Like her fellow Rotarians the globe over, West Springfield Rotary Club member Stella Kalamarkis exemplifies the organization’s motto, “service over self.”
In fact, in her other role as entertainment chair for the upcoming West Side’s Taste of The Valley—taking place at the West Springfield Town Common June 6-9—Kalamarkis says that nary a day goes by when she isn’t answering an inquiry or listening to the music of an area act eager to make it to the Taste’s meaty musical bill—and to the ears of the 40,000-plus people who attend it each year if Mother Nature plays nice. When it comes to at least one of the 13 lucky acts to land a coveted slot, however, Kalamarkis is quick to admit that a “Rotarian overlap” of sorts made it a no-brainer.
“The Taste is the Rotary’s largest fundraiser, and two of the members of Scrap Iron Sun are Rotarians,” she explains. “So they are really good, and willing to play for free, which are certainly things we are always looking for.”
Another consideration is how well a band draws, and considering the fact that she has secured scene heavyweights Merrick Section (June 7, 5 p.m.), Brass Attack (June 8, noon), The Kings (June 8, 7 p.m.), Aquanett (June 8, 9 p.m.) and John Brandoli (June 9, 4 p.m.)—to name a choice few—Kalamarkis and company believe they have fulfilled their mission in spades.
“On top of that, we have what I would say is the biggest name in the history of the taste with Jonathan Edwards on Sunday, June 9 as well,” Kalamarkis says. “If Mother Nature plays nice, this could easily be a record year for us.”
For more information on how to become part of the potentially historic event—or to obtain more particulars on the veritable smorgasbord of edibles and audio—kindly point your browser to westsidetaste.com.
Note: A 5K Road race will also occur in conjunction with this event on Sunday, June 9 at 10 a.m. All proceeds from this run are earmarked for the One Fund Boston, a charitable organization established by Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to raise funds for persons affected by the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.
If West Side’s Taste whets your appetite for more outdoor music opportunities, the nearby SummerWind (SSCSummerwind.org) Performing Arts Center has made it a breeze to find a whole bunch more.
The Windsor, Conn. amphitheater has announced several weekends of “relaxing, budget friendly/family oriented” sounds under the stars.
The 2013 series kicked off May 31 with Memphis Soul Spectacular and continues this Friday, June 7 with John Mayock & The Homesteaders. Cover kings Sex Pizza (June 14) and acoustic rockers Dana Pomfret and Tim McDonald (June 21) round out the month. The Valley’s own Lonesome Brothers also hold court July 19.
“Thanks to the SummerWind’s dedicated board and our sponsors, we’ve been able to add seven Friday after-work shows to our nine weekend performances this summer.” notes the Arts Center’s Executive Director, Michael Campbell. “These TGIF events give the after-work crowd great entertainment at only $5 with free parking.”
Last but not least, since we’ve delved into matters in the Nutmeg State, the Crawler should note that the REACH Foundation’s Benefit Motorcycle will conclude there (at the Sun Valley Resort in Stafford Springs, to be exact) on Sunday, June 9—giving way to a full-blown bash featuring Nashville notable Chris Cagle.
The concert comes in conjunction with radio station Country 92.5 FM, and all funds from the day-long affair benefit children in physical, social or financial need.
Tickets are $50 per rider in advance or $65 day of event. A concert-only option is also available for $30/$35. (All paid riders and passengers will receive entry into the ride, lunch and concert admission.) To purchase yours or obtain more info, call 888-98MUSIC or hit up Country925.com.•
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