Rock Falls Bellson Music Fest adds final band to lineup

The Jerry Criss Band will kick off performances at noon

Jerry Criss Band

ROCK FALLS – The Jerry Criss Band is the fifth and final band added to the performance lineup for the third annual Bellson Music Fest, Rock Falls Tourism announced in a news release.

The event on Saturday, June 8, at the RB&W District Amphitheater in Rock Falls will commemorate the life of Rock Falls native Louis Bellson, who went on to become a nationally known jazz drummer. Five bands playing music in honor of Bellson will perform from noon to 9:30 p.m.

The Jerry Criss Band, led by R&B soul singer and percussionist Jerry Criss of Elgin, specializes in a wide array of genres, including smooth jazz and Latin soul. It will kick off the performances at Bellson Music Fest at noon and play until 1:30 pm.

Following its performance is the Yorkville Big Band from 2 to 3:30 p.m., the Rock River Jazz Band from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Josh Duffee & His Orchestra from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and headliner Steve Smith and Vital Information from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

Smith, a former drummer for Journey, will be leading a drum clinic from 11 a.m. to noon at the McCormick Event Center in Rock Falls. Smith was voted the No. 1 All-Around Drummer five years in a row by Modern Drummer magazine readers and is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The event is hosted by Rock Falls Tourism in collaboration with Francine Bellson and Duffee. It is free to attend.

For information, visit the event page online or email Melinda Jones, director of Rock Falls Tourism, at

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Payton Felix

Payton Felix

Payton Felix reports on local news in the Sauk Valley for the Shaw Local News Network. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May of 2023.