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The Scoop

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Woodstock icon to headline concert series

Statement issued Thursday:

Fort Wayne, IN: Today Al Moll, Director of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, and Mitch Sheppard, Manager of the Botanical Conservatory announced a musical revolution scheduled to take place this summer at the Botanical Conservatory. The Botanical Roots outdoor concert series will host the nationally renowned voice of the 60’s -- Country Joe McDonald.

McDonald’s music symbolizes two defining moments of the 1960s: the Vietnam War and the Woodstock music festival. As a founder and lead singer of Country Joe and the Fish, McDonald performed protest songs against the Vietnam War and also helped create psychedelic rock, a genre which bridged the transition from early, folk-based rock to later progressive and hard rock. In 1967, the band’s first album “Electric Music for the Mind and Body” was released in time for the teach-in anti-war protest in Berkley, California. In 1969, McDonald performed an acoustic version of the band’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” to a Woodstock audience of a half-million people. This anti-war anthem energized the crowd and led to ongoing protest performances for the band across the country.

McDonald will also be appearing in Fort Wayne next week as a part of the IPFW Omnibus Lecture series along with Tom Rush in a lecture entitled Activism Then and Now. The event takes place on Wednesday, April 27th at 7:30 p.m. in the Auer Performance Hall, in the John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center. Tickets for the free lecture can be requested by calling 260/481-6555.

The Botanical Roots concerts are scheduled for six consecutive Friday nights beginning July 29 and continuing through September 2. Alfresco and upbeat, the series represents diverse populations, showcases creativity and originality and honors a variety of musical heritages. Headline talent was recruited from regional and national artists not normally available to the Fort Wayne audience. Local bands will be invited to perform as opening acts for each concert.

The Botanical Roots concerts are scheduled for six consecutive Friday nights beginning July 29 and continuing through September 2. Alfresco and upbeat, the series represents diverse populations, showcases creativity and originality and honors a variety of musical heritages. Headline talent was recruited from regional and national artists not normally available to the Fort Wayne audience. Local bands will be invited to perform as opening acts for each concert.

The doors open for each concert at 7:30 p.m., opening acts will begin at 8:30 p.m., and headliners will play from 9:15 to approximately 11:00 pm. All events are held on the outdoor terrace on the west side of the Conservatory. Food and beverages, including beer, wine, and limited bar service, will be available for sale throughout the event. Admission is $6 per person; children age 12 and under will be admitted free with a parent or guardian. The concerts are open to all ages. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to the event.

Botanical Roots is sponsored by The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, Rock 104, The Home of Rock and Roll, Whatzup, Champions Restaurant and Sports Bar, Fort Wayne Metals Research, Media 401, the Downtown Improvement District, and Mad Anthony Brewing Company, and supported by Indiana University, Purdue University, Fort Wayne. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2011 season remain available. For more information contact Mitch Sheppard 260/427-6441.

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