One of the best parts of summertime in Ozaukee County is the plethora of outdoor concerts to attend. From Summer Sounds to Gathering on the Green, there's something for everyone. Here's the 2017 lineup:
Summer Sounds in Cedarburg The 15th Season of Summer Sounds kicks off Friday, June 16th, at Cedar Creek Park with indie folk rock band, Family and Friends, with special guest, Ultrasound, and continues every Friday through August 18th. Each concert begins 6:30 p.m., and there is plenty of food and drink available on site, as well as a playground for the kids nearby. Bring a blanket or chairs, find your spot, and plan on an evening of fun!
Shully's River Sounds in Thiensville will have free concerts on the first Thursday of each month from 6:30-10 p.m., rain or shine, with some delicious food available, made (of course!) by Shully's, including a 12 hour Texas style pulled pork sandwich, or a 12 hour smoked brisket Banh Mi sandwich, as well as more standard outdoor food, such as hot dogs and hamburgers. June 1st is the Eddie Butts Band, July 6th is Whiskey Farm, and August 3rd is Streetlife with Warren Wiegratz. Bring two non-perishable food items for Family Sharing's Food Pantry.
GALA in the Park Concert Series returns to Veteran's Memorial Park, along the Milwaukee River in Grafton, on Thursday evenings, beginning July 13th and going through August 24th, from 6:30-9 p.m. John's Pizzaria of Grafton will be selling food on site, and the Grafton Lions will be selling popcorn and beverages.
Live at the Triangle in Saukville's Veteran's Park will have two Wednesday evenings a month covered, from 7-9:30 p.m., beginning with Saving Savannah on June 14th, and ending with Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys on August 23rd. Food and beverages are available for purchase on site.
Gathering on the Green at Mequon's Rotary Park returns for its 22nd year on Friday, July 14th with the iconic Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, and Saturday, July 15th with 2017 Grammy Award Winner for Best Dance Recording, Daya, and special guest, Vocalight, an all vocal group from Dayton, Ohio.
Newport Shores in Port Washington has bands scheduled all summer long on their outdoor stage, right on the shore of Lake Michigan, beginning on June 3rd with Midlife Oasis, and going through September 3rd with Vinyl Groove.
Nines Live on the Sunset Deck is an outdoor concert series on Thursday nights from 7- 10 p.m. at the Nines American Bistro in Mequon. The series begins on June 8th with The Breakfast Club Band, and continues through September 7th with Jenny Thiel.
Rock the Patio at Beanies happens every Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in Port Washington from July 9th through August 27th, beginning with Bella Musik and always featuring Beanies' famous margaritas!
Cedarburg Art Museum Beer Garden will have live music and food Thursday evenings from 5:30-8:30 p.m. beginning on June 29th and through September 7th, as well as during Strawberry Festival and Wine & Harvest Festival, and for a special Opening Reception on June 10th and a Garden Party on July 3rd.
If you don't mind the drive, Sheboygan has the amazing Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series kicks off on Thursday, June 22nd at 6 p.m. with Too Many Zooz. Most performances are Thursday evenings beginning at 6; however, the Series also incorporates the Midsummer Festival of the Arts on Saturday and Sunday, July 15th and 16th, on the JMK Arts Center Festival Green.
Also not too far from Oz, the Homegrown Music Festival returns to Regner Park in West Bend on Sunday, July 9th with Chicken Wire Empire, Buffalo Gospel, the Zach Pietrini Band, Listening Party, The Freques, Old American Junk, and Kyle Megna and the Monsoons. Parking is free, and a $10 donation is recommended.
To stay informed about all of the great live music happening in and around Oz, make sure to stay tuned to the Ozaukee Living Local Events Page, and subscribe to our Friday Newsletter!
As a kid growing up on the south side of Chicago, Joe DeLucia experienced the music industry first-hand. His father, an Italian immigrant, had his own record label in 1955, recording rock bands, blues singers, songwriters, big bands, and country singers. "I remember driving many miles with him as we delivered the records (45 rpm vinyl) to radio stations across Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. His biggest 'hit' was a recording of Edgar Allen Poe's Annabel Lee put to music and sung by The Coeds. It rose to #21 on WLS's Silver Dollar Survey!"
