Timeless jazz classics featured in March 11 ‘Music on Main’

Online Staff Report

Enjoy timeless jazz classics at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s next “Music on Main” concert with accordionist Mike Alongi and vocalist Mike Williamson at 5:30 p.m., Monday, March 11, at the historic Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford.

Alongi, one of the country’s premier accordionists, began his performing career at age 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 ensemble roles. He is a co-founder of the Chicago Accordion Ensemble and 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, Mike has produced and performed on numerous television and radio commercials, and has several CD recordings to his credit. 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.

As an instructor, Mike has privately taught keyboard instruments, jazz improvisation and music theory for more than 40 years. This will be Mike’s fourth time performing at Music on Main.

Mike Alongi will be performing with Mike Williamson, who has been entertaining Rockford audiences for more than 25 years with his smooth, rich vocal style. His “Magic Monday” benefit for the American Cancer Society ran for 16 consecutive years playing both the MetroCentre and the Coronado Theatre. Williamson has released many albums, and is a two-time RAMI (Rockford Area Music Association) winner and also a winner of a Billboard magazine award for his song “A Lonely Christmas.”

Music on Main” is the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s series of brief and intimate after-work concerts in various genres, held at the historic Emerson House in the heart of Rockford’s cultural corridor. Experience beautiful music, mingle with the artists, enjoy complimentary wine and light refreshments, and relax with your friends.

Music on Main” performances take place on the second Monday of the month, September to November and February to June. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Purchase tickets online or at the door of the concert. Doors open at 5 p.m., and seating is limited.

Posted March 6, 2013

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