DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The Levitt Pavilion is finally taking shape in downtown Dayton, and officials are helping build excitement by announcing the lineup of the 34 free concerts planned for this summer.
The season kicks off on August 9, and will run through the first weekend of October. All of the concerts are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Gina Chavez: Thursday, August 9, 2018 7 p.m.
Gina Chavez is blending the sounds of the Americas with tension and grace. As a multi-ethnic Latin pop songstress, Chavez's passionate collection of bilingual songs traverse cumbia, bossa nova, vintage pop, indie-folk and reggaetón that takes audiences on a journey through the Americas as she discovers her own Latin roots through music. An eight-time Austin Music Award winner, Gina and her band have opened for Grace Potter, Grammy winners La Santa Cecilia, Gaby Moreno, and Grupo Fantasma, and are winning audiences throughout the U.S. and abroad while on tour as official ambassadors with the U.S. State Department's American Music Abroad program. She took home the Grand Prize in the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest for "Siete-D," a song about her experience volunteering in a gang-dominated suburb of San Salvador where she founded Niñas Arriba, a college fund for young Latinas.
Eichelberger Jazz Series presents: Paul Brown with special guest Chris Standing: Friday, August 10, 2018 7 p.m.
Two-time Grammy winning jazz guitarist, engineer, and producer Paul Brown career spans over two decades and includes the release of 8 solo albums and countless collaborations with well-established smooth jazz artists like George Benson, Jeffery Osborne, and Kirk Whahlum. His newest release "One Way Back" features the #1 hit "Put It Where You Want It”. “The Funky Joint” had two #1 hits and was on the jazz charts for a year and a half, solidifying Paul as one of the prominent jazz guitarist on the scene today.
Performances in Dubai, Iceland, Japan, Canada, throughout Europe and the United States he has taken his trademark smooth groove with catchy melodic sound and made his mark on the international jazz scene. The Paul Brown sound is warm and inviting. His music is funky yet has elegance and beauty. He woos the crowd with understated confidence, as every note falls in the perfect place.
Called the "Baby Face of Smooth Jazz", the 2011 Canadian Smooth Jazz "Best Vocalist" Nominee currently has over 60 #1 hits on the Radio & Records' smooth jazz chart, is considered to be the genre's #1 producer and has earned the distinction of having a #1 Radio & Records chart hit as both an artist and producer.
Levitt National Tour Presents: Paul Thorn and the Blind Boys of Alabama: Saturday, August 11, 2018 7 p.m.
Thorn boasts an innovative and impressive career, pleasing crowds with his muscular brand of roots music—bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern American, while speaking universal truths. He has performed on major television shows like Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live!; been the subject of numerous National Public Radio (NPR) features; charted multiple times on the Billboard Top 100 and Americana Radio Charts; and performed alongside living legends like Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting, and John Prine among many others.
Blind Boys of Alabama
Referred to as “gospel titans” by Rolling Stone magazine—continuously push musical boundaries with remarkable interpretations of traditional gospel and contemporary spirituals by songwriters such as Eric Clapton, Prince and Tom Waits. Celebrated by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five GRAMMY Awards, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans almost 80 years. They’ve recorded with fellow musical greats Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Susan Tedeschi, Ben Harper, Patty Griffin and Taj Mahal. Blind Boys of Alabama have appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, The Grammy Awards, 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report and many other television shows. Levitt National Tour audiences are in for an electrifying evening of gospel meets blues meets rock!
PNC Family Series presents: Trout Fishing in America: Sunday, August 12, 2018 3 p.m.
Trout Fishing in America is the longstanding, four-time GRAMMY nominated musical partnership of Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet. A willingness to at once make fun of our most annoying daily habits, then to touch our hearts with tender and passionate images of family life, is what makes the connection between Trout Fishing in America and its audiences so compelling and poignant. The most recent family release is “Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers”. The CD features tongue twisters, mind-benders, spooky situations and instantly identifiable slices of a kid’s life. In 2017, they changed gears and released a folk/rock CD called “The Strangest Times”. The project is a return to the roots of the band. The songs explore a wide range of feelings and musical styles that blend seamlessly into an inspired and cohesive work. Their infectious mix of folk/pop and family music is the result of their diverse backgrounds as well as growing up in the musical melting pot that is Texas. Their recordings have garnered three National Indie Awards, multiple Parents Choice and NAPPA Gold awards, the American Library Award, as well as four Grammy nominations.
“the Lennon and McCartney of kids’ music.” – National Public Radio –
“To see these guys, perform live is truly a wonder to behold. They possess a certain raw magic that leaves audiences of all ages entertained to their childhood core.”
~Mindy Thomas, Program Director/SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live
Delhi2Dublin: Thursday, August 16, 2018 7 p.m.
