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Arts Council swings into MusicFest 2017
Joe Gransden and 17-piece band play Gainesville on June 3
Joe Gransden Big Band

Joe Grandsen Big Band

When: 8 p.m. June 3, gates open at 6 p.m.

Where: Smithgall Arts Center, Downtown Gainesville

How much: Adults $28, seniors $25, students $20

More info:

When Joe Gransden plays in Gainesville, he is usually accompanied by a trio or quartet, but on June 3 he’s bringing a 17-piece swing band.

Joe Gransden Big Band will kick off The Arts Council’s 20th annual Summer MusicFest, a five-part concert series, on June 3. The band will be accompanied by featured guest vocalist Annie Sellick.

“They’re Gainesville favorites,” The Arts Council’s marketing coordinator Nairika Cornett said. “Both have performed at our Evenings of Intimate Jazz. Both are such favorites that they’ve outgrown those indoor events.”

Gransden’s style in a world of digitized music has captured the attention of many and earned him praise.

“Joe is a young man with an old soul and a classic voice,” actor and director Clint Eastwood said of the musician in a news release. “He is a great new talent, with a wonderful sense of humor to boot. And don’t forget, he plays a hell of a trumpet!”

Eastwood thinks so highly of the big band musician that Gransden performs at Eastwood’s birthday party every year.

Summer MusicFest is always a hit in Gainesville, drawing crowds of anywhere from 600 to 1,600 people. The concerts feature a wide variety of genres, ranging from patriotic music to beach rock and roll to classical.

Concerts highlight internationally known artists as well as local ones. Local bands include Northwinds Symphonic Band, Back in Time, and Riverstreet.

Cornett attributes part of the uniqueness of the concert series to customer friendliness.

While Easy B’s Kitchen will be selling food at the event, guests are welcome to bring their own picnics and even alcohol, which will not be sold at the event.

The Arts Council has no restrictions on the height or size of any blankets or lawn chairs brought to the event.

“Short of a Lazy Boy, bring the most comfortable chair you can carry, and enjoy,” Cornett said laughing.

For those who don’t wish to bring their own chairs, VIP tickets will reserve a table for eight for $274.

“Typically with these things, you’d have to go to the big city to enjoy it,” Cornett said. “We’re working to keep our people here and bring them what they’d usually go to the big city for.”

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