LEOMINSTER – You could have been dancing the night away to her extraordinary singing voice and saxophone playing; but it is his radiant smile, his love of Italian cuisine, culture and tradition, and his passion for the family that have made him a friend for life.
Stephen Ciccolini, affectionately known as Stevie Chic, a longtime local musician, passed away after a short illness in March, and Sonny Levine, took the opportunity to dedicate Leominster’s summer concert series to this year in memory of Ciccolini.
Concerts will all take place in Carter Historical Park, under the Bisceglia Bandstand, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays throughout the summer; with a rain date of August 26.
“Last year I had all of the bands lined up for the summer concert series, then the hit of COVID-19, and as we all know it was all canceled,” said Levine, a longtime musician. Date of the Golden Road Band and founder of the Leominster Summer Concert Series. “Earlier this spring I called all the bands to set a date for this year’s series and everyone said yes – fingers crossed that we were going to be able to pull it off because playing for these guys is such a big deal, for some it is their main life.
Levine says he had all the groups on board, then news of Ciccolini’s passing arrived.
“When I heard that he had passed it really hurt me, not just because of the loss of a good friend, but because the community had lost a talented musician,” he said. declared. “He was a friend of mine, along with many other people, and that’s when I decided to honor him with this year’s summer concert series.”
Leominster’s summer concert series will be a mix of rock and country and will feature local artists who all knew Ciccolini.
“There isn’t a musician in this area who didn’t know who Stevie Chic was,” Levine said.
“Each group is full of energy, comes from the community and is a full-fledged musician,” he added.
The summer concert series lineup includes Small Town, an acoustic, classical and country rock group that will perform on June 3; Steppin Up, featuring classic country and rock performances, June 10; Pure Country will play traditional country music on June 17th; Perfect Alibi, traditional country to classic rock, will perform on June 24; The Goat Ropers Band will present everything from traditional to contemporary on July 1; Full Monty will play rhythm and blues, funk and classic rock on July 22; Neon Alley, playing classic rock from Aware rock covers, July 29; Trak Down, playing from a playlist by Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers and more, on August 5; Honky Tonk Hangover, featuring honky tonk country, August 12; and The Big RanDom, a classic rock cover band, on August 19.
Levine said each concert will begin with an introduction to the band, park rules and, with this year’s dedication, a few words about Ciccolini, accompanied by a moment of silence.
“The Leominster Summer Concert Series is an opportunity to bring friends and family together in a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy free music on a beautiful summer night,” said Levine. “Bring a chair or a blanket and even a picnic if you like, and dancing is always welcome.”
Levine, who currently volunteers with WLPZ in Leominster, says serving and giving back to his community is what is most important to him.
“I served my country for 32 years in the military, it was a great thing for me to serve my country,” he said. “When I came out of the military, I wanted to give back to my community, something of the arts where people can relax and have fun. Over the years, I have discovered more and more the importance of doing just that. This is who I am.
Levine thinks this year is very special as people start to meet again, as COVID-19 regulations are relaxed, and he is honored to be able to dedicate this series of concerts to his good friend.
“Stevie Chic meant a lot to a lot of us,” Levine said. “Not just as a talented musician though. Stevie was the kind of guy you could sit and talk with for hours on end, whatever the conversation was, and you always walked away feeling a better person to know him and I’m honored to dedicate this series to him.
The Leominster Summer Concert Series operates only through private donations and contributions. For more information on the Leominster Summer Concert Series and how to donate, visit them on Facebook or call Sonny Levine at 978-401-5156.