Above: Folk singer Bob Jahrig entertains under the St. Jean Baptiste Church clock tower Aug. 16 during the final Summer Music in the Park concert. – Stephen Dafoe Photos

by Stephen Dafoe

Summer Music in the Park came to a close Aug. 16 after three biweekly offerings of free music on a summer’s night.

County resident Jim Baker brought the series to Morinville’s St. Jean Baptiste Church grounds for the second year in a row, building on the success of the inaugural series in 2015.

The first of three events kicked off in July with Edmonton singer-songwriters: Beth Portman, Kevin Smith, and Alex Boudreau performing.

The trio performed for a small but enthusiastic audience, but the numbers increased for the second show when Dana Wylie and Jim and Penny Malmberg entertained an appreciative audience Aug. 2.

The Aug. 16 final show saw Edmonton’s Bob Jahrig, and Jan and Jim Baker, and their Family Band hit the stage under the clock tower. About 60 people came out to hear the final show.

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Jahrig is well-known at folk venues across the province, and a man Jim Baker compared to James Taylor. Jahrig has opened for Ian Tyson, Tim O’Brien, and Bill Bourne. Jahrig opened the Aug. 16 show with his well-received folk music.

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Husband and wife Jan and Jim Baker have been performing together for the past 12 years, but Jan Baker has been performing since she was a teenager, fronting folk groups, and working as a backup vocalist in recording studios and television specials.

Though she chose family life and teaching over a career in music, the family band, including daughter Maria and sister Joanie have been sharing Jan’s voice and the group’s harmonies with audiences.

Jan Baker has entertained since 2005 at some folk clubs, festivals, and other Western Canadian venues.

Each of this year’s free concerts raised funds through donation for Sturgeon Victim Services.

For more information on the concert series and to keep tabs on potential plans for 2017, visit www.morinvillesummermusic.com.

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  1. A big thank you to Jim and Jan Baker for taking on this project another year. We attended all three “Music in the Park” nights and enjoyed it thoroughly. I would love to see this grow and get more families out next year.

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