Lloyd Jones’ blues makes ‘em smile at Mt. Tabor Concert

You can’t hear the great tunes Lloyd laid down – but you can see why so many of your neighbors are heading out to this summer’s Music in the Parks. And, find out where there’s more great entertainment to come – at a park near you …

As the magic hour of 6:30 p.m. approaches, the concert going crowd packs the Mt. Tabor Park Caldera.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
As our days of summer quickly are all-to-quickly crossed off the calendar, now is the time to get out and enjoy the loads of free, great entertainment available in East Portland.

We visited Mt. Tabor Park on Tuesday, July 13, to hear one of our favorite blues music bands, the Lloyd Jones Struggle. There’s no better blues band in the land, we feel – and the setting is hard to beat.

It was obvious that others agreed; the Mt. Tabor Caldera filled with about 1,600 folks – from the very young to aged – to hear the evening’s concert.

Dave Hillman, chairperson of Friends of Mount Tabor Foot Patrol and his squad of volunteers, including Heidi Gambee, help the handicapped park, answer questions and provide a safe, family environment for the concerts.

These concerts bring a sense of joy and celebration to the neighborhood and of the neighborhood,” observed Dave Hillman, chair of the Mt. Tabor Foot Patrol. “What proves it is that so many people turn out every week in July.

Hillman said the park didn’t seem to be packed with any given band’s devotees. “It’s just our neighbors coming out for a wonderful summer evening activity. Along with the music, we have great food vendors and people can bring food and make it a family picnic.”

The Marks Family, with dad Steve, daughter Stella, and mom Kara holding baby Ava all enjoys the evening out. “It’s a great opportunity for us to get out and hear great music and for our kids and meet other kids and all have a great time,” Steve says.

Hundreds of folks enjoy the evening as the Lloyd Jones Struggle plays great, rockn’ blues tunes.

Musical artist Lloyd Jones said it has been some time since he played in Mt. Tabor Park and was loving the experience. “This is such a great setting for a concert. And, I’m happy to see so many people coming out tonight!”

Lloyd Jones plays one of his famous, hot licks during the show.

As the concert gets underway, even more people stream in to enjoy the music.

The band seems to draw on the energy of the crowd, as they play one great song after another.

In addition to music, all of the Portland Parks & Recreation sponsored Music in the Parks concerts also feature on-site food vendors. It’s not uncommon to find delicious $2 slices of hot pizza, Italian Ice, hot dogs and other picnic food.

And the Parks Bureau also hosts supervised children’s arts-and-crafts activities.

Volunteer Maren Peterson accepts donations to help support the Mt. Tabor Concert Series.

Sponsors fund concerts
Putting on professional shows at the Music in the Parks concerts takes money – a lot of it – to provide a good sound system, staging and extra help. Fortunately businesses in the area step up and lend a hand.

For the Mt. Tabor Music in the Parks series, here are their contributors:

  • Champion – Warner Pacific College
  • Major – Hawthorne Auto Clinic, Hawthorne Vision Center, Papa Murphy’s
  • Contributing – Belmont Dairy, Caplener/Lincoln Group at Realty Trust, Mt Tabor Neighborhood Association, Mt Tabor Veterinary Care
  • Good Neighbor – Academy Theater, Advantis Credit Union, Buds Expert Tree Care/Avalon Interior Design, Friends of Mt Tabor Park Foot Patrol, Green Grass Music/Kindermusik with Angie, Help on the Way Construction, Lazy Dog Crazy Dog, MBank, Montavilla Neighborhood Association, Mt Tabor Concert Fans, North Tabor Neighborhood Association, Salty’s Dog & Cat Shop, Southeast Examiner, Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, Urban Wellness Group

As he watched the smiles on the faces of folks coming to the concert, and listening to the music, Hillman summed it up very well by saying, “It’s a piece of Portland summer.”

Who’s playing where
You’ll find a complete listing of Music in the Parks concerts – and Movie in the Parks – and lots of other great, free summer events in our Community Calendar: CLICK HERE to view it!

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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