Delhi 2 Dublin was a happy accident born out of Vancouver’s Celtic Fest in 2006. Their sound started as an electronic fusion between bhangra beats and Celtic fiddle and has since grown into anything from dub reggae to breakbeats to just straight up happy dance music. The band’s new release of “We’re All Desi” looks to be their strongest album yet. Eschewing the sterility of writing songs in the studio and embracing the musicianship of new members James Wallace (guitar) and Serena Eades (fiddle), the band has based their new material entirely on jam sessions in their rehearsal space. Heavily influenced by their favorite Bollywood records from the 70s, their love for funk music, and produced by Nick Middleton (of The Funk Hunters), the results combine the high energy of their signature live shows with a newfound studio polish.
Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road: Friday, August 17, 2018 7 p.m.
Get ready for a high energy, uplifting musical experience that blends captivating virtuosity and heartfelt sincerity. This very eclectic Americana band is full of surprises, and the group's passion for music can be seen in their performance. Horseshoe Road is the 2011 International Acoustic Music Award winner in the Bluegrass/Country category. Opening for the Oak Ridge Boys was one of the many highlights of 2012, as well as the Charlie Daniels Band in 2013.
-“Ken Burns and I travel all over the United States. After hearing your performance, we turned to each other and agreed that we had witnessed something amazing.”-Paula Kerger, President of PBS
Sol Driven Train: Saturday, August 18, 2018 7 p.m.
Sol Driven Train’s music weaves through genres. The band’s playful sonic schizophrenia absorbs songwriting influences like John Prine and Paul Simon, Afro-Caribbean rhythmic explorations, and funky New Orleans-style brass into earnest songs of life, love, loss, and long johns. The versatile 5-piece band, based in Charleston, SC, features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings, keyboards, and percussion. Combining rich varieties of American pop and folk music into their own brass-kickin' roots rock sound, Sol Driven Train has carved out a unique musical identity within the Jam and Americana music scene.
Named “2011 Rock Band of the Year” "2012 Jam Band of the Year" and "2013 World/Groove/Reggae Band of the Year" by the Charleston City Paper, and “On the Verge” by Relix Magazine in January 2012, Sol Driven Train is an independent band breaking into the national spotlight. 2016 saw the release of Sol Driven Train's "Sunday", the band's first album to feature bassist Matty Thompson and pianist Ross Bogan. Drawing influence from years of experience on the road and their surrogate home in the US Virgin Islands, "Sunday" is Sol Driven Train's most comprehensive album to date. 2018 will mark the band's ninth full-length album.
Eichelberger Jazz Series presents: The Lao Tizer Band: Sunday, August 19, 2018 3 p.m.
“Jazz Group of the Year” nominee, The Lao Tizer Band, brings their electrifying World Jazz Fusion and introduce Dayton to their brand-new, Billboard Jazz top 10 CD/DVD combo-pack release, Songs From The Swinghouse! Led by pianist, keyboardist, composer and former “Best New Jazz Artist” nominee, Lao Tizer, the group also features vocalist Tita Hutchison (Rick Rubin, Foreigner), Grammy nominated and 3-time Emmy winning guitarist, Chieli Minucci, drum phenom Gene Coye (Larry Carlton, Terence Blancherd) and Senegaleese bassist, Cheikh N’Doye (Baaba Maal, Mike Stern). Tizer praises each musician for his and her contribution to the whole. Conceptually focused while always generous as a composer, arranger and band-leader, Tizer produced Songs From The Swinghouse on his own and wrote all of the instrumental tracks himself, aside from one co-write, "A Prayer For Unity" with the band's other guitarist, Jeff Marshall. They wrote it just after the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, and the significance at this particular time amid current events is imperative for Tizer. "It's a message that the world needs on a much more macro level, and music is one of those few mediums that can bridge some gaps," says Tizer.
The New Old Fashioned and Box Car Suite: Thursday, August 23, 2018, 7 p.m.
The New Old Fashioned
The New Old-Fashioned fuses big harmonies, punchy guitars, and lyrics firmly rooted in a Midwestern lifestyle, both modern and classic. Reminiscent of the heartland rock and Americana of artists like Tom Petty, the Eagles, the Old 97s, and Wilco, the New Old-Fashioned plays what it knows: catchy, no-frills rock & roll. The band’s second full-length album, Low-Down Dirty Summer Nights, expands and evolves the Americana sound that first appeared on its self-titled debut in 2012 by cranking up the guitars and adding some RR&B influences.
Box Car Suite
Cosmic American power pop for the Age of Aquarius, Box Car Suite is equal parts paisley, rhinestone and feather boa. With Further In and Farther Out, the Boxcar Suite deliver their second full-length album, with a fully formed rock and roll band enjoying the arrival of their realized sound. It holds true to the song-oriented approach common to front man Tim Pritchard’s previous work, and generally indicative of admiration for writers such as Gram Parsons or Gene Clark but turns sonic favor toward 70’s stadium heroics and 90’s power pop revivalism, embellished by steel guitar, keys, harmonized leadwork, and stacked vocal harmonies. Though more focused than previous efforts there are still apparent hints of country, folk and psychedelia.
Ruthie Foster: Friday, August 24, 2018, 7 p.m.
