Music series

Jim Burlanda launches Portage LIVE! Summer Music Series June 7 – Chicago Tribune

Choir, country, garage rock, jazz, Motown, rhythm and blues, rock, Spanish and tribute are just a few of the types of artists reserved for Portage LIVE!’s summer music series.

The program of 13 concerts takes place on Tuesdays from June 7 to August 30. 30 inside Oakwood Hall at Woodland Park Community Center in Portage.

“We’ve had all these people at least once in the past. They’ve all been proven by our organization,” said Debra Silvert, Director of Publicity for Portage LIVE!

The summer musical series kicks off with Jim Bulanda’s Salute to the Stars on June 7.

The Lowell artist does vocal impressions of singers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond and Michael Buble and has a repertoire of over 300 classic songs.

“Jim Bulanda is so well known and loved by local audiences. He also has the comedic aspect, so we thought he would be a good headliner and set the tone for the rest of the show,” Silvert said. from Valparaiso.

June performers also include ReTurn2SouL (rhythm and blues, jazz, Motown) on June 14, Chris & Lou (Beatles Celebration) on June 21, and Clifford Tartaglia (Rod Stewart Experience) on June 28.

“We’re really looking to keep the show as local as possible, but also to have people who are just known for their ability to engage an audience and really provide entertainment,” Silvert said.

July artists include the Jason Martin Trio (jazz) on July 5, Island 49 (Jimmy Buffett tribute) on July 12, Harley Hehr (music, song, comedy, impressions) on July 19 and Joe Zirconia (Neil Diamond tribute ) on July 26. .

“We’re going to have something for everyone. This is the main criterion of this series. We try not to import acts from too far away because we have a lot of talent here in Indiana,” Silvert said.

August acts include Wolffgang (Hobart High School girls choir) on August 2, Oscar and The Majestics (1960s garage rock) on August 9, Dave “Elvis” Thomas (Elvis Presley tribute) on August 16, Mario Zavala (hits, rock, Spanish and country) on August 23 and Rick Lindy & The Wild Ones (1950s-1970s) on August 30.

In addition to the music, Summer Music Series attendees can attend the car show before and during all Tuesday concerts at Woodland Park.

“It’s such a convenient place,” Silvert said of Woodland Park, where the show has been shown since its inception in 2001.

“We have the concessions right inside the room with the cash bar. It’s beautiful and spacious so it’s comfortable. We have seats at the tables. There are also theater type seats and there is plenty of room for people to get up and dance.

“We have a lot of people dancing at the performances. It’s irresistible given the space. It’s really ideal for this kind of concerts. It’s just a nice, laid back, accommodating place.”

The Summer Music Series also gives back to the community by collecting donations of non-perishable food items, personal items and paper products for Gabriel’s Horn Homeless Shelter and Portage Township Food Pantry.

“We want to support the community and we want others to feel like they’re joining us in doing so. It’s important,” Silvert said.

Supporters of the series include the Porter County Community Foundation, Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce, Portage Parks and Recreation Department, John W. Anderson Foundation, and Quinlan & Fabish Music Company.

People who want to support Portage LIVE! can scan the QR code at or text “Portage” to 44321 to donate to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which also features free outdoor events on the second Sunday in the summer and a series of paid concert subscriptions from fall to spring.

“Even the smallest donation counts. It’s amazing the impact this has on our budget. You can donate any amount to support our efforts,” said Silvert.

Second Sundays at the outdoor amphitheater in Founders Square Park include The Legends featuring Zirconia vocal styles like Neil Diamond, Vince “Mr. Smooth” DiFiore as Frank Sinatra, John Truncalli as Tom Jones, Thomas as Elvis Presley and Tartaglia as Rod Stewart at 3 p.m. June 12.

“We’ll have food trucks there,” Silvert said of the fare, including Hobart’s Fat Guys Fries and Portage’s Tocayos Express Mexican Food.

Founders Philharmonic, a full community pop orchestra, will headline the Second Sundays event at 3 p.m. on July 10.

Portage Live! Summer Music Series

When: 6 p.m. on Tuesdays from June 7 to August. 30

Where: Oakwood Hall at Woodland Park Community Center, 2100 Willowcreek Road, Portage

Tickets: free

Information: 219-628-0914, 219-762-3300 or 219-762-1675;

Jessi Virtusio is a freelance journalist for the Post-Tribune.