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Goodale Park Music Series Returns This Weekend

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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The Short North Sunday Jazz series has become a well known outdoor summer music event in Goodale Park. But funding was cut from the Columbus Department of Parks & Recreation who hosted the event, and it was forced to be cancelled for 2009.

Thankfully, community leader Alexandra Kelley decided that she would volunteer her time, energy, and connections to keep the festival alive. The name has changed to the Goodale Park Music Series, but the enjoyment should remain the same. We conducted a quick Q&A with Alex to find out more about the event, which starts up on Sunday.

Q) What prompted you to step up to save this music event series?

A) Goodale Park is one of my favorite places in the world. I loved those lazy Sunday afternoons lying on a blanket with friends listening to live music. When I heard that Short North Sunday Jazz had been canceled, I decided to try to bring it back to life. I promoted events for years but never tackled the operations or booking side. I’ve loved every minute of planning this series.

Q) It sounds like quite a few groups have really stepped up to help out with funding. Has the support been easy to find, or is everyone somewhat cash-strapped these days?

A) I knew people from all of the donating organizations through my work with the Short North Foundation and am very grateful to them for believing in me. Yes, times are tough and yes, we’re experiencing a grueling economy — but as a result our community rallied to save the music. Every band I hired was extremely supportive of the cause and willing to play no matter how much I could pay them.

Q) For anyone who has attended in the past when it was run by Parks & Rec, should they expect anything different?

A) The biggest change I’ve made is to celebrate all genres of music, not just jazz (that’s why I named it the Goodale Park Music Series). The concerts will still be held on Sundays from noon to 1:30 and people are still welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic lunches.

Q) Do you still need volunteers, or is it time to just sit back and enjoy?

A) People can come and relax and enjoy themselves! And join our Facebook group to receive updates.

Q) Being just a great supporter of the local music scene, are there any particular bands you’re looking forward to in the music series?

A) I’m so proud of this lineup. The first show is hardcore bluegrass with some of the finest musicians I’ve ever seen. Megan Palmer & The Hopefuls’ Comfest set was unbelievable and I can’t wait to see her take over the gazebo again. I’m so honored to have Jim Maneri in this series and his straight-ahead jazz set will feature other local jazz musicians. You just can’t miss with The Spikedrivers; they’re a guaranteed good time. Angela Perley is one outstanding songstress and I hope that more people discover her music. And Jason Quicksall is plain mesmerizing — his voice and lyrics stop me in my tracks every time.

The Goodale Park Music Series kicks off on Sunday July 12 at noon with Dale Vanderpool & Friends. More information can be found online at goodalemusic.victorianvillage.org.

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