COVINGTON -- A springtime entertainment favorite returns this Thursday, when the Arts Association in Newton County's May Concerts on the Square series kicks off in downtown Covington. The series will run at noon each Thursday throughout the month of May.
This year's line-up features lots of rhythm and blues and jazz and several performers who are gracing the downtown stage for the first time. All the groups are local to the Newton, Rockdale and Walton area.
"The main thing I've tried to find is music that is fun for these lunchtime concerts that isn't incredibly loud rock 'n' roll, because it's hard to enjoy lunch like that," said Ric Chiapetta, artistic director for the Arts Association in Newton County. "We're featuring so many new artists this year and people can come out and see some of the newer talents and bands being formed in our area."
The series kicks off Thursday with the Newton High School Band and the Newton County Honor Band, featuring honor band students from all three local high schools.
On Thursday, May 10, The Daniel Jackson Band will bring its smooth jazz sounds to the Square. Jackson, an Oxford resident, is a crowd favorite who has been featured in downtown concerts in the past, Chiapetta said.
The MacDaddy Band will be featured Thursday, May 17. The rhythm and blues group is led by Keith McGibboney of Conyers. "It's kind of like Ray Charles rhythm and blues, the older style, the quintessential late '60s and '70s flavor of R&B," Chiapetta said.
Next up will be blues band Funky Bluester, a Covington-based group headlined by Russ Boyer that performs Chicago-style blues.
Wrapping up the series is Smoothvibes, an R&B, smooth jazz group whose members are seniors at local high schools. The group plays more contemporary R&B, Chiapetta said.
The concerts are free to the public. In the event of inclement weather, they will be held at Turner Lake Complex.