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Concert series turns 20 with big bluegrass bash

Fri., June 21, 2013

Kids, sharpen your pitchforks. You’re invited to a birthday party.

The free concert series for children presented by KPBX embarks on its 20th season today with a show by rhythm-and-bluegrass band Big Red Barn.

“It’s a special concert for us, since it’s 20 years,” said Kathy Sackett, Spokane Public Radio’s underwriting and special events director. “I’ll probably be teary through most of it.”

From its start, the series has aimed to spur kids to play music while helping fill a need for free events for families. It also aims to expose children to music beyond what’s played on commercial radio or TV – especially to the variety “alive in our region,” Sackett said.

Now presenting seven free events a year at rotating venues, the series has featured classical, Latin, calypso and klezmer music, along with rockabilly, big band, jazz and folk.

Big Red Barn performs with a signature style that pulls elements from a mix of genres, Sackett said.

Live performances by the Spokane-based band often include blues and jug-band tunes, new spins on old folk songs, and bluegrass and country standards along with the band’s originals.

As a musician, Sackett said, she notices kids are generally more attentive than adults – happy to “sing to it, dance to it, or just sit there and groove to it.”

After today, the series’ next concert will take place from noon to 1 p.m. July 19 at the Kroc Center, 1765 W. Golf Course Road in Coeur d’Alene. That concert will feature folksinger and radio host Dan Maher. Go to for more information.

Adrian Rogers

When: Noon to 1 p.m. today.

Where: Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.

Admission: Free.

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