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JACKSON–The Jackson Symphony Orchestra’s increasing popular Affinity Series and downtown Jackson’s hottest restaurant, Grand River Brewery, are combining forces on Friday, June 19 to celebrate the Summer Solstice with an outdoor party like downtown Jackson has never seen.

As the earth reaches its maximum axial tilt toward the sun, downtown Jackson will be celebrating with the dynamic and energetic music of The Ragbirds of Ann Arbor. This outdoor concert, a fusion of folk rock and pop hooks over danceable world rhythms, will be kicked off by Chelsea’s own band Thunderwüde. The party begins at 5:30 p.m. and the music starts playing at 7 p.m. Grand River Brewery will be offering fabulous food and beverages so the audience can celebrate the longest day of the year with great food, brew and live tunes.

Born out of a need for Bluegrass in the Chelsea area, and a weekly gig at the Chelsea Alehouse, Thunderwüde became a band after a series of sessions done by Jason Dennie, George Merkel and Fritzemeier at the Alehouse. First starting as mostly a traditional bluegrass outfit, it morphed into playing originals from Jason as well as current pop hits in a bluegrass style. The repertoire expanded to range from Bill Monroe to Townes Van Zandt to some choice soundtrack selections from blockbuster hits.
Offering a kaleidoscopic array of worldly influences, The Ragbirds consistently exhibit a gleeful disregard for contemporary folk-rock convention. With their live album entitled ‘We Belong To The Love’ , released on Valentine’s Day 2013, this up-and-coming Michigan band has been traveling the country with their “infectious global groove”, gathering a passionate grassroots fan base of all ages.
The positive vibes, high energy, infectious beats and moving introspective lyrics will be combined with the festive atmosphere of Grand River Brewery’s outdoor stage and will certainly add to the vibrancy of downtown Jackson on a hot Friday night.

Multi-talented Erin Zindle, who is proficient in a variety of stringed instruments, is the songwriter and front woman of the band, skillfully switching between violin, mandolin, accordion, banjo and percussion, all while dancing. She wears an infectious smile and a positive message, always spun through a poetic loom. Surrounding Zindle’s earthy-sweet voice is the whirlwind of a guitarist T.J. Zindle, dynamic bassist Dan Jones, drummer Jon Brown, and standout percussionist Randall Moore.

“It’s folk-rock music at the heart of it”, says Zindle, who started the band with her husband, percussionist Randall Moore, “but I’m influenced and moved by sounds from all over the world”. Zindle and Moore began their relationship busking on the streets of Ann Arbor with Celtic and gypsy fiddling over tricky beats of tambourine, Middle-Eastern doumbek and tabla. In 2005 the duo gathered three band mates and began to record Erin’s original songs. Erin’s brother, guitarist T.J. Zindle, joined the band in 2008 and brought a grittier rock-n-roll edge to The Ragbirds’ sound while multiplying the band’s stage energy.
Ticket holders can get through the gate beginning at 5:30 p.m. with opening band Thunderwüde starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now by calling the JSO Box Office at 517-782-3221 or visiting www.jacksonsymphony.org .

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