The small rural town of Gause, TX had no chance of keeping the vocal powerhouse known as Ruthie Foster to itself. The worship services at her community church and influences like Mavis Staples and Aretha Franklin created the foundation of her vocal capabilities, which developed into her own sound which is unable to be contained within a single genre. That uniqueness echoes a common theme in Ruthie’s life and career – marching to the beat of her own drum but has given her success that provided the opportunity to duet with Bonnie Raitt, or stand onstage with the Allman Brothers at New York’s Beacon Theater and trade verses with Susan Tedeschi; and includes nominations for a Best Blues Album Grammy — three times in a row, seven Blues Music Awards, three Austin Music Awards, the Grand Prix du Disque award from the Académie Charles-Cros in France, and a Living Blues Critics’ Award for Female Blues Artist of the Year.
- “If you’re not smiling as you listen to Ruthie Foster’s new album, Joy Comes Back, then you might want to check the condition of your heart. On this albumFoster joyfully delivers a set of ten infectious songs that carry powerful images of hope and love.” – DOWNBEAT
John King: Saturday, August 25, 2018, 7 p.m.
HOMETOWN HEROES CONCERT (Celebrating our active and retired military in the Dayton region)
Drive, paired with raw talent and business savvy took this young man out of a little mountain town in Georgia and into the spotlight opening for award-winning artists, writing number 1 songs, and touring over 150 dates a year. His dedication and tenacity paid off in opening slots for nationally recognized, award-winning artists-a feat that is virtually unheard of for a young, unsigned artist. In a short time, King has been making a name for himself in Country Music. John's debut radio single, “Tonight Tonight,” earned him his first Top 40 hit. In late 2017, King released the single "I Still Pick Up" from his latest project. The song debuted Top 5 on the Apple Music Hot Chart and has already gained over 1 million streams in a short time. The music video recently debuted on CMT and was voted Top 10 on the countdown.
In addition to his rising success as an artist, King is also earning national recognition as a songwriter. King experienced his first #1 with a song called “We Went” recorded by artist Randy Houser and received a 2016 ASCAP Songwriter Award for the song's success.
When it comes to the fans, the bar is set high according to John. “I love the way Garth treats his fans like royaltyI wanna be like that If you’ve made a long career in country music, it’s because your fans love you.” As King puts it, “Entertaining a crowd, meeting the fans, hearing their stories, seeing them have the time of their livesthat is what God put me here to dothat’s my passion.”
PNC Family Series presents: Big Bang Boom! Sunday, August 26, 2018, 3 p.m.
Big Bang Boom is a pop/rock music trio that plays parent-friendly children's music. After 20 years touring clubs and playing parties, Chuck Folds (younger brother of Ben Folds), Steve Willard, and Eddie Walker decided to expand their horizons and play for parents who have had enough of Barney, The Wiggles, and Kidz Bop. Big Bang Boom is kids' music with a pop sensibility, aimed at being something that parents can enjoy and feel good about letting their kids listen to and see live.
Their 3rd CD, Because I Said So! was named in the top children's music CD's of the year (2012) by "Kids & Family" (a big "kindie" blog). The band was a top 10 requested song of the year by WXPN Kids in Philadelphia, the longest-running kids radio program in the US, and they also played the station's 25th anniversary. They have even been compared to U2 by Parenting Magazine!
Big Bang Boom plays children's favorites as well as their own original songs for kids. The live show is high-energy and demands that the crowd (the kids AND parents) get involved. From getting the kids on stage to join the "Spongebob Chorus" to the parents vs. the kids hokey pokey challenge, Big Bang Boom has established the mantra, "There is no sitting down at a Big Bang Boom show!" Their songs have won accolades in the John Lennon, USA, International, and Great American Songwriting Contests.
Eichelberger Jazz Series presents: Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers: Thursday, August 30, 2018, 7 p.m.
Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers first hit the stage in the late 1980s, reintroducing the great jazz of 1920s and 1930s to eager audiences. The group quickly developed a devoted fan following in their native Dayton, Ohio, while also winning over jazz and music lovers across the country and, even, abroad.
They’ve played major music venues, such as the Elkhart Jazz Festival and the Davenport Bix Festival, been featured at the Dayton CityFolk Festival numerous times and toured Belgium at the request of Classic Jazz Stompers’ fans. The Classic Jazz Stompers invite you to join them as they share their love of the giants of jazz and the schools and styles of New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Kansas City and San Francisco.
MojoFlo: Friday, August 31, 2018, 7 p.m.
Neo funk group, MojoFlo, is as known for their captivating stage performance as their infectious rhythms and catchy lyrics. Named “Best Band” (2016) by both Columbus Monthly and (614) Magazine for their dynamic live shows featuring vivacious vocalist Amber Knicole. From aerial performances and Soul Train lines to hula hoop choreography and near-cringe-inducing leaps off the drum riser in 6-inch heels this lady has a knack for leaving audiences enthralled.
In combining hard hitting horns, seductive melodies and a meticulously crafted stage show, MojoFlo has built a fiercely loyal fanbase. This self-supported band tours routinely to bring their show to a national audience. MojoFlo has shared the stage with Rebirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Joan Jett, KC and the Sunshine Band and the Dynamites featuring Charlie Walker. They’ve played festivals such as Nelsonville Music Festival (2016), Tribal Connection (2015), All Good (2013), Mad Tea Party (2015), Be Kind Gathering (2016) Independent's Day (Columbus 2016).
