Arts in the Park in LaPorte

2013-07-17T19:32:00Z 2013-07-17T19:39:06Z Arts in the Park in LaPorteContributed by Mary Allen
July 17, 2013 7:32 pm  • 

LAPORTE | If attending Arts in the Park isn’t on your summer fun to-do list, don’t delay, add it today. This week marks the half-way point for free family-friendly concerts at the lakeside Fox Park.

On Wednesday Arts in the Park brings you pre-concert activities before La Porte City Band’s 7:00 pm performance. Pre-concert activities begin at 6:30 and include music by Patrick Watterson and concessions manned by La Porte area youth and Ashlie Ostergren-Otis, Nanda Danitschek, and Lisa Denger.

Mary Allen, La Porte County Poet Laureate 2010 will present poetry at 6:45. Allen has authored two books of poetry, “Journey to Christmas” and “Ten Days to an Empty Tomb” both available from the author or as ebooks from Kindle. Allen is compiling a third book of poems about life for release later this year.

What do you call a band that plays classic jazz from an era when everyone owned a High Fidelity record stereo and also smooth jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll through the decades up to and including today’s age of WiFi access? That band is called HiFi2WiFi, of course.

It’s no riddle why you’ll like the sound of this group as Arts in the Park presents HiFi2WiFi, formerly known as Box Set, for its fifth straight season at the Dennis Smith Amphitheater in Fox Park. The HiFi2WiFi feature concert, sponsored by Tri Kappa Associates, begins at 7:00 pm this Thursday.

HiFi2WiFi plays extensively throughout Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan. For this Arts in the Park performance, along with cover tunes from such artists as Al Jarreau, Joe Jackson, and Bill Withers, HiFi2WiFi will also play their own compositions. Catch these sounds on iTunes and where the group has recently released several songs for download.

Tim Gardner is the lead vocalist and drummer. He has been a member of many bands throughout his thirty-five year playing career. Gardner grew up in Goshen where he sang in church and with Goshen High School’s Crimsonaires. He also drummed in The Goshen High School Marching Band and Jazz Band and received both vocal and drumming awards throughout his schooling. Gardner was a member of The Community Choral at Goshen College for several years and with the Swartley Singers. Gardner has been a member of many local bands and also lends his drumming talents to the La Porte based band “Cripple Creek”, which gave an extended courtesy performance at Arts in the Park on the July 11.

LaPorte native Matt Kenedy is experienced as a solo artist in addition to playing guitar and singing for various bands. Prior to joining HiFi2WiFi, he released two smooth jazz CDs. “Azure Play” and “Beyond Words” have netted national attention and his compositions have been heard on CBS Network Television, Fox Sports, and also the Discovery Channel. Arts in the Park attendees will hear some of Kennedy’s original works performed in true HiFi2WiFi style.

HiFi2WiFi’s bass guitarist is Josef Szaday who has toured with groups in New York and Chicago. Originally from South Bend, where his music career started, Szaday has played jazz with Billy “Stix” Nicks. He’s recorded smooth jazz with Bryan Lubeck and the bluegrass group, Shades of Grey. Desiring to pass along the joys of playing, Szaday is a bass guitar instructor.

Adding flair and at times a Latin twist on drums and percussion is Bill Cover. Before he brought percussion depth to HiFi2WiFi, Cover played with “Crooked Nails”, a Christian folk group. This drummer grew up in Minneapolis and played jazz while attending Penn High School and Purdue University of Jazz Ensemble. Cover loves to add subtle or sometimes driving flourishes to the HiFi2WiFi soundscape.

Come early because the pre-concert activities include Poppin’ in the Park Popcorn and concessions by Tri Kappa Associates, keyboard by Patrick Watterson, and the artwork of Debbie Writt. At 6:45 Laura Hernandez-Myers, author of “Wearing Our Insides Out” will read poetry. Hernandez-Myers believes life is an adventure that she walks through in rhyme with the intent of inspiring peace.

The Amphitheater has ample seating, a nearby playground, and is wheelchair accessible. Everyone is welcome.

For more information go to or call Kitty Wolff or Lisa Smithson at 219.363.9317 or 219.362.2558.cals

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