A pair of high-profile talents will sizzle the stage during Ione’s Fourth of July Celebration.
A full day of holiday fun crescendos in the evening as headliner Quarterflash performs Monday, July 4 at 8:30 p.m. in the amphitheater at Ione City Park.
The live entertainment begins with local talent, the Corey Peterson Band, who will warm the crowd up at 3:30 p.m. A talent show is set for 4:30 p.m. (register at 4 p.m. to participate). Martin Gerschwitz will take the stage just ahead of Quarterflash at 7 p.m.
Event manager Shelly Rietmann is excited about the quality of musicians. The Ione woman lived in Portland for five years and saw Quarterflash perform nearly two dozen times.
“I was like a groupie,” she said with a laugh. “I think this is our best lineup. The combination of having Martin and Quarterflash — to have two groups that are that big will be really fun.”
Marv and Rindy Ross of Quarterflash have performed numerous times in Eastern Oregon, including as Quarterflash, as a duo and with The Trail Band.
The Rosses began their music career in the late 1970s as the Portland-band Seafood Mama. After combining with Pilot, also from Portland, they began performing as Quarterflash in 1980. Their self-titled debut album, “Quarterflash,” went platinum in 1982. The single “Harden My Heart” climbed to No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
In 2007, the Oregon Music Hall of Fame revitalized its effort to preserve the state’s musical heritage. Since that time, nearly every year at least one inductee has a connection to Quarterflash — from former promoters of the band, past band mates or musicians who have toured or recorded with Marv and Rindy Ross.
In 1991, the Rosses founded The Trail Band. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Oregon Trail, they were commissioned by the Oregon Trail Council to create a musical based on diaries of immigrants on the trail. It featured music from and about the Oregon Trail era with costumes, diary readings, traditional folk tunes and American Indian melodies.
Marv wrote a second play, “The Ghosts of Celilo.” The Broadway-style musical features American Indian music and culture. It was presented in October 2007 by the Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, resulting in 13 sold-out performances.
Born in Germany, Martin Gerschwitz is a seasoned musician who has performed in more than 15,000 events across the globe. The multi-instrumentalist — who also sings lead and harmony vocals — plays across multiple genres, from classical to psychedelic rock.
Those who don’t readily recognize the name, likely have heard of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” The 17-minute tune featuring multiple solos is the title track of Iron Butterfly’s 1968 album. Gerschwitz is the former lead singer and keyboardist with the band.
Gerschwitz is no stranger to Eastern Oregon. He was part of the Romancing the West Legacy Tour, a musical and visual trip through time, which was staged at Hamley’s in April 2013. In addition, he has performed at Sno Road Winery in Echo numerous times.
Over the years, Gerschwitz has performed with Eric Burdon and the Animals, Meat Loaf, Lita Ford and many more. In addition, he has played keyboard on several movie soundtracks.
Gerschwitz has honed his classical training and rock influence to perfect his own style, providing a versatile and unique experience for audiences.
The celebration’s finale features a fireworks show. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Ione4thofjuly.
Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4539