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Music at the Mounds

By Staff | Jan 26, 2010

While music may attract area residents and visitors to the Randell Research Center Calusa Heritage Trail this weekend, there’s going to be so much more than a wide array of musical offerings — attendees will also have a unique opportunity to witness history being unearthed before their eyes.
“If a person is really concerned about what Florida’s future climate might be like, Music at the Mounds is a must-attend event,” said event chairman DL Havlin. “Raising funds to benefit studying history in this critical area is just one of the things it’s all about.”
While attending Music at the Mounds, event-goers to the Jan. 30 festival can obtain information about some of the original island inhabitants, Calusa Indians.
They also will learn about the discoveries made at the site with regard to climate history.
According to Havlin, the archaeology work being done at Randell Research proves that sea levels have been four feet higher and two feet lower in just the past 2,000 years which is a significant find.
Participants will have the opportunity to meet Dr. Bill Marquardt, curator of archaeology at Florida’s Museum of Natural History and scientists from the University of Florida to ask questions about the Pineland site and the wealth of archaeological information that has been discovered. In addition, an active excavation will be open for viewing by the public while an archaeologist and assistants sift for facts from the past.
As for the entertainment at Music at the Mounds, listeners will be treated to Dixieland, Bluegrass, swing, violin and jazz performances. Popular area groups include Deb and the Dynamics, Jim Syoen’s Palm City Dixieland Band and national artists. Among the notable performances will be the North Fort Myers High School Jazz Band which will play ’40s swing music, the Bluegrass Parlor and with a special guest appearance by Clay Hess and Ron Stewart.
The Bluegrass Parlor Band have been playing music for more than 20 years and is comprised of Jarrod Walker, Jeff Jones, Austin Wilder, Jimmie White and Tyler Walker. Cory and Jarrod Walker have also recorded two albums and have served as studio musicians for famous Nashville acts including Ricky Skaggs, Chad Brock, Scott Vestal and members of the Mountain Heart. Both have also performed at the CMA Music Festival as well as several appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. During the National Wild Turkey Federation Awards ceremony in 2005 and 2006 they performed as the opening act for Alison Krauss, Union Station and Diamond Rio.
Other performances to make their way to the stage at Music at the Mounds include Tomorrow’s News, and violin stylings by Suzanne Lansford. Serving as MC for the event will be Jim Syoen, co-star of television’s morning “FOX 4 Rising.”
Gates for the event will open at 9 a.m. with musical performances beginning at 10 and continue until 5:30 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to bring a lawn chair and, as this is an open-air event, those attending may want to consider wearing a hat or applying sunscreen. Coolers are welcome but food consumption will be restricted to designated areas and no alcoholic beverages will be permitted.
For those who do not want bring a picnic lunch, food vendors will be on hand throughout the event.
The cost of admission is $20 per person with children under 10 admitted free and those attending will be issued a wrist band so that they may come and go as they please throughout the day.
Proceeds from the event will benefit local music programs as well as the work conducted at Randell Research Center.
Randell Research is not tax supported and is not part of the state park system. Salaries of the sites three staff members as well as utilities and maintenance, as well as research and educational programs are supported solely by donations, memberships, grants, merchandise sales and funds raised during special events like Music at the Mounds.
For more information contact the Randell Research Center at 283-2062, 283-2157 or visit flmnh.ufl.edu/rrc/events.htm