MojoFlo released their debut EP 'Waiting' in 2009 followed in 2010 by “Whatcha Think About That”. Since 2011 they have released a series of singles including “Home to You” (on vinyl), “Music Makes It Alright (MMIA)”, and “Crazy 4 U”. Their much anticipated next single “Any Other Girl” and accompanying music video were released early 2017 and was followed by a new album the summer of 2017.
Croce Plays Croce: Thursday, September 6, 2018, 7 p.m.
A.J. Croce is a multi-instrumentalist roots-rock artist, known for his boogie-woogie piano playing reminiscent of Dr. John. His music incorporates pop, blues, folk, and jazz, and has charted on seven radio charts including Top 40. He’s shared the stage with many notable artists including James Brown, Willie Nelson, Bela Fleck, co-written songs with greats like Leon Russell, and been produced by legends like the late Allen Toussaint. From his debut as a jazz influenced blues-based artist to his evolution into a pop music iconoclast, singer-songwriter A.J. Croce has traveled a circuitous musical road. The son of legendary singer-songwriter Jim Croce, A.J.’s career began with his first tour at age 18 opening up for B.B. King. An ivory-searing New Orleans piano style established an essential juju, but his exploratory pop gems revealed a spectrum of influences from art rock to Americana and beyond. Initially signed as a jazz artist, he subsequently charted with an Americana roots release. A.J. says that back home in California his song craft took an instant turn. “I began writing for myself again,” he confirms. He also began collaborating with the great Leon Russell (“A Song for You,” “This Masquerade”). “It’s a thrill and a little surreal to collaborate with Leon Russell. He’s been an influence and an inspiration as long as I can remember,” said A.J.
“Croce Plays Croce” features a complete set of classics by his father Jim Croce, some of his own tunes, and songs that influenced both him and his father. The show often includes such timeless songs as “Operator,” “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” “Workin’ At the Car Wash Blues,” “Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy), “One Less Set of Footsteps,” “Lovers Cross,” and “Box #10,” to name a few.
The Hunts: Friday, September 7, 2018 7 p.m.
Known for their harmony-laced take on alt-folk, The Hunts are a Chesapeake, Virginia-based band of seven siblings who’ve been playing music together almost their entire lives. Twin sisters Jessi and Jenni and five brothers Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin, and Jamison, now ranging in age from 26 down to 17, learned to sing and play violin as young kids and spent much of their childhood performing in their community. After widening their following and playing at theaters, festivals and universities around the country—and teaching themselves to play instruments like mandolin, piano, ukulele, banjo, and drums—The Hunts started experimenting with songwriting and soon brought to life a batch of songs that reveal their sophisticated sense of melody and undeniably dreamy innocence.
Inspired by shared memories, The Hunts have created songs that capture heartache and wonder with a wide-eyed but wistful elegance. The Hunts hold true to a songwriting process that taps into each member’s unique strengths but remains intensely collaborative. That unified approach infuses their music with an irresistible richness of spirit. Their songs are artfully arranged yet instilled with a graceful simplicity. While getting seven strong-minded brothers and sisters to agree on every last note and lyric can sometimes be chaotic, The Hunts note that the synergy born from that chaos is what makes the band so strong. They toured with O.A.R. in 2016, appeared at the Austin City Limits 2014 & 2015, Summerfest 2015, Landmark 2015 & Firefly 2015; their single "Make This Leap" featured in national Milk-Bone commercial; Life Was Simple EP (August 2014) heard nationwide in Starbucks' in-store overhead playlist.
Eichelberger Jazz Series presents: Paulie Cerra & Groove Legacy: Saturday, September 8, 2018, 7 p.m.
Paulie Cerra is a saxophonist, singer, piano player, and songwriter. Best known as a saxophonist in the blues world with artists such as Lucky Peterson and Little Milton and so many others. His work with a diverse group of artists such as Rickie Lee Jones, Kirk Franklin, Glen Hughes, Lionel Richie and Larry Carlton, among countless others, show his versatility as a sideman. For the last few years he has been holding down the sax chair with guitar great, Joe Bonamassa. What many are just starting to discover is his gift as a vocalist, songwriter and unforgettably captivating artist. A solid foundation of blues and soul informs much of his music. Subtle influences of jazz, country, and gospel often find themselves interwoven in his original music.
The release of “Hell And High Water” solidifies his place as unique artist of note. Supported by an incredible cast of musicians, every track on this record is groovin’ hard! From the lead off “So You Think You’re In Love” featuring his blazing saxophone and larger than life horns to the title track “Hell And High Water” which features Joe Bonamassa’s searing guitar, the 10 original songs are worthy of continued listening. There is one cover on the record, “Hard Times”, an amazing homage to the late, great, Ray Charles. Guest artists include, Larry Carlton, Kirk Fletcher, James Gadson, and Joe Bonamassa.
