Live @ the Library – Music to Your Ears

Shaun Davidson has worked in public libraries for six years, and is currently the Adult Programmer at Boone County Public Library. Coordinating the Live @ the Library free concert series is one of his favorite aspects of his position.

It is often said that music is the universal language, and judging by the success of our free Live @ the Library concerts and other music programming for all ages, this statement is most definitely true.  There is nothing quite like the experience of hearing and seeing live music being performed. The rhythm, lyrics, instruments, and musicianship come together in a way that can entertain and move you like few other art forms. Bringing this experience to our community is yet another way that Boone County Public Library connects you to the incredible world in which you live.

Starting ten years ago as “Fabulous Fridays” and “Swingin’ Sundays”, the Live @ the Library concert series has grown into one of the most popular Library programs, consistently packing the house with music fans. Concerts are held twice monthly – one concert each month is at the Main Library in Burlington, and the other concert alternates between the Florence Branch and the Scheben Branch in Union.

The Library strives to present a variety of styles and genres, including some that audiences may have had limited exposure to in a live setting, such as African drumming, classical guitar, Celtic jigs and reels, Gypsy jazz, and Japanese choral music, just to name a few. The Library’s concerts are one of the very few places, if not the ONLY place in Boone County to hear live music in these musical styles at a high caliber.

Most of the acts that play at Live @ the Library are musicians from the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati area. Local favorites have included Wild Carrot, The Tillers, the Rabbit Hash String Band, the Florence Community Band and Florence Community Chorus, Ma Crow, Magnolia Mountain, Revival Ridge, and the Hills of Kentucky Dulcimers. These local musicians often say that they look forward to playing at the Library because it offers them a chance to perform in a setting that is more peaceful and family friendly than their usual performances at clubs and festivals. They know the audience will be attentive and eager to hear great music! In addition to the talented local musicians, the Library has hosted several nationally touring acts. Singer/songwriters Jeffrey Foucault, Caroline Herring, Jason Wilbur, and The Sweetback Sisters have all graced the Live @ the Library stage.

Tribute artists who play familiar tunes that people can sing and dance along with are always fan favorites. Tributes to the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, John Denver, and Johnny Cash have brought some of the biggest crowds we have ever had at the Library. In fact, the crowds have gotten so big that in 2012, the Library partnered with Boone County Parks to offer free outdoor concerts during the summer at Boone Woods Park in Burlington. The park can accommodate everyone who wishes to see the show. Plus, there is plenty of parking! The Library is continuing this fantastic partnership to present a stellar line-up of free outdoor concerts again this summer. We hope that you grab a lawn chair and bring your entire family to one of these great shows!

On a much smaller scale, the Library also hosts concerts “Under the Dome” at the Main Library. These intimate performances usually consist of a solo musician or small acoustic group that fills the Library space with relaxing music. This is a perfect complement to browsing through a magazine and grabbing a bite to eat from our new Moody’s Discover Café! The dome at Main Library also has a piano where those who know how to play can showcase their talent for the public. So, you never know when you’ll hear an impromptu performance at the library!

With so many musical offerings, there is something that will appeal to every taste. Whether it’s a relaxing evening of classical guitar, a choral revue of show tunes, or a hard drivin’, foot stompin’ bluegrass band, you can count on Boone County Public Library to get your music fix!



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