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SELMA – Selma’s Lincoln Park will be filled with the sounds of music every Friday in August as the Selma District Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 season of free Concerts in the Parks kicks off.

The first performance on Aug. 3 was by the Art in the Garden jazz band. Each week features a different style of music. Here’s a list of upcoming bands:

  • Aug. 10: Rollin West
  • Aug. 17: Fabulous Enchantments
  • Aug. 24: Sounds of Freedom
  • Aug. 31: Prestige

Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets. Local nonprofits will provide food and drinks as fundraisers during the concerts. Farmers market booths set up at 5 p.m. A barbecue dinner is Aug. 24. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Chamber office, 1821 Tucker St., 891-2235.

Performing with Art in the Garden that first night were drummer Ernie Palacio, Tony Manjarrez on vibraphone, Peter Fashing on guitar, Ron Catalano on sax and flute and local Selman Mike Derr on the upright bass. Derr happens to be a City Councilman who also performs with the Kingsburg City Band for their summer concerts in July. Rick Tuttrup usually heads up the band but was out of town this night.

Derr said he appreciates that the audience is filled with local people that night who enjoy the relaxing jazz style.

“These are our friends and we’re playing music that our friends like. This soft jazz is relaxing and everyone’s enjoying themselves. We’ve got the best night of the whole year,” he said of the cooling temperatures.

As is typical, Art in the Garden’s musicians perform with other bands and they say the live performances, such as this summer concert series, are always rewarding.

“You get instantaneous gratitude,” Palacio said of playing in front of a live audience. “You see it on the smiles on people’s faces.”

Palacio also performs with a band called J.E.R.K. that performs jazz, R&B, Motown and even country. He also performs with contemporary gospel musician Janis Stain and another classic rock band, B Side. Having performed at local convalescent homes, Palacio said it’s always heart-warming to see audience members enjoying the music.

“We do songs from their time period and big band instrumentals. There’s an incredible amount of reward seeing people with handicaps and challenges tapping a foot and the looks on their faces. You walk away really feeling like you’ve made someone’s day brighter.”

Among selections Art in the Garden performed were “The Girl from Ipanema,” “Watermelon Man” and “Take the A Train.”

“I like jazz because the melodies are instantaneous and you can hum right along to them, as opposed to some of the more modern styles where you can’t even distinguish what the lyrics are. I listen to everything but the thing about classic jazz and jazz standards is they all have beautiful melodies and great hooks,” Palacio said.

Local Prestige band leader Jeff Dodd was in the audience that night and he encourages residents to come out to enjoy the upcoming live performances.

“It’s a great opportunity to hear some really great bands and for free. The weather’s changing and it was beautiful out here tonight. There’s good food, drinks and a good vibe with the people out here enjoying all the different music styles. It’s always something new every week.”

Prestige will perform songs from the 1960s, 1970s and Motown era. Lead singer Tina Lockwood will even get the audience to join in for “Hey Baby, Que Paso?”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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