Vince Chiarelli Band kicks off summer music at Tinker July 17

Staff Report

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens is celebrating the rich heritage of southwest Rockford with the “Tinker with Music” 2011 Free Summer Outdoor Concert Series.

The first concert will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, July 17, and will feature the Vince Chiarelli Band.

The Vince Chiarelli Band is an original pop/rock band that helps give Rockford the first part of its name. The writing style of lead singer and guitarist Vince Chiarelli has given songs of great originality; such as: “Back of the Class” and “Extension Chord.”

Joining Chiarelli is bassist and backup vocalist Matt Flamm, who is a philosophy professor at Rockford College by day and a rocker by night; Jon Whitmore on the drums, who helps bring the driving force of percussion to the trio.

Not only does the band play many original songs, but also hit songs from bands such as Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, The Pixies, T. Rex and many more.

Some Italian favorites may also be included during the evening, celebrating some of the Italian heritage of southwest Rockford and honoring Chiarelli’s grandfather.

A new food opportunity is being included with this year’s “Tinker with Music” 2011 Summer Concert Series. A variety of food offerings will be available for purchase provided by Thunder Bay Grille. Thunder Bay Grille is at 7652 Potowatomi Trail in Rockford. Call before each concert to learn what food will be available.

The “Tinker with Music” 2011 Summer Outdoor Concert Series will continue Sunday, July 24, with Opan Jii featuring guitarists Frank Calvagna and Mike Youngblood, backed by bassist Dave Timmicke and percussionist Jimi “Jir.”

The Turtle Creek Ramblers will perform Sunday, July 31, performing a variety of music including Old Time Family Country, Gospel and Bluegrass.

Sunday, Aug. 7, will feature The Bluegrass Reunion, which will mark this as their fourth appearance at the “Tinker with Music” Summer Concert Series.

Popular musician Jodi Beach will perform Sunday, Aug. 21. Her vocalizing on standards, show tunes and jazz favorites exceeds the expectations of those in attendance at her events.

The series finale Sunday, Aug. 28, will feature guitarist Ron Rawhoof.

The audience is encouraged to bring beach chairs, picnic blankets and picnic dinners to the concerts or to purchase from Thunder Bay Grille, which will be serving from the Tinker patio. The Tinker Museum Gift Shop will also be open during the concert and a “sample” tour of the entry level of the cottage will be available following each concert. The Ethnic Heritage Museum, on South Main Street within walking distance of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens, celebrates the heritage of the diverse communities of Southwest Rockford and is open Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. Those attending the concerts are encouraged to visit the Ethnic Heritage Museum prior to the concerts.

Tours of Tinker Swiss Cottage are available at 1 and 3 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens 65 and older, $3 for students ages 5-17 and free for children 4 and younger. Admission is also free for members of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens.

For more about the “Tinker with Music” Summer Concert Series or other programs or tours, call (815) 964-2424 or e-mail Visit the museum’s website at to learn more about events and activities that will take place at Tinker this summer.

From the July 13-19, 2011 issue

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