Summer fun: A jazzy night on the town

It’s summer, the weather is beautiful, and it’s a great time to be outside. I spent a recent Saturday night downtown surrounded by music; the area was filled with blues and jazz and it was nice! I started out at the “Blues on the Red” festival at the Town Square. The bands kept the crowd swaying, tapping their toes, and snapping their fingers all night long. Wild Hog Smokehouse Bar and Grill was on site to feed the masses with their delicious pulled pork barbecue.

We also took in a little jazz at the Empire Arts Center’s “Backstage” venue. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this Grand Forks event, it is a small music concert that takes place literally backstage. One of this month’s performers said that he could remember what that space was like before Emily and Becca (of the Empire) cleared it out- filled to the brim with the most random stuff. The Empire crew has been putting on monthly musical programs in this space all summer long, offering local artists the chance to showcase their talents while exposing Grand Cities residents and visitors alike to the arts. The setting is comfortable and intimate, and Rhombus Guys and Urban Stampede provided beverages to all in attendance. I would strongly recommend that if you have a chance to check out their next concert, please do!!! (August 17th at 8pm featuring a folk band named Fancy That)

– Casey Koop