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By Jill Brown

Monessen Public Library hosted "Raise Your Voice" free concerts from 2 - 4 p.m.for several Fireside Sessions this past winter, except when the snow kept them away.

 

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Hot-Headed Mike and the Half-Baked Jazz Band were a real treat on March 22.

The March 22 concert was Hot-Headed Mike and the Half-Baked Jazz Band. The group included: Mike McKeta, Gordy Brash, Nathan Fix, Derek Bendel, Sam Stuckey, Jeff Smith, Izzy Yohn, and Jason Leech.

Matt Shorraw is the group's coordinator, who says, "My hope is to continue to bring together the community through music and make it a stronger network of people helping each other."

Karla Spangler is also an integral part of the group as manager.

Pianist Jason Leech began by performing a beautiful solo and held the attention of the impressive turn-out. A talented young man, he played such classics as "Stairway to Heaven," "Imagine," and "Freeze Frame."

The next hour, the lively jazz band assembled, playing jazz, classics and music they wrote themselves. They held the audience's full attention.

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Stephen Grienda and Shane Turner entertain the small library group on April 12.

On April 12, "Raise Your Voice" returned with another Fireside Session from 2 - 4 p.m. with an acoustics band featuring Shane Turner & Stephen Grienda. This was the final show before the 3rd Annual Music & Arts Festival, which will be held on May 3rd at Monessen City Park from 12 - 7 p.m.

Shane began with the first song as "Time of Your Life," and followed with one he wrote. Stephen later joined him, and they played beautiful acoustics together. Later, they even sang oldies and Shane took requests. The small crowd had a good time with them.

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