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News Release: Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra R-E-S-P-E-C-T 2

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July 10, 2019
Saint Joseph, Michigan, 07-20-2019.  Join us on July 20th for Summerfest at Shadowland Pavilion in sunny Saint Joseph!  Summerfest is a toast to beer, wine, and music.  The event will have 12 beer vendors, 6 wine vendors, food trucks, and bands and singers performing throughout the afternoon and evening.  Gates open at 4:00 PM, with the Andrew Fisher Quartet playing at 5:00 PM followed by the talented performers of R-E-S-P-E-C-T 2 at 7:30 PM.
 
Beer vendors include, Anheuser-Busch, Silver Harbor Brewing Co, Oskar Blues Brewery, Perrin Brewing Co, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Round Barn Brewery, Maplewood Brewery,  Virtue Cider, Cigar City Brewing Co, Saugatuck Brewery, New Belgium Brewing Co, and Goose Island Brewery.  Wines include a selection of Old World wines, New World wines, selections from the LMC vinters program, White Pine Winery, and Lazy Ballerina Winery.
 
Food trucks will be on site to fill any hunger you may have.  Vendors include Pig Out on the Fly, Woodstock & Grill - Pizza, and Lake and Farmer. 
 
The Andrew Fisher Quartet is a neo-soul jazz group from Michigan. They specialize in bending traditional genres such as soul, funk, R&B, Motown and more while using the language of improvisation and jazz. Since being formed in 2015, AFQ showcases their unique takes on well-known songs and catalogs.
 
R-E-S-P-E-C-T 2 is the sensational journey of women in music from the 1960s to present day. The event will be hosted by sensational 8-piece ensemble band, The Big Payback, with performances by an all-female ensemble comprised of community artists and members of local bands.
Raise your voices (and glasses) with us as we celebrate the music of the last six decades written and performed by women. Artists include Andrea Deleon as Sharon Jones,  Kecia Deroly as Aretha Franklin,  Candice Elders as Amy Winehouse, Megan Francis as Blondie,  Meredith George as Ann Wilson,  Nikki Gauthier as Stevie Nicks, Carina Kanzler as Adele, Jenna Mammina as Bonnie Raitt, Yolonda Lavender as Lauryn Hill, and Leah Tirado as Gloria Estefan.
 
Andrea Deleon is thrilled to be sharing the RESPECT stage with all these wonderful women. A South Bend, Indiana native and graduate of Bethel College, she holds a B.A.  in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Theatre and Vocal Performance. When not performing, she's blessed to be raising her two amazing babies, Carina and Nico, as well as serving and empowering women through labor and delivery as birth doula. Andrea loves the arts, the outdoors, pizza, her husband, Marlon, and Jesus - just not in that order. Shout outs to her family, tribe, and friends for all the love and support!
 
Candice Elders is returning to the RESPECT show for its second year and is thrilled to be a part of such a fun event to support the SMSO. Candice lives in Saint Joseph with husband, John, and five-year-old daughter, Chloe, and serves as Lake Michigan College’s Executive Director of Marketing. In regard to representing Amy Winehouse, she said, “I’m enthralled by her dichotomy. A massive voice from a bird-like frame. Classic, soulful songs tinged with gritty
irreverence. She was feminine and unladylike. Comical yet devastating. She was fragile and tragic but carried herself with magnificent swagger. I’m daunted by the task of performing her music, but looking forward to channeling just a little bit of that swagger.” 
 
Meagan Francis has been performing in theatrical productions and concerts in and around Southwest Michigan for years and is also known as a podcaster, writer, and former radio personality. You may have seen Meagan in a variety of roles at Twin City Players including Roxie in Chicago and Diana in Next to Normal, as well as several performances in Paul Mow's concert series at the Livery. Meagan is co-owner and Editor in Chief of sunsetcoastmichigan.com, a new website highlighting the most interesting places, events, and personalities in southwest Michigan. As a mom of five, Meagan stays busy - but is never too busy for the occasional night of karaoke at Babe's. Tonight Meagan's excited to be representing Blondie, one of her all-time favorite lady-led bands.
 
Meredith George’s first performance took place in the 4th grade at a church talent show. She and best friend Julia sang “House at Pooh Corner” by Loggins and Messina. Her parents were hippies - enough said. Meredith loves the old jazz standards especially anything by Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday. She also digs 60s/70s folk and rock music.When not appearing onstage in local musicals and theatre, she sings with Morgan Ingle, and Leslie Sypian in the trio The Backups. They perform cover tunes in three-part harmony as well as some of their own original compositions! 
 
