After the success of last year’s concerts at Schenck’s Island and Merwin Meadows, the Wilton Parks and Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the Wilton Summer Concert Series.
Concerts will be held on Sunday evenings starting July 15 through Aug. 5 from 5-7 p.m.; the first two concerts will be held at Schenck’s Island with seating on the island and across the river at the Chess Park and the final two at Merwin Meadows. This year’s series will feature local bands, Wilton Rocks for Food All Stars (July 15), Swing 42 (July 22), Joni & The Keepers (July 29), and Treeshakers (Aug, 5), playing tunes from a variety of musical genres.
“Due to the popularity of last year’s concert series, we are fortunate to be able to offer four shows this year. Please come out for a relaxing evening and support these Wilton based bands,” says Steve Pierce, director of Parks and Rec. The concerts will be free and concert goers are encouraged to set up a blanket or chair, bring a picnic, and sit back and enjoy the music. In case of inclement weather, concertgoers are encouraged to call 203.454.5188.
The cost of the concert is being by underwritten by The FAIR Group–William Raveis Real Estate, Wilton Kiwanis, and Lynne and Paul Vanderslice.
“The FAIR Group looks forward to enjoying the concerts and singing Wilton’s praises this summer,” says Kara Williams of The FAIR Group.
Corporate or individual contributions in any amount are welcome. Please visit the Wilton Parks and Recreation website or email Sarah Gioffre in the first selectwoman’s office for information on how to make a contribution. Visit the Parks and Rec website or email Pierce with any questions about the concert series.
Here’s a sampling of what to expect at the concerts this summer:
Wilton Rocks for Food All Stars, July 15
Andy Schlesinger of Wilton Rocks for Food All Stars (WRFF) says this show will offer a sample of the amazing annual Wilton Rocks for Food fundraising event, now in its fourth year, and scheduled for Dec. 1 at Trackside Teen Center.
“WRFF has donated over $155,000 to the Wilton Food Pantry and the Connecticut Food Bank, and 100% of the money raised goes to charity. We seek corporate and private sponsors to help us achieve our goal of raising $100,000 this year.”
Swing 42, July 22
Swing 42 is a trio made up of Wilton’s own John Taylor on guitar and mandolin, and violinist John McNeil “Mac” Johnston, along with Rob Stagno of New Fairfield, also on guitar. Playing Gypsy jazz, swing, and a lot more, they’ve been together for five years playing at numerous area venues, most notably with a residency at Sarah’s Wine Bar in Ridgefield.
Mac Johnston, of Swing 42 shares his excitement about participating in the series. “John, Rob & I had been playing together in numerous bands and styles before deciding to join forces to explore the legendary style of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grwppelli–Gypsy jazz. It’s an infectious, joyful style that’s ideally suited to casual settings and sultry summer nights! We’re especially honored to be participating in the Wilton Summer Concert series–both John and I are long-time residents and constantly marvel at the rich local musical life here!”
Joni & The Keepers, July 29
Joni & The Keepers is an acoustic trio comprised of Wilton locals Joni Wallace, John Taylor and Mac Johnston. The diverse trio brings guitar, mandolin, and violin to a wide range of musical genres–from folk and country, to rock and alternative. “As one of the acts performing last year in the newly created Summer Concert Series, I am extremely happy that the town has decided to continue it again this year. Last year’s show on Schenck’s Island was just a great day with great music and great Wilton friends. A really wonderful way to wind down a summer weekend on a Sunday night,” says Wallace.
The Treeshakers is a CT roots-rock band featuring the vocals of Wilton resident Donna Savage. Relying on soulful originals and covers, the Treeshakers bring a female voiced, bluesy rock style of music to their show. The band is currently working on a new recording which should be available at the concert.