ARTS IN THE PARK
ARTS IN THE PARK
Our popular Arts In the Park series will be Thursday evenings from June 13 through July 25, skipping July 4. NOTE NEW 1/2 HR EARLIER START AND END TIME… All concerts are now 6:30pm - 8:30pm. Mark your calendars and keep checking our website page for more information. Throughout the season, we will try to keep this page updated with any updates regarding rain-outs, schedule changes, etc. Please remember that concessions are available each week starting at 6pm so you can enjoy dinner in the park. Or, bring your own picnic.
Presented by the Morton Fine Arts Association. Bring a lawn chair or blanket,
meet some friends & family, and enjoy great music at a beautiful venue.
EVENT SPONSORED IN PART BY A GRANT FROM THE VILLAGE OF MORTON TOURISM FUND
The members of Cross Connection have played worship and praise music together for about five years as well as a variety of music at private parties in the area. You will hear them play oldies, pop, blues, country, and contemporary Christian music all with the intent of bringing back a fun memory, lifting your spirits, and putting a smile on your face.
Rick Martin, guitarist, has been playing in bands for over forty years focusing on rock, country, rhythm and blues. In the past he has played in bands like Fish House Punch, Mean Squeeze( that shared the stage with the Smitherines, Delbert McClinton and James Cotton). He has done some guitar work at the Budweiser Blues Festival with the Bruce James Band and Memphis Jesse Reed. His most recent projects have been with Dorann and the Soul Mystics and Bob King with Kingpin. His current band is Rick Martin's Little Jam Band.
Jon Carls, keyboard/vocalist, has played in bands for almost fifty years,primarily in the Jacksonville and Macomb area,with a focus on rock and country. He has also been involved with theater, choral, and contemporary Christian bands. He sings in choral/choir groups with current involvement with Friends in Harmony and the Pekin Civic Chorus.
Todd Curtis, percussionist, has been playing various percussion instruments and rhythms since he was a preteen. He is versatile in style of music played from classic rock, country, and gospel to contemporary Christian. He has played in various bands throughout central Illinois including Tayloridge and Caution. He currently plays with various praise teams at Bethel Lutheran Church.
John Lovell, bassist, met these talented guys and plays with them on a praise team at Bethel.
Chuck Tucker, vocalist/guitarist, has been performing locally as an individual and in bands for fifty years. He has played a variety of genres of music including rock, pop, country, blues, bluegrass, and contemporary Christian music. In addition to playing in Cross Connection, he currently plays solo acoustic music as well as in the bands Jukebox Saturday Night and Stringworks.
Many of you know the incredible group called New Odyssey featuring 3 guys from Chicago who played 30 instruments. For nearly 40 years New Odyssey brought audiences to their feet time and time again with a mix of incredible music, showmanship, comedy, and more! New Odyssey retired this year but we are excited to announce that the legend continues in 2019! Introducing THE NEW ODYSSEY GUY Starring Gary Todd, one of the founding members of New Odyssey! Gary is a one man show dynamo! His high energy show will feature his mastery of 10 instruments, music, song, comedy, and more!
This band from the flat prairie land of east central Illinois aims at the heart of the high-lonesome sound, full of foggy bottoms and smoky mountain tops. It airs out three and four part harmonies on top of scintillating banjo, skirling fiddles and Monroe-style mandolin all played to the insistent rhythms of guitar and doghouse bass. From its beginning days as house band for a local production of the musical Cotton Patch Gospel, High Cotton searches out song and instrumental material to zestify your day with hard-driving, tasteful music. No emotions are neglected and a lot of the good ones are encouraged. If you need some bluegrass in your life we invite you to pick High Cotton!
Bill Blickhan plays guitar. He hails from the Monticello area and is an officer at one of the city's banks.
Emily Defend plays mandolin, banjo and other instruments.
Dan Defend plays banjo. His day job is engineering manager for a hi-tech company.
Tom Koehler plays fiddle. He is a physician practicing in Champaign and Danville.
Dustin Norder plays mandolin. He is a graphic designer in the Champaign area.
Rick Rhodes plays bass fiddle. He is an insurance agent in Monticello.
All members sing lead and harmony vocals.
This 11-piece band was formed in 2012 by drummer and bandleader Jeremy Clark. Clark desired to play in a high caliber Funk band featuring a professional-grade horn line that played all the classic Funk, Soul and Stax charts. The band is influenced by Tower of Power, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Hornheads, among others. JC and The Redemption operates out of Peoria, IL. The band performs at a variety of places including The Fieldhouse, Peoria Pizza Works, and The CEFCU Center Stage on the Peoria Riverfront.
Founded in 1978 with Peoria area employees, retirees and family members of Caterpillar Inc., the Caterpillar Employees Big Band performs music in the traditional big band style. A repertoire of original arrangements made famous by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and others during the big band heyday of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, is supplemented with contemporary jazz and popular tunes arranged for big band.
As one of very few groups performing with a full complement of saxophones, trumpets, trombones and rhythm section, the band has 17 multi-talented musicians and a crowd-pleasing vocalist. The band has been featured at concerts, dances, festivals, and private functions throughout Illinois, and in a FORTUNE magazine article about the musical exploits of large company employees.
From regular engagements in Peoria and Metamora, to recent appearances in Pontiac, Canton, Manito, and a corporate function in Las Vegas, the Caterpillar Employees Big Band continues to bring the big band sound to a new generation of enthusiastic fans.
