Eighth Season of Downtown Tunes Begins May 24 in Leonardtown - Southern Maryland Headline News

Eighth Season of Downtown Tunes Begins May 24 in Leonardtown

LEONARDTOWN, Md.—The eighth season of live music returns to downtown Leonardtown this summer when the Downtown Tunes series opens in the Square on Saturday, May 24, 2014, with a varied music program featuring Gretchen Richie's Jazz Cabaret with Higher Standards. The series will also feature evenings devoted to country, rock and roll, and acoustic music throughout the summer. All concerts are on the fourth Saturday of the month and all are free. Shows begin at 6 pm and will run about three hours.

Jazz with Gretchen Richie is said to be "exactly life size". Gretchen Richie has had a very versatile singing career, performing rock and roll in her early years and musical theater before settling into Jazz. She formed her group with her husband, Randy Richie, in 1987 and has performed all over the country where people have been inspired by her music. Higher Standards is a sophisticated Jazz band from southern Maryland. The band is inspired by Herbie Hancock, Soulive, Amy Winehouse and many more. They deliver a funky upbeat musical atmosphere to southern Maryland. The band's three members are Alex Bizzarro, Frank Smith and Ambus Hunter. Combined, the two groups are sure to give the performance of a lifetime!

Downtown Tunes will continue on June 28 with local country sensation the Sara Gray Trio. Sara is a passionate singer who has been dedicated to performing since she was 3 years old and writes songs that demonstrate a "range and emotion beyond her years". She works as a Registered Nurse for Children's National Medical Center and loves to inspire people to shine and find their happiness through her music, both covers and original songs. Sara has opened for Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith, the Zac Brown Band, and Kellie Pickler.

July 26 will bring Hydrafx, who are ready to rock the Square. Band members Greg Barrick, Jon Kinkade, Anthony Damron and Andrew Dulaney perform a perfect mixture of cover and original music, often spending their time creating a unique blend of reggae-rock, which has developed a large local following.

The series winds up on August 23 with the acoustic sounds of award-winning duo Deer Park Avenue. Sisters Sarah and Stephanie Snyder are the winners of Hard Rock Rising, Washington D.C., a battle of the bands hosted by one of the world's most popular music websites, ReverbNation. Often called "power-pop, alternative with an old school rock vibe that they've loved since they were kids", these vibrant young ladies have toured both coasts in the US, as well as Germany and France, and are known for their enthusiasm on stage and their outstanding performance.

All shows are free but concert-goers are invited to bring chairs or blankets to sit on. Downtown restaurants will be open before and during the shows, and businesses like Fenwick Street Used Books and Music and The Good Earth Natural Foods Company will be open until 6:00 p.m. to allow for browsing and buying before the concerts start.

The series is organized and hosted by the Leonardtown Business Association and sponsored by Quality Built Homes, Winegardner Auto, MedStar St. Mary's Hospital and Guy Distributing. Rain dates will be the next day, Sunday, for all shows.

For more information about the event, please contact series producer James LePore at jrlepore@gmail.com or visit http://www.leonardtown.somd.com.

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