When DeLucia arrived in Wisconsin in 1975, he started a music career of his own. "It started at the Sunday open mic at the Gasthaus in the basement of the student union at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. As I got more confident, I got paid gigs at such places as the Blue River Cafe, the 19th Street Coffeehouse, Numero Uno's on Oakland, Prima's on Downer (where I first started promoting local musicians), Marquette University and UW Milwaukee. I made a recording in 1979, a 45 rpm record, and received airplay in Milwaukee."
A wife, kids, and home put his music career on the back burner for many years, until 1991, when DeLucia moved his father in with his family, rediscovering all of those old 45 records, and realized how important music was to him. With many of his old haunts gone, DeLucia decided that he would have to create a place for singers and songwriters on his own.
In 1992, with the help of musician friends, DeLucia started the Wisconsin Singer Songwriter Series in a partnership with the Cedarburg Cultural Center, where it remained for 16 years until, for financial reasons, the concert series was moved to the Unitarian Church North in Mequon, where it continues today.
For twenty-five years, WSSS has been a successful, non-profit, volunteer-driven organization, with all of the proceeds of the event going to the artist fees and operating expenses. The small army of loyal volunteers, along with sponsorship from North Shore Bank, the law firm of DeWitt, Ross & Stevens, and Muermann Engineering, as well as DeLucia's passion for original, lyrical oriented music, has made WSSS an incredibly popular indoor concert series; so much so that DeLucia no longer has to find artists to perform; instead, they come to him, and the hardest part is choosing who gets in.
The concerts are held throughout the fall, winter, and spring at the Unitarian Church North (13800 N. Port Washington Road) in Mequon. The doors always open at 7 p.m., and the music begins at 7:30; soda, coffee, and homemade treats are available for purchase. Ticket prices vary (student prices are $10 at all times), but are less expensive if bought in advance, and season passes and mini-package deals are available for purchase through September 24th.
WSSS just released their 25th Season Line-up:
Saturday, September 24 - Reggie Harris & David Roth - advance/at the door $17/$21
Friday, October 7- Ronnie Cox & Band - advance/at the door $18/$22
Saturday, October 22 - Anne Hills - advance/at the door - $16/$20
Friday, November 4 - WSSS Song Contest - admission $5 anytime
Saturday, Nov. 5 - Michael Hough, David Tamulevich, Jan Krist & Matt Wattroba - advance/ door $17/$21
Saturday, November 19 -Julie Rust - advance/at the door $15/$19
Friday, December 9 -Jon Vezner & Don Henry - advance/at the door $17/$21
Saturday, January 21 - Bonnie Koloc - advance/at the door $18/$22
Friday, February 10 - Dan Navarro - advance/at the door $15/$19
Friday, March 3 - Brother Sun - advance/at the door $18/$22
Friday, April 7 - Joe Crookston - advance/at the door $15/$19
Saturday, April 29 - Johnsmith w/ Dan Sebranek - advance/at the door $16/$20
Friday, May 5 - Claudia Schmidt & Sally Rodgers - advance/at the door $17/$21
If you are a music lover, the WSSS is the place to be. "Our venue is a listening room, and is casual and family friendly. It is also a wonderful opportunity to purchase CD's of artists that you would normally not find at the stores," says DeLucia. "For these past 25 years, I have met musicians/songwriters of such rare quality and character, who share the same mission: to share the love of lyrics and music with everyone!"
For more information, visit the Wisconsin Singer Songwriter Series Facebook Page.
When summer comes to Oz, the music begins. Live music. Outdoors. Family friendly. I can't think of a better way to spend a summer evening. Here's the lineup for the summer concert series:
Summer Sounds On Friday nights, beginning at 7 p.m., Cedar Creek Park comes alive with music lovers of all ages. Bring a blanket or chairs. Food and drinks are available to purchase, or bring your own. The playground next to the newly finished band shell is the perfect place for when the kids get bored, or take a stroll along Cedar Creek while the music plays.
