Members of City Heat are local jazz legend Chester Daigle II on keyboards/bass, DeWayne Simmons on vocals and James Bill on drums. (Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, June 06, 2013 10:17 AM
The four-week run of Downtown at Sundown will come to a climax Friday when the trio City Heat takes to the stage. The band has been the closing act many times during the concert series’ 15-year history.
Food and merchandise booths will open at 5:30 p.m. City Heat will take the main stage at 6:15 p.m.
City Heat is led by Chester Daigle II on keyboard and bass with James Bill on drums and DeWayne Simmons singing. The trio will be joined on some selections by violinist Jarius Daigle, Chester’s son, and Greg Franklin with guitar.
City Heat’s repertoire comes mostly from the library of rock ’n’ roll with emphasis on the Motown hits, said Pat Daigle, Chester’s wife and the group’s spokeswoman.
“With City Heat’s unique combinations and fusions of music styles such as rhythm and blues, jazz, funk cover songs, City Heat quickly became one of Southwest Louisiana’s most popular bands,” said Denise Fasske, Lake Charles city director of arts.
“The band has delivered a great night of entertainment, audience participation and long-lasting memories since 1995.”
City Heat’s schedule is dominated by private appearances, especially weddings, Pat Daigle said, but the group enjoys public gigs for special events such as Downtown at Sundown and Contraband Days. It also plays once a month at the Isle of Capri’s Caribbean Cove lounge.
Daigle was named Artist of the Year in the Mayor’s Arts Award last year. He has been dedicated to the promotion of jazz and music education for more than 40 years.
The Daigles organize the annual Jazz in the Arts concert at the Central School Arts and Humanities Center. Proceeds are used for a scholarship for a jazz music student.
Downtown at Sundown takes place in the 700 and 800 blocks of Ryan Street, between Division and Pujo streets. All cross streets remain open during the event, as do most merchant parking lots.
In case of bad weather, the concert will be held inside the Lake Charles Civic Center. Concert-goers are encouraged to take lawn chairs, but no outside beverages or pets are allowed.
Sponsors for the event are the American Press, Citgo, Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel and Entergy.