Fun, fun, fun (and great music) in the summertime


By Marilyn Delk


The party of the summer is coming up! Make sure that you don’t miss Darke County Center for the Arts annual fun fundraiser “Barbecue and Blues” on Friday, July 12. The joyous event annually fills the spacious, inviting lawn of the Greenville Public Library with a crowd of music lovers who expect and receive good music, good food, and a good time!

The show will open with Cincinnati-area artist Alex Poteet , whose rootsy blues sound has been influenced by diverse artists ranging from John Mayer to the Beatles and James Taylor. Alex picked up the guitar at age 13, and soon became well-versed in the blues, developing quickly into an in-demand performer while he was too young to legally play in places where alcohol is served. His one-man-band style conveys his (somewhat ironic) mission to share joy through every note he plays.

Headliners Brass Tracks Band, known for its ability to get crowds jumping, is made up of musicians who many area music lovers will recognize; one of those is saxophone player Hal Melia. Currently Adjunct Professor of jazz studies at Central State, Hal has appeared in several major motion pictures and recorded with top jazz and rhythm and blues groups. Frankly, all I needed to know about the quality of the musicians gracing the “Barbecue and Blues” stage is—Hal Melia will be there!

Keyboardist Tim Jennens is also well-known among area music lovers. He’s been a professional musician since he was 18 years old; by that time he had been playing for 10 years and performing for 7. While attending the University of Kentucky, Tim was a member of two popular bands; upon moving to Dayton in 1979, he performed frequently at the iconic Nite Owl in Dayton’s Oregon District. He has opened for the Beach Boys, the Commodores, the Righteous Brothers and Wayne Cochran, as well as performing solo and with groups.

The rest of the band includes trombone player Andrew Duncan, who hails from Pittsburgh, and is a Central State University professor as well as former Music Director of the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight. Bassist Don Overberg has played with a variety of groups and is also a sound engineer who has worked with Aretha Franklin, Toby Keith, and Tony Bennett. Termed “one of the best rock, rhythm and blues guitarists that has blessed the stage,” guitarist Kevin Clark was inspired to take up the instrument by watching a Johnny Cash special on TV.

Drummer Kevin McCloskey has performed with diverse groups ranging from the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra to The Lost Canyon Band, and shared the stage with a wide range of performers including Rick Derringer, 38 Special, and Beverly Sills. Sean Fizpatric, the group’s trumpeter, was playing cocktail jazz with his father at various private parties by the age of 14, and has performed with Motown’s iconic group, The Four Tops.

Last, but definitely not least, the group’s lead vocalist Jevon Kennedy has been making music since he was a kid in his church choir and his grandmother told him “You’d better open your mouth and sing.” He was a part of a couple of children’s shows in his youth, traveled around the country with the Dayton Rotary Boys Choir, has performed in several theatrical productions, sung with a barbershop quartet, served as worship leader for a large church congregation and is now the front man for Brass Tracks Band.

“Barbecue and Blues” food venders include Cray Cray Cajun, Badges BBQ, and Fren-cheese Eats, while drinks will be provided by Heidelberg Distributing. Good food, great music, and the opportunity to see almost everyone you know in a gracious setting—what more could you possibly need to celebrate summer! Tickets for “Barbecue and Blues” cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under; food and drink are not included in the ticket price. Tickets will be available at the gate, or can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or and are also on sale at Greenville Public Library.

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