In less than two weeks the City of
Piqua will be rocking to the sounds of the Eric
Jerardi Band opening the new riverfront concert series
Piqua! The Dayton-based blues/rock group will be
appearing live at Lock Nine Park overlooking the Great Miami
River on Saturday, June 14, from 7 to 11 pm. Admission is free
and open to the public. There is no rain date.
Jerardi's group is among three
headline performers scheduled to appear in the Rock Piqua!
summer series. Other concerts include Clark Manson, of
Covington, on June 28, whose band is scheduled to appear at this
year's Country Concert in Fort Loramie; and Nashville Crush of
Lima, a country/rock ensemble, on July 26.
The downtown concert series is
being presented by the Piqua
Arts Council and Mainstreet
Piqua along with "headliner" sponsors Positively
Promoting Piqua (PPP), the Piqua
Community Foundation, the City of Piqua, Mullenbrock
& Associates, and Polysource.
According the PAC Executive
Director Jordan Knepper, "the live musical performances
were designed to give the 25- to 45-demographic an event they
could fully support. Other segments of the population are being
served through various programs, so we wanted to reach out to
this age group and give them something to support. While the
focus was on the 25 to 45 crowd, these concerts are designed to
appeal to both the young and young at heart." Opening act
and headliner groups hail from local and regional communities.
Two food vendors scheduled to
appear at Lock 9 Park, 125 E Water St., are Susie's Big Dipper
and the Zombie Dogz food truck from Dayton. Beer and wine will
also be available for sale along with soft drinks and water. In
addition, Rock Piqua! T-shirts will be available in sizes small
through 2XL. The Rock Piqua! logo was designed by Kaitlyn
Barlage, a senior at Piqua's Upper Valley Career Center.
Mainstreet Piqua's Lorna Swisher
advises attendees to bring their lawn chairs and blankets for
the musical event. Items prohibited will include pets, outside
alcohol, and firearms or contraband. Red, White and Blue LLC of
Kettering, has been employed to provide professional staging,
sound and lighting.
Parking, noted Knepper and
Swisher, will be available on either side of the Linear Park,
between Main and Wayne Streets, Canal Place and behind Piqua's
municipal building. Portable restrooms will be made available
and Anderson Security will be available at entry points to check
identifications. Purses and bags may be subject to search.
"We had a number of folks
approach us in recent years about sponsoring an evening concert
series," explained Swisher, when asked about the impetus
for Piqua Rocks! With all the excitement building for riverfront
development, it made perfect sense to use the Great Miami River
and Lock 9 Park as a venue to showcase our downtown."
Although the concert series is
free of charge, freewill offerings will be accepted at various
entry points. Dozens of volunteers have been recruited to sell
beverages and t-shirts, greet attendees, provide hospitality for
opening acts and headliner groups and serve on the steering
committee which include Dr. Nancy Luce of Upper Valley Career
Center; Jeanie Jordan Bates, McVety Realty; Dan Ramer, Fifth
Third Bank and Positively Promoting Piqua; Chris Schmiesing,
City of Piqua; and both Swisher and Knepper.
Eric Jerardi, who considers
himself a "true blues rocker", has performed live
shows throughout the United States and has released seven CD's
since 1995 and worked with producer Z (representing Prince, Fine
Young Cannibals, Johnny Lange and Etta James) to recording with
Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, and Black
He is "musically having the
time of his life" with the release of the band's new CD
"Everybody's Waiting on Me". He began his musical
career by winning a "battle of the bands" in 1989 at
Ohio University He later won another contest at OU which secured
a spot on MTV as the Midwest's Best Unsigned College Band. Over
the years, he has shared the stage with Little Feat, Robin
Trower and Jim Belushi at the House of Blues in Chicago and Los
Angeles; played with Eric Johnson on Cape Cod, jammed with Keith
Urban, Wynonna and Kenny Chesney in Nashville; and headlined B.B.
King in Memphis, Nashville, LA and Manhattan.
In addition to his music career,
Eric Jerardi has owned and operated Jerardi's Little Store in
Dayton for nearly 20 years. He is also an accomplished chef and
sommelier as well as a wine educator and host of the "Get
Real Wine Series" available on DV D. The last of the series
was filmed in Bordeaux, France.
The opening act for the June 14
concert is Cincinnati-based "Satellite Flight" whose
"fascination and pure-love of the '80s ballads" is
their backbone. The rock group includes Darwin Darling, drums;
Chris Tiller, guitar; Travis Wells, bass and Chris Vondrell,
lead vocals. They reportedly "serve up rock and roll with a
side of pop" to get their "Flight Crew" fans
clapping and stomping their feet.
For more information about the
summer music series, go online to www.RockPiqua.com.