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SMILE's free summer concerts are underway...and we have a video at the end of this story to show what they're like!

DAVIF F. ASHTON - At the first of the free SMILE Summer Street Concerts, on July 9th, the band Kim Field & The Perfect Gentlemen had the crowd up and dancing in the street! As had been announced, summer entertainment organized volunteers from SMILE — the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League neighborhood association -- with help from the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance (SMBA) kicked off on Saturday, July 9.

The free Summer Street Concert Series found neighbors arriving early to find a good place to set up lawn chairs and blankets on S.E. Bidwell Street at 13th Avenue, there to enjoy a free concert by "Kim Field & the Perfect Gentlemen".

While SMILE Board Member — and Chair of its Events Committee — Jim Friscia was helping the first concert get underway, new SMILE President Elaine O'Keefe shared her thoughts with THE BEE.

"I am thrilled to have our concert series back," O'Keefe smiled. "The concerts were successful and well-received in the last two summers, and I'm really happy we can do it again this year — a little bigger and better.

"I think it's really important for us to have activities in which neighbors can actually come together! In this case, coming together in a joyful setting that the concerts provide."

Individuals, families, and small groups streamed into the street concert area before the performance began. Some of them brought coolers, and food from home; but many attendees had picked up to-go meals from the many restaurants that line S.E. 13th Avenue in Sellwood.

"One of the things these events do is help build a sense of our neighborhood," O'Keefe pointed out. "We all know this is a wonderful place to be, but concerts like this build on a sense of our neighborhood and neighborliness."

DAVID F. ASHTON - The band Kim Field & The Perfect Gentlemen were the entertainers at the first free street concert of the two-month series in Sellwood-Moreland, this one at the corner of S.E. 13th and Bidwell in Sellwood. The series continues on Saturday evenings until the end of August. As the live music began, concert-goers were soon nodding their heads in time with the music, applauding the performance — and even dancing in the street.

But wait — there's more! The concerts which began in July continue into August, in Westmoreland, and still on Saturdays beginning August 6, from 6:30 until 8:15 p.m. The August venue is the parking lot on the south side of the Windermere Building at S.E. 16th Avenue just south of Bybee Boulevard. Here's the list of performers in August:

August 6 — Red Bird ("soulful Americana")

August 13 — Jet Black Pearl ("Live-looping accordion songstress")

August 20 — Padam Padam ("French cabaret, klezmer, tangos, and Latin")

August 27 — Rich Layton & Tough Town ("swampadelic roots rock")

For more information, go online — www.sellwood.org/smile-summer-music

And, if you haven't been to one of SMILE's free summer concerts yet, here's a brief BEE video to give you a taste! -- htps://youtu.be/kova7vzv3y0


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