Carina Kanzler is a rising sophomore pursuing a BFA in drama at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is in Benton Harbor for the summer, performing in The Ghostlight’s inaugural season. Past theatrical roles have included Mae Tuck in Tuck Everlasting, Diana in Next to Normal, and Maria in West Side Story. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to perform with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and to represent Adele. “Adele shows that a strong female doesn't have to shy away from her emotions -- she can experience highs and lows, sadness and pain -- but ultimately come out even stronger with wisdom from each challenge she faces.”
 
Yolonda Lavender is a national recording artist with the independent label Truth Tone Records. She is a singer/songwriter, curator, composer, arranger and performing artist from Kalamazoo, whose sound is soul-based with gospel, R&B, hip-hop, blues and jazz influences. Yolonda has showcased her artistry in artistic spaces around the country and shared stages with the likes of artists such as Erykah Badu, En Vogue, Keith Murray, The Spinners and more. Yolonda is CEO of Soul Artistry, an arts consulting agency and the Executive Director of the Black Arts & Cultural Center as well as an advocate and activist who takes pride in using her artistry to spread messages of peace and love and to promote social justice all in an effort to evoke change.
 
Jenna Mammina is another talent who began singing at a young age and who plans to be part of the choir of angels someday. Recognized as one of the leading women of jazz/pop crossover, Jenna has been named Jazz Performer of the Year by SF Weekly, received a nomination for Best Jazz Album for her sophomore CD, Meant to Be, by the California Music Awards, and the Goldy Award for her tireless work with children through her Scat for Cats program. She feels greatly honored “to share the stage with such a wonderful and powerful group of women” and to honor those who have helped shape her lifelong passion and career. Jenna loves her partnership with guitarist Rolf Sturm as well as singing at church, with family and YOU!
 
This will be Leah Tirado’s (and The Big Payback's) third time playing this show, and she has thoroughly enjoyed choosing the unexpected artists. She finds it so rewarding to hear, "I forgot how good she was!" or "I didn't realize she had so many great songs!" Leah believes there is something really beautiful about falling in love with a musician or band all over again. She is especially excited to be representing a Latina artist this year and one whose music and story she greatly admires. “I can't express how much I appreciate the dedication to representation that the SMSO has made this year; it makes me truly proud to be a part of it, and the audience will be treated to such a wide-range of music in one night because of it. It's lovely!”
 
Kecia Deroly, is a theatre veteran and world travelled concert performer. She has been seen on stage in A Christmas Carol, Fiddler on the Roof, A Chorus Line, A Christmas Story, State Fair, AIDADreamgirls, Cinderella and The Lion King. Solo concert performances include two concert series at Carnegie Hall, “Broadway Past and Present,” and “Make Them Laugh, Make Them Cry, Bring Them Hope.” In addition, she has performed  backup to Brandy Norwood during her world tour in 2012 as well as private events for Queen Latifah, Idina Menzel, Sean “Puffy” Coombs, Jim Carey, and B.B. King. Recently, Kecia moved from New York City to Michigan and is excited to make her mark representing Aretha Franklin.
 
Never one to seek the spotlight, something changed for Nikki Gauthier when she hit 40! Suddenly her longtime love for the piano, learned at her grandmother’s side from the age of five, together with her brave new voice, started finding a home on open mic stages in the area. Nikki’s midlife artistic pursuits include a new love for painting, too — all of which led to her current work as Events and Programs Coordinator for the Box Factory for the Arts, which was the home to that first Open Mic just two years ago. Nikki is thrilled to have the opportunity to sing tunes of the iconic Stevie Nicks and hopes to channel some of Stevie's mystical persona.
 
 
The Big Payback is an award-winning funk/rock/R&B band featuring soulful vocals and a smoking horn section.  Mixing “ambitious original tunes that challenge even the most talented instrumentalists” with classic covers, the band’s live show never fails to get the crowd dancing.
 
Tickets are $20.00 ($25.00 day of) and can be purchased at SMSO.org or by calling 269-982-4030.
 
WHAT: Summerfest
WHEN: July 20, 2019, 4:00pm

WHO:
  • The Andrew Fischer Quartet
  • The Big Payback
  • Andrea Deleon
  • Kecia Deroly
  • Candice Elders
  • Megan Francis
  •  Meredith George
  • Carina Kanzler
  • Jenna Mammina
  • Yolonda Lavender
  • Leah Tirado
  • Nikki Gauthier
WHERE: Shadowland Pavilion, Silver Beach County Park, St. Joseph MI, 49085
TICKETS $20 per person ($25.00 day of)