Cody Munzert is ready to jazz it up on Loockerman Street at the Downtown Dover Partnership’s First Friday event in Delaware’s capital city tonight.
Mr. Munzert, a jazz-inspired keyboardist and studio artist, won’t be taking it for granted when he gets the chance to perform in front of a crowd. His group will be performing outside of 136 W. Loockerman St., near Loockerman Way Plaza, and other musical buskers will be at different shops around town from 5-8.
“Pre-pandemic, I was performing upwards of 200 live shows each year, regionally and nationally,” said Mr. Munzert, whose brother, Shane, will be on drums, along with mother, Stefanie Griffin, and friend, Connor Graham, singing with the duo. “Since March of 2020, it has dropped to a sad dozen. If everyone is as excited to get out as I am, we’re going to have a lot of fun (tonight) in downtown Dover.
“Much of my musical background started in musical theater, which is certainly where my thirst for jazz and progressive musical genres were born. Surprisingly, I was more interested in becoming a drummer around the age of 12, though as I got older, I fell in love with the piano.”
Among the other performers slated to join in tonight are Rick Hudson (blues, old-time country) at the Delaware Store/Parke Green Galleries; Kathy Doyle, Stu Welch and Jim McGiffin (blues) at The House of Coffi; Mike Miller (Americana) at My Roots; Mollie Raley Hall (folk and pop) at Tina’s Timeless Threads; and Ty & SkyyZ (rhythm and blues, pop, originals) at Comb DE.
Artist Dennis Young will demonstrate pastel painting at the intersection of Loockerman and South Bradford streets tonight, as well.
Mr. Young said he “paints in oils and also pastels, with subject matter ranging between local and distant cityscapes and landscapes and paintings of portraits and the figure.”
As Mr. Young is known to do, he will be in costume, painting in pirate attire.
Children of all ages are also invited to don some pirate clothing, from their own collection or by stopping at The House of Coffi or the Dover Art League to pick up some pirate-themed memorabilia.
Those who show their “pirate style” to participating merchants can pick up some “bounty” inside shops — in the way of chocolate coins and colorful gem candy.
The Dover Art League will now be open regularly during First Friday events and will have a pirate craft for younger children this evening. Individuals can stop by and sign up for information on the rebirth of the league.
Just like last month, several of the newer eateries on Loockerman Street will have foods available for sample and purchase from 5-8, including Rebel Cove, Pineapple Kale and Coney Island Hot Dog.
The Dover Public Library is offering its Summer Reading Program again this summer, June 12 through Aug. 14. This year’s theme is “Tails & Tales,” with a focus on animals.
Local businesses such as the Biggs Museum of American Art and The House of Coffi are teaming up with the library to offer programs and experiences in hopes that the partnerships will promote summer reading, get the community involved and support local businesses.
Information about these programs and more can be found on the library’s website at doverpubliclibrary.org or by calling 736-7030. The library will also have a table set up during First Friday, with information about summer reading and pirate handouts for kids.
All First Friday activities will take place rain or shine, and participants are asked to support social distancing and observe COVID-19 precautionary practices per state guidelines.
More shows at Freeman
The Freeman Arts Pavilion recently released more shows for its 2021 season and announced the dates that tickets for its August and September performances will go on sale.
The fundraising arts nonprofit revealed a dozen more performances for its 14th season, which now totals 63 events. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. either Monday or Thursday, depending on the show.
The acts include Locals Under the Lights on July 7; The Reagan Years on July 8; Mike Super’s Magic & Illusion on July 15; the Dark Star Orchestra on July 28; Hollywood Nights: The Bob Seger Experience on July 30; the U.S. Coast Guard Band on Aug. 2; country music artist Lee Brice on Aug. 5; Journeyman: A Tribute to Eric Clapton on Aug. 6; Grammy Award winners Tedeschi Trucks Band on Aug. 17; Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue on Aug. 20; the University of Delaware Music Spectacular on Sept. 16; and the annual Arts and Jazz Festival on Sept. 18.
In addition to the newly announced shows, performances also on sale include Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Tower of Power, Foreigner, Steve Earle and Los Lobos, The Commodores, Melissa Etheridge, Blackberry Smoke and more.
This season will feature pod seating, which can hold up to four patrons to allow for proper physical distancing. Visitors should also bring their own chairs to all performances.
For more information, visit here.
“Award Winners XXI” starts today at the Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St., Dover and will continue through July 24.
The Delaware Division of the Arts recognizes outstanding artists across the state in the areas of visual, literary and performing arts through its Individual Artist Fellowship awards.
The talents of this year’s Fellows are featured in the 21st annual “Award Winners” exhibition. Their artwork will be installed throughout the galleries on the museum’s second and third floors.
The Award Winners Concert Part I will be held outdoors at the Biggs Museum on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Performers include Cassandra Lewis, Fostina Dixon, Terry Miller, Jennifer Barker, Carrie Sz. Keane and Jack Mackey.
There will be a brief award presentation during the concert.
The event is sold out, but another will take place July 21 at 6 p.m. Performers for the Award Winners Concert Part 2 will include Ms. Lewis, Todd Kilgoe, Terry Miller, Ms. Barker, Ms. Keane and Jane Miller.
To register for the concert and for more information, visit here.
A shot at Starboard
The Starboard on Del. 1 in Dewey Beach will partner with the state of Delaware to give free vaccinations for COVID-19.
From 4-9 p.m. Saturday, participants can get either the Johnson & Johnson one-time shot or the Pfizer two-part shot. The Division of Public Health will be on hand to administer the vaccinations.
As an incentive, The Starboard will be giving out a free orange crush to those 21 and older who get vaccinated. No registration is necessary.
Young organists sought
Finally, the American Guild of Organists has announced a new initiative, the “Year of the Young Organist,” which will celebrate and recognize up-and-coming musicians under age 30 by giving them a free one-year membership to local chapters of the guild beginning July 1 through June 30, 2022.
The local chapter in central and southern Delaware is welcoming this opportunity to engage young organists by offering the free subscription.
“We think this is a wonderful opportunity to introduce young people to our organization,” said Jon Rania, dean of the Southern Delaware chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
“Our chapter boundaries cover a large territory, basically half of Delaware from Dover to and from the Maryland state line, to the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean.”
They have members from all over, including but not limited to Dover, Milford, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Laurel, Seaford and Georgetown, and are one of three smaller chapters on Delmarva, Mr. Rania said.
The chapter is also open to membership over age 30 for anyone who is an organist or an organ aficionado. Planning is under way to resume in-person offerings in its 2021-22 programming year, which will begin in September.
Programs include workshops, concerts, organ tours and other events and social gatherings.
The national offices offer conventions both regionally and nationally, which will also resume in 2022. Members often receive special rates and discounts. They also receive monthly paper and online versions of The American Organist magazine and a monthly newsletter published by the local chapter. In addition, they offer assistance with job placement, connecting churches with substitute musicians and more.
For more information on becoming a member, contact Mr. Rania at 734-5731 or email email@example.com.
New this weekend in theaters is the animated “Spirit Untamed” and “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.”
Staff writer Mike Finney contributed to this column.