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Make Mondays musical and Wednesdays wonderful in Lake Park

Lake Park Friends

If you struggle to fill your days in Milwaukee after the weather gets warm, you’re just not trying. Just about any night of the week, you can head out to one of the many parks in the area and catch live entertainment — for free, no less — on an evening fueled by food trucks and local beverage makers.

Earlier this week, we took care of your Wednesdays courtesy of Washington Park Neighbors, and today we’ll wind back a couple days to fill in your Mondays (and give you another Wednesday option!). This one comes from Lake Park Friends, who announced their lineups for Musical Mondays and the more kid/family-friendly Wonderful Wednesdays, both of which start in early July.

“Musical Mondays is proud to offer the community a lineup this summer as musically and geographically diverse as anything we’ve ever done,” said Jeff Bentoff, presenter for the series. “It’ll be a summer of music in the park you won’t forget.”

Looking at the roster of musicians coming to Lake Park, that’s not just talk coming from the organizers. At the start of the workweek, you’ll be able to unwind with artists from Zimbabwe, Haiti and Ireland, as well as from the deep well of talent right here in our backyard.

Details on that global lineup slated for Mondays are right below, and head a little further down the page for a rundown of Wonderful Wednesdays. For more information on both series, visit the Lake Pake Friends website and follow them on Facebook.

Lake Park Friends; Facebook

Musical Mondays

A series for music lovers of all ages that runs from July 8 through Aug. 26. All shows start at 6:30 p.m. and wrap up around 8 p.m. at the Lake Park Summer Stage located right next to the playground.

July 8: The Hungry Williams. Joined by a love of early swingin’ rock and roll, The Hungry Williams play upbeat music great for dancing or just listening. The band features singer Kelli Gonzalez; drummer and leader John Carr; and ace guitar, keys, bass and horn players.

July 15: Brian Lynch and Spheres of Influence. Led by the multiple Grammy Award-winning trumpeter, his ensemble mixes jazz, Afro-Caribbean and more. Lynch, who grew up in Glendale, has worked with everyone from Art Blakey and Horace Silver to Eddie Palmieri and Chucho Valdes.

July 22: Wesli. Wesli is the stage name of Haitian/Canadian Wesley Louissaint, one of Haiti's most revered and accomplished musicians. Bringing together Montreal and Haitian talents, Wesli's music unites Haitian vodou and rara with roots, reggae, Afrobeat, electronic music and hip-hop flavors.

July 29: R&B Cadets. A celebrated Milwaukee band since the ‘80s, the Cadets are known for their signature danceable sound featuring originals and obscure covers. The group reunites occasionally, while its front line of Paul Cebar, Robin Pluer and John Sieger lead their own popular ensembles.

Aug. 5: Mokoomba. Hailing from Zimbabwe, Mokoomba is one of Africa’s most exciting young bands and is setting dance floors ablaze with traditional Tonga and pan-African music cultures mixed with dashes of rap, ska, soukous and Afro-Cuban music.

Aug. 12: JigJam. These Offaly- and Tipperary-born musicians started the first wave of the new Irish invasion of Americana. Bluegrass and American folk music have Irish roots, and JigJam takes the music back to its beginnings while adding their own modern style for a foot-stomping, high-energy show.

Aug. 19: Fountain of Youth. This project of several Milwaukee musicians represents the city’s next generation of jazz music. Led by guitarist Sam Catral, the band features vocalist Faith Hatch and will cover jazz standards perfect for a summer night in Lake Park.

Aug. 26: Gizzae. A musical tapestry woven from the diverse experiences of its members, who hail from across the globe. With over 35 years of grooving, they’ve won Grammys and Chicago Music Awards, and shared stages with Ziggy Marley, Rolling Stones and Toots & The Maytals.

Lake Park Friends; Facebook

Wonderful Wednesdays

This series aimed at children and their families has its first installment July 10 and the finale Aug. 21, with shows on the Summer Stage running from 6:30 p.m. to a bedtime-friendly 7:30 p.m.

July 10: Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats. An award-winning Chicago performer with a passion for creating sweet, folk-inspired songs that explore the themes of friendship, family and childhood.

July 17: The Last Bees. Positive, uplifting, nostalgia-inspired melodies as sweet as honey, with vocals and instruments that sting like a bee (without the ouch).

July 24: Frogwater. Renowned for their virtuosity and exuberant live performances, the repertoire of this musical pair spans from Celtic to Delta blues and from classical to pop, with a healthy dose of unique original material filling out the mix.

July 31: Susan Salidor. An award-winning Chicago children’s music composer, performer and author. With the heart of a teacher, her original music is influenced by her professional experience in musical theater, cabaret folk and her work as a preschool music specialist.

Aug. 7: Duke Otherwise. A playful wordsmith, spirited performer, skilled guitarist and captivating tap-dancer from Madison. Using his distinct baritone, he sings hilarious and imaginative songs that will delight all ages.

Aug. 14: Little Miss Ann. This award-winning Chicago musician’s playlist spans different genres with fun, interactive educational songs that inspire kids to sing, jump, dance and let their own lights shine.

Aug. 21: Fox And Branch. For over two decades, this award-winning duo has performed a dynamic mix of old-time music, original songs and family folk tunes that appeal to children and adults, giving everyone a chance to actively participate.