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      Downtown Ishpeming ready to jam this summer

      Downtown Ishpeming is the place to be on Thursday nights for a relaxing evening of outdoor live music.

      Their summer concert series takes over the park by the Old Ish statue every Thursday evening until the end of August.

      The 2012 series kicked off last week. Fans young and old set out their lawn chairs to hear singer-songwriter Shannon Wyatt perform a variety of her own music, from country-swing to rhythm and blues. According to organizer Kurt Gronvall, the diversity in Wyatt's music is also what people can expect throughout the summer.

      The City of Ishpeming began the concert series eight years ago, and it's expanded to the point where musicians are paid to perform.

      "At first, it was all volunteer basis, and every year it's progressed and now they've given me a budget and they allow lots of local artists (to perform)," said Gronvall. "It's a variety of talent. It's every type of music from jazz to country to blues to rock."

      The summer tradition has grown in popularity.

      "Eight years ago we had the same 12 to 20 people here every Thursday," Gronvall recalled. "And last year, we had 150 to 200 people at every one of these concerts."

      Wyatt attributed the success of the summer concert series to the strength of musicians in the area and the many fans who support them.

      "The local music scene is huge. It's an incredible thing about the U.P. and Ishpeming in particular; with Kurt Gronvall here, he's a huge advocate in support of local music scene," said Wyatt.

      Below is the full schedule. All concerts are from 7 to 8 p.m.

      - July 19 - Jackpine- July 26 - Goldmine Girls- August 2 - Black Pearl- August 9 - Jazz All Stars- August 16 - Jeff Krebbs & John Beck (Papa Crow)- August 23 - V.I.P.- August 30 - Shotgun Kelli