If you’re a fan of free live music, pitch your tent, park your motorhome, or dock your boat in St. Clair Marina all summer long and get ready to attend seven live music events, sometimes. more, every week at the end of September.
“There is something about sitting in a comfortable chair on a beautiful summer day watching the St. Clair River and listening to live music,” said Jeff Bohm, Chairman of the County Commissioners Council of St. Clair.
Bohm worked with Bryan Ulatowski, president of the St. Clair Chamber of Commerce, to put on a 92-performance program in the courtyard of Riverview Plaza that will run through September.
Add the six concerts sponsored by the St. Clair Recreation Department, the St. Clair Jazz Festival featuring flautist Alexander Zonjik on August 21, the music related to the offshore racing of the Blue Water Offshore Racing Association from July 30 to July 1. August and the St. Clair Art Association’s music lineup during the St. Clair Art Fair August 28-29, and you’re talking about a free music deal.
The dramatically expanded chamber series has its roots in the organization’s concerts in 2020, which took place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in August and September, later than usual due to the pandemic.
“It really started last summer,” said Ulatowski. “We’ve had a few bands that have worked really well. “
Some of the sponsors have said they are interested in supporting a series of concerts in 2021.
“So this is really the second year of an event that can go on for a long time,” said Bohm.
Ulatowski and Bohm started fundraising in earnest last October. The pair “secured substantial funds,” said Bohm, who focused on major supporters such as DTE and SEMCO while Ulatowski approached members of the local chamber. Together they raised around $ 165,000 – $ 115,000 for groups and $ 50 for advertising.
In other words, money was the secret to free music programming for 92 shows. The chamber has also made significant contributions to the Jazz Fest, the boat race and the art fair.
“We’re not just doing our thing,” Bohm said. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to get people to St. Clair.
“It’s great to work with groups which makes it easier,” said Ulatowski. “They are reliable. We can count on them.
The room shows
The chamber concert series began on May 28 and continues through September 26.
Currently, the chamber is sponsoring three shows per week until June 27. On June 25, the Rhoades play in the square; Saturday June 26, Los Gringos takes the court stage; on Sunday June 27, it’s the Meldrum Brothers.
A five-day musical program begins next week with Bob & Lon on June 30; Ian Smith, July 1; Paul and Oates, July 2; Bob & Lon and Los Gringos, July 3.
The Gobies play on July 4, the night of the town’s fireworks display.
The six-day musical program begins the first full week of July with Bob Kerrigan performing on July 6.
“It really has to be the biggest free concert series in the state,” Ulatowski said.
The performance schedule is 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The full schedule is available online at stclairchambermi.com.
The list of sponsors is impressive.
Title sponsors are the St. Clair County Community Foundation’s St. Clair Endowment Fund, the Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and Radio First.
Platinum sponsors include War Water Brewery, the DTE Foundation and AT&T.
Drifter’s Restaurant & Lounge, Viking Fitness Center, Eastern Michigan Bank, Amunni Boutique, Nieman’s Family Market and Tru Blue are golden sponsors.
Sine & Monaghan Realtors, Ace Hardware, the market – an artisan experience, SEMCO Energy Gas Company are silver sponsors.
Bronze sponsors include Hungry Howie’s, iNfuz Architects + Innovators, Towbook Greater Detroit Auto Auction, Northstar Bank, and Anderson Eckstein & Westrick, Inc. Civil engineers, surveyors and architects.
Aitken & Ormond Insurance & Risk Management, Thorpe Printing and Riverview Veterinary Center are sponsors.
Jim Bloch is a freelance writer. Contact him at [email protected]