07/05/12 Last Friday night hundreds of citizens enjoyed the Parrots of the Caribbean concert at the Young Amphitheater.  Back by popular demand, they opened this year’s Music in the Park Series.

  The summer storm that rolled through Marshall County earlier helped cool off the temperature and concert goers thoroughly enjoyed the Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band as they entertained with fantastic music and fun costume changes.

  Encore Performing Arts will be hosting Alligator Blackbird for their second Music in the Park concert on Friday, July 6. The group combines rock, reggae, folk and pop influences to create a sound with something for everyone.

The group uses acoustic guitars, bass, ukulele, Cajun (box drum) and other percussion, along with vocal harmonies and the dynamic/soulful voice of front man Fabian Guzman, a Plymouth High School grad. This three-piece band can cover enough musical ground to satisfy just about any crowd.

Together this popular group exemplifies a wide variety of talent. In addition to Guzman, Chris Keck plays bass, guitar, drums, piano and ukulele. He, too, is a local—a John Glenn grad. Cory Miller, also a John Glenn grad, plays the keyboard.

Though all were interested in music at an early age, they were all influenced by their high school musical experiences. Though Guzman is primarily a self-taught musician, his trumpet and high school music studies have influenced his writing, allowing him to become more versatile. Through the years, he has become comfortable in many musical situations whether playing a trumpet in a symphonic ensemble or jazz band or playing guitar and singing in a rock and roll or reggae band.

In an October, 2011 interview by Mandi Steffy in the IUSB ‘The Preface’, she described their music as “close to a mash-up of the reggae tones of Bob Marley and maybe a little Dave Matthews Band—but a way newer, more creative and diverse sound. Their music is pretty mellow with an interesting style of vocals that is soulful with a dynamic range.” When Guzman was asked where the group got their inspiration, he responded, “it was a combination of life, love and family and ‘just belief in the human experience’.”

Miller began playing music and writing songs at an early age, primarily on the piano. While in high school he began performing with various drum and bugle corps across the country, continuing throughout college. His musical versatility is evident—he also plays the guitar, ukulele and accordion as well as writing songs.

Keck is primarily a self-taught musician with the exception of drums which he studied at John Glenn. He’s also adept playing bass, guitar, drums, piano or ukulele.

Their debut CD, aptly entitled ‘Alligator Blackbird’ will be available and signed by the artists with a little coaxing.

To learn more about the group and hear excerpts of their music, go to their website at www.alligatorblackbird.com.

All ‘Music in the Park’ concerts are in beautiful Centennial Park in the Young Amphitheater. Bring a lawn chair, your favorite beverage and a picnic to enjoy this special music in a delightful setting. If you don’t want to cook, Delta Theta Tau will once again be offering refreshments—each performance with specials that reflect the group performing.

Gates open at 6:00 and, new this year, the performance begins at 7:00, a half hour earlier than previous years. All tickets are $10 for adults and children and K-12 students are free as well as college students with an ID. Tickets are available at the Encore Office, A.S.K. for Flowers, Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, Plymouth Park and Recreation Department and WTCA.

Learn more about the group by tuning into AM1050 Thursday morning at 10 for the ‘What’s Your Opinion’ show.

For more information, contact Debi Gidley at Encore Performing Arts, 1305 W. Harrison Street, Plymouth at 935-4987 or the website at www.encoreperformingarts.org.

  Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket, your favorite beverage, and some friends!

Upcoming ‘Music in the Park’ concerts—same time—same place:

Friday, July 20                      Southside Denny and The Snyders

Friday, July 27          The Young Company/Shakespeare (free)

Saturday, August 11           George Schricker & Wild Rose Moon

Friday, August 24    Danny Barber’s Jazz Cats