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Local music: From rooftop jazz to Punx on the Pier

Local music: From rooftop jazz to Punx on the Pier


What is more fun than listening to live music outside? How about listening to live music outside on a restaurant/bar rooftop?

“Jazz on the Roof” is back Thursday at Mike’s Sportsbook & Meat Bar.

The early evening show will feature the Kal Bergendahl Project in a 7 p.m. performance.

The free concert is on the roof of Mike’s Sportsbook & Meatbar/Mike’s Donuts & Chicken. The Kal Bergendahl Project is comprised of many long-time respected jazz and funk musicians. Joining bassist Bergendahl are Benny Olson on tenor saxophone, Curtis Crump Jr. on alto saxophone, Eric Jacobson on trumpet, Theo Merriweather on keyboards and Glenn Williams on drums.

This is fun music to listen to, groove to, dance to and just hang out to with good friends — wilhe making new ones. There’s a full bar and food inside, and I can personally vouch for the coffee and doughnuts. (Note: The doughnuts may be sold out by 7 p.m.)

The Kal Bergendahl Project performs starting at 7 Thursday (June 27) as part of the “Jazz on the Roof” concert series at Mike’s Sportsbook & Meatbar, 707 56th St.

Punx on the Pier

It’s time again for one of Kenosha’s iconic live music events. Punx on the Pier hits the North Pier at the base of the lighthouse Saturday.

The annual gathering of bands and fans is a celebration of free speech, tolerance and punk music. The event always makes a point of stating up front that no negativity is allowed, especially physical or verbal abuse.

At press time, bands scheduled to perform include Glad Radz, Army of Cretins, Slaughter Party, Stay Up All Night and Fight, Cheap Sleaze and Republicans on Welfare. The concert is free to attend.

If you’ve attended in the past, you know how much fun it is, both for listening and people watching. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you owe it to yourself. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.

Punx on the Pier is scheduled to run 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday (June 29) at Kenosha’s North Pier on Simmons Island. Just take a short walk on a long pier.

Free Afrobeat show Monday night

Public Craft Brewing has had some really excellent shows there of late but may have outdone themselves with their FREE show Monday.

That’s when the Kaleta & Super Yamba Band hit our fine town.

The show will feature music from Benin and Nigeria in Africa, as well as some New York City touches.

Afrobeat veteran Leon Ligan-Majek, aka Kaleta, is a singer, guitarist and percussionist from the West African country of Benin Republic and lived his adolescent life in Lagos, Nigeria, where Afrobeat was born. He toured the world with the biggest names in the genre, Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, along with Majek Fashek and, recently, Lauryn Hill. Look up those first two names, folks.

Now based in Brooklyn, Kaleta hooked up with the Super Yamba Band and has dialed in the psychedelic sounds of his countries crossed with a sinewy funk groove that gets the room moving.

In this free show, you will hear Kaleta sing in several different languages native to West Africa including Fon, Goun, Yoruba and Ewe, along with French and Pidgin English, “the official language of Afrobeat” he says with a grin.

Please, please, please support touring musicians like this. It only helps our own homegrown musicians hook up with bigger names to tour themselves and helps our venues and other businesses grow as we become more recognized as a growing live music and arts city.

As of press time, the idea is to have the concert outside in the back alley, which would be sweet.

The Kaleta & Super Yamba Band will perform a free show starting 7:45 Monday night (July 1) at Public Craft Brewing, 716 58th St.

Milwaukee cruise with music

If you don’t mind making a little drive north, there is a really cool show happening up in downtown Milwaukee featuring our own RustBelt, along with God’s Outlaw, Friday night.

The two bands will perform on the Milwaukee Boat Cruise.

Rust Belt is a powerhouse roots rock band made up of several local music veterans, including Paul Aceto on bass and vocals, Brandon Shilts on guitar and vocals, Don Miller on drums, Rick Branch on lead vocals and Kevin Shultz on Hammond organ and vocals.

God’s Outlaw is a raucous, hard charging rebel/outlaw country act that also performs originals along with some old-school outlaw country tunes.

The boarding dock is on the Riverwalk where downtown meets the Third Ward, 101 W. Michigan Ave. The trip and concert will take you along the Milwaukee River, the Inner Harbor and out past the breakwater. This is a 21-and-over event with drinks available, including one complimentary drink. Now, that sounds like fun. Tickets are $22.99 (including that free drink) and are available at

Rust Belt and God’s Outlaw perform from 9 to 11 Friday night (June 28), with boarding at 8:30 p.m., on the Milwaukee Boat Cruise.

That’s it for this week. Bands, artists and venues, please send me your calendars, gig listings, bio links and anything else you think might be useful to me to write up your show.

Email me at If I do not know about it, I can not write it up. Thank you for all that you do to keep music live.


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