It’s been a dozen years since George Balzer asked the city of Port Moody to start his Summer Sundays Concerts at Rocky Point Park.
And judging by the response from fans, it’ll be a long time before the series winds down.
The free concerts have seen top international acts play their soul, R&B, blues, funk and reggae beats on the PCT Performance Stage, attracted thousands of music lovers to the Murray Street park on Sunday afternoons (last year, the series drew 15,000 visitors) and raised more than $30,000 for its designated charity: Crossroads Hospice Society.
“All the feedback we are getting is positive,” Balzer told The Tri-City News, which is sponsoring the series for another year. “People really like the high energy these performers bring to the park.”
Balzer is particularly pleased with this year’s lineup.
Many musicians and groups are repeats such as Mr. Boogie Woogie — aka Eric-Jan Overbeek, a piano master from the Netherlands — The R&B Allstars and Brickhouse.
But it’s the tribute bands that Balzer is most anxious to talk about.
He has secured the Steely Dan revue, Steelin’ In The Years, “because we got a lot of requests last year to bring them back,” Balzer said, and, for the first time, Eagle Eyes, a Vancouver Island group of professional touring musicians who play Eagles’ covers.
Made up of Jack Gunderson (lead vocals/bass), Jason Dunajski (lead vocals/bass), Ray Harvey (lead vocals/guitars) and Greg Murray (lead vocals/drums), Eagle Eyes “is booked solid in the U.S.,” Balzer said. “We were very, very lucky to get them here.”
Meanwhile, Balzer has also programmed the entertainment for RibFest — the annual Rotary meat feast, which runs July 20 to 22 at Rocky Point Park. It’ll have more of a rock flair featuring 18 bands, opening with Port Moody musician Rocky Milino Jr. & the C4D Band; it also includes some Summer Sundays Concerts’ acts like R&B Allstars and Mr. Boogie Woogie.
• Summer Sundays Concerts is sponsored by Pacific Coast Terminals, TD Bank Group, K+S Potash Canada and Open Road Auto Group. Visit summersundays.ca.
• July 8: Groove & Tonic
• July 15: Mr. Boogie Woogie
• July 20-22: RibFest
• July 29: David Gogo
• Aug. 5: Double feature — Nigel Mack & The Blues Attack, The R&B Allstars
• Aug. 12: Eagle Eyes
• Aug. 19: Steelin’ In The Years
• Aug. 26: Brickhouse
• Sept. 2: Big City Soul