Listening Lawn brings Grammy winners to Grand Rapids

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The Robert Randolph Band kicks off the Listening Lawn concert series. Randolph, a virtuoso on the pedal steel guitar, is on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Photo courtesy of Studio C.

Folk, rock, funk, soul, and bluegrass will grace the Listening Lawn this summer. The series is held annually at the piazza in Studio Park, 123 Ionia Ave. SW., in the heart of Grand Rapids’ thriving entertainment district.

Studio Park’s Listening Lawn Concert Series takes place in the piazza located at 123 Ionia Ave. SW. Photo courtesy of Studio C.

Enthusiasm from musicians and the community has led to continued investments in the venue, enhancing summer staging and sound, along with the addition of a pavilion featuring a full bar and snacks. A bounty of restaurants, including Elsa’s, a frozen yogurt & ice cream shop, 123 Tavern, Leo’s Coney Island, Caribbean Bite, and The Arts Marketplace surround the piazza, adding further to the fanfare.

Venue manager Quinn Mathews is enthused by the diverse talent in this year’s line-up. “I look forward to the fun and the energy of Listening Lawn concerts all year long,” said Mathews.  “This is a unique and amazing place to gather and enjoy a show, right in the center of the city, and we are ready to accommodate the technical needs of fantastic touring acts Both indoors, at Midtown and outdoors, on the Listening Lawn, Studio Park provides exceptional performance venues for artists and audiences.”

The Listening Lawn stage, equipped with state-of-the-art audio and lighting, has beckoned artists of international acclaim for this fourth season of an outdoor concert series that promises to be as hot as the summer nights during which it’s scheduled.

The starry lineup includes Grammy-nominated leaders of American roots music, The Wood Brothers, who will kick off the season on July 12, 2024. Their visceral storytelling and songwriting will target not only the heart but the head and hips as well.

Victor Wooten & The Wooten Brothers will take the stage on Saturday, July 13. Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner, known as one of the founding members of the super-group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. The following Friday, July 19, the Spin Doctors—known for ’90s hits “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and “Two Princes”—will delight audiences. Later in the summer, on July 26, the Robert Randolph Band will bring irresistible rock ‘n’ roll swagger to the stage. Rolling Stone magazine has listed Randolph, a virtuoso on the pedal steel guitar, among the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. His music, rooted in sacred gospel, will be updated with a mix of funk and soul. The following night, July 27, Lone Bellow will perform.

May Erlewine of Big Rapids is among the starry list of performers who will take part in the Listening Lawn Concert Series at Studio Park in July and August. Photo courtesy of Studio C.

On August 22, local legend May Erlewine, from Big Rapids, Michigan, will captivate audiences with her heartfelt songwriting and versatile musicianship. Proficient on guitar, piano, and violin, she infuses her music with elements of folk, Americana, and roots. Since the early 2000s, Erlewine has enchanted fans with the release of over 15 albums, showcasing her soulful voice and poignant lyrics.

The final Listening Lawn concert, on August 24, will feature Grammy-nominated Scottish musician KT Tunstall. Tunstall, who burst onto the music scene 20 years ago with her multi-platinum debut “Eye to the Telescope,” had global hits “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See.” Her pioneering looping skills established Tunstall as a must-see performer and a songwriter with a knack for balancing introspective folk and propulsive rock.

Seating capacity will vary by music genre and show, with a mix of premium seats and general admission standing tickets available.

Studio Park(ING) – the venue’s adjoining parking ramp, make Studio Park an easy downtown destination. For tickets, visit www.themidtowngr.com.

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