AURORA — Three more summer music concerts are coming up in Aurora under the jurisdiction of the parks and recreation department.
They take place at the Veterans Memorial Park gazebo on East Garfield Road in front of Barrington Town Square, and run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The remaining schedule is as follows: July 18 — Chardon Polka Band; Aug. 1 — Don Disantis Orchestra; and Aug. 15 — The BeSides.
"Our first three concerts have gone well," said Parks-Recreation Director Laura Holman. "The weather has cooperated, and our Post Road concert on July 4 was something a little different since we haven’t had a full band perform prior to the fireworks."
Holman said the city has had great sponsorship support for the summer concerts, and she hopes the weather will continue to cooperate for the remaining three sessions.
Since there is no indoor venue to move into, the concerts have to be canceled if it rains. "We have to think about safety — both for the musicians and the spectators," she said. "We don’t want people outside in nasty weather."
The Chardon Polka Band got its start 15 years ago as the Chardon High School Polka Band when its original members were teenagers. Members have changed, but the band has become very popular in Northeast Ohio, performing at parks, festivals, parties, fundraisers and nursing homes.
And this region isn’t the only place the band is a hit. It has become a well-known act in the fall "Oktoberfest circuit," headlining some of the nation’s largest seasonal events, such as in Indianapolis, Chicago, Myrtle Beach, Tampa, Tulsa and St. Louis.
According to its website, the band plays traditional polkas reminiscent of "The Lawrence Welk Show," but sometimes morphs into punk-rock renditions of the same songs, modified to bring in a younger audience.
The Chardon Polka Band also has an ever-growing library of original tunes, many of which are featured on their popular studio albums.
Current members are founder Jake Kouwe, accordion and vocals; Mike Franklin, banjo, guitar and yodeler; Emily Kouwe, saxophone and flute; Joey Dahlhausen, drums; and Mitch Lawrence, saxophone.
Don Disantis is the leader of the Don Disantis Orchestra. He has been involved in education for many years as a teacher, coach and principal. He formerly was a vocalist with the Harry Hershey Orchestra, and has played many roles in stage productions.
With his own troupe of talented actors, he writes, directs and performs in murder mystery dinner theaters for a host of clients throughout Ohio.
The band performs the standard songs of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others, along with Broadway show stoppers and a little bit of rock’n roll.
Other members of the band are Jonathan Hooper, piano; George Judy, drums; and Brian Dorr, bass.
Formed in the spring of 2017, the BeSides is a rhythm and blues band that performs a large range of music including that of Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, the Doobie Brothers, the Blues Brothers, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bobby Blue Bland and Chicago.
The band recently recorded at Bad Racket Studios in Cleveland. It was established and rehearses in Bedford. Members are Michael Cheselka , guitar; Rob Luse, bass; Sunny Tabler, drums; Jon Griffin, alto sax; Shawn Nichols, trumpet; Andre Dennison, trombone; and Duane Watkins, vocals and piano.
Any band interested in performing in 2019 should visit the parks and recreation web page at www.auroraoh.com/639/Summer-Music-Concerts in January 2019, where forms will be provided for interested bands.
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 Ext. 4189 or firstname.lastname@example.org