Concert Series Brings Music Back To The Park

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Bring your lawn chair and picnic baskets and enjoy live entertainment for free. A variety of musical entertainment is planned for the summer's Concert Under the Stars series.

There will be something for everyone, from country music and Latin sounds to blues, reggae and big band music. Hosted by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department, concerts are at the Green Valley Park Amphitheater each Saturday, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Enjoy blues, jazz and rhythm July 9 at Green Valley Park when Common Ground Blues takes the stage as part of the Payson Parks and Recreation Department's Concert Under the Stars series.

The scheduled performers are:

  • June 11 - The Mike & T Band -- country variety
  • June 18 - Barrio Latino -- Latin
  • June 25 - The Dyno Glides -- Rock-a-billy
  • July 9 - Common Ground Blues -- blues, jazz, rhythm
  • July 16 - Walt Richardson & the Peaceful Warriors -- reggae, folk
  • July 23 - Sonoran Swing -- 21-piece big band

About the groups

June 11 -- Mike & T (Teriney) Smith are musicians and singers with a rich history of music and entertaining experiences.

Mike, a native Texan, moved to Nashville when he was 16 years old and embarked on a surprising whirlwind of working with touring acts such as Charlie Rich, The Judd's, Hank Williams, Jr., Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers Band and others. He has three gold and two platinum albums to his credit, one Music City News "Band of the Year" award, one NARAS Super Pickers award and nominations from the Dove Awards for Album of the Year. He is also the managing partner of Gatlin Brothers Music, Inc., a music production and publishing company.

Teriney grew up singing in church. It was there she worked alongside acts such as The Statesmen, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Stamps Quartet and more. She toured Australia, Central America and the U.S. as a solo artist. In 1999/2000, she toured and recorded with Larry Gatlin as a featured vocalist and background singer.
Mike & T , who have been best friends most of their lives and then married in 1999, joined their talents to perform for corporate, private and public venues, weddings, dining, dancing and stage show events. They do modern and classic country, adult contemporary/light rock and some smooth jazz format. They also offer seasonal performances such as Christmas music and more.

June 18 -- Barrio Latino has been the guiding force of traditional and contemporary Mexican and Latin music in Arizona. The band has created pandemonium with audiences wherever they take their high-powered show. Their musical styles include everything from samba, salsa, cha cha, cumbia, polka, bolero, waltz, jazz, blues, Latin cross-over and funk. With the blending of English and Spanish cultures, Barrio Latino's original music is paving an innovative road that celebrates diversity.

Their powerhouse percussion and fiery sounds make it difficult to "label" this very versatile band. They are masters of whatever style music they play.

Barrio Latino has performed on the same stage with Maureen McGovern and Gregory Hines, Los Lobos and Little Joe y La Familia. Their resumé also includes shows with Selena, Sergio Mendez and comedians Paul Rodriquez and HBO's Carlos Mencia.

Barrio Latino has also had three of their songs placed in two major motion pictures. "Wait boy" was placed in the movie "Ransom" starring Mel Gibson. "Sonoran Salsa" and "Rafael el Colombiano" were featured in the movie "The Devil's Own" starring Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford.

The people of Arizona voted Barrio Latino the "Best Latin Band" for the "New Times Music Awards" in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

The band includes: Andy Gonzales, Abby Ray, Dowell Davis, Anita Benevitez, Rick Benevitez, frequently features guest artist Jennifer Rico. Barrio Latino and its members reside in the barrios (neighborhoods) of Phoenix and Los Angeles.

June 25 -- The Dyno Glides bring their own brand of Rockabilly Swing Music to Green Valley Park. The Dyno Glides have been thrilling audiences, both young and old alike, for many years because individually the members have all had their share of the spotlight in other well known bands, made records, played a million shows, signed autographs, etc. etc. -- but that's another story.

The Dyno Glidesromise, "A High Energy Rocking & Rolling Good Time."

The group's members are Kenny Love, guitar and vocals; Joel Laterneau, drums and vocals; and Kevin Lee Pate, upright bass and vocals.

July 9 --ommon Ground Blues is making a return engagement with the Concert Under the Stars Series. In spite of the Willow Fire's smoky skies and ash in the air, the group drew an enthusiastic crowd to Green Valley Park last year. The five-man group had an audience of all ages wrapped up in its cool combinations. Rim residents, from pre-schoolers and first-graders to grandmas and grandpas, responded when Common Ground Blues reached in and grabbed hold of that ages-old need to move to the music. Even the people taking an evening stroll in the park seemed to step to the blues beat.

Vocalist Glen Farkash has a range that reaches from the gravelly tones made famous by Louis Armstrong and Joe Cocker to the smoother sounds of Paul Simon. But he would not get near the mileage from his talent without the superb support of musicians Tim Kinsey, Brian Masherella, Peter Davis and Jason Kay.

July 16 -- Walt Richardson is also a returning artists to the Concert Under the Stars Series. He was here several years ago and took the Rim country audience on a fanciful musical tour of the Caribbean islands. Richardson has been singing, songwriting, and playing guitar most of his life. "Standing alone with a guitar gives me freedom of expression, and for me, that's where it all begins," Richardson said. "It is an intimacy which touches each audience member and gives rise to the message behind the music. believe that inspiration is one of the greatest gifts we can share with each other, and music allows me to share this gift with all of you. If you get a chance, come see me play.My music is a mix of folk, rock, and reggae that I hope you enjoy."

July 23 -- Sonoran Swing is a 19-piece band with two vocalists who bring back the sounds of the Big Band era. The group has been together for 12 years, starting as the Motorola Dance Band and performing at numerous benefits as part of the company's community service activities. When Motorola sold to General Dynamics the service policy was discontinued and the band members struck out on their own, according to Gary Cordell, a member who makes his home in Payson. The group plays more dances than concerts because people like to dance to the Big Band music. Among the band's recent appearances have been the Phoenix Ritz Carlton, Mesa Amphitheater, Grace Inn at Ahwatukee, lots of Elks clubs and the Mazatzal Casino. This is the first time Sonoran Swing has been part of Payson's Concert Under the Stars series.

For more information about the series and other events presented by the Payson Parks & Recreation Department, call (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

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