Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids Foundation (NICK) presents “Rock 4 Hope” from 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Eagles Hall (805 Elm Street) in Valparaiso to raise funds for its care and support programs for the families affected by pediatric cancer. All ages welcome. Cost is $10.
Several area musical groups of various styles and genres are coming together to donate time and talent to the NICK cause. Food will be available as well as cocktails for those 21 and older. Performing in order will be Flight 1050 (rock), Freek Johnson (jazz fusion), Short Notice (classic rock), The Bunk (alternative rock), Planetary Blues (blues), with acoustic musician Joe Augustine throughout the afternoon. More: www.rock4hopenwi.com or Donna Criner at (219) 765-7677 / firstname.lastname@example.org
• The annual week-long Hobart Jaycee Fest once again takes over the Strack’s Plaza parking lot (intersection of Routes 6 & 51) with a variety of Chicagoland bands kicking out jams on the asphalt.
The event kicks off June 28 with The Spazmatics and Roxxstar. Successive dates and bands are: The Difference and The Basement Tapes (June 29), Local H and Mario Samaniego Band (June 30), Mellencougar (July 1), The Crawpuppies and Tekila Rose (July 2), Allen Wronko Band with Stonewave (July 3), Nawty and Reckless Abandon (July 5), and wrapping things up is Pink Floyd Tribute Echoes of Pompeii with The Mob (July 6). More: www.hobartjaycees.com
Although this year’s fest offers a week of solid rock ‘n’ roll entertainment, I miss the days when the Hobart Jaycees brought in top shelf national artists like The Who’s John Entwhistle, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Todd Rundgren, and .38 Special to rock the region’s most popular summer beer garden.
• It seems this column has sadly reported many deaths among the music community in recent months, so it’s a pleasure to report some uplifting health news.
Grammy Award-winning singer and accordionist Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr., namesake of Buckwheat Zydeco, signed to Chicago’s Alligator Records and a popular summer fest attraction, has been declared cancer free by his doctors. In January, Buckwheat announced undergoing treatment for cancer on his left lung and a vocal cord.
"I feel great," commented Buckwheat. "I said I'd beat this and I did. Big thumbs up! The band and I can't wait to hit the road again." More: www.alligator.com
• DeKalb, Ill. may be a bit of a drive, but bicycling buffs from the region might want to make the trip Saturday to peddle for folks who cannot at “Bike MS: Tour De Farms.” The event benefits the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and will wrap up with a 7 p.m. concert by regional blues group, Howard and the White Boys, featuring Valparaiso’s guitarist Rocco Calipari. More: (312) 421-4500 or www.nationalmssociety.org.
• Zombies are among us! Not the “Walking Dead” or “World War Z” reanimated corpses, but rather the reanimated legendary British Invasion group that gave us chart-topping hits in the 1960s like “Time of the Season” and “She’s Not There.”
The group’s co-founder Rod Argent is musical guest in a special live 89.1FM-The Lakeshore broadcast at 6 p.m. tonight on “Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges.” Listeners can call in to win a copy of the new Zombies album and talk to Argent on air. The studio line is: (219) 769-9577.