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Front Porch Music presents "The 2nd annual Front Porch Music Festival" from 3 to 7pm Aug. 3 at downtown Valparaiso’s Central Park.

"This event features many of the folks who make Front Porch what it is to the community," said Front Porch Music owner Chad Clifford. "Last year’s fest turned out to be a beautiful day and got a wonderful response, so it gave me great optimism about its ability to grow and to develop into an annual thing."

The fest is virtually seven hours of non-stop music of many styles and genres. It also includes activities like a free kid’s ukulele class, a free face painting class, plus food vendors and a beer garden. Tickets are $15 and $5 for kids (under 12).

"Many of the acts are returning but there will be new ones as well. I just wanted to mix it up a bit more, but also make sure that it represents our staff and teachers," said Clifford, who will perform both solo and as front man with his own long-running region rock band, The Crawpuppies.

Also scheduled for this year’s fest are: The Head Honchos (blues), The Unit (funk/rock), Planetary Blues (blues), Rito (original rock), Flintlock (roots rock/bluegrass), The Day 9 (original rock), Kaleidoscope Eyes, Shades of Gray (folk), The Oscars (jazz), Taylor & Devin (guitar/banjo), The Front Porch Garage Band Students, and singer/songwriters Mami Matsuda and Beth Newman. All of the acts on the bill feature teachers and/or students from Front Porch Music.

"This fest is an opportunity to let the community know what we do down at our little shop on Lincolnway," Clifford said. "It also helps with operating costs during the slow summer months in what is still a sluggish economy. And it's a great opportunity for our students to see their teachers perform on the big Central Park stage. Plus, it’s fun to have a party with your friends and co-workers." Tickets & More: (219) 464-4700 or frontporchmusic.com.

MUSIC NOTES

· Jerry J.C. Hartsfield, 71, died on July 17 from injuries he sustained in a July 4 motorcycle accident. J.C. was a beloved member of the Midwest music community for more than half his life and is best remembered as the co-founder of the early-1970s country-rock group Heartsfield, which released four national albums for Mercury Records. J.C. developed his love of music at a young age and started playing the guitar when he was 12 and developed into a multi-instrumentalist.

Although Hartsfield retired from touring in the early 1980s and left Heartsfield with a blessing for them to continue on, he would sit in from time to time as a special guest to the delight of the band and their fans. J.C. was an artist this columnist had the great pleasure of working with on many occasions during the early years of my career. He was always a delight to be around and a consummate professional. J.C. Hartsfield leaves behind many friends in the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland music scene and will be greatly missed.

· Zao Island (1050 Horse Prairie Ave.) has added live music on weekends. Through the end of August, Zao Island is testing new ground by presenting region-based rock, blues, reggae, jazz, and jam bands on Friday and Saturday from 7-10pm. No cover. More: (219) 462-1194 or www.zaoisland.net.

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Features reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.