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Hot Lunch Concert Series returns to Fremont Park

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Fremont Park

Hot Italian along with Friends of Fremont Park  teamed up once again for the 2012 Hot Lunch Concert Series.

The free concerts are held every Thursday from May 31 – August 30, 2012. The lunch time series is held from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Promoter Jerry Perry has put together a great package for the 2012 Hot Lunch concerts.

Jerry Perry at hot lunch concert series

This year’s opening line up started off with the Leonardo da Vinci Blues Band. The band is made up by 7th and 8th graders from the Leonardo da Vinci School,

The da Vinci School players were joined on stage by Ned Hammad who is the school’s artist-in-residence.

Ned Hammad conducts the da Vinci Blues Band

“I have been doing this with the school going on 10 years now and the organization is called I Can do That Very Special Arts. I’ve known Jerry Perry for a number of years and the opportunity just arose,” said Hammad when asked about his role with the school.

Owen Jackman, a special education instructor teaches at the school and has also been there for 10 years. Jackman described the school’s blues band saying, “This is the Very Special Arts I Can Do That Leonardo da Vinci Blues Band. We’re part of a program that combines general education and special education students in an artistic project. This program does all kinds of things including art, dance, and we happen to have a band. It’s like School of Rock meets Spinal Tap.”

Leonardo da Vinci Blues Band

Jackman also noted this particular music program is an elective class held during the school day. Jackman indicated there were about 25 kids performing at Hot Lunch. He also said that the kids’ musical experience differed from some students having had a few years of experience while for others this was the first time they’ve ever played in public.

According to Jackman this was the last performance of the year. Alice Parente, Director of Very Special Arts, also accompanied the band and thanked the audience as their performance ended.

Alice Parente, Director of Very Special Arts, addresses the Hot Lunch crowd

This year the concert series also includes food trucks to go along with the Hot Italian food choices. Wicked’wich, Mama Kim and Fuzion Eatz offered a variety of choices for attendees to the Hot Lunch Concerts to choose from.

Food trucks at Hot Concert Series

Another truck at the event was Bridgette Maldonado’s Gypsy Mobile Boutique.

The mobile boutique has a variety of fashion items available. The back of the truck opens to an array of fashionably chic items and has a small changing room. A small sitting area outside allows guests an area to rest as customers shop for the latest fashion.

Aboard the Gypsy Mobile Boutique with Bridgette Maldonado (L) and a customer

Look for the black Gypsy truck at events throughout Midtown. Maldonado’s charming personality or the available wear will undoubtedly draw you into her boutique.

Island of Black and White facing Hot Italian

Island of Black and White began their set with their rendition of Tracy Chapman’s "Give Me One Reason.”

Chris Haislet’s soulful vocals were well received by the audience. Island of Black and White’s music touches several musical genres including blues, folk, funk and reggae.

Island of Black and White’s Chris Haislet

Haislet along with Nawal Al Wareeth, Brandon Dickinson, and Tim Picchi continue to grow in popularity and they also provide a very dynamic live performance.

During their performances Island of Black and White also embarks into jamming sets showcasing their musical playing talents using a wide variety of instruments. Back up vocal melodies also enhance the sound of the band.

The band has been performing in the Sacramento and surrounding areas for several years now. This year Island had a very busy schedule in May and they continue to be booked at various venues including Concerts in the Park.

Island of Black and White

I’ve found Island of Black and White’s versatility very refreshing. The band members are likeable and go out of their way to talk to fans.

Their energetic sets will get you moving. If you haven’t seen them perform you can catch them at the Boardwalk in Orangevale on June 9.

Bring your lunch or buy some hot food from Hot Italian or the food trucks at Fremont Park on Thursday June 7 as the Bell Boys perform.

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