Holiday to kick off music series

Music fans, brace yourselves.

This year’s Summer Music in the Park series begins Memorial Day when Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries perform their upbeat repertoire of old-school rock ‘n’ roll hits for Fiesta Days revelers in Memorial Park. Hours for this special performance are 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

After that, 13 bands will perform free weekly shows at Memorial Park from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sundays, giving audiences a different musical flavor each week.

The series was created in 1994 to give local residents a reason to congregate with friends and family and celebrate the weekend’s close in style. Since then, it has become a La Cañada summertime tradition, drawing hundreds of people per concert, according to Jim Kambe, chair of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission.

“It’s definitely a great place to be on a Sunday afternoon. You can get together with friends and have a picnic. It’s just a nice, low-key, free event,” Kambe said.

Each year, the city spends approximately $26,000 to put on the event, according to Carl Alamenda, a management analyst with the city of La Cañada Flintridge. The cost covers booking the acts as well as technical and sound support during the concerts.

As popular as Summer Music in the Park has become, organizers have made a more concerted effort in recent years to book local acts and make the series a showcase of local talent, said Alameda, who selects the acts each year.

“We try to feature a number of local groups that are actually [made up of] residents of the city,” Alameda said.

One of this year’s bands, The MIXX, features vocals by Angela Shephard, who is a police lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department when she’s not belting out classic rock tunes for local audiences.

Other acts will pay homage to the musical genres including smooth jazz, courtesy of La Cañada resident David Sagal and his quintet, Big Band, and classic country and reggae.

In addition to concerts, there will be a classic car show preceding a July 24th classic rock concert by the band Misplaced Priorities, as well as a showing of the Disney hit film “Tangled,” before an Aug. 21 Zydeco performance from Andre Thierry & Zydeco magic.

The series is co-sponsored by the city of La Cañada Flintridge and the La Cañada Valley Sun.

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