170311_BJ_sounds of summer

The Sounds of Summer Concert Series draws crowds Downtown each summer for free live music.

The Sounds of Summer concert series began back in 1998 and, 21 years later, it’s still going strong.

Sounds of Summer brings together various local bands to put on shows every Friday night throughout June and July, supported by the St. Joseph Downtown Association, which also promotes other events while offering concessions at Coleman Hawkins Park.

Rhabecca Boerkircher, executive director of the St. Joseph Downtown Partnership, said this year’s lineup is fantastic and will cater to many different musical tastes.

“You can expect some great, free entertainment on Friday nights,” she said. “This summer, once again, we have a dynamic lineup of bands, and we encourage people after working a long week to come Downtown, kick back, have a beverage, something to eat and enjoy the music.”

Six concerts will be held as part of event, beginning with The Instamatics from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 7. The band features Charlie Stendebach of Charlie and the Stingrays fame, who said he’s especially excited to come out once again to support Downtown and provide some classic tunes in the process.

“It’s a nice way to be able to come home,” he said. “We just tell them to bring their lawn chairs and get ready to dance and have a good time.”

The band performs material from the 1960s and early 1970s, making sure that most of the songs are fun and dance-able.

The Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival will take place on Friday, June 14, before Sounds of Summer continues with a Celtic street fair with performances from Flannigan’s Right Hook on Friday, June 21. Soca Jukebox, which provides Caribbean, beach-focused sounds, will perform the following week before the concert series takes off for the Fourth of July.

The next performance picks up on Friday, July 12, with the local rock band Under the Influence, followed by True North, an Americana/folk band, on Friday, July 19, and wrapping up with Swift Kik on Friday, July 26.

Boerkircher said she’s not only excited for the lineup, but for people to come and see the continued revitalization of Downtown St. Joseph.

“It’s really a cool venue — very small, very intimate,” she said. “And it’s just like seeing people you haven’t seen for a long time, and it kind of brings everyone together. It also gets people into our Downtown community, and they get to see all of the wonderful things we’re doing Downtown.”

She mentioned the restaurants and shops continue to draw crowds throughout the summer Downtown and reminds concert-goers to leave the coolers at home, as selling concessions helps to fund the series and keep it free to the public.

“Bring your lawn chair, bring your appetite and be prepared to be entertained,” she said.

— DANIEL COBB | St. Joe Live

Daniel Cobb can be reached

at daniel.cobb@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowCobb.