Park City Institute Announces Lineup for summer concert series
Tickets go on sale to members April 6, to public on April 12
The Park City Institute has announced its lineup for the outdoor concert series’ 14th season, at Deer Valley Resort. Bringing its signature mix of artists that entertain, educate and illuminate to the Snow Park Amphitheater, the Institute will present X Ambassadors, American Acoustic with Punch Brothers and I’m With Her, rock legend Melissa Etheridge, country artists Kellie Pickler and Josh Turner, R&B entertainer Aloe Blacc, singer-songwriter Five For Fighting, the groundbreaking and uplifting work of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as a night with Smash Mouth, Cracker and The Romantics. One additional act in August will be named, for a date to be announced.
“Our summer shows always have a mix of emerging and legendary performers,” said Park City Institute Executive Director Teri Orr. “And this year, we have 10 shows with artists who are known for creating powerful connections with the audience. It’s going to be an exciting summer.”
Season opener, X Ambassadors (July 3), hit No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, with their debut single “Renegade.” The song created a stir, with its anthemic sound, and its inspiring video highlighting the accomplishments of people with disabilities. Hailing from Ithaca, NY, brothers Casey Harris (lead vocals) and Sam Harris (keyboardist), with bandmates Noah Feldshuh (lead guitar) and Adam Levin (drums), dropped their first album, VHS, in 2015, and have a trail of hits, including “Unsteady,” “Gorgeous,” and “Jungle,” and the just-released “Hoping,” which is raising money for the ACLU. Their reputation for high-energy, all-out performances makes their American rock and roll experience the perfect fit for the holiday weekend.
Since auditioning for American Idol, in 2006, at age 19, country singer Kellie Pickler (July 16), has become a recording artist with a solid list of hits on the country and pop charts, a Dancing with the Stars champion, a three-time ASCAP award winner, and a three-time CMT Award winner. Pickler’s songs range from rallying cries of female empowerment (“Red High Heels,” and “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful”) to poignant representations of childhood (“I Wonder”). They all display her rich vocals, and the “down home charm,” called out by the New York Times.
Grammy nominee, and “Wake Me Up” singer, Aloe Blacc (July 23), got us moving with his singing-dancing-storytelling at his 2015 Labor Day show on the Big Stars, Bright Nights stage. He is back this summer, with a soul-and-hip-hop performance that promises to lift you up. ”What I want to do with music is make people happy,” Blacc told Billboard about his Grammy-nominated album Lift Your Spirit. “So every song, save for maybe one, is about something that could potentially lift your spirit.” The singer mixes soul, funk and pop with folk and acoustic riffs for a signature sound that the Washington Post called “smart” and “socially conscious without being preachy.”
Rock icon, Grammy winner, and Oscar winner, Melissa Etheridge (July 27), brings her M.E. Live tour, to our stage. With the release of her first new album since 2014, MEmphis Rock and Soul, Etheridge pays homage to the legendary Stax Records. Etheridge last rocked the Snow Park Amphitheater at Big Stars, Bright Nights in 2011. Beloved by fans for the social conscience she expresses through her songs, Etheridge penned “I Run For Life,” about breast cancer, and “Pulse,” a song she released just eight days after the mass shootings that took place in Orlando on June 12, 2016. She told Rolling Stone, “We want to try to make sense. We want to try to heal. We want to bring some meaning, some purpose. We also want to put it down forever in history. That’s how I’m coping.”
The all-volunteer San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (August 6) has embodied an unparalleled standard of talent-driven social justice, since its first appearance in 1978, at the candlelight vigil following the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Their first nine-city U.S. tour, in 1981, was so impactful, the Chorus helped many of its host cities establish their own gay men’s choral groups. Today, Artistic Director, Dr. Timothy Seelig, leads over 275 singers in the large chorus, as well as four outreach vocal ensembles. SFGMC recently scrapped plans for an international tour, instead creating an itinerary of stops in “red states.” Launching in October, The Lavender Pen Tour will harness the power of the SFGMC’s message of equality and inclusiveness, and the value in treating all individuals — irrespective of differences — with dignity. They will bring their songs of inspiration, hope — and a healthy dose of their signature whimsy — to the stage.
American Acoustic: Punch Brothers, I’m With Her, and Julian Lage (August 15) brings two Nickel Creek alumni, Chris Thile and Sarah Watkins, and a host of other talented musicians, together, for an unparalleled jazz-and-bluegrass-infused jam session. Punch Brothers, fronted by Prairie Home Companion host Thile, with Paul Kowert (bass), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Gabe Witcher (violin) and I’m With Her (Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan). The two bands are joined by in-demand composer and jazz guitarist Julian Lage. Thile cooked up the tour after he curated a weekend-long festival on the Kennedy Center stage in Washington, DC. “We started discussing how to make this tour happen as we were walking offstage,” he said. “On one hand, there was that delightful sense of discovery and almost childish wonder that you hope for when working with musicians you admire in a new context, but on the other, the kind of artistic compatibility and ease of communication you usually only experience in longstanding collaborations.”
Smash Mouth (August 18) has a just-released a new album, “Magic,” billed as a “no-holds-barred party from start to finish.” Expect hits, like “All Star,” to get you dancing, and new catchy tunes that keep you on your feet. This show also features soulful alt-rock band, Cracker and new-wave power-pop artists, The Romantics (“What I Like About You,” “Talking in Your Sleep”).
The last time Five For Fighting (August 26) played a Big Stars, Bright Nights show, singer-songwriter-one-man-band, John Ondrasik found the crowd’s party vibe so intoxicating that he switched up his set on the spot, to include a mix of classic get-up-and-dance songs with his own music. This year, he’s back with a string ensemble. His songs, including hits like “Superman,” “100 Years” and “God Made You,” are alternately infectious and thoughtful.
Josh Turner (September 3) brings his signature deep-bass voice, to close out the season in county style. Turner, the youngest artist to be inducted into the Grand Old Opry, is the singer and songwriter Rolling Stone calls “a country purist.” His just-released sixth studio album, “Deep South,” debuted at number one on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. The two-time Grammy nominee will showcase hits like “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” “All Over Me,” and “Hometown Girl,” for an unforgettable showman’s show.
In addition to the nine shows that were previewed at the sponsor event, Orr said one more act will be named, soon, for a date to be announced.
Tickets for all shows will go on sale to members of the Park City Institute, April 6, at 10 a.m., exclusively at the Eccles Center Box office. Purchases may be made in person, 1750 Kearns Boulevard, Park City, or by phone 435-655-3114. Membership and sponsorship information can be found at parkctiyinsitute.org, or by calling the box office. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on April 12, at which time orders may be placed online, in person or by phone.
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Park City leaders could adopt a resolution regarding the future of S.R. 248 that maintains a concept for a redo of the entryway does not jibe with community wishes.