University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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May 21, 2004

Concert Series Features Bluegrass to Kids From Wisconsin

The UW-River Falls 2004 Summer Concert Series features music for all ages and tastes, from rousing rockabilly and progressive bluegrass to world music with attitude and big band with class. Free and open to the public, all concerts are at 7 p.m. the day of the performance in the open-air Melvin Wall Amphitheater on campus or in the North Hall Auditorium in case of rain.

All concerts are Tuesdays except for June 25, the only Friday evening performance. For more information call the UW-RF Leadership Center at 715/425-4911 or visit its Web site at

Tuesday, June 22. Tangled Roots (Bluegrass) Tangled Roots is bluegrass and more. Along with the traditional material of Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers and Jim and Jesse, Tangled Roots mixes in songs by Merle Haggard, John Prine and Elvis Presley. Tangled Roots is described as traditional yet original and progressive. The members of Tangled Roots consist of some of the best-known Bluegrass performers in the upper Midwest and together they bring to the stage over a century of musical experience.

Friday, June 25 (Performance during UW-RF Alumni Weekend). Keith Scott (Blues). Keith Scott is one of Chicago's most vibrant musicians. For the past 20 years he has built his reputation as a sizzling blues guitarist, dynamic performer, noteworthy songwriter, and bandleader. Scott has toured throughout the United States and Europe both with his band and with blues great Jimmy Dawkins.

Tuesday, June 29. Vibro Champs (Rockabilly). The Vibro Champs play roaring, original roots rock that embraces 1950s rockabilly, country swing, juvenile delinquent anthems, and drive-in movie-type ballads. Based in Minneapolis, the VCs have appeared on Minnesota Pubic Radio's Prairie Home Companion, gigged with Brian Setzer at Lee's Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis, recorded with Jim Sundquist of the Fendermen, and toured the country from Milwaukee to Missouri. Recently they played with Narvel Felts, an original Sun Records recording artist, at the Surf Ballroom's1950s in February 2004 event in Clear Lake, Iowa. The Surf is one of the last great American ballrooms and famous for the final concert by Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper before their tragic 1959 airplane crash. The VCs are the real deal. Get ready to dance!

Tuesday, July 6. Kids from Wisconsin (Show Choir) A true representation of Americana, the Kids From Wisconsin are the state's own musical ambassadors. In 2001, former Gov. Scott McCallum designated them Wisconsin's Ambassadors of Goodwill. Since the summer of 1969, the group has been performing the music of Broadway, country hits, rock n' roll, swing, jazz, and many other styles. They can be seen each year at the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis every day during its 11-day run. The Kids from Wisconsin perform about 70 shows a year each summer at fairs, festivals and conventions throughout North America, and as a nonprofit organization have raised thousands of dollars for charitable organizations in the state.

Tuesday, July 13. Yawo (Afro-Brazilian) Yawo Attivon, Yawo's singer and bassist, brought his Togo (West Africa) sounds to the United States in 1992 because of political turmoil in his country. Attivon studied flute, classical guitar and electric bass at the Ecole Experimentale de Musique in Lome. His group music blends influences from Togo, Brazil, Senegal, China, and the United States. With a goal of sharing a multicultural story with the world and with influences ranging from Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Youssou N'dour to Miles Davis and Sting, Yawo is world music with an Afro-Brazilian attitude. Yawo can often be seen at the Blue Nile restaurant in Minneapolis as well as around the Upper Midwest.

Tuesday, July 20. St. Croix Valley Community Band. More than 50 local musicians from the scenic St. Croix Valley unite to form the St. Croix Valley Community Band, now in its 20th year. Performing a musical adventure, the SCVCB's concert will be sure to please all ages. The St. Croix Community Band is directed by UW-RF music faculty member Kris Tjornehoj.

Tuesday, July 27. The Dean's List Big Band. Relive the snappy sounds of the Big Band era--Glenn Miller, Jerry Gray, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and others--with this 17-piece ensemble. The Dean's List keeps alive both big band and swing styles of music featuring musicians from northern Wisconsin. The Dean's List has appeared on "Venture North" aired on Twin Cities Public Television and on performed for "Tent Show Radio" via Wisconsin Public Radio. Since 1967 this all-volunteer orchestra has helped raise more than $500,000 for many groups in the Midwest and at fundraising and civic events.

Tuesday, Aug. 3. River Falls Brass. The River Falls Brass is the faculty brass quintet at UW-River Falls, composed of Tom Barnett, Rick Gaynor, Craig Hara, Andy Parks and Charles Wazanowski. The group has a varied and impressive background performing in symphony orchestras, jazz ensembles, Broadway musicals, film and television scores, and a variety of brass chamber ensembles. The quintet has performed with many distinguished groups including the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New World Symphony. They've accompanied such greats as Doc Severinsen, the Temptations, the Moody Blues, Lionel Hampton, and Luciano Pavarotti. Individually, members of River Falls Brass have performed over four continents, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Abbey Road and the Hollywood Bowl. The performance is sponsored by the UW-RF music department.


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