Midsummer Lakeside Concert Series has something for everyone

An accordion band, a “world jazz” ensemble and an award-winning fiddler are among the attractions in 2004’s expanded Bates College Midsummer Lakeside Concert Series.

Held in an intimate amphitheater overlooking the college’s scenic Lake Andrews, the series next features Farmington folksinger Martin Swinger on July 29.

With a sixth date added for 2004, all concerts take place at 6 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 12 and afford a variety of family-friendly music at no admission cost. The venue is the Florence Keigwin Amphitheater, at Lake Andrews, a pond near Russell Street ringed with a tree-shaded path. Concertgoers should bring blankets or lawn chairs and are welcome to carry in non-alcoholic beverages and picnics. (In case of rain, concerts are moved inside to the adjacent Olin Arts Center Concert Hall.)

Opening the series was a trio led by Jeremy Kittel, named U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion in 2000. Following Swinger are the “world jazz” band GBS Trio (Aug. 5); and the klezmer quintet the Casco Bay Tummlers (Aug. 12).

For more information, please call the Bates Office of Special Projects and Summer Programs, 207-786-6400.

Based in Farmington, Martin Swinger is an award-winning contemporary folk musician who performs original and traditional tunes with a specialty in songs for children. He has played the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival, in Texas, and such regional events as the Maine Pride Festival, Portland, and the Common Ground Fair.

The GBS Trio consists of three of Portland’s most adventurous musicians. Barbara Truex is known for her performance on dulcimer and ukulele, as well as for her songwriting and work as a theatrical sound designer. Austrian native Gerhard Graml is a classically trained bassist who brings an experimental approach to jazz perrformance and composition. From Iran, percussionist Shamou also incorporates musical influences from the African diaspora. Together, they forge a kind of “world jazz” that ranges from the beautifully melodic to intrepid improvisation.

Finally, Portland’s Casco Bay Tummlers have been performing klezmer music for 15 years. A quintet playing woodwinds, accordion, bass and percussion, this versatile band explores myriad facets of the Jewish musical heritage, from traditional dances to Yiddish theater and ghetto songs — all with original arrangements. They also teach traditional circle and line dances. They have performed in Germany and Lithuania, have released two recordings and are featured on an L.L. Bean holiday CD. In 1999 the Tummlers created and performed the music for the world premiere of Manifest at Portland Stage Company.

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