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home : arts, entertainment and events - archive : entertainment June 28, 2016

3/28/2013 10:04:00 AM
Missouri Botanical Garden announces music festival line up
Free summer evening concerts held Wednesdays from June 5 through August 7

ST. LOUIS — The Whitaker Music Festival returns to the Missouri Botanical Garden for the 20th year, offering a ten-week lineup of free Wednesday evening outdoor concerts! Pack a picnic supper and enjoy the beauty of the Garden grounds in summertime bloom as you listen to the grooves and rhythms of an eclectic rotation of artists from week to week. Concerts will be held Wednesday evenings, June 5 through August 7 at 7:30 p.m. and are sponsored by the Whitaker Foundation. Free admission begins at 5 p.m. and last entry is at 9 p.m.

This year’s artists include:

June 5: The Funky Butt Brass Band was formed in 2008 by six talented musicians who respect and revere the New Orleans brass band tradition. The band takes traditional New Orleans brass tunes and gives them a twist, in the style of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rebirth and Bonerama with a bit of Motown, Southern rock, Chicago blues and St. Louis R&B in the mix.

June 12: Terence Blanchard is one of the most recognized and influential jazz musicians working today. A trumpeter, band leader, arranger and film score composer, he was integral in the jazz resurgence of the 1980s. Blanchard is a five-time Grammy award winner, and is famously known for composing scores for several Spike Lee films.

June 19: Kim Massie is one of the most recognizable vocalists in the Midwest. Her ability to sing not only blues and gospel but rock, pop, country and R&B have earned her two Best Female Vocalist of the Year Awards from the Riverfront Times and a starring role in a Black Repertory Theater production of “Ain’t Nothin But The Blues.”

June 26: Ransom Note is an all-original band made up of veteran musicians of the St. Louis music scene. The band now sails on making music that's so groove-tastic, smooth and soulful.

July 3: Beth Bombara, one of the most prolific and talented singer/songwriters in St. Louis, Bombara's music pleases fans and critics alike. Effortlessly combining indie rock, folk and Americana, she describes her style as, "If Lucinda Williams and Neil Young took a road trip."

July 10: Victor & Penny, a Kansas City and Chicago born duo, singing music they call “antique pop” on ukulele and a lovely old guitar. With characteristic charm and good humor, they bring a fresh twist to music of the early 20th century, unique arrangements of modern tunes as well as clever original songs.

July 17: Montez Coleman & Willie Akins Project, Tenor saxophonist Willie Akins and drummer Montez Coleman team up to produce strait-ahead jazz. Akins has been treating St. Louis to his masterful sax tones for decades. He's worked with jazz greats Jack Haynes, Roy McDuff and McCoy Tyner. Coleman has toured internationally with the likes of Roy Hargrove and Wynton Marsalis. Both men are St. Louis natives.

July 24: Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes, are one of the most festive variety bands in St. Louis performing swingin’ hot jazz from the 1920's to the 50's. Their influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Bessie Smith, Nina Simone and the Nat King Cole Trio - just to name a few. Be sure to wear your dancin' shoes... you're going to need them!

July 31: Big George Brock, began blowing the harp when he was eight years old. Since then, he’s shared stage or studio with the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Lee Kizart, Albert King, Hubert Sumlin, Big Bad Smitty, Jimbo Mathus, Watermelon Slim, Steven Seagal and others.

Aug. 7: The Scandaleros are a multi-genre band from St. Louis who deliver a unique brand of greasy bayou blues rock. Formed in 2009, the band’s members are fans of a wide variety of musical traditions. They collectively represent a wide range of styles, including Southern funk and guitar blues.

Whitaker Music Festival concerts will be held outdoors on the lawn of the Cohen Amphitheater, just west of the Climatron® dome on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. The concert series is the only time of year when picnicking is allowed on Garden grounds. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic supper, baskets or coolers; no barbecue grills, fireworks, sparklers or pets. Picnic fare and bar items will be available for purchase on site. The Garden is a tobacco-free campus; smoking is not allowed anywhere, indoors or outside, and visitors will be asked to extinguish or discard tobacco items. Soliciting is not permitted.

Wednesday evening admission is free after 5 p.m. Music begins at 7:30 p.m. and last entry is at 9 p.m. The Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden also remains open late until 7 p.m. on concert evenings, with free admission after 5 p.m.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit and from Interstate 64 at the Kingshighway North & South exit. Free parking is available on-site and two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.

An additional concert entry site will be open on Tower Grove Avenue and Magnolia located on the south end of the Garden.

For more information, visit or call the recorded hotline at (314) 577-5100. In the event of inclement weather, check the Garden’s website, Twitter feed ( or Facebook page ( for immediate concert updates.

Anderson Jewelers

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