Fraze: the second half

Right around Major League Baseball’s All-Star break, I get to thinking how the summer has flown by. Next thing you know, it’ll be back-to-school sales. Oh wait, that’s already happening. Sorry, kids.

Even though summer may be winding down, the season at Fraze Pavilion is just gearing up for the second half. So far, Paul Rogers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Darius Rucker and Ringo Starr – just to name a few – have graced the Fraze stage. And there’s much more to come.

For instance, right around the corner is Kenny Loggins, the Happy Together Tour starring the Turtles, (a Fraze fan favorite.) McGuffey Lane, Heart, Kool & The Gang (which will be “too hot”) and much more.

How about this deal?: Free festivals like Festival of the Vine coming up Saturday, Aug. 9. It’s all about Fine Wine & Cool Jazz during the day, and the ticketed event to wrap up the night are musicians Boney James and Brian Culbertson.

Oh, and did I mention the wine?

The event is a preview for Art on the Commons, back for the 26th year on Sunday, Aug. 10.

After that, there’s the second-annual Bacon Fest, which is billed as “new and improved,” because, of course, everything is better with bacon.

Some other cool Fraze happenings include Throwback Thursdays, sponsored by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, who promote, among other things, Drive Less, Live More and pedal power.

Whether you grew up listening to your favorite tracks on a record, 45, 8-track or cassette, you’ll love this new concert series. TBT brings your favorite music artists to life with some of the best cover artists around.

Now, here’s where MVRPC comes in. You can get FREE concert tickets (limited availability) if you register online in advance and ride your bike, or carpool, to one of the Throwback Thursday concerts. Now that’s a deal.

A couple of TBT concerts include this Thursday’s Satisfaction, The International Rolling Stones Tribute Show at 8 p.m. and Let’s Hang On!, The Frankie Valli Tribute Show on Thursday, Aug. 7, just in time for the Clint Eastwood-directed “Jersey Boys” motion picture.

Don’t forget, you still have time to catch a $2 Tuesday or $5 Friday concert, too. For more, just visit

Plus, I can’t get away with not mentioning the incredible cast, crew and volunteer staff at Fraze.

These folks take tickets, help with concessions, security, ushering and just about anything they’re asked – in all types of weather.

Fraze General Manager Karen Durham said it truly takes a village.

“We operate year-round with just two full-time staffers,” she explained, “while our summer team numbers over 200, plus a dedicated core of awesome volunteers. Fraze team members really do make the difference in the concert experience from the moment you walk into Fraze: the welcome you receive when entering the facility, a concession team second to none and our sincere ‘thank you’ as you exit after the show. Guest experience is important, but artist experience is just as valuable in this business, as artists, managers and agents all talk about the various venues they play.”

Speaking of, artists do recall their previous experience at Fraze – like former Beatle Ringo Starr.

“That’s right, Ringo called me – well, his people did – but we’ve been trying to bring him back since 2008 and finally he [returned],” Durham said.

Partly, I’m told through sources, Ringo and company enjoyed their Fraze/Kettering/Miami Valley audience so much it was a nobrainer to return.

So, what are you waiting for? Yes, the summer is half over, but look at it as the glass half full – plenty of time to enjoy super summer music.

Hey, maybe I’ll see you there. And if my glass is half empty, please, by all means, fill it up.



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