PNC Family Series: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo: Sunday, September 9, 2018, 3 p.m.
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is a Grammy winning, internationally touring, purple velvet tuxedo wearing family funk phenomenon. Combining the positive, primal power of hip hop with the surreal storytelling of science fiction, 23 Skidoo has concocted a potent potion that wows family crowds across the planet. The ingredients of his magic spells include reverence for the boundless mind states of young children, respect for the culture and DNA of hip hop, funk and soul music, and a deep belief in the power of the imagination to change the world in positive ways, both personal and universal. If you can imagine a band with Jim Henson on guitar, Shel Silverstein on bass and PIXAR as the lead vocalist, you’ve pretty much got it. And if George Clinton and Q Tip stopped by the party, that might clarify things even more. Basically, if Dr. Seuss and Dr. Dre had a baby, it would be the music of Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.
In the decade of dancing down this crazy path, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has evolved a sound and style that never dumbs down the music or underestimates the audience. With funk and beats as real as bands that play at midnight, and with lyrics that aren’t afraid to employ a larger vocabulary that what is currently heard on mainstream radio for grownups, Skidoo fashions a world intended for the whole family. The universal constants that we all deal with, such as love, struggle, dreams, fear and learning to become ourselves, are the soul of these musical adventures that bounce, fly and slide smoothly through landscapes of wild imagination.
Sponsored by TricomB2B: Ashley Martin/Thomas Mac: Thursday, September 13, 2018, 7 p.m.
Ashley Martin is a singer-songwriter from the heart of America. She was born in Dayton, Ohio into a family where music was a basic part of life. She quickly found her place in her family’s seventy-five-piece gospel choir, belting her first solo at just six years old. She later attended Belmont University in Nashville and studied music business. Martin now tours the country with her four-piece band. She has created a unique style all her own – a mix of country, rock and pop. Her shows are sexy, high-energy musical experiences.
Martin continues to improve her singing and songwriting talents. The band has opened for the likes of Brett Eldridge, The Band Perry, Tracey Lawrence, Dustin Lynch, Frankie Ballard, Trick Pony and Zac Brown Band. Martin’s songs are getting better every year. She released her third CD Take 2 in October 2016. Her latest single “He’s Mine” has generated more excitement than any of her previous works
Thomas Mac, Nashville singer / songwriter, born in Dayton Ohio, comes by country music naturally. He started giving live performances when he was 14 years old playing on the stage at a local Opry House in Lebanon, Ohio. After performing for the first time that night with a live band, Thomas had one goal in mindto work hard, perfect his craft and one day become a Nashville recording artist. Thomas began learning on his own by listening to great country performers he admired and respected in the industry, like Johnny Cash, George Strait, Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney. These and many other artists have influenced his writing and singing. His voice has a tone that keeps you wanting more and his writing skills blend traditional with pop country. Thomas continues to perform every song with passion and excitement. His singing will melt your heart and you’ll love having his songs stuck in your head all day!
Shrug/Trey Stone and the Ringers: Friday, September 14, 2018, 7 p.m.
A mainstay of the Dayton music scene for nearly 24 years, Shrug have made a name for themselves with their brand of honest, literate Rock & Roll, with particularly close attention paid to song craft and heartfelt live performances that have earned them a remarkably loyal following in the Gem City. Shrug debuted in September of 1994 as an acoustic-based trio and, in the many years since, have evolved into a five-piece electric outfit that should appeal to fans of such artists as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Wilco, and Elvis Costello. They are currently recording their 6th studio album, a follow-up to 2016's Age Of Ashes.
Devon Gilfillian: Saturday September 15, 2018, 7 p.m.
Devon Gilfillian fires twin barrels of gospel-blues and southern soul on his debut EP. Fueled by groove, guitar, and the powerful punch of Gilfillian's voice, the songs shine a light on a young songwriter who grew up outside of Philadelphia, absorbing everything from the RR&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock & roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian puts a personalized stamp on those childhood influences, rolling them into five original songs that showcase not only his songwriting and singing, but also his talent as an instrumentalist.
Released in May 2016, the self-titled Devon Gilfillian finds him stepping into the spotlight as a solo artist. He recorded the songs with a small group of friends and collaborators, tapping drummer Jonathan Smalt and slide guitarist Jesse Thompson as co-producers. Equal parts swampy, funky, and enthralling, the record finds Gilfillian planting one foot in the classic sound of his influences, with the other foot pointing somewhere new and uncharted. After all, he's no revivalist. No nostalgia act. No retro wannabe. Instead, Gilfillian is a classic artist for the modern age, discovering new life in soulful sounds that have been making people dance for decades.
PNC Family Series presents: Justin Roberts: Sunday, September 16, 2018, 3 p.m.
