Peoria Public Library will launch a new series of free musical performances at North Branch, 3001 W. Grand Parkway, called Music in the McKenzie, named for the McKenzie Room.
All ages will enjoy Music in the McKenzie, which will begin in September and offer Peorians a chance to hear musicians from around the country. The series will feature small acoustic groups beginning on Sunday, September 23 at 2:00 p.m. with The Stray Birds from southeastern Pennsylvania. The Stray Birds have crafted an original sound that draws upon the richness of American folk music traditions. Talented multi-instrumentalists who perform with captivating musicality, the signature power of their sound lies in outstanding songwriting that soars in three-part harmony.
The series will continue in October with Patrick Hazell, the Godfather of Iowa blues, on Sunday, October 14 at 2:00 p.m. Patrick Hazell is both an inductee of the Iowa Blues and Iowa Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. An official endorsee of Hohner Harmonicas, he is considered by many to be one of the finest and most creative harmonica players in the music world. As a performer, his wide repertoire includes rhythm and blues standards, as well as many original compositions. Mr. Hazell taught himself to play boogie-woogie piano at age eleven in 1956 and now has over 36 recordings to his name.
Smithsonian recording artists, The Everharts, will bring old time and traditional acoustic music on Monday, November 5 at 6:00 p.m. They have been performing old-time and traditional acoustic music for 20 years. They have devoted their lives to the preservation and performance of America’s rural country music, in their words….”the real deal when it comes to an authentic musical genre.” Their concerts are built around the hisorical aspects of America’s early music on the frontier. The music of the settlers and homesteaders of the great plains and prairie lands. Their own ancestors are part of this incredible historically accurate ‘audio picture’ of America’s precious rural music of the past. Their songs and the manner in which they play them reflect the true American innovative method of oral tradition, with their own creativity blended in.
On Sunday, December 16, Kicked to the Curb brings the blues from the Springfield area. Kicked to the Curb bill themselves as an acoustic blues band.. Southside Jonny Clausing brings his searing guitar skills and distinctive vocals along with Jeff Boston’s skillful playing. Southside Jonny and the band have been jamming at small and large venues in central Illinois, St. Louis to Chicago.
All performances are free and open to the public. Mark your calendar for Music in the McKenzie.