Here’s how Indian Creek Library in Johnson County offers a way to warm the spirit

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·3 min read

With cool temperatures outside, Indian Creek Library is offering a way to warm up, beyond just toasting the toes and fingers.The library’s event space will host Grand Marquis Feb. 18 as part of its Live at the Library performance series.

Band member Bryan Redmond calls the Grand Marquis style “music like blues and soul and those types of folk music that have come from American people. Sometimes I describe it as if you were to hear Dr. John and Van Morrison playing in Stax Memphis.”

The ensemble features Redmond on saxophone and vocals, Chad Boydston on trumpet, Ryan Wurtz on guitar, Trevor Turla on trombone, Natalie Bates on drums and Ben Routh on sousaphone and bass. Redmond and Bates wrote original material for the group.

“We write a lot of songs together, and some of my favorite things in our songs are the different beats she comes up with, but also the color and texture of percussion that adds just the right amount of emotion,” Redmond said.

Many of their songs are originals, but they do play covers as well.

“We like to create our own material. That’s our general focus,” Redmond said. “But there’s so many great songs it’s hard not to want to play songs other people have written.

“When you combine original songs and cover songs, it creates a great tapestry, and it takes the audience where you want them to go emotionally and musically.”

Over the last 23 years, Redmond estimates they’ve written 30 or 40 songs, but they tend to stick with their most recent works, as their sound has evolved over time. Throughout the pandemic, they’ve put out eight new singles online.

Although the band hasn’t performed at the Olathe libraries before, its performers did a library concert in Kansas City, Kansas, several years ago. Redmond said he was excited to be part of Olathe’s performance series.

“I’ve seen other performers in the series that are high quality, and they’ve done a really good job of curating the different talent,” Redmond said. “I’m excited to get outside of the normal performance venue and go to where people are. We really like performing for audiences of all ages, and that’s something you can’t find everywhere, because a lot of venues are not all ages.”

In the last two years, the group has done online concerts, with the help of Travis Fields, owner of the recently-closed Westport Saloon. They’ve also played a couple of socially-distanced outdoor concerts at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

“Our band has had a really great attitude. We’ve tried to be safe. We’ve all been vaccinated and boosted and are just doing our part to try to be able to continue with live music safely and keep the arts going,” Redmond said.

He hopes that the band will get to start touring again this year. They’ve already set up a monthly gig at The Ship in the West Bottoms.

Their library performance will feature about an hour of music, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Grand Marquis will play at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Indian Creek Library’s Live at the Library series. The performance is both free and family-friendly.

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