The Music on the Half Shell 2019 lineup will feature bands from as far away as Australia, Cuba and Scotland with diverse musical styles intended to offer a little taste of everything to audiences at Stewart Park.
Kicking off the concert series will be Orquesta Akokan Tuesday, June 18. The band comes straight from Havana, Cuba, along with what it touts as a soulful, mamba sound.
“We are starting a little early this year because I really wanted to get this band,” organizer Clint Newell said.
The following Tuesday will feature award-winning, American guitarist Bill Frisell and his trio. According to Frisell’s website, he’s been playing, recording, composing and teaching music for 40 years. Two years ago in in Portland, Frisell finished his latest album, “Music IS.”
On July 2, the Celtic rock band Skerryvore will make its stop in Roseburg.
“They are perhaps Scotland’s most popular band,” Newell said. “They are a unique fusion of folk, traditional Celtic and rock. They’re not what you think of when you think of traditional Celtic music.”
On July 9, the John Jorgensen Quintet, an American gypsy jazz band, will play. The dynamic string-driven swing style used by the five-piece band was created in Paris in the 1930s but includes elements of Latin, Romanian, classical, rock and Greek music.
Afro-Latino group Rio Mira from Colombia and Ecuador will take the stage on July 16. The band combines marimbas and voice to create the sound declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
“They are rapidly on the rise in the world music scene,” Newell said.
Saxophonist Patrick Lamb will return again this year, but for the first time as a headliner at Music on the Half Shell on July 23. He was recently inducted as one of the youngest members of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.
The Eugene Symphony and Douglas County Youth Orchestra will fill the stage on the second-to-last week of the concert series. The symphony is in its 53rd season and is recognized as a cornerstone of the performing arts in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley.
“It’s going to be something that fits our venue well,” Newell said. “It’s hard to beat in a lot of respects. You know, it’s the Eugene Symphony.”
The concerts will close with The Waifs, an Australian folk rock band on Aug. 6. Newell said the band is coming back after years of people asking him when they would play again after they played in 2015.
“We’re bringing them back by popular demand,” Newell said. “We’ve had a lot of requests. It’s going to be fun. There’s something for everybody. Everybody’s going to have a favorite, I’m sure. They are eight very good shows and I think everybody will really enjoy it.”
All concerts begin at 7 p.m.
The announcement also featured a short tribute to concert series co-founder, Dick Nichols. Nichols helped start the series in 1992 and passed away in March just short of his 90th birthday.