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Jenkins Construction's Music Month at Ballard Park Begins July 9

For the fifth year, Jenkins Construction Company of Middletown is the presenting sponsor of Music Month at Ballard Park.

The Moldy Suitcases invited audience members to play their home made instruments last year. This year’s concert at Ballard Park will be followed by star gazing. (Photo by Kim Fuller)
The Moldy Suitcases invited audience members to play their home made instruments last year. This year’s concert at Ballard Park will be followed by star gazing. (Photo by Kim Fuller)

For the fifth year, Jenkins Construction Company of Middletown is the presenting sponsor of Music Month at Ballard Park.

The first concert of will be held Wednesday, July 9th from 7 to 8:30 pm in the quarry meadow. The series includes four free concerts by a diverse group of bands including the The Larry Brown Swinglane Orchestra, the Moldy Suitcases, the Toe Jam Puppet Band and Chelley, Bill & Dyl.

On July 9th the Larry Brown Swinglane Orchestra performs from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The popular seventeen piece Swinglane Orchestra was formed thirteen years ago by former Navy Band Leader and Master Chief Musician, Larry Brown and is a group of professional musicians playing jazz, swing and big band music that’s wonderful to dance to and easy on the ears. The orchestra brings together five saxes, four trombones, four trumpets, piano, bass, drums, guitar, plus two talented vocalists. 

Back by popular demand are The Moldy Suitcases on Wednesday, July 16th from 7 to 8:30 pm. The Moldy Suitcases are an original band dedicated to the underground music of the 1920’s. This quirky crew look like a ‘musical yard sale’ with Tom O’Learly playing an assortment of vinyl and cloth suitcases, Kelsey Jacobsen singing lead and performing on a home made instrument dubbed "the can", Tom Poitras playing ukuleles of varying sizes and Greg Faris instigating the moldy hollerin’ while playing upright bass.

After the July 16th concert, event goers are invited to stay for star gazing from 9 to 10:30 pm. Robert Horton and Scott MacNeill of Brown University’s Astronomical Laboratories bring their high powered telescopes and vast knowledge of the skies to Ballard Park. The Milky Way, Saturn, its moons and rings should be ripe for viewing.

Jenkins Construction’s Music Month series features a double header on Wednesday, July 23rd with a 10 am concert by the Toe Jam Puppet Band and Chelley, Bill & Dyl taking the stage from 7 to 8:30 pm. A favorite for children and adults, the Toe Jam Puppet Band offers a special brand of hands-on entertainment through original songs, shadow puppetry and storytelling.

Chelley, Bill & Dyl is a favorite among locals. Whether singing the blues, rock, reggae or pop, Chelley Smith always ties the melodies together with style and soul while Dylan Roy on bass and Bill Cote on guitar offer audiences a swinging good time.

All of the Jenkins Construction Music Month concerts will be held in Ballard Park’s quarry meadow off of Hazard Road. In the event of rain concerts will take place the following evening. Seating for all concerts is on the grass so event goers are advised to bring a blanket or lawn chair on which to sit. There is rugged terrain so sturdy shoes are also recommend. Picnic dinners are welcome and parking is available on Hazard Road with additional parking in the Rogers High School lot.

Jenkins Construction Music Month is one of a series of free events held at Ballard Park this summer. The series is also sponsored by Kiki Finn, Nina Bestoso Poanessa, the Rhode Island State Senate and Ken and Tia Scigulinksy with support from Newport Grand, Salve Regina University and Stagecraft Sound & Lighting. Friends of Ballard Park is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, promoting and maintaining Newport’s Only Nature Preserve. Cultural events and educational programming help to advance stewardship of the park and decrease negative park activities.

Visit www.ballardpark.org or call 401.619.3377 for more information.

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