February 20, 2015 – By Christine Cole for Orland Sentinel

Three free concerts in Donnelly Park will lead up to Saturday’s Mount Dora Music Festival headline concert by suave and stylish two-time Grammy winner Jack Jones.

Before Jones takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. across the street in the Mount Dora Community Building, The Porchdogs will open with cajun and Zydeco music on the boards at 11 a.m. The Hindu Cowboys will follow, serving up folk music at 1 p.m., and Watermelon Revolution will remind people of the sounds of Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley at 3 p.m.

It’s Jones who is the heat in this year’s festival. Regularly selling out wherever he appears — often in Las Vegas — Jones’s smooth voice has gained in intensity since his biggest successes of the 1960s, “Lollipops and Roses” and “Wives and Lovers.”

After each of those hits won Grammys, Jones stuck to what worked, singing romance-driven ballads for 50-plus years, recording favorites, such as “Dear Heart,” “The Impossible Dream,” “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life” and the theme from the TV series “The Love Boat.”

But recently he found a new ally on the Internet.

“I thought YouTube would be a disaster at first, but it has been helpful to me,” Jones said. “It has given me an avenue to a new audience. People are using beautiful ballads in their lives and they are finding out about me.”

Singers such as Michael Feinstein and Michael Buble have attracted younger people to the Great American Songbook, he said, as have Dick Robinson’s radio broadcasts, “American Standards by the Sea.”

Jones will team up with Feinstein, Steve Lawrence and Frank Sinatra Jr. this year to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra — a man Jones calls his idol.

When director David O. Russell, a fan of Jones, asked him to record “I’ve Got Your Number” for his 2013 film “American Hustle,” Jones didn’t hesitate.

“I love to perform,” he said. “I don’t want to retire until my voice tells me to.”

The album from the film was nominated for a Grammy.

Tickets for Jack Jones are $40 and $55 in advance with a $5 extra charge at the door. VIP seating is $75. The Mount Dora Community Building is next to city hall, at 520 N. Baker St.

Sunday’s concerts are all free, with songs of romance by Italian tenor Federico Cardella at 2 p.m., acoustic gypsy jazz by The Cook Trio at 7:30 p.m. and Afro-Caribbean guitar sounds of Leo Lopez at 9 p.m. in the Mount Dora Community Building.

For tickets, call 352-385-1010. For more information see mountdoramusicfest.com.