Free concerts begin this Friday at the Wilson Center

June 23, 2009

The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts opens its free summertime Friday night concert series, Starry Nights, Friday, June 26. All shows begin at 6:30 pm rain or shine in the Gerlach Outdoor Theater in Brookfield’s Mitchell Park. For more information about Starry Nights, call (262) 781-9470 or visit


Lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets are a staple of Starry Nights. “In true Milwaukee fashion, people hold their spot on the lawn as early as 10:00 am the day of the concert,” says Executive Director Jonathan Winkle. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase from many fine local cafés and caterers such as Haute Taco, North Star American Bistro, Four Seasons Coffee, and Loaf & Jug.


This year’s concert line up features a diverse list of local and regional musicians with wide-ranging musical styles.


June 26, 6:30—De La Buena

Employing jazz harmonic sensibility and a deep-seated love of diverse cultures, De La Buena explores the textures and rhythms of Latin jazz with roots planted firmly in Afro-Cuban traditions.


July 10, 6:30—Wilson Center Jazz Orchestra with Barbara Stephan

The Wilson Center Big Band brings some of the best regional musicians together for high-powered swing, big band, and standards featuring the vocals of Barbara Stephan. Members have toured and recorded with the likes of Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Guy Lombardo.


July 17, 6:30—Mare Edstrom Blue Band

Midwestern singer-songwriter and blues vocalist, Mare Edstrom, sprinkles the blues with elements of R&B, rockabilly, and throws a little soul into the mix.


July 24, 6:30—Randy Sabien

When Randy Sabien picks up his violin, get ready. His rhythmic, bluesy, swingin’ sound will have you bobbing your head, tapping your toes, and dancing right out of your chair.


July 31, 6:30—Leahy’s Luck with Randal Harrison and Stas Venglevski

A Milwaukee mainstay, Leahy’s Luck, performs throughout the Midwest—this summer they bring traditional Irish folk music to Starry Nights with help from Madison fiddler Randal Harrison and accordion extraordinaire Stas Venglevski.


August 7, 6:30—Streetlife with Warren Wiegratz

Multi-award winning recording artists and house band for the Milwaukee Bucks, Streetlife combines superb musicianship with an exciting stage presence to a unique blend of R&B, smooth jazz, and contemporary styles.


For more information about Starry Nights, call (262) 781-9470 or visit


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