Movies, music in the park set to debut

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Movies, munchies and music. That’s what the Johnston Community Center Association (JCCA) will be offering for free this weekend inside War Memorial Park.

For the fourth time in as many summers, the JCCA is bringing back its highly-popular Concerts in the Park that will make its 2017 debut Sunday evening when the Reggie Centracchio Quintet takes the park stage starting at 6 o’clock.

But the JCCA’s summer curtain raiser will take place Saturday evening – starting at 8 o’clock – when the JCCA begins its second season of offering free Movies in the Park.

“We’re excited about bringing back both events,” said Glenn Carroll, the JCCA’s long-sitting president. “We enjoy putting on these community oriented events for people of all ages.”

Although the Movies in the Park are children-oriented films, many people made last year’s inaugural season a family affair and enjoyed bringing everything from coolers to lawn chairs to blankets to enjoy the movies as well as free popcorn the JCCA will again serve this season.

Saturday’s opening movie is entitled Trolls, a 2016 American 3D computer animated romantic musical comedy film based on the Troll dolls created by Thomas Dam. The film evolves around two trolls on quest to save their village from destruction by the Bergens, creatures who eat trolls.

The film, which was produced by DreamWorks Animation and premiered on Oct. 8, 2016, at the BFI London Film Festival, features the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Russell Brand, James Corden and Gwen Stefani.

In keeping with the Movie Night tradition started in 2016, the JCCA will again offer three free movies this summer. In addition to Saturday’s opener, which will be shown on the inflatable screen the unique non-profit purchased last year, the other scheduled movie days are July 29 and Aug. 19.

Meanwhile, Carroll announced that the JCCA will also present three concerts this summer. The complete schedule is Sunday, The Reggie Centracchio Quintet; July 30, the Jesse Liam Band; and August 13, The Billy Harpin Band.

“We’re looking forward to all seeing all three groups,” Carroll said, noting that Sunday’s concert and The Billy Harpin Band are new performers while Jesse Liam performed at such a high-energy last summer, the JCCA felt it was important to bring his group back in 2017.

Sunday’s concert will begin at 6 o’clock and feature the highly-accomplished Reggie Centracchio Quintet that will treat concert goers to some special light swing and easy jazz that the group has played for years at different venues in and around Rhode Island.

The group is led by Reggie Centracchio, a West Warwick native who has been playing his trumpet since 1957 when he was a junior at the former John F. Deering High School.

More impressively, Lt. General Reginald Centracchio, who was Commander General of the Rhode Island National Guard for a decade, served in the military for 48 and first joined the Army in 1957 but didn’t begin active duty until his graduation in 1958.

Since then, Centracchio has been known as one of Rhode Island’s most distinguished citizens and musicians.

His entertainment career began with The Rhythm Kings, a group of his high school friends, and has included playing with such highly-acclaimed bands as the famed Moonlighters and Night Life Orchestra.

While Centracchio plays trumpet, his quintet often features different musicians such as Barry and Judy DiRossi on the piano and vocals with Carl Hosbond playing the saxophone and John Badessa on drums.

Those who like famous songs like “Foggy Town,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Blue Skies,” “Can’t Get Started” as well as “Got You Under My Skin” will be impressed with Centracchio’s quintet and other popular and famous hits like Misty, Georgia, Besame Mucho, Meditation and more.

“We’re looking forward to playing in Johnston,” said Centracchio, who will celebrate his 77th birthday next week. “War Memorial Park is and has always been a very, very special place.”

Sunday evening, beginning at 6 o’clock, it will become even more special when Lt. General Reginald “Reggie” Centracchio – one of Rhode Island’s most decorated military members of all time – leads his famous quintet during its first-ever appearance in Johnston with a variety of sounds from the American Song Book.

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