Free outdoor concerts and summer evenings are a pairing perfected in Chestnut Hill for more than a half century. This year marks the 65th anniversary for the neighborhood’s popular Pastorius Park Summer Concerts series.
This year’s series will again be hosted by the Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) on Wednesday evenings, at 7:30 p.m., in Pastorius Park, beginning June 19.
Kicking off the music series this year will be singer-songwriter, Suzie Brown, who was named ‘Best of Philly’ in music talent by Philadelphia Magazine in 2010.
With all of the musicians hailing from Philadelphia, the series’ line-up highlights some of the best in local talent. The music is a diverse blend of sounds ranging from American blues rhythms to Celtic folk songs to multilingual ethno-jazz.
Such a range of music styles is one of the changes the series has seen in its long history, said Julie Byrne, CHCA Board member and co-chair of the concert series. Classical music was on the program in the series’ early years. The Allentown Marching Band, too, had been a concert staple for 30 years until 2007, Byrne shared.
“It’s really changed in nature over the last ten years” she explained. “We try to have variety, something for everyone.”
Concert series co-chair, Neil Scheinin, keeps an ear out for what bands and musicians are happening with today’s audience, catching their acts live as part of the selection process. “We try to be aware of what is going on musically in Philadelphia,” he noted.
Scheinin stated that it costs around $20,000 to put on the concert series. This year’s sponsors are the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital. WXPN will once again be promoting three of this season’s concerts (Suzie Brown, Aaron & the Spell and Cheers Elephant).
The series runs through July 31. The rain venue will be at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Lower School Auditorium.
Here’s a look at the complete 2013 Pastorius Park Summer Concerts line-up:
June 19 – Suzie Brown – Bluesy alt-country
June 26 – The John Byrne Band – Celtic folk music
July 3 – The Dukes of Destiny – R&B soul
July 10 – Aaron & The Spell – Folk-soul
July 17 – Cheers Elephant – indie rock
July 24 – Phyllis Chapell & SIORA – ethno-jazz
July 31 – John Train – folk-rock