Bozeman artists to play Fourth of July

By Tyler Allen EBS Senior Editor

BIG SKY – The Arts Council of Big Sky will bring some new blood to Center Stage for its July Fourth extravaganza, when The Tiny Band plays one of its rare public appearances in Big Sky Town Center.

The Bozeman-based band has been delighting wedding parties with their high-energy, horn-driven sound since their first performance in July of 2010, and now steps into Big Sky’s Independence Day spotlight after a five-year run by Seattle’s Freddy Pink.

The Tiny Band was formed to play at vocalist Krista Barnett’s wedding reception – she sang a few songs in her party attire – and has been lighting up the summer nuptial circuit ever since. They’ve played only a handful of public appearances, but bring a polished repertoire to one of Big Sky’s signature summer events.



Their eclectic catalog ranges from funk and soul to rock ‘n’ roll and pop, and Barnett says they’ve been working on some new material this summer – concert-goers could be treated to Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” and Al Green’s “Take Me To the River.”

Barnett has played the Music in the Mountains series twice before – with the Dave Walker Band in 2011 and Pinky and the Floyd in 2012 – and says she’s excited to get that exposure and then some for The Tiny Band.

“All of the Music in the Mountains [shows] are pretty well-attended, but the Fourth of July gig is the biggest,” Barnett said. “I’m stoked to play a free concert, where people can come and hear us. It’s a beautiful place to play and it’s always great to see kids and families just getting down and enjoying the summer weather.”

The Fourth of July festivities attract between 3,000 and 4,000 people, according to ACBS Executive Director Brian Hurlbut, compared to an average of about 1,000 attendees at the Thursday night Music in the Mountains shows.

“We wanted to try something new,” Hurlbut said. “I’ve typically had the policy to not bring the same band back, [but] I made the exception with Freddy Pink because of the reaction from the crowd.” Hurlbut added that The Tiny Band brings a similar sound as Freddy Pink, and he didn’t have to get them to Big Sky from Seattle.

“The thing I learned from [Freddy Pink] is the style of music they play is really appealing to a lot of people,” Hurlbut said, noting he had heard reviews from The Tiny Band’s New Years Eve performance at the Yellowstone Club this winter. “I talked to people who were at that show who said they blew the roof off.”

In addition to Barnett, The Tiny Band brings seven other musicians to the stage, including vocalist Jeni Fleming; saxophonists Ryan Matzinger and Jake Fleming; John Sanders on bass guitar; guitarist Sean Lehmann; drummer Drew Fleming; and keyboardist Chris Cundy.

The band’s name derives from original member David “Tiny” Siataga, and it remains a tongue-in-cheek moniker for an eight-person band.

“We kept the name because we loved Tiny … and thought it’s ironic because we have anything but a tiny sound,” Barnett said.

The music will start at approximately 7 p.m., Hurlbut said, and will continue at least until the fireworks are launched at about 10:15 p.m. Center Stage Park will cater to families with at least six food and beverage vendors, and activities for kids including a bounce house and climbing wall.