-- — In its 12th year, the Batesville Memorial Public Library After Hours Concert Series will once again provide audiences with family-friendly entertainment. Library director Mike Kruse is excited about this year’s lineup, which includes new groups as well as returning favorites. Even though not all slots are filled (please see box), he brags about the four acts that are coming back to Batesville. Traveler’s Dream, which starts the season off this Saturday, is made up of “talented musicians who like to explain the history behind their songs.” Referring to Ceol Mhor, the director asks, “How often do you get to hear songs sung in Welsh? They are a wonderful ensemble .... (and) Monika Herzig and Friends play a very accessible form of jazz. It’s easy to listen to and enjoy.” Jake, of Jake Speed and the Freddies “is a teacher and storyteller, and this is just a fun band to listen to. They have a nice selection of songs that tell the history of Cincinnati,” he adds. Kruse also describes the two newcomers. “Il Troubadore are wonderful musicians on a variety of instruments and styles. I have heard them perform a song from the Middle Ages and follow it with a classical-sounding rock song.” Governor Davis and the Blues Ambassadors “are an award-winning blues band that has played for over 15 years in Indiana and throughout the Midwest.” How does the director find enough money to lure bands here? “We have an annual programming budget which pays some of the costs. We also get grants and gifts, plus donations from generous concert attendees.” The cost for each performance “varies, based on the size and needs of the groups. I’d estimate that we average about $600-$700 per group.” Kruse is looking forward to all 11 concerts, “but if I have to select a few, I'd say the April concert, because it's a special DVD/CD release event, and the ones by our new series performers, il Troubadore and Governor Davis and the Blues Ambassadors.” He encourages the public to attend the musical events because “they are conveniently located. They offer a wide variety of musical styles in a comfortable setting. They're free. And these concerts are performed by talented musicians who appreciate the interest our audiences show them. “I often hear from musicians who play for our series how much they enjoy the experience. It's not a bar or restaurant scene, where people are only partly paying attention. Both our performers and our audiences enjoy the relaxed, intimate atmosphere. “We always encourage people to come hear something they know they'd like, and then challenge them to stretch their musical listening experiences a little and try something different. There's something for everybody in the After Hours Concert Series.” CONCERT SCHEDULE Six of the 11 free concerts (none in December) in the 2011 After Hours Concert Series have been booked. So far all are on Saturdays. The concerts are held at the library, 131 N. Walnut St., at 7 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. l Jan. 22: Traveler’s Dream, Lafayette, features a duo playing Celtic, French-Canadian and American folk music. - Feb. 19: Ceol Mhor, Cincinnati, “call themselves the ‘Irish band with a Welsh accent,’” Kruse reveals. - March: Artist, date and time to be announced, but “will likely be a performance by student bands from Batesville High School.” - April 9: Monika Herzig and Friends, Bloomington. “In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month and National Library Week, it will feature a special DVD/CD release .... and screening of the band’s DVD and a question-and-answer time with band members followed by a concert.” - May 14: Il Troubadore, Indianapolis, is a “four-piece world music band that has a repertoire of over 700 songs in 37 languages.” - June: Artist, date and time to be announced. - July 9, 8 p.m., SummerFest, Liberty Park: Governor Davis and the Blues Ambassadors, Indianapolis, is “a five-piece blues band with rock/soul/funk influences.” l Aug. 27, Ice Cream Social (most likely outdoors): Jake Speed and the Freddies, Cincinnati. “They play good-time acoustic, ragtime songs,” Kruse notes. - Sept. 25, 6 p.m., AppleFest, Liberty Park: Artist to be announced. - October: Artist, date and time to be announced. - November: Artist, date and time to be announced. Info: www.ebatesville.com/library/after.html, 934-4706 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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