Friday, July 11, 2008

It's a Zoot Suit Riot at Artpark on July 23!

Cherry Poppin' Daddies Headline "Wednesdays on the Gorge!"

(Lewiston, NY) The Cherry Poppin' Daddies, the indefinable, horn-heavy octet best known for their late '90s hit "Zoot Suit Riot," will be the featured attraction of the July 23 installment of Artpark's "Wednesdays on the Gorge" free outdoor concert series. Presented by HSBC Bank and HSBC Mortgage Corporation, all "Wednesdays on the Gorge" events begin at 6:30pm and include hands-on art workshops for children.

The eight-piece ska/swing revival collective Cherry Poppin' Daddies formed out of several groups around the University of Oregon in Eugene. Vocalist/guitarist Steve Perry (aka MC Large Drink) and bassist Dan Schmid originally played in the Jazz Greats and the Hucks, then formed Cherry Poppin' Daddies in 1989 with a lineup which gradually encompassed guitarist Jason Moss, drummer Tim Donahue, trumpeter Dana Heitman, Sean Flannery on tenor saxophone, Ian Early on alto and baritone, and keyboard player Dustin Lanker.

The group released their debut album, Ferociously Stoned, in 1990 and followed it up four years later with Rapid City Muscle Car. The Pacific Northwest was in the grips of the grunge wave during the early '90s, though, so the Cherry Poppin' Daddies' live show puzzled quite a few fans of alternative rock. By the mid-'90s, the fascination with formerly neglected musical styles (including easy listening and swing) had increased the band's prominence, along with bands like Squirrel Nut Zippers and Royal Crown Revue. After their third album, Kids on the Street, was picked up for distribution by Caroline Records, the group compiled the most swing-oriented tracks from their back catalog for release on Zoot Suit Riot.

Now in their 19th year, the Cherry Poppin' Daddies are poised for a whole new phase, starting with a brand new record, entitled Susquehanna. Named after a muddy, flood-prone river in upstate New York on which frontman Perry grew up, the album is a story of memory and time, a tale of losses, love, doubt, and fatigue. But as the end of the record approaches, there is grace and gratitude.

The evening's opening act is The Headers.

Like all of Artpark's free concert events, each evening includes a wide variety of free family-friendly hands-on art workshops, including drawing, face-painting, dress-up, self portraits and more.

The July 23 concert at Artpark is sponsored by Regional Waste Solutions.

"Wednesdays on the Gorge" is also supported by Certo Brothers Distributing Company, Modern Corporation, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

Artpark's Outdoor Amphitheater opens to the public at 2pm on event nights, and can be accessed via the Upper Park's Portage Road entrance off of Center Street or through South 4th Street nearest the Mainstage Theater.

Carry-ins (food and beverages) are prohibited at all of Artpark's free concert events while on-site parking is $6.

For a full schedule of 2008 events, call the Artpark Box Office at (716) 754-4375 or visit

The Earl W. Brydges Artpark is being operated by Artpark & Company, Inc. for the New York State Office of Parks,
Recreation and Historic Preservation under a license agreement.

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