KEARNEY — When it comes to selecting music to add to their set list, the members of Thalken, Tesdall and Thalken look for one specific quality.
“After a number of years just playing, we now pick something one of us really, really likes and we see what we can do with it,” said Lois Thalken, the vocalist for the group. “With this particular band — what I call my ‘big band’ — we have a lot of high energy.”
The six members of the group pull songs from a list featuring a variety of styles.
“I think the audience will be pleased to hear music that doesn’t often get performed live here in Kearney,” Lois said. “We’ll be doing some jazz tunes, some jump music from the 1940s and we hit other genres. We do a cover of Kansas’ ‘Dust in the Wind’ and an instrumental from the ’60s, ‘Spooky.’ I think people will be familiar with that one.”
Thalken, Tesdall and Thalken will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Sonotorium at Harmon Park, 3020 Fifth Ave., as part of the Concerts in the Park series presented by the Kearney Area Arts Council. Concessions will be available at the park.
Brad Driml, director of the council, encourages audience members to bring lawn chairs, face masks and to respect social distancing requirements.
As for the music, Lois feels that patrons will enjoy the high energy nature of the performance. The core members, Lois, her husband Todd Thalken and Greg Tesdall, have played together for decades. They also are known as the TTT Band and TEZZ. The performance on Sunday will include Lois, vocals; Todd, keyboards; Tesdall, woodwinds; Craig Link, percussion; Terry Ryan, baritone saxophone; Terry Speed, saxophone and Marty Tilley, vocals.
“We walk through a lot of different styles,” Lois said. “We try to put our particular spin on the music. We haven’t performed at Concerts in the Park for quite a while so audiences will hear a lot of new material.”
While on stage, Lois seeks to make a connection, starting with the other performers in the band.
“Connecting with each other and connecting with the music is how you end up connecting with the audience,” she said.
These days, Lois said she’s listening to the music of Eva Cassidy, Karrin Allyson, Michael Bublé and Brian Setzer.
“A lot of our music comes from listening to Louis Jordan,” she said. “Another song we do, in a more upbeat, jazz version, is Van Morrison’s ‘Moon Dance.’ Van Morrison actually recorded it in this high energy jazz style with some phenomenal jazz players. Greg put together an arrangement of that song for us.”
As for taking the role of the vocalist for Thalken, Tesdall and Thalken, Lois projects a certain amount of leadership on stage. During the years she has learned to savor the moments and quit worrying about what is coming up next.
“I try to relax more into the moment rather than trying to think ahead of myself,” she said.