It's a family affair: Sunnyvale bands liven up Labor Day with free concert

Photo courtesy of Bruce Ray Productions - Sunnyvale residents Kaylen, 14, Kelsey, 12, and Kristen, 10, make up the K3 Sisters Band, known for their high energy, singing and fiddling. The girls will perform a free concert Sunday at Sunnyvale First Baptist Church and are also scheduled to play at the Western Days Festival in Lewisville next month.

Bruce and Jamie Kassab have been in the entertainment business for years; so naturally, when their three daughters began to show signs of the music bug, the couple was happy to bring them along for the ride.

"In this day in age with family [units] in shambles, we represent a nuclear family that loves performing," Bruce said. "It's very, very rare. Booking agents call us a specialty act because we're a family."

This Sunday, the family will perform a free concert to help east Dallas County communities celebrate the upcoming three-day weekend. The concert, which starts at 5:15 p.m. at Sunnyvale First Baptist Church, 3018 N. Beltline Road, will feature performances by the K3 Sisters Band and the Stringsations. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

"By offering these shows, we are targeting a bunch of area-wide residents who will be avoiding the high cost of travel these days, and will be on a staycation this Labor Day weekend looking for fun things to do," said Bruce, who is also a pastor at the church.

The K3 Sisters Band is a seven-member, award-winning pop music band featuring Kaylen, Kelsey and Kristen Kassab. With their specialties in singing and playing fiddles to songs varying from modern pop to Celtic, the sisters found their niche by providing family friendly entertainment for audiences of all ages, said mom Jamie Shipman-Kassab, who is also the band's producer.

"Besides our YouTube channel and Facebook, performing live shows at churches, public schools and city festivals is the main way we are expanding our unique multi-generational audience," she said.

Sunday's performance is not the only opportunity to see K3, as the band will also headline Lewisville's Western Days Festival Sept. 28-29. The band is also scheduled to perform at Six Flags Over Texas several times throughout the rest of the year.

When he's not coaching his daughters, Bruce is part of a nine-member group called the Stringsations. For the past six months, the band has been performing free shows weekly in the Sunnyvale FBC chapel auditorium on Sunday nights to a large and growing senior audience of many faiths and backgrounds.

Having grown up in the limelight, the girls started playing bouzoukis when they were 3 or 4 years old and have continued their love for music and "wowing" a crowd. That being said, stage fright has never been an issue, making way for "raw energy and talent," Bruce said.

"When you're in front of these girls, there's a kind of charisma that exudes that you can't get on a recording," he said. "It's a magical transference, the muses show up so to speak and it's like electricity to the audience."

Although they typically perform at local churches and festivals, Sunday will be the first time the K3 Sisters will perform at Sunnyvale FBC as a band, said Jamie, who, in addition to being their mother, is also their teacher, vocal coach and mentor. Jamie also produces the shows and performs with her husband as part of the Stringsations.

"It's a challenge at times but I wouldn't have it any other way," she said.

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