Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stars Glowing, Wine Flowing, Sax Blowing

While in Carlisle, PA sitting around in the truck wondering what we were going to do for the day, we read in the paper about a free concert that evening, happening about 20 miles away in Harrisburg. We are all over the free stuff, especially if it has to do with music.

After doing a bit more research, we found out that the 10th Annual Jazz Under The Stars concert was taking place at the Levitt Pavilion in Reservoir Park.

Excerpted from the The City Of Harrisburg Parks & Recreation web site...

Established in 1845, this 90-acre park is the oldest and largest municipal park in south-central Pennsylvania. The historic circa 1898 Mansion houses the Recreation Bureau offices and art gallery; there is a near-by picnic pavilion, five Artists’ Village classroom buildings; antique-styled streetlights along the walkways run throughout the park with fountains, gardens and plazas situated at ideal locations throughout the acreage. The park features a restored 1940s era concert band shell where every summer the "Levitt Live!" concert series attracts thousands to Saturday concerts at the band shell featuring a wide variety of musicians, drama and the spoken word. Also located in Reservoir Park is our Park Ranger Station, the restored Brownstone Building arts & science education center and multiple Basketball and Tennis Courts and a two-tiered playground for children of all ages. The most commanding structure in Reservoir Park sits at the park apex - The National Civil War Museum. This museum operates daily featuring one of the most comprehensive Civil War Collections on the East Coast with a specific focus on the African American experience during the Civil War era.

We wanted to go to the Civil War Museum but it was closing by the time we arrived, so we just hung around taking pictures until the concert started. The lawn in front of the band shell filled up quickly with people toting their chairs, blankets and food items. We're not talking a beer and Cheetos crowd; these people were wine and cheese all the way. The group next to us had a table set up with and elaborate spread; everything from crudité to dessert! According to the park rules, you weren't even supposed to have alcohol, but the people sitting around us not only had wine, they had real wine glasses!

The first group we heard was the AJQ Band. They played a lot of stuff I knew and I enjoyed them immensely. The sound from the band shell was fantastic and we had a great spot for viewing them and the crowd's reactions. Heads were bobbing, toes were tapping and at the end of each performance, hundreds of hands were clapping. You can hear a little of what prompted the bobbing heads and clapping hands by watching this video:

The second group, the Dixon-Rhyne Project also played stuff I knew, although they did a lot I wasn't familiar with. The one song they did play, that everyone knew, was the theme song first recorded by Quincy Jones from the movie In The Heat Of The Night; later seen as a TV show with Carroll O'Connor. Melvin Ryhne, the organist in the group, is best known for his work with the famous jazz guitarist, Wes Montgomery.

Ed took that picture up top, but if you want to see a few more from the afternoon, you can click on over to my Flickr page. This photo is one of my favorites of the night; a guy and his date trying to capture the moment on his camera phone:

The music was amazing and the people watching was great. And it was all free! Can't get a better deal than that.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO: Western Ed Friday
2 YEARS AGO: Salena Kandinsky
3 YEARS AGO: Bam! Traumatized.
4 YEARS AGO: Swing Low Sweet Chariot


Fandango Travelers said...

What a wonderful chance to escape the "trucking world" for a bit. We drive everyday looking forward to that next chance!!!!!

girlofwords said...

One of my favorite towns. :)

BeadWhisperer said...

Oh for goodness were HERE and I wasn't aware!! Next time you're here, please please please call! (email for the phone) Maybe I'll even give you some earrings.
You know, the ones you asked for about A YEAR AGO.