Three-time GRAMMY Nominated Justin Roberts is truly one of the all-stars of the indie family music scene. For nearly 20 years, Roberts has been crafting songs for kids and parents that navigate the joys and sorrows of growing up. Along with his band, The Not Ready for Naptime Players, they have travelled the globe, from Hong Kong to New York, and Miami to Seattle. Lemonade is Justin's 13th album for families and it contains 12 new original songs. It's the musical equivalent of an impromptu Lemonade stand popping up in the summer heat. The sparse sounds are dotted with ukulele, piano, cello, fiddle, marimba, harpsichord, and lovely harmonies by Nora O’Connor (Neko Case, Decemberists), Anna Jacobson, Robbie Fulks, Liam Davis, and Gerald Dowd.
Justin has performed in front of millions of people on The Today Show, he's been featured on Nick Jr. TV, and his song "Get Me Some Glasses" was featured on a World Series broadcast. He’s received three GRAMMY nominations, for Jungle Gym in 2011, Recess in 2013, and Lemonade in 2018.
Recent appearances include performances at NYC's New Victory Theater, DC's Wolf Trap, LA's Getty Museum, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Chicago's Ravinia.
Eichelberger Jazz Series presents: Huntertones: Thursday, September 20, 2018, 7 p.m.
Huntertones brings people together around the globe with fun, imaginative and fearless music. Their high energy, horn-driven sound fuses inspired improvisation and adventurous composition melding jazz, funk, rock, and soul. Adding depth and contrast to their live set, Huntertones shift from a dynamic six-piece ensemble to a trio featuring saxophone, sousaphone, and beat-boxing, keeping their listeners’ eyes and ears open at every turn.
Huntertones formed in Columbus, Ohio at The Ohio State University and hosted their first shows at a house on Hunter Avenue. They have since relocated to New York City, released two albums, and toured North and South America, Europe and Africa -- experiences which have pushed the band to expand even further, stylistically. What started as a group of classmates finding a voice has developed into a highly collaborative group of musicians traveling, sharing, and growing together.
Individually, members of Huntertones have compiled a diverse resume of collaborations with top artists in pop, jazz, soul, and musical theater. This includes work with Jon Batiste and Stay Human , O.A.R., Snarky Puppy, Stevie Wonder, Andy Grammer, Ed Sheeran, Allen Stone, Gary Clark Jr., Phillip Phillips, Ricky Martin, Umphrey’s McGee, Red Baraat, and more.
The Nightowls: Friday, September 21, 2018, 7 p.m.
The Nightowls first took Texas by storm in 2014 with the release their debut album, Good As Gold, which was hailed "suave, energetic, blue-eyed soul" by The Austin Chronicle and named one of the Top 10 albums of the year at the annual Austin Chronicle Music Awards. The Austin-based ten-piece followed up this debut with Fame Sessions, recorded and the Royal Sessions was recorded at the infamous Royal Studios in Memphis, TN, in 2016. The Nightowls released three singles, “Don’t It Feel Weird (Falling In Love)”, “#selfiequeen” and “All The Good Things You Are”, and garnered praise for their sound “bursting with funk, soul and poppy goodness” (PopMatters).
Released April 27, 2018, We Are The Nightowls was written and recorded over the course of one year, following extensive touring in support of 2016’s Royal Sessions, which was labeled an “energetic blend of classic soul and modern pop” by Paste Magazine. "Our previous albums were concept albums paying homage to the historic recording studios in which they were recorded," frontman Ryan Harkrider describes. "This new album is more about capturing the band's sound...it's a more cohesive statement about who we are.” For that reason, the band made this 2018 release their “self-titled” album.
With these releases, the band garnered national attention from The Atlantic, Southern Living, Relix, Performer Magazine, Pollstar, Paste Magazine and more, and brought their "raucous" live show (Austin Monthly) across the US, hitting every corner of North America and playing dozens of festivals including Austin City Limits Festival, KGSR Unplugged at the Grove, Ouray Mountain Air Music Series, The Levitt Pavilion, Blues on the Green and the Double Decker Festival.
Sponsored by the Dayton International Airport: Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley: Saturday, September 22, 2018, 7 p.m.
Some things you know are just meant to be—but even when you do, it’s nice to get some outside affirmation. So, while Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley were sure that their musical partnership was the right move at the right time, it was still welcome news when their debut Compass Records project, Before The Sun Goes Down, earned a nomination for the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy. And with the release of their new project, The Country Blues on July 8th the pair build on the first one’s strengths to take their unique musical conversation to an even higher level. Hensley who has made the transition from hot-shot guitar phenom to well-rounded instrumental and vocal powerhouse look easy and Ickes, whose award-winning resonator guitar work not only helped to power famed bluegrass ensemble Blue Highway for two decades but appears on hundreds of bluegrass and country albums.
Check out the powerful Sonny Boy Williamson blues shouter, “One Way Out,” or the mixed regret and determination of “Won’t Give Up My Train,” memorably recorded years ago by Merle Haggard, or the ‘grassy dexterity of their original, “Everywhere I Go.” Need more? How about the insouciant funk of “Never Can Pray Enough,” imported from the Wood Brothers, or the southern rock of Charlie Daniels on “Willie Jones?” Then there’s the jazzy tour de force instrumental, “Biscuits And Gravy,” written by Ickes as a kind of tribute to pedal steel master Buddy Emmons and so much more; there’s even a nod to the Grateful Dead in “Friend Of The Devil,” a dazzling staple of the duo’s live shows.
