After starting in a Wauwatosa backyard 14 years ago, then rotating through the city's parks, Tosa Tonight returns June 11 in its own pavilion in Hart Park. Organizers hope it will be bigger than ever, with a growing group of regulars and a diverse line-up of musical acts to attract a wider audience this summer.
"It's a great community, and they really come out and support it," said Tosa Tonight Executive Director Rick Bauer.
Other than Bauer, the people behind Tosa Tonight are all volunteers. The money they raise from sponsors goes into putting on the free concerts and funding improvements of Hart Park and the Rotary Performance Pavilion.
Bauer said if the group can raise enough money, he hopes to get a concession building on the back side of the pavilion. In addition to offering food and drinks, the building would supply electricity for performances, simplifying preparation and clean-up. But Bauer said that goal is "a couple years out."
In the meantime, Bauer said he hopes Wauwatosans find this year's series offers something for everyone — especially families.
"It's very much a family friendly thing," Bauer said. "I think it's something kids are going to look back and remember going to as they grow up."
The free concerts are on the second and fourth Wednesdays of June, July and August. Opening acts start at 6 p.m., and the main acts are 7:30 p.m. Food and drinks are available from local vendors like Maxie's, Leff's, BelAir Cantina and Metcalfe's Sentry.
This year will feature an additional July 4 performance starting at 8 p.m. in coordination with the annual fireworks.
Tosa Tonight schedule:
June 11:Streetlife with Warren Wiegratz (R&B, smooth jazz and contemporary)
June 25:5 Card Studs (lounge music)
July 4:Jason D. Williams ("vintage boogie")
July 9:Hugh Bob & the Hustle (rock, country, folk and Americana)
July 23:Concord Chamber Orchestra
Aug. 13:Scythian & Tallymoore (Celtic and world music)
Aug. 27:Naima Adedepo (American Idol top-11 finalist)
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