Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Presents 9th Annual Labor Day Concert In The Village

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August 04, 2017
Make Me Smile Brings the Ultimate Chicago Experience to Destin on Sept. 3
DESTIN, FLORIDA (Aug. 4, 2017) — Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and Trustmark Bank give the Emerald Coast a whole new reason to smile with a special Labor Day Concert in the Village featuring the 10-member Chicago tribute band sensation Make Me Smile.
Make Me Smile will take the Dugas Pavilion stage on Sunday, Sept. 3 in the MKAF Cultural Arts Village at 4323 Commons Drive West in Destin on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. The gate opens at 6 p.m. and the concert is at 7 p.m.
Hailing from Nashville, Tenn., Make Me Smile features a 10-piece ensemble, which includes 7-piece rhythm section and a three-piece horn section to authentically represent every nuance of each unforgettable Chicago classic hit. Heralded as the “ultimate” Chicago experience, Make Me Smile features A-lists musicians: Scott Sheriff, Gene Miller, Tom Hemby, Steve Ebe, Scott Kinney, Roy Agee, Jim Hoke, Tim Buppert, Boh Cooper and Gary Lunn.
Get ready to dance down memory lane and groove to many of Chicago’s greatest hits such as: “Baby, What a Big Surprise,” “Wishing You Were Here,” “25 or 6 to 4,” “Saturday in the Park,” “Call On Me,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is,” “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day,” “If You Leave Me Now,” “Make Me Smile” and many more.
Formed in the Windy City in February of 1967 by three DePaul University music majors, Chicago remains an iconic and legendary American band. During its 50-year career it has racked up staggering statistics and accolades including 36 albums, which have sold well over 100 million records, 20 Top 10 pop hits and 22 Top 10 adult singles (15 of which broke the Top 10 on both charts).  Many of these hits have been on Billboard charts in five different decades. Of its first 20 albums, 17 were certified platinum and nine were multi-platinum with “Chicago 17,” released in 1984, eventually going platinum a whopping six times.
Initially called the Big Thing, the band relocated to Los Angeles in the summer of 1968, and manager and producer James Guercio changed its name to Chicago Transit Authority. Shortly after the release of its debut album in April 1969, the band received a cease-and-desist order from the actual Chicago Transit Authority. Consequently, from late 1969 onward, the group became known simply as Chicago.
“How appropriate to honor all working people over Labor Day Weekend with a tribute to a band known for lyrics that carry us away from the care of the day,” said MKAF CEO Marcia Hull. “We invite music lovers of all ages to come join us for an end of summer evening of music, food and family fun.”  
After five decades, millions of fans worldwide are still happy to hear Chicago’s stunning legacy of hit singles, which collectively cover an extraordinary variety of musical styles from funk to rock to jazz to blues to classical to pop ballads.
General admission tickets to Make Me Smile are $25; $20 for MKAF members and free for children (12 and under). Tickets may be purchased online at or at the gate, which opens at 6 p.m.
A limited number of VIP Tables (seating eight) are available for $225. Tables are sold on a first come, first served basis and will sell out. They may be reserved by calling (850) 650-2226 during office hours, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
MKAF will have a drawing of nearly a dozen exciting prizes and packages at intermission. Visit the donation table located near the stage before the concert to enter to win.
Proceeds benefit MKAF and its arts education community outreach programs.
The concert is rain or shine, so no refunds will be provided. Patrons are invited to bring picnics and wine or beer or purchase dinner and drinks (bottled water and soft drinks) on site, but for the comfort of all guests, tables over two-feet long, drones and pets (except service dogs) are not permitted.
For up to date information on events, follow MKAF on Facebook. For more information on becoming an MKAF member, volunteering or serving on MKAF’s Board of Directors, visit or call (850) 650-2226.
Follow this link for images and artwork for Make Me Smile. 

Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation (MKAF), a 501-c-3 not-for-profit charitable arts organization, was founded on the cultural, educational and spiritual beliefs of the late Destin matriarch, Mattie Kelly. MKAF’s mission is Northwest Florida’s champion of cultural arts and arts education for all. Since it formed in 1995, its art outreach programs have reached and inspired more than 304,000 children in more than 70 schools, United Way agencies, and veteran and military organizations. Quality music, theater and visual arts programs are thoughtfully curated to serve the unique needs of these special populations. 

Zandra Wolfgram, Media Contact