After all, when something’s meant to be, the best thing to do is to get out of the way and let it go.
Lucky Diaz & the Family Jam Band: Sunday, September 23, 2018, 3 p.m.
As featured on NPR, All Things Considered, 3-time EMMY Nominees and WINNERS and 2-time LATIN GRAMMY nominees and WINNERS, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band have been crowned the very first Americans to ever win a Latin GRAMMY in the children’s album category! Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, a married couple, have been named ‘THE face of kindie music’ by the Washington Post, ‘SUPERSTARS’ by Red Tricycle, ‘The Rolling Stones of Kids Music’ by the Style Network, and PEOPLE Magazine called their album the #1 in COOLEST kids’ music! They create indie music sounds that are rooted in their whimsical child-friendly imaginations.
The songs on their five acclaimed and award-winning recordings offer a musical and topical range aimed at exploring all of the wonder and joy of a young person’s life.
Latin GRAMMY Award winning, ¡Fantastico! Translating their hit “Blue Bear” into “Oso Azul” and re-introducing songs like “Say What?” as “¿Que Dices?” Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s Spanish language release found a new audience of families yearning to immerse their youngest listeners in dual language right from the start. SiriusXM’s Mindy Thomas said that it set the standard for Spanish-language music for kids, and ¡Fantastico! went onto be the first album ever to win a Latin GRAMMY by an American group in its category. 2015 has proven to be another wonderful year of the band! Collecting 3 EMMY Nominations and a win for Alisha Gaddis for their PBS TV show Lishy Lou and Lucky Too! Also, most recently collecting a Latin GRAMMY Nomination for their latest album Adelante! Look for their latest release POCHO! out in 2018!
The Steel Wheels: Thursday, September 27, 2018, 7 p.m.
Hailing from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Steel Wheels are familiar with the traditions of folk music and how a string band is supposed to sound. In fact, they’ve been drawing on those steadfast traditions for more than a decade. Yet, their name also evokes a sense of forward motion, which is clearly reflected in their latest album, Wild As We Came Here.
The band’s name is a tip of the hat to steam-powered trains, industrial progress and the buggies of their Mennonite lineage. Their musical style weaves through Americana and bluegrass, folk and old-time music, and the acoustic poetry of the finest singer-songwriters. By incorporating percussion and keyboards into their recording sessions for the first time, Wild As We Came Here adds new textures to their catalog, as themes of discovery and perseverance run throughout the collection.
The Rad Trads: Friday, September 28, 2018, 7 p.m.
When The Rad Trads met in the East Village in the Spring of 2012, they were looking to play with the best musicians they could find. Making rent playing gigs in every bar and beer hall that would have them, the guys dominated New York City with their soulful American music, punk-rock energy & showmanship, powerful horns, driving rhythm section, and four captivating lead vocalists. Almost 5 years later, The Rad Trads have headlined on four Continents, and opened for acts such as Lake Street Dive, Tom Jones, Charles Bradley, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, The Lone Bellow, Margaret Glaspy, Con Brio, and Dustbowl Revival. They have toured Europe seven times, the Middle East and played in 14 countries and 33 U.S. States. Following the release of their first full length album (Must We Call Them Rad Trads - Dala Records) in May 2016, the band is slated to release their second LP of original music in the Spring of 2018. The record is highly anticipated in its creative direction and sound. Members of The Rad Trads have performed or recorded with St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Deer Tick, Lee Fields, Jonathan Batiste, Sarah Jarosz, David Duchovny, Red Baraat & even Paul McCartney as well as leading their own critically acclaimed bands.
Eichelberger Jazz Series presents: Duante Beddingfield featuring The Randy Villars Trio: Saturday, September 29, 2018, 7 p.m.
Singer Duante Beddingfield, host of WYSO FM's Equinox jazz program, brings his throwback style to the stage with fun, unique arrangements of both standards and modern pop tunes in the vein of Postmodern Jukebox. Collaborating with music director/pianist Randy Villars, Beddingfield creates a crowd-friendly act that makes jazz accessible to anyone while remaining inventive. Together, they had the honor of being the final headliners at Dayton's legendary Gilly's nightclub in late 2017.
Composer/arranger Randy Villars, equally adept at piano and saxophone, is founder of The Dayton Jazz Institute, a local private lesson studio. He has taught around the country, recently completing residencies and clinics at Morehead State University and Vincennes University. He has played and studied with such figures as Sonny Stitt, Maynard Ferguson, Ramsey Lewis, Clark Terry, John Scofield, Bernard Purdy, James Moody, and Eddie Harris, and played across four continents as featured saxophonist with funk legend Bootsy Collins' Funk Capital of the World tour.
