A cappella group ‘Til Dawn and jazz stalwarts Swing Fever continue the series August 16 at 2pm, with singer-songwriter Olivia Davis and bluegrass fusion band Ain’t Misbehavin’ rounding out the season on August 23.


The Mill Valley Arts Commission’s annual Concerts in the Plaza series – now in its 30th year – always serves up a mix of vaunted veterans and emerging upstarts – giving Mill Valley a soundtrack to the summer in the process. At the August 9th edition of the concert series on the Depot Plaza, attendees were in the presence of some local rock royalty.

The afternoon kicked off with Loris Rowan and Caribbean Bleu, the latest project from the multi-instrumentalist, founding member of Marin County rock-reggae band The Edge and a member of the legendary Rowan Brothers musical family. The band’s set featured a fusion of Americana meets Latin and Caribbean influences, a sound they described as “Jimmy Buffet-meets-Paul Simon-meets-Sting-meets-Bob Marley.”

The Linda Imperial Band followed with a set of hard driving rock ‘n’ roll blues that likely gave many longtime locals a trip in the way-back machine. Fronted by the powerful pipes of singer Linda Imperial, the band features David Freiberg, the multi-instrumentalist who  holds the singular distinction of having been associated with more of the original San Francisco bands than any individual, boasting membership in Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane (briefly) and Jefferson Starship. It also features Steve Valverde, Peter Harris, Doug Freedman and David Kaffinetti. 

Concerts on the Plaza begin at 2 pm Sunday, with each band playing for 45 minutes. The series continues this Sunday with a lineup featuring `Til Dawn, the Youth in Arts A Cappella ensemble, and Swing Fever, a staple in the Bay Area’s jazz scene since 1978. Short bios for each are below. 

Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes!

Til Dawn – 2–2:45pm
`Til Dawn, the Youth in Arts A Cappella ensemble, is an advanced vocal music program for motivated young artists. `Til Dawn celebrates the value of the arts, encourages positive messages about meaningful social issues, and inspires children of all ages. The group performs a mix of rock, pop, blues, jazz and soul standards and contemporary hits, in addition to original songs by group members. The group rehearses twice a week at Youth in Arts and participates in three weekend retreats throughout the year. They maintain an extensive year-round performance schedule, singing at schools, community events and charitable benefits. On May 31, `Til Dawn has a full length concert at San Domenico School in San Anselmo to highlight each of the individual students and celebrate the seniors.

Swing Fever – 3–3:45pm
Since 1978, Swing Fever has been a swinging staple in the Bay Area, California and across the western United States. The band spent 14 years on the California Arts Council’s touring roster, doing several hundred concerts around the state. They have played two Monterey Jazz Festivals and countless others as well as four San Francisco Black & White Balls, too many prestigious performances to list. They are lucky enough to have Denise Perrier, who is one of the best jazz vocalists anywhere. Rhythmic, romantic, torrid and witty…this is our music and we’re crazy for it. Watch out, you may catch Swing Fever too.

Go here for the full slate of 2014 Concerts in the Plaza performers.