PHOTOS: Al Chez & the Brothers of Funk Big Band at Allentown JazzFest

What. A. Show.

The musicians of Al Chez & the Brothers of Funk are so diverse in talent that it’s hard to classify what they do within a single genre. Jazz, rock, funk, you name it — there are probably elements of it within their music.

They’re one of the tightest bands you’ll ever hear. Crisp horns, smooth saxophones, blazing guitar riffs, and driving percussion come together to complement Chez’s abundant onstage charisma; soulful, gravely vocals; and world-class trumpeting.

The band’s high-energy, hour-and-40-minute set at the Renaissance Hotel Ballroom was the perfect selection to kick off Allentown JazzFest 2016.

Personally, I was very happy to finally check out the Brothers of Funk live. I know Al and his wife Cat from years of karaoke singing back in Jersey (yes, I’m originally from that side of the Delaware). I had always heard about the band — but now, I know about the band!

I’m also quite pleased with a lot of the shots from last night’s show. Check ’em out!

PHOTOS: Rofo Audio & Infinite Lives at The Originals Music Series

Last night proved to be a ridiculously good night of rock at The Originals Music Series, presented weekly at Chicago Restaurant’s Club Gravity by The Fyre & Ice Show.

Rofo Audio made their debut at the weekly showcase, while Infinite Lives returned. Both bands sounded incredibly seasoned and delighted all in attendance.

For us at Lehigh Valley Underground, it was a great start to 11 consecutive nights we’re going to spend out on the scene. Enjoy some photos!

Six Degrees: Allentown JazzFest 2016

The day has arrived! Allentown JazzFest begins tonight with a big night of music (and film) in the Lehigh Valley’s largest city. Lehigh Valley Underground will be at the festival throughout its duration to cover key performances and highlights.

As a proud, official media partner of Allentown JazzFest, we want to tell you what we’re most looking forward to over the course of the next ten days. For full information, please visit allentownjazzfest.org.


A ‘Funky’ BeginningTonight at 8 p.m., Al Chez & the Brothers of Funk kick off the festival at the Renaissance Ballroom. Chez, a world-class trumpeter whose performance history reads like a “Who’s Who” list, brings a rock and roll feel to big band music as he and his band roll into Allentown for a second consecutive year.

More Than Music – For the film aficionado in all of us, Allentown FilmFest receives its trial run at Civic Theater 514 during three of the festival’s ten days. Tonight at 7:30 p.m., FilmFest begins with the 1966 Antonioni film, Blowup. That will be followed by International Short Films on Sun., May 1 at 4 p.m. and A Night with the Experimental on Tues., May 3 at 7 p.m. Performing Arts Live! Filmmaker in Residence Stephanie Gardner will lead a discussion each night.

We’ve Got ‘Nerve’ Jojo Mayer and his trio Nerve will push the boundaries of jazz by intertwining it with their trademark genre-busting live electronica. This is sure to be one of the most unique performances associated not only with JazzFest, but the entire Lehigh Valley in 2016. It takes place Sat., Apr. 30 at Halo nightclub (22 N. 6th St.) beginning at 7 p.m.

I See London – After 15 years of touring, London-born singer Lucy Woodward makes her Lehigh Valley debut at Allentown JazzFest 2016. Lucy has toured with the likes of Rod Stewart and has major label credibility to her name. She’ll bring all of that and more to the Renaissance Ballroom on Thurs., May 5 at 8 p.m.

I See France Scott Tixier, a French violinist quickly gaining international fame, is coming to 187 Rue Principale for his JazzFest debut this Sun., May 1 at 7 p.m. Scott has worked with an incredible list of artists, and both his recordings and live show prove him to be a cut above the rest.

Homegrown Talent – Of course, what would a Lehigh Valley music festival be without plenty of our own on the bill? Regional favorite Hector Rosado will make a couple of appearances, and local music fans can enjoy performances from Joe Wagner, Tiffany Ly, Eric Mintel, and the Bryan Tuk Complex – to name a few – at different points throughout the festival.

QSLehighValley: Apr. 28, 2016

Before the show takes a week off to cover Allentown JazzFest, QSLehighValley, brought to you by The Valley Ledger, showcases more of the great artists populating eastern Pennsylvania and the surrounding area.

Track listing:
REVEL 9 – All I’ve Become (Opening theme)
Alpha Zero Three – Waiting on Myself
Rofo Audio – Blame
Mo7s – Gift Horse
Roi & the Secret People – Phoenix
Alex Radus – We Can’t Play Like Django
The Wayside Shakeup – Love is Temporary
Meghan Cary – Wind
Wet Dentist – In Order to Ascend
Duke Maroon – Heart Attack
This Way to the Egress – Devil’s Breath
Something Like a Monument – Auditory Seizure

Review: Mo7s – Gift Horse

Artist: Mo7s
Album: Gift Horse (LISTEN)
Released: April 2016
Genre: Rock & Roll

Mo7s has been hard at work since the last time we checked in with them. The duo has worked on more original material to support key holdovers from its previous album, “Hate Mail from a Love Child,” and the end result is the focused, soulful “Gift Horse.”

In addition to updated versions of “Hate Mail…” staples “Pretty Good Year,” “Sweet Young Kid,” “Think of You,” and “Why,” “Gift Horse” features new tracks cut from a similar cloth. Vocalist Amy Tomaszewski’s low, vibrating alto is delivered effectively, and serves as a great complement to the bluesy emotion brought forth by Dave Lewis’ guitar work on tracks like album opener, “Next to You.” The pair teams up well again on “So Important,” delivering brooding vocal harmonies on an anthem written in opposition of society’s comparative nature.

Crisp vocal harmonies and strong guitar work are a signature of “Gift Horse,” and are again on-point on the album’s title track, a barn-burning rocker also featuring a blazing solo from Lewis. Each of those elements to Mo7s’ music translates just as well to the searching balladry of album closer, “State of Mind.”

On “Gift Horse,” Mo7s appears to have found its voice. With a strengthening reputation for great live shows and a defined musical direction, the band has an album that could very well lead to big things.

Track listing

  1. Next to You
  2. You Have the Power
  3. So Important
  4. Pretty Good Year
  5. I Still Love You
  6. Sweet Young Kid
  7. Gift Horse
  8. Think of You
  9. Why
  10. State of Mind