For more than 50 years, free summer concerts have been held annually in the historic amphitheater in Ottawa Park. The structure was built in 1935-36 by the Works Progress Administration in what was then a bird sanctuary on the park grounds.
During the WPA’s eight years of existence, more than 8.5 million Americans were given employment and a means of supporting themselves when gainful employment was at a bare minimum.
The City of Toledo benefited from several of these public works projects with the construction of the Glass Bowl Stadium at the University of Toledo, Macomber High School, the Main Library of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, and several buildings at the Toledo Zoo: the Reptile House, the Aquarium, the Aviary, and the Museum of Science.
Working in tandem, the City of Toledo and the Ottawa-Jermain Park Advisory Board have joined forces to ensure that the Ottawa Park Amphitheater will once again ring with music. A series of six free concerts will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays at the venue, 2205 Kenwood Blvd.
Scheduled performers include: the Good, the Bad, & the Blues (Saturday), the Madison Avenue Band (July 21), East River Drive (July 28, Las Vegas show music), The Nu-Tones (Aug. 4, British invasion), Not Fast Enuff (Aug. 11, high-energy party band), and Boffo (Aug. 18, classic rock). More information on the concert series can be found at ottawapark.org.
■ The Mercy Health “Music Under the Stars” concert series continues this week with Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars: The Music of John Williams, featuring the Toledo Symphony in a free concert, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre, 2 Hippo Way. More information on the concert, as well as Park-N-Ride opportunities, can be found at 419-246-8000 or toledosymphony.com.
■ It’s Friday! presents Toledo chanteuse Ramona Collins in a free concert of jazz standards at 6:30 p.m. Friday on the grounds of the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St. For more information, call 419-255-8000 or visit toledomuseum.org.
■ Local band Heavy Color celebrates the release of its new album River Passage with a performance at 6:30 p.m. July 19 at the Toledo Museum of Art GlasSalon, 2445 Monroe St. For more information, call 419-255-8000 or visit toledomuseum.org.
■ The free Music at the Market Concert Series in conjunction with the Perrysburg Farmer’s Market welcomes Ol’ Creek Road performing a diverse mix of American genres and styles at 7 p.m. Thursday on the Commodore Schoolyard lawn, 140 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. Next week’s performance will be by the House Band.
■ The free Toledo Lucas County Public Library Brown Bag Summer Concert Series continues with Just Kiddin’ Around with Elisa and Chuck Hage performing children’s music from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday on the north lawn of the Main Library, 325 N. Michigan St. July 25’s performance will be by Xplozivo.
■ The concert series in Walbridge Park offers Cactus Jack performing funk rock in a free concert from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the park’s bandstand, 2761 Broadway. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring a chair or a blanket. Next week’s performer is Quickness with Michelle Shelton.
■ The Grand Rapids Historical Society Rhythm on the River Arts Series continues this week with Quartet Bernadette performing a blend of jazz, pop, and classic rock at 4 p.m. Sunday in Wright Pavilion, on the towpath between the canal and the Maumee River, in Grand Rapids, Ohio.
■ The Jazz Masters Series features drummer Sean Dobbins performing with other local musicians at 8 p.m. Friday; reserved general seating are $20. Drummer Jesse Kramer, bassist Rob Bickley, and pianist Rick Roe team up for a CD release show of their new jazz album Heliosphere at 8 p.m. Saturday; tickets are $10 to $25. Drummer Aron Kauffman assembles his Dream Ensemble for concert of world music at 8 p.m. Sunday; tickets are $20. All three performances are at the Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. For tickets and more information, call 734-769-2999 or visit kerrytownconcerthouse.com.
■ Sights and Sounds on Thursday Nights continues Thursday across downtown Chelsea, Mich. Slated performers are: Escaping Pavement (Americana), Motor City Boogie Woogie Kid! (roots/boogie), Hullabaloo (ska/jazz/dance), Dave Boulette & Kristi Lynn Davis (Americana), the Seatbelts (rock), Robyn (rock/country/pop), and the WCCB Town Band (concert band). Music runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Family activities and food are also available. The movie at dusk is Wonder (PG). For more information, call 734-355-1323 or visit chelseafestivals.com.
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