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Botanical Garden kicks-off Whitaker Music Festival season

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) – Meteorologist Anne Elise Parks is at the Whitaker Music Festival being held at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in south St. Louis.  The festival is part of the Botanical Gardens free summer concert series, where visitors can bring a picnic basket, cooler or purchase drinks and food at MoBot; all the while listening to some good music.

The concerts are held every Wednesday night from June through August.

Admission is free after 5 pm, with music starting at 7:30 pm. The Children’s Garden will be open from 5 pm to 7 pm.

2015 Whitaker Music Festival Concert Schedule

May 27
David Dee & the Hot Tracks
Considered by many to be St. Louis’s reining blues king, David Dee has earned the title of one of his original standards, "Workin Blues Man". The moniker embodies the various roles of bandleader, songwriter, guitarist, entertainer, and singer that has been cultivated through 40 plus years of travels, recording and performing.

June 3
Diesel Island
Diesel Island is one of St. Louis' best outlaw country bands. The group formed in 2004 as a just-for-fun side project where key members of the Bottle Rockets could relax and play some classic country faves on their own terms. The result is a band of veterans of honky tonk wrangling up a rousing good time.

June 10
Nikki Hill
Rising star Nikki Hill is a young, powerhouse R&B and rock & roll singer and songwriter, living right here in St. Louis. Along with her guitarist husband, Matt Hill, and their St. Louis-based band, she has become an R&B phenomenon in Europe and the West Coast. Nikki boasts a classic soul belter's voice and rock instincts.

June 17
Joe Mancuso
Award-winning jazz vocalist Joe Mancuso earns critical and popular acclaim for his powerful and dynamic range of baritone stylings. He has won three RFT Readers Poll Awards (Best Album, Cut to the Chase, plus Best Musical Act 2014 and Best Vocalist 2012) since recently coming on the scene. A master at placing notes with the most tasteful use of syncopation, Mancuso swings! All-stars backing Mancuso are Christopher Braig (sax), Adam Maness (keys), Dave Black (guitar), Willem von Hombracht (bass), and Steve Davis (drums).

June 24
Jeremiah Johnson Band
Jeremiah left St. Louis with his guitar, a fist full of original songs and a ton of ambition and came home and released two albums as The Jeremiah Johnson Band with The Sliders, and most recently, his solo album “Grind.” Though you can taste the Texas in his guitar style, Jeremiah also blends his rich St. Louis blues heritage and early music influences into the mix, giving you a blues-rock sound that rips at your soul and soothes your spirit.

July 1
Saint Louis Social Club
Made up of members from numerous renowned local bands, St. Louis Social Club is the supergroup of the river city. This musical dynamo plays jazz, swing, R&B, zydeco, funk and blues, and has a great time doing it.

July 8
Erin Bode Group
The Erin Bode Group creates music forged from the Americana of its members' Midwestern roots, infused with jazz grooves and made magic by Bode's bell-like voice. Sophisticated arrangements and attention to phrasing, both vocal and instrumental, further distinguish the band's fresh sound.

July 15
Loot Rock Gang
Named for Jesse James' cavern hideout, Loot Rock Gang was formed in 2012 by husband and wife vocal duo Mat and Rachel Wilson. The Loot Rock Gang gathers their diverse set of influences, and the most traditional elements of blues, country, jazz and rock n' roll, in such a striking, unexpected way, that it takes a form palatable to modern listeners as well as traditionalists.

July 22
Magnolia Summer
Magnolia Summer is a St. Louis-based Americana rock band led by singer-songwriter Chris Grabau. Magnolia Summer has released 4 full length records and 2 digital EPs to critical acclaim. The band has toured throughout the Midwest and the UK, where they were invited to perform on the BBC. Magnolia Summer has also performed at many festivals including SXSW, LouFest, Twangfest, and Fair St. Louis, and have shared the stage with many great artists including Counting Crows, Matthew Sweet, Cracker, The Dream Syndicate, Robyn Hitchcock, and The Minus 5.

July 29
Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing
Vocalist and guitarist Tommy Halloran is one of the hardest working musicians in St. Louis. His group Guerrilla Swing, consisting of Mark Wallace on upright bass, Kristian Baarsvik on saxophones and Kevin Cheli on drums, pays homage to the great tradition that is jazz with a vintage swing sound, while simultaneously creating music that is relevant to our modern times. Guerrilla Swing was named the overall Best Band in St. Louis 2014 by the RFT.
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/things-to-do/events/signature-events/whitaker-music-festival.aspx