Sanford’s summer concert series tradition continues

Jun. 12, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Beginning Thursday, downtown Sanford residents can hear jazz, rock, country and other musical genres during a free weekly concert at Depot Park.

The Function at the Junction Summer Concert Series is scheduled for 7 p.m. every Thursday through September in Depot Park, located in downtown Sanford. With the concerts rooted in downtown Sanford tradition, this year’s series will feature jazz, gospel, country, rock, bluegrass and beach music, among other styles, according to Downtown Sanford Inc. Executive Director David Montgomery.

“We felt like it would enhance the quality of life for Sanford and Lee County,” he said. “It would also encourage

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people to come to downtown and, hopefully, they eat or buy something from one of our retail stores.”

The shows bring awareness to the downtown area while providing a friendly environment for people of all ages, Montgomery said.

“We started this out as a family, fun and free atmosphere,” he said. “Now people are calling us in advance and ask us when the summer concerts start. It’s become part of the summer lore for Sanford and Lee County — one of those things people look forward to.”

The Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra is set to perform four times throughout the series, each time with a guest performer, said the orchestra’s founder Gregg Gelb.

People should attend all of the shows, Gelb said, as they provide an opportunity to be introduced to various local groups including the orchestra.“Jazz is America’s original art form,” he said. “Jazz was invented here. ... And they can also get a taste of what we do if they have never heard of us.”

People are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket to sit on during the performance, Montgomery said.

The concerts were set to begin last week, but inclement weather forced the cancellation of the first show. If there is more bad weather, he said, cancellations will be posted on Thursday afternoons at