For the 21st year, the Batesville Memorial Public Library will host the After Hours Concert Series when musicians from various genres entertain audience members.
This year, concerts are scheduled for every other month, reports organizer Mike Kruse. Since retiring after being the library director, “I find I’m able to maintain six concerts a year easier than 12.”
While returning favorites will reappear, one group, Laughing Jack, will make its debut.
To determine the schedule, “I review past performers, explore new artists, consider offering a variety of musical genres and then throw darts at a dartboard to make the final decision.”
Concerts are funded “through a combination of the library’s annual budget, donations from the Batesville Area Arts Council and the Friends of the Library and individual donations. We are especially grateful for the support of the BAAC and the Friends.”
Kruse encourages the public to attend as many performances as possible “because it’s not just more of the same. While local bands are great and certainly worth supporting, there are many venues locally where you can hear them perform. I’m trying to bring in something a little different that you normally won’t experience at other local venues. And I believe local musicians might appreciate the opportunity to hear something different and new to inspire them. Plus, the concerts are free.”
The shows will take place Saturdays in the BMPL large meeting room:
• Feb. 22, 7 p.m., The Islanders, Indianapolis – Attendees will hear island songs, featuring the steelpan, drums and ukulele. “Michael Beck will return to perform with this group. He has performed for us every year of our series,” Kruse notes.
• April 18, 7 p.m., Ron Jones Jazz Quartet, Louisville, Kentucky – Jazz standards will be heard with Ron Jones on saxophone, along with organ, guitar and drums accompaniments. “They are performing as part of National Jazz Appreciation Month and National Library Week.”
• June 13, 7 p.m., Laughing Jack, Indianapolis – With Celtic and shanty tunes on violin, Celtic drum, banjo and flutes, “some of the members of this band have performed at the library as part of Hogeye Navvy.”
• Aug. 15, 7 p.m., Wild Carrot & Their Roots Band, Cincinnati – This is a folk, Americana quartet.
• Oct. 10, 7 p.m., Matthew Ball – “The Boogie-Woogie Kid” from Detroit will perform New Orleans and swing from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s.
• Dec. 12, 6:15 p.m, Troubadours of Divine Bliss – This duo will “perform holiday songs and Americana on guitar and accordion with the library’s Ukulele Club band opening” for them.
Kruse reveals, “I always say I look forward to every one (concert), and I do. Having the Ukulele Club perform just prior to the holiday show by the Troubadours of Divine Bliss will be lots of fun, and introducing the Celtic band Laughing Jack to our audience will, as well. And I always love the way The Boogie Woogie Kid blows the roof off the place with his outstanding piano playing.”
“We have quite a few audience ‘regulars’ who attend almost every concert. If you have never attended, come to one. I bet you’ll want to come back.”