The 144th Army Band provides music for troop gatherings and activities, military and religious ceremonies, community happenings, and civic affairs like parades and other public events. The 5 Star Brass Band is one of the most requested groups. It’s comprised of eight “citizen soldier” musicians from throughout Illinois and the surrounding area.
Members of the group are students, teachers, factory workers and others who also serve their state and nation through music.
5 Star Brass plays a variety of music from recent popular vocal tunes by Lorde and Bruno Mars, to older classics from Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, jazz, and of course military marches.
They perform music that raises troop morale and promotes esprit de corps, expands the support of the citizens of Illinois, and supports state and national interests.
5 Star Brass supports the Illinois Adjutant General’s strategic outreach to the soldiers of Illinois, their families, and their communities while also supporting the recruiting efforts of Illinois Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Command.
scroll down for past CONCERTS
scroll down for past CONCERTS
A natural sounding mix of four seasoned musicians who for decades have played venues and styles all over central Illinois. With a refreshing attention to detail, and dynamics that provoke your sense of nostalgia as much as impress you, Cousin Eddie takes you from the late 60’s Hollies up to this season's undiscovered gems. Sit back and enjoy tunes that leave you reminiscing and toe tapping, all the while singing along to every word.
The Jim Markum Swing Band is a 11-piece group that features very talented musicians on every part. Though small by "big band" standards, this band packs a HUGE punch! From screamin' brass to wailin' saxes, jammin' rhythms to drippin' ballads, this band has it all. Featuring Jim Markum on lead trumpet, their signature sound includes screamin' high notes and technical prowess other bands can only dream about. That's right, this band has it all!
From golden oldies of the Big Band Era to the modern sounds of pop, jump swing, and blues, the Jim Markum Swing Band will get you "IN THE MOOD". Our growing library contains a wide variety of music suitable for any occasion and audiences of all ages.
If you brought the Von Trapp family from The Sound of Music to America and taught them fiddle, mandolin, dobro, and banjo, you would end up with the King Family Band.
Featuring the King siblings and their parents, this band puts on a high energy show that everyone is sure to enjoy. The King shows are known for their intricate instrumental solos, blended family harmonies, unique original music, and light-hearted fun that only a family group can provide.
With 12 years of experience, the Kings showcase four award-winning instrumentalists and a variety of blended harmonies and solo singers. They excite audiences with bluegrass favorites--such as Rocky Top, Sweet Eyed Darling, and Bluegrass in the Backwoods --as well as gospel, country, original, and yes, even some old time rock and roll music.
The group boasts two state of Illinois banjo champions, who are now living in Nashville and join the band when available; two #1 RAA radio hits; and two proud (most of the time) parents of seven children.
Recently joining the band is the Kings' son-in-law, whose perfect pitch keeps the group in tune and whose steady proficiency with both acoustic and electric guitar keeps the group in time. They have also added two to the sibling fiddle line up: Caleb's wife Melanie and the Kings' first grandchild Audriana.
The Kings are know for their heart-felt and powerful original music, with Caleb recently labeled a Songwriter to Watch by the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
The West MacQueen Street Band is named after the starting point of where the journey began, a street located in the middle of the city of Peoria, Illinois. Located on this street is a house that has been rocking with the sound of rock ‘n’ roll music since the early days of the Beatles. There, two great parents allowed their son to live a dream and form a rock band. Since then, musicians have passed through its doors for almost thirty years and their music continues to fill the streets today!
Formed in 1999, The Heartland Jazz Orchestra is dedicated to preserving and furthering the classical music of America – Jazz! Our concerts feature some of the finest musicians in Central Illinois who join with regional and national artists to create a wide variety of Jazz experiences for our communities.
A natural sounding mix of four seasoned musicians who for decades have played venues and styles all over central Illinois. With a refreshing attention to detail, and dynamics that provoke your sense of nostalgia as much as impress you, Cousin Eddie takes you from the late 60’s Hollies up to this seasons undiscovered gems. Sit back and enjoy tunes that leave you reminiscing and toe tapping, all the while singing along to every word.
Clyde R - Guitars and 10 Hole mouth piece. Mark C -Plugged and unplugged Guitars. William S -Things you beat on. Karl W- Low End, Vocals by all.
Founded in 2008, Firebox specializes in the traditional bluegrass sound, styled after the bands of the late 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. Based out of Central Illinois, Firebox is currently performing in the local and regional area to introduce bluegrass to a new generation and preserve this sound that is slowly being lost to more modern genres.
The band prides themselves in the professional attitude they take towards the music and their performance, wearing suits and ties just as they would have done in Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys. Each show has a variety of songs to showcase each member’s talents. Exciting solos, 3 and 4-part harmonies, and a little bit of bluegrass history make for an entertaining and enjoyable performance.
Musical influences include greats such as Jimmy Martin, The Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Reno & Smiley, J.D. Crowe, Jim & Jesse, Flatt and Scruggs, and many more.
Introducing Central Illinois’ freshest dance band – 7West. Covering a broad range of styles from Rock to Country, they’re helping to raise the bar for live music in the area with an unsurpassed level of musicianship and production. With Michelle Lynn (vocals), Steve Sefton (Guitar), Tim Lee (Drums), Bob Moore (Bass), and Mike Folkenroth (Keyboards), this group is easy on the ears and has over 100 years of combined experience locally and on national stages, sharing the bill with artists such as Sugarland, Kansas, Brad Paisley, REO Speedwagon, Joan Jett, Jason Aldean, and many more.