Long Grove Arts & Music Council Celebrates 10 Years
The sounds of great music have been echoing through Long Grove every Sunday during the summer months for the past nine years. Now, to celebrate their tenth anniversary, The Long Grove Arts & Music Council is presenting the best of the best from seasons past, offering exceptional performances by a wide and varied range of great musicians.
The year kicks into high gear on Sunday, July 5th with harmonica legend, Howard Levy accompanied by guitarist, Chris Siebold. Somehow Howard has managed to fit Long Grove into his extremely busy schedule every summer for the past five years. If he isn’t playing with Bela Fleck or composing concertos for the harmonica, he is on world tours or entertaining audiences on Prairie Home Companion.
Each Sunday in July and August at 4 p.m. for eight weeks, world-class talent comes to Long Grove, all free of charge. In addition to Howard Levy, musical guests this year include singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer, Harpeth Rising, Vance Gilbert, Krista Detor, April Verch, Special Consensus Bluegrass and finally The Siegel/Schwall Band with Sam Lay who is not only celebrating his 80th birthday, but also his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The Long Grove Arts & Music Council is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 2006 by volunteers dedicated to bringing a variety of musical, visual, and performing arts to the Village of Long Grove.
The motivation to start the group came from the desire to offer something unique to Long Grove.
“There are summer concerts throughout the Chicago area, but most present rock and roll cover bands,” says Founder and Director Tobin Fraley. “There’s nothing wrong with a great rock band, but we wanted something different here since Long Grove is such a unique place. So we started the Arts & Music Council.”
Long Grove resident and stage manager for the group, Reid Olson, adds, “I can’t believe we’re able to get this level of talent here in our small village. Many of these musicians are Grammy winners, but they just love playing in Long Grove. Maybe it’s the setting or maybe is just a great place to play music, or both.”
In addition to the musical offerings, the LGAMC has helped to set up the Long Grove Artists’ Guild. The Guild presents the work of a number of local artists plus they host a variety of themed art shows each year. One of the most popular is Our Pets, Past & Present, an exhibition of work by artists from around Chicago. Exhibit organizer, Georgia Cawley, notes,“This is an extremely popular show. We have artists from Naperville to Waukegan and from everywhere in between presenting their work. The opening night is always crowded with art lovers.”
Fraley adds that the LGAMC would like to expand into showing classic films on Towner Green along with showcasing short films by local filmmakers, but that it’s a matter of resources and finding the volunteers to help. “We know this will happen at some point, but for right now we’re concentrating on music and art.”
And as for the concert, Fraley encourages attendees to bring chairs and blankets to enjoy the air of a summer Sunday afternoon listening to wonderful music. All shows are considered family friendly for adults and children alike. Treats are available at each concert including the ever popular “Friendship” bread baked by Jane Primack along with iced tea and lemonade provided by the local community minded coffee house, Beans & Leaves.
The LGAMC is dedicated to bringing our local communities closer together and to giving Long Grove residents and the residents of neighboring communities a chance to discover the treats that can be found right in their own back yard. Please note that the LGAMC relies exclusively on donations and the work of a dedicated group of volunteers, so all contributions are greatly appreciated.