Ellwood House Mansion to host first of six summer concerts


Courtesy of Frank Rossi

Rat Pack Tribute band

Madelaine Vikse , Lifestyle Editor

DeKALB The Ellwood House Museum will have live music and entertainment Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on the lawn of the Ellwood House Mansion, 420 Linden Place.

The opening act will be a fashion show provided by Lizzy’s Pink Boutique. The main act will be a Rat Pack Tribute band featuring band leader Frank Rossi, singer Tommy Panici, drummer Michael Vittori and singer Clancy Johnson. 

“Primarily we will perform Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, a lot of the Rat Pack type,” Rossi said. “We may even throw in some rock and some country. We try to make everyone feel comfortable and touch on all different genres.” 

The event will be the first of six “Music at the Mansion” concerts held at the Ellwood House Mansion throughout the summer. All six concerts will be free to attend. Beverages will be available for purchase, courtesy of Fatty’s Pub. Those interested in attending can bring their own chairs and blankets. “This event means a lot to me to be with the guys that we are with,” said singer Tommy Panici, “the fact we are coming out of a long COVID-19 quarantine. We are glad to be out again. The classic music makes people feel great.”

Michael Embrey is the producer of the “Music at the Mansion” events and this season’s series. “The unique part of what we are doing is that every week is a different genre. The first week is similar to a Las Vegas review, the Rat Pack show. They are local singers and entertainers that have toured the country and are based out of Chicago,” said Embrey. 

Future “Music at the Mansion” opening acts will include “Misspent Youth Strings,” “Apollo Strings Quartet” and “DeKalb Flute Ensemble.” Future main acts will include “Back Country Roads” on June 30, “Elderly Brothers” on July 14, “Mr. Myers Band” on July 21, “Salsa de Norte” on July 28 and “Jazz in Progress” August 4, according to the DeKalb Park District website. 

“I think it is wonderful for everyone to get out because COVID-19 has been a strain on us all,” Rossi said. “The venue at the mansion is second to none, and the people are so friendly. We try to bring forth all the energy and you can just see the smiles. It’s great.”

The whole season is sponsored by the Irving Family Foundation. Each show is sponsored by a second sponsor. This first event is also sponsored by funME events, said Embrey. The Ellwood House Mansion can be reached at 815-756-4609, or email Michael Embrey at funMEevents.aol.com with any further questions about the “Music at the Mansion” events.