Brass Transit: The Musical Legacy of Chicago returns to the Summer Arts Festival with their take on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s numerous hits. CONTRIBUTED

Friday in the park

Summer Arts Fest brings back Chicago tribute band Brass Transit.

One of the best ways to experience Chicago is to take a route through the Great White North.

A Summer Arts Festival returning favorite, Canadian-based Brass Transit: The Musical Legacy of Chicago will journey south to mix rock ’n’ roll with horns at 8 p.m. Friday, June 16 at Turner Pavilion in Veteran’s Park.


» Journey tribute band videotaped local show

Admission is free. The show is presented by the Springfield Arts Council.

Band leader and trumpet player Tony Carlucci found the music of Chicago the right outlet for his skills as he grew up with the band’s music and played trumpet for 52 years.

“Chicago’s music is unusually positive with uplifting lyrics and there’s more depth with the music,” he said.

A veteran studio musician in Canada, when Carlucci decided to put together a Chicago tribute he didn’t have to look far to recruit the other seven members to round out the group. Each is an accomplished musician in his own right.

“We’ve got 80-90 years experience between us. It took off faster than I’d expected, but when somebody throws you a ball you grab it,” Carlucci said.

Chicago is celebrating 50 years in music in 2017. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have racked up mind-boggling statistics along the way: 23 gold, 18 platinum and eight multiplatinum albums, five No. 1 albums and 21 top 10 singles and Grammy Awards.

Carlucci mentioned Chicago’s longevity as continued popularity. Baby boomers discovered their music first into the late 1960s and into the 1970s, then the band’s next wave of popularity appealed to Generation X as they continued to pick up new fans.

“People don’t get tired of it. It’s an hour and a half of hits we do,” he said.

Everything is about precision for Brass Transit, Carlucci said. They play the songs note for note like the records they came from and play with feeling and energy and the audience picks up on it.

The band has done such a convincing job as a tribute, the actual Chicago has placed members of Brass Transit on call in case someone needs to fill in. Their lead vocalist, Ian Jutsun, has done six Chicago shows.

Brass Transit finds the big crowds here responsive to the music, and the band enjoys the festive mood of playing outdoors.

The Buckeye state is always a welcome destination for Brass Transit. Carlucci isn’t sure why, but said the band has performed here more than any other state.

“We hope Springfield’s ready for another great show to see eight guys who put genuine heart into the music,” he said.

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