The second annual village-sponsored “Groovin’ in the Grove” concert series will kick off on Tuesday, June 20 with a concert by blues, pop and classic rock cover band Spakl.
Most of the members of the band work as architects for their day jobs, with the notable exception being Forest Park resident Sharon Dusek, one of the band’s three lead vocalists. Dusek also plays tambourine for the band.
She is a trained actress who came to the Chicago area from Columbus, Ohio to pursue a career in theater. She began singing as a way to further her acting career.
“When I came to Chicago to pursue acting, I quickly learned that I better start singing,” she recalled.
After taking some time off to work as a full-time mom, she became a member of Spakl three years ago, joining seven musicians already with the band
Asked for a sample of the band’s play list, Dusek listed songs like the Blues Brothers’ “Born in Chicago,” The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues,” and John Mellencamp’s “Authority Song,” along with tracks by Melissa Ethridge, The Pretenders, and Janis Joplin.
Dusek is not the only band member with a Forest Park connection. Marc Adelman, the harmonica player, was the architect behind caffe De Luca. Bass player Pete Shorner, now living in Berwyn, used to work at Forest Park’s village hall.
Dusek said many of the band’s gigs are for charitable events, including the City of Hope benefit at House of Blues in Chicago.
She said she attended the Groovin’ in the Grove concert last year, but by the time she inquired, it was too late to sign up to perform. This year, Spakl was thrilled to be invited to kick off the series.
“I think they’re great concerts. They’re a really good time”they usually get good bands,” she noted.
Following the series’ June 20 debut will be concerts by Blues Brothers cover band The Bluz Brothers on July 18 and Parrothead Express on Aug. 15. Parrothead Express is described on the village’s website as “blending the sounds of Calypso, rhythms of reggae, and beach party music.”
All concerts are held at Altenhem Picnic Grove, 7820 Madison St., from 7 to 10 p.m., and are free of charge to attend. Refreshments and beverages are available.