New Canaan Nature Center hosts "Nature-Palooza" Family Concert and Campfire July 23 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Bring your own blanket, picnic dinner, and kids of all ages to the Nature Center for a summer concert on the green.

This is the third annual Nature-Palooza family concert, part of the Nature Center's "Summer Campfire Series." Bands slated to perform are Reggae Culture, the School of Rock House Band, as well as returning performers Matt Black and John Moses.

Black has been a professional educator for almost two decades and has always loved making music fun for kids. He was the longtime summer camp director at the New Canaan Nature Center before moving to Paris with his family. His "Music with Matt Black" program features interactive performances that incorporate humor, movement, silliness, singing and even some learning. He has entertained children of all ages at performances on both sides of the Atlantic.

Moses returns to the stage this year with his show "Instruments Around the World." Having traveled to China and most recently Madagascar, he will give a brief history of each instrument and accompany with song. Known as "Mr. Moses" through his quarter century of teaching New Canaan students, he is planning his world tour for the fall.

Since its founding in 1987, Reggae Culture's goal has been to play positive music for conscious-minded people. Performing a wide variety of Caribbean music, the repertoire of this Connecticut-based band ranges from the traditional sounds of Calypso and Soca to today's reggae and dance hall. Combining sounds like steel drums or classical guitar with syncopated drum and bass patterns gives their music a feel that is modern yet familiar at the same time.

The School of Rock House Band is group of talented and hardworking rock musicians, ages 10 to 17, from Fairfield County. This group is selected from the School of Rock's 250-member student base at several Fairfield County locations and has played at prestigious events, venues and festivals throughout the state. With a set list of classic and modern rock favorites that are sure to get a crowd rocking, these kids are performers to watch.

Guests of all ages are encouraged to bring an instrument and join in if they wish. Families can bring their own picnic food and beverages or purchase food, including ice cream. The concert will be followed by a marshmallow roast around the campfire.

The fee is $5 for nature center members and $8 for nonmembers. Families are encouraged to buy concert wristbands in advance at the nature center. Wristbands can also be purchased that evening.

The next summer campfire series event is the Starry Sky Campfire and Night Hike Aug. 12 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Space is limited, and families can call 203-966-9577, ext. 20, to register. The New Canaan Nature Center's grounds and trails are open from dawn to dusk daily.

The visitor's center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Visit

More Information

Fact box