Summer means music 'on the green' in Hoffman Estates

  • The a cappella group Route 66 wowed the crowd at last year's summer concert series at the Prairie Stone complex in Hoffman Estates.

    The a cappella group Route 66 wowed the crowd at last year's summer concert series at the Prairie Stone complex in Hoffman Estates.

Published6/13/2008 12:06 AM

The advent of summer arrives earlier this year in the guise of sweet summer sounds with jazz, pop, country and folk music ringing forth for seven warm weeks.

Beginning a week earlier than usual, the Hoffman Estates Arts Commission presents its newest and 10th rendition of "Summer Sounds on the Green" at 7 p.m. each Thursday from June 19 to Aug. 7 outdoors at the amphitheater in the Prairie Stone complex on Prairie Stone Parkway in Hoffman Estates. Besides that seating, there is plenty of lawn space for visitors to set up lawn chairs or lay down a blanket.


Chairwoman since the concerts' inception, Joan Jarzemsky praises the venue set amid prairie plants hugging the scenic lake that is home to swans, frogs, birds and other wildlife.

"It is a lovely area to take a picnic dinner before the concert or grab a bite at the snack stand," Jarzemsky said. "The concerts were so successful that this year we hired Windy City Music, a professional sound and lighting group, to boost our sound system."

Garibaldi's Italian Eatery folks will move into the stand to provide pizza, sandwiches, ice cream and soft drinks. There is a no-alcohol policy at the park.

First on the lineup is the Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra Thursday, June 19, with the group's mix of swing, country, hip-hop, contemporary jazz and folk music. A show band, the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band combines humor with its energy, all the while entertaining the crowd Thursday, June 26. Referred to as the "hottest swing band," The Flat Cats delve into jazz, jump, blues, standards, modern classics and western swing Thursday, July 10 as it blends vintage and modern music.

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The mood changes somewhat when Rhythm City appears Thursday, July 17. It specializes in Motown, '80s funk, soulful rock and reggae. Its approach is a "fresh alternative to everyday formula orchestras."

Polynesian dance and song is the specialty of The Barefoot Hawaiian when its 25-member ensemble performs Thursday, July 24. The Jennifer Jennings Band, featuring alto Sheryl Crow, takes the stage Thursday, July 31 for a show rich in country, rock and ballads. The '50s, '60s and '70s take over for the last concert with The Daddy-O's Thursday, Aug. 7.

There is one caveat: if thunder or lightning appears, for safety's sake everyone leaves the park.

"If there is one speck of lightning, the show is over," Jarzemsky warned. "We can't take chances."

Dial (847) 252-5448 after 4 p.m. on the day of the concert to see if a concert is canceled.

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