Sinatra tribute up next in concert series

TAYLOR – Kevin Sands loves the Downriver area and its fans of great music.

Sands got his start in show business Downriver and he returns to the Downriver stage with his “Salute to Frank Sinatra and Friends” from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Sands, also known as local real estate broker Kevin Kachigian, will be joined by members of the Just Jazz trio as the latest in the Summer Concert Series in the Gardens. The outdoor venue is at 22314 Northline Road, just east of Pardee Road and the Heritage Park Petting Farm.

Live jazz and blues will be performed from 6 to 8 p.m. each Wednesday. Tickets will be $5. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome and encouraged, but outside food and beverages are not allowed. There will be cash bar with food and beverage service starting at 5 p.m. Refreshments will be served by Crystal Gardens.

Sands has performed as Sinatra on stage in large venues in Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas and still performs with large orchestras. He said the Taylor performance will be somewhat of a homecoming.

“I’m proud to say I’m a Downriver boy,” Sands said. “I was born in Allen Park. My first gig was for the Amici Club. My next one was on Grosse Ile and the one after that was in Trenton.

“I’m so proud to bring this genre of music to Downriver. Downriver is the first group that endorsed me and supported me. It’s especially fun to perform back in my hometown and bring this timeless music to the people. I’m just thrilled.”

Playing with Sands will be renowned drummer Jerry McKenzie with his Just Jazz band mates Ray Tini and Terry Lower. Just Jazz performed last month at the conservatory.

Mary Boonenberg of the musical group Girls’ Night Out is one of the organizers of the concert series and invited Sands to perform. She said Sands provides high-impact, high-energy shows and is sure to entertain the audience in Taylor.

Boonenberg called Sands one of the finest interpreters of great American classic standards and adult contemporary pop music. She said his voice, stage presence and charisma have thrilled audiences for years.

“I believe that jazz and the American book of standards are the greatest contributions from the United States to the world of the arts,” said Sands, who lives in Southgate. “I’m trying to do my part to keep this music alive – and it’s a ball. I’m glad to be home and so proud to perform for the people who supported me and elevated my art.”

The remaining lineup for summer 2012 is:

• July 18 – Rare Standard modern progressive jazz.

• July 25 – Randy Napoleon, a jazz guitarist currently touring with Freddy Cole.

• Aug. 1 – Penny Wells, contemporary rhythm and blues/jazz vocalist.

• Aug. 8 – The Paul Keller Quartet, featuring Sarah D’Angelo.

In the event of rain, a concert would be moved indoors to the Taylor Lanes bowling center “Back Bar” at 24800 Eureka Road. A decision to move the concert would be made by 4 p.m. the day of the event. To confirm that a concert has been moved due to weather issues, call 888-383-4108.

The Summer Concert Series is sponsored by the Taylor Conservatory Foundation, the Taylor Cultural Arts Commission, Dolphin Manufacturing, Huron Valley Steel, Fritz Enterprises, Auto Finance Center of Ypsilanti, PNC, Walmart, Taylor Lanes and Betty and Ollie Boss.

For more information, call Erin Dobbins at 734-558-3228 or go to the Taylor Conservatory website,