Music on the Half Shell will return with a modified schedule for its 30th year.
The series will return to Roseburg’s Stewart Park on Tuesday nights beginning July 6 for six weeks of free concerts.
“I believe the first year we started with six (concerts), clear back in ’92. Then we went to seven for a while and then eventually graduated to eight,” Music on the Half Shell committee president Clint Newell said. “We would have liked to have done eight this year, it just wasn’t in the cards, but we’re really pleased to be doing six.”
Organizers also found regional artists to perform this year, rather than the worldwide artists they usually approach. All of this year’s artists are from the Northwest.
“It is regional this year, but that doesn’t mean it is limited when it comes to talent,” said Music on the Half Shell committee member Kelly Leonard. “There are some artists that have made a big impact on Music on the Half Shell”
MarchFourth, the first band to take the Nichols Band Shell stage this year, combines brassy funk, rock and jazz in an all-together unique performance. The band combines mostly instrumental music with visual performances by stiltwalkers, acrobatics and more.
“They have people on stilts and people in costume and they are playing music and the tubas are out in the audience. It is pretty funny,” Leonard said.
LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends will bring soul and R&B music to Roseburg on July 13. Not only has Bell written two chart-topping songs for Elton John, he also took eighth place on the television music competition The X Factor in 2011. He would later join forces with experienced musicians Terry Morgan on bass, Davis Martin on drums and Daniel Walker to form LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends.
Jazz band The Four Freshman will perform July 20. The band was started by four young men in 1948, but over the past 70-plus years, the original members have retired. Drummer and bass vocalist Bob Ferreira joined in 1992; tenor and guitarist Tommy Boynton joined in 2015; Jake Baldwin, who sings and plays trumpet, and Ryan Howe, lead vocalist and bass player, joined last year.
“They appeared here once before clear back in 2002, so it’s been 19 years,” Newell said. “They are a four-part vocal jazz group, legendary over many, many decades and configurations, but they are going to bring their jazz show to us on July 20.”
Portland-based blues artist Curtis Salgado will bring his “ability to wring every ounce of soul out of every song he performs” to the stage July 27. Salgado has won nine Blues Music Awards, including Blues Music Award for Song Of The Year in 2018. He has fronted some of the biggest name bands in blues, soul and rock. His recently released album “Damage Control” combines those genres into one soul-searching album.
“There are a lot of Curis Salgado fans in the Roseburg area. He has come out with a new album that he is promoting and he is going to bring it here and perform it live and we are looking forward to that, it is going to be a fun show,” Newell said.
Tony Coleman, who will perform his Tribute to the Three Kings on Aug. 3, has toured around the world with some of the best R&B and blues musicians ever. He is one of the most revered blues drummers in the world. He has assembled a group of Portland musicians to pay tribute blues pioneers BB King, Albert King and Freddie King.
The Portland Jazz Allstars will close out the series on Aug. 10. The group consists of Tom Grant, who walks the line between traditional jazz and modern pop, veteran drummer Ron Steen, the godfather of Jazz Jams in Portland, and Dave Captein, a well-known jazz artist that plays both the string bass and bass guitar.
“This is a group of some of the greatest jazz musicians in Portland,” Newell said. “It’s going to be centered around the rhythm section of Tom Grant on piano, Ron Steen on drums and Dave Captein on bass. They will have a female vocalist with them and some horn players with them to do some of their favorite jazz shows.”
The county’s Tiger Team will also make appearances throughout the series, offering free COVID-19 vaccinations. Newell was unsure if the six-man team would be at every concert, but anticipates they would attend each week.