Mike Alongi and Friends perform at Tinker Swiss Cottage Aug. 2
From press release
Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens is celebrating the rich heritage of southwest Rockford with the “Tinker with Music” 2009 Free Summer Outdoor Concert Series.
The third concert of the series will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 2, and will feature “Mike Alongi and Friends” featuring Mike Alongi, Harold Smith and Guy Fiorenza. The performance will include music representing the Italian community of Rockford, in addition to other favorite tunes.
Mike Alongi, one of the country’s premier accordionists, began his performing career at the age of 6 under the guidance of his father, Vincent Alongi, one of the Midwest’s foremost accordion instructors. As a classical accordionist, Mike has performed with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra, both as a soloist and in an ensemble role. Along with other Chicago Accordion Association members, he founded the Chicago Accordion Ensemble.
As a musician versed in a myriad of styles, Alongi has appeared with West Coast jazz accordionist Frank Marocco, Chicago greats Lindy Kao and Mort Herold, former Art Van Damme guitarist Fred Rundquist, and former Tonight Show trumpeter and conductor Doc Severinsen.
As a composer and arranger, Alongi has produced and performed on numerous television and radio commercials. His recording titles include Polka Update and Everything Old Is New Again. During the late 1980s, he and his son John composed and performed 12 compositions for the “Easy Read Fusion” and “Funk Session” drum study packages published worldwide by Percussion Express.
In 2000, Alongi recorded Accordion Illusions with Russian accordionist Stanislav Venglevski. This CD represents the European style of accordion playing. In 2003, Alongi released Freshly Squeezed, a jazz CD featuring standards and original compositions. As an instructor, Alongi has privately taught keyboard instruments, jazz improvisation and music theory for more than 40 years. His wife, Joan, also teaches keyboard instruments at their studio in Rockford. Mike and Joan have two sons, David and John.
The “Tinker with Music” 2009 Summer Outdoor Concert Series will continue Aug. 16 with the Bluegrass Reunion (bluegrass music); Aug. 23 with the Armando Cardenas Trio with Naomi Cardenas and El Grupo Galaxia (Hispanic and Latino music); with the grand finale Aug. 30 featuring Miles Nielsen (Beatle-esque cosmic Americana).
The audience is encouraged to bring beach chairs, picnic blankets and picnic dinners to the concerts. Soft drinks and snacks will be available for purchase, and the Tinker Museum Gift Shop will be open during the concert. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved into the Tinker Visitor Center Community Room, where chairs will be provided.
Ethnic Heritage Museum, on South Main Street within walking distance of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, will be celebrating the music of the diverse communities of southwest Rockford this summer and is open 2 to 4 p.m., Sundays. Guests are encouraged to visit the Ethnic Heritage Museum before going to the “Tinker with Music” concerts.
Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, a Rockford Park District affiliate, is an educational, not-for-profit institution, dedicated to the preservation of and access to historic Tinker Swiss Cottage, its collections and the legacy of the Robert H. Tinker family for the community-at-large.
Tinker is beside Kent Creek at 411 Kent St., Rockford.
For more information about the “Tinker with Music” Summer Concert Series or other programs or tours offered by Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, phone (815) 964-2424 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Museum’s Web site at www.tinkercottage.org to learn more about events and activities that will take place at Tinker this summer.
from the July 29-August 4, 2009, issue
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