Allentown has coined itself the City Without Limits. It’s fitting, then, that it plays home to a festival associated with a genre which abides by that same mantra.
Last night at Allentown JazzFest once again showcased a diverse artist lineup that did not subscribe to limitation. The evening started once again with Couch Conversations from knw.+ at Moravian Book Shop. We arrived in time to see and hear local R&B singer Reece Mills talk about the raw emotion he prefers to put behind this music, and we even got to hear his tremendous voice on a couple verses of an a cappella selection. Hopefully, you’ll be hearing a lot more of his name (and voice) around LVU in the future!
After quickly grabbing a delicious burger a few doors down at Bell Hall, I scooted next door for something completely different: the Pioneer Band of Allentown at Zion’s Liberty Bell UCC Church. It was a first for Lehigh Valley Underground, as we had never covered a full concert band of this nature before, but we were glad to hear the brilliant horns and timely percussion of Pioneer Band as they played through standards from jazz legends, including Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman.
After that, it was time for a nightcap, so we made a trip over to The Dime where the recently-announced DJ Dominic Longo played a set of funk and old school R&B for the folks in attendance.
Tonight, JazzFest heads into night three with Chris Cummings Trio at Billy’s Downtown Diner, Beholder at Centro, and Bill Warfield and Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra at Bell Hall. For times and full details, please visit allentownjazzfest.org.