off this week at Kellogg Park and continues each week — July 4 aside — at noon each Wednesday.