Leonid & Friends brings Chicago sounds to Evans

Leonid & Friends brought a mix of sounds into the Jabez Sanford Performing Arts Theater May 8.

Billed as a Chicago tribute group, the 11 performers who hail from countries such as Russia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus mixed old school Chicago songs including Questions 67 and 68 and Make Me Smile in with Tower of Power’s So Very Hard To Go and Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody during the first half of the show.

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Members of Leonid & Friends have never seen Chicago perform live, but they’ve studied the music for years. The group has three horn players who are featured in the classic horn-heavy sounds made by Chicago in their early years, and they gravitate to other bands featuring brass.

Leonid & Friends sing Questions 67 and 68 on May 8 at the Hardin Auditorium in Evans

Mike Deas of Augusta Amusements, who brought the group to Evans, said the Augusta Amusements season technically ended in March.

“We never add concerts,” Deas said, adding that there has always been the option, it just never arose.

But in this case, not only did Deas book one extra concert, he booked two with the same group. Leonid & Friends will return to the same theater May 15.

Leonid & Friends sing “Ain’t Nobody” at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Center May 8. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

The May 8 event had only a few empty seats, and Deas is hoping for the same May 15.

On May 6, Deas unveiled the performers for the 2023/2024 season.

 “A number of the shows we’re bringing in for two nights,” he said. “We’re growing. Make plans to see the shows and tell your friends.

The season kicks off with Lady Supreme: A Diana Ross Experience Oct. 7. The season is filled with strong female soloists. Other artists will pay tribute to Aretha Franklin Oct. 21-22, Whitney Houston Jan. 16-17, 2024. and Olivia Newton-John Feb. 23-24, 2024.

Shows will pay tribute to the Beach Boys Nov. 10, Queen Feb. 15-16 and ABBA April 27-28.

There are three holiday concerts with the Atlantic City Boys on Dec. 6, a Merry Country Christmas Dec. 12 and Celtic Angels returning Dec. 18.

The Evans Opry will feature Augusta’s own Terri Gibbs Jan. 20.

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Check the website for ticket information.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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