Ken Dahleen opens season 14 of the Idyllwild Summer Concert series with a Dixieland combo in the Fourth of July Parade and his Big Band Staff on the concert stage that night at the Idyllwild Community Center. “It’s the first time we’ve opened the series on the Fourth of July,” said Dahleen.

His Dixieland six, the Musikats, will ride on a parade float enlivening the festivities with some sassy New Orleans-style swing. The Musikats feature Dahleen on clarinet, Keith Droste on keyboard, Jack Poster on trumpet, Bill Tole on trombone, Jeff Stover on bass and Andy Fraga on drums.
Then as the evening begins to cool, Dahleen’s Big Band Staff hits the concert stage at 6:30 p.m. to pay musical tribute to the big band era. “There’ll be a patriotic component to the first half of the concert,” said Dahleen. “I’m bringing in Troy Clarke, a Frank Sinatra-like singer, for some jazz and some good ole “blue eyes,” a program sure to please the many dancers that attend the ISC series.
Begun in 2000 with four concerts, the series has expanded to the current format of eight concerts. The 2013 series offers a wide variety of music, including Motown, zydeco, classical, rock and roll, and jazz.

Dahleen notes the series is one of the fastest-growing concert series in Riverside County.

Popular headliners returning this summer are Sherry Williams with her elegant brand of jazz vocals, City Beat, the rock and roll cop band, and Lisa Haley with her sizzling blue fiddle and foot-stomping Cajun music.

Each year Dahleen and the ISCS board begin this series with faith that sponsorships and donations will cover the more than $20,000 summer budget. This year the challenge is greater.

“We’re considerably behind where we were last year at this time,” said Dahleen. Sponsors and donors should contact Dahleen at (951) 659-2229. “This is a community event put on by the community for the community,” he said.