Freeport Music Festival On Friday in June 24th, July 22nd, and August 19th, the band shell at Veteran's Park on the shores of Lake Michigan is the place to be. The music starts at 7 p.m. with an opening act, followed by the headliner at 8:30. There is a variety of food and soft drinks for sale, as well as beer and wine choices available for purchase from the Port Washington Yacht Club, or bring your own. There is also a playground for the kids to blow off some steam.
Live at the Triangle This concert series in the heart of downtown Saukville happens on Wednesday nights from 7-9:30 p.m. throughout the summer. Food and beverages are available to purchase at the park, and every concert is "Cruise Night," so bring your hot rod if you've got it!
GALA in the Park Concert Series Starting Thursday, July 7th and continuing through Thursday, August 25th, the Grafton Area Live Arts presents concerts from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. (or later for some). Concerts are held in Veteran's Memorial Park in Grafton along the Milwaukee River. Food is available to purchase from John's Pizzaria of Grafton, and the Grafton Lion's Club sells popcorn and beverages.
The Patio at Newport Shores Newport Shores is the only restaurant on the lakefront in Ozaukee County, and there outdoor stage sees an amazing lineup of artists all summer long, including an Open Mic Night every Thursday evening.
Of course, there are a variety of festivals happening throughout Oz over the summer, and live music is always on the agenda!
Gathering on the Green This yearly concert at Rotary Park in Mequon focuses on fun for the whole family, and usually attracts pretty big name artists. This year, the headliner is none other than Huey Lewis and the News on Friday, July 15th, while the Kids From Wisconsin and the Starliner Big Band will take the stage on Saturday the 16th. Families can get in free with a food donation on Saturday this year, and the evening culminates with the Green's signature musical fireworks!
Hot Rods N Blues On the last weekend in June each year, Rods-n-Relics Car Club hosts a car, truck & motorcycle show at Lime Kiln Park in Grafton, Wisconsin called Hot Rods ‘N Blues. This year, The Incorruptibles kick off the event with a set from 11:00am-1:00pm on Sunday, June 26th. Headlining the event is the “Braille Blues Daddy” Bryan Lee. His set is from 1:30pm-3:30pm.
Strawberry Festival You'll find music every which way you turn at this annual event in downtown Cedarburg, happening the weekend of June 25th and 26th, but especially at the Gruber Law Office Main Stage next to the Festival Food Court which will feature rockin’ fun cover bands like Our House and Life in a Tree.
Grillin' in Grafton This annual festival takes place at Lime Kiln Park, along the Milwaukee River, the first weekend in July, and is billed as Wisconsin's number one BBQ Festival. A BBQ competition, parade, fireworks, and plenty of live music is on the agenda.
Fish Day Billed as the "World's Largest One Day Outdoor Fish Fry," Fish Day in Port Washington is celebrating its 52nd year this July 16th. The music headliners are of a Country Music type, featuring Josh Thompson, WAMI award winner Nora Collins, and Road Crew.
Ozaukee County Fair One of the last free fairs in the Midwest, the Ozaukee County Fair is an excellent place to catch some live music. Happening August 3rd through the 7th, the Fair kicks off its 157th year with the likes of the Charlie Daniels Band, the Whiskeybelles, and Pat McCurdy, among others. With five stages of music, you're sure to find something you like.
Luxembourg Fest An ethnic festival like no other, Luxembourg Festival in Belgium takes place August 12th through the 14th at the Belgium Community Park. You don't have to be a Luxembourger to attend (though it probably helps). A parade, fireworks, car show, kid's zone, craft fair, live music (featuring the headliner, Uprising, on Friday night), and more are sure to please even the non-Luxembourgers among us.
Paramount Blues Festival The festival comes to Port Washington's Coal Dock Park this year, over Labor Day Weekend, and is sure to be a hit. The list of musical talent is long, and continues to grow. This should be the perfect end to a long and glorious summer of live music in Oz.