MarchFourth will be the last show of the Music on the Half Shell concert series this summer, bringing a full stage of big-band, circus-style performers to the Nichols Band Shell at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Roseburg’s Stewart Park.

“This is an internationally acclaimed band that’s really high energy with a visual show that’s very entertaining, with 20 musicians, dancers and artisans,” said Clint Newell, president of the Half Shell committee.

The band’s name is derived from its beginnings on Fat Tuesday, March 4, 2003, during the New Orleans Mardi Gras when band members John Averill and Dan Stauffer led about 35 musicians to play at a local theater.

The band was then known as the MarchFourth Marching Band and it did march on streets. Since then, the Portland-based band has recorded four CDs and has toured the world playing in concerts across the United States, Canada, Europe and China.

It’s band members consist of dancers, stilt walkers, acrobats and musicians wearing elaborate costumes and playing multiple genres of rock, big-band, jazz, funk, Afro-beat, gypsy brass, samba and Latin. They’ve been called a steamfunk, rock ‘n’ roll circus party.

“There’s a lot of dance involved and it’s a real high-energy experience that will be wrapping up our series on Aug. 15,” Newell said.

The founding band members are Averill and Stauffer with Nathan Wallway and sisters Nayana and Faith Jennings. Longtime members are Jenny DiDonata on snare drum and congas, Daniel Lamb on trombone and Katie Presley on trumpet. The band has seen more than 100 different members since 2003.

The band members tour around on a bus that’s been modified with bunk beds for the performers and crew. They even name their tour buses like the Merry Pranksters, with one bus called Razzle Dazzle.

They like to stay on the road and they’ve also performed at places like the Oregon Country Fair, the Waterfront Blues Festival, the High Sierra Music Festival and the Wakarusa Festival in Ozark, Arkansas. They are known to get off the stage and mingle with the crowd.

This year they held their 14th anniversary bash on March 3-4 with three concerts held over two days at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom, with shows catering to all ages including a family matinee and adult show.

Their most recent studio recording is called “Magic Number,” which is filled with multi-genre originals that are mostly band-sounding instrumentals with some vocals. It can be heard on the band’s website at www.marchfourthband.com.

For more information, visit www.halfshell.com.

Reporter Vera Westbrook can be reached at 541-957-4216 or vwestbrook@nrtoday.com.

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Education and Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Vera Westbrook is the education, nonprofits, and arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4216 or by email at vwestbrook@nrtoday.com.

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