Matt Wiles is a Cincinnati-based bassist and instructor who performs regularly in the Dayton/Cincinnati region, as well as Chicago and New York City. Jeff Mellott, a Cincinnati Conservatory of Music graduate, has played drums and percussion around the U.S., and opened for acts such as Galactic, Snarky Puppy, and Terence Blanchard. Together with guitarist Brandon Scott Coleman, Wiles and Mellott founded Cincinnati's Golden Mean Arts, a space which hosts intimate performances by acclaimed jazz artists and also acts as a rehearsal and recording space for their own projects.
PNC Family Series presents: Banana Slug String Band: Sunday, September 30, 2018, 3 p.m.
The Banana Slug String Band has been educating, empowering and entertaining kids and families for over 30 years. They’ve worked in 40 states and 5 Countries, for almost 2 million people. With 11 award winning CDs, their music is in homes everywhere, school curriculums and classrooms around the world. The slugs are often found bringing their music to noted festivals such as New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, and their home festival, Strawberry Music Festival, which they have played nearly 40 times!
Their Live show is legendary, and includes characters such as; the Professor, Doug the Drop, Peter the Penguin, Mr. Dirt the puppet, Louie the Crab, and Big Red, the talking Redwood Tree. These characters come out in full body costume to the amazement of all. The songs are all original and played in a variety of catchy musical stylesfrom Folk to Blues to reggae, Rock and Roll and Rap. The songs are educational, funny and moving. Kids come away inspired, and ready to learn more about the Earth.
The Slugs are Environmental Educators, and met teaching in Outdoor Education in San Mateo county, working at Env. Ed. Schools deep in the Redwoods. Solar Steve and Marine Mark are currently the Administrators and directors of San Mateo county outdoor Ed. Doug Dirt, Airy Larry, Marine Mark, and Solar Steve are lifelong impassioned musicians, songwriters, performers, educators, and eco-warriors! With guitars, voices, crazy characters, and an extraordinary ability to connect with children. they change the world, one child at a time!
The Dayton Funk All-Stars Band: Thursday, October 4, 2018 7 p.m.
The Dayton Funk All-Stars Band, sometimes called Dfunk, offers the best of the iconic sound of Funk: soulful, with horns, sparkling vocals and plenty of flash!
Eichelberger Jazz Series presents: Sanae-Braxton Collaborative: Friday, October 5, 2018, 7 p.m.
Musician/Composer/Producer/Multi-Instrumentalist and native Daytonian, Robert Sanae is a product of a rich musical heritage and accomplished Dayton musicians. Pacific Coast Jazz is proud to have Robert and his new project, "The Sanae/Braxton Collaborative"... a collaboration with saxophonist and label mate, Tom Braxton (Saxophonist from Earl Klugh and former music director for the late Wayman Tisdale). The project also features guest appearances by Al Turner (music director and bassist from Earl Klugh and Kem), as well as Flautist Bradley Leighton.
Robert began his professional career as the youngest member of the RR&B Group ‘Zapp’ featuring Roger Troutman, where he was a trumpeter, Keyboardist, vocalist and also learned numerous other skills, including audio engineering and editing. During his tenure with the Troutman organization, Robert’s performance credits encompassed five albums out of the Troutman camp. After ending his tenure with the Troutman organization, Robert moved to California to further his career as a writer, composer, artist as well as a producer and later moved to New Orleans, La., was uprooted by hurricane Katrina which forced him to move back to his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Over the years Robert has created an extensive catalog of productions ranging from RR&B, Hip Hop, Neo-Soul, Pop, Adult Contemporary Smooth/Contemporary Jazz and Rock and continues to develop as a producer/composer/musician and is on his way to soon be one of the most sought-after producer/composer in the industry today. Having shared the stage with RnR featuring Rick Braun and Richard Elliot, Lao Tizer, Sax Summit featuring Shilts & Jackiem Joyner, Bob Baldwin, Tito Puente Jr., Brian Culbertson, Terence Blanchard, and Earl Klugh.
Boogat: Saturday, October 6, 2018, 7 p.m.
Boogat is a brilliant and witty MC who has a unique artistic approach, pushing the boundaries of Latin music beyond hip-hop and electronica. A must-see live show, Boogat explores everyday issues through intelligent songs, with sticky choruses and a lot of good vibes.
Sponsored by HONDA: Derik Nelson & Family: Sunday, October 7, 2018, 3 p.m.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Derik Nelson & Family's signature sound features velvety three-part vocal harmonies only a family can deliver. They’ve garnered nearly 3 million views on YouTube and toured over 40 locations across the West Coast to raise money for music education. Derik has appeared regularly as the lead guitarist on television’s “Glee,” among other shows.
Derik Nelson & Family delivers a concert experience like no other, featuring pristine sound, a state of the art light show, and an integrated 20-foot video display. Derik’s interactive “clones” are featured throughout the show on the 5-screen video "wall." The multiple "Derik clones" paint an expansive wall of sound of limitless sonic possibilities by each playing many different instruments. This innovative technical marvel uses the latest in audio/video technology to take audiences on an aural and visual journey through time, space, an impressive array of landscapes, weather conditions, and musical "settings."
This season is only a partial one for the concert venue, and moving forward, the community will be able to catch as many as 50 free concerts each season.