Labor Day Weekend got off to an incredible start.
Well, that was fun!
Last week was so fast-paced that we need to re-acclimate a bit to the world – and catch up on content, emails, and maybe even sleep – before we dive right back in. So, that’s all the wittiness you’re getting out of me today. Onward to the…
Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!
The arctic winds are expected to roll into our region this week. However, those of us on the Lehigh Valley music scene are a resilient bunch, and we won’t let it stop us from going outside.
Especially not, when you consider these…
Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!
Nestled in Allentown’s 10th Ward is a quaint, quirky space where art, music and community collide.
I’m talking about Coffee House Without Limits, a Queen City gem that has begun to make a name for itself in artistic circles. Located at 707 N. 4th St., Coffee House Without Limits serves up hot beverages and cool vibes with equal ease, sharing a conjoining door with the popular Alternative Gallery.
On a rainy Thursday night, I had the opportunity to visit Coffee House Without Limits for the first time, which was packed with patrons young and old to see The Bryan Tuk Complex. It was the perfect night for some intricate, experimental jazz from the always-on-point Tuk and his band, which consisted on this night of B.D. Lenz on guitar, Bill Warfield on trumpet, and Tony Marino on bass. The evening also served, to me, as a microcosm of what our scene can be, every night of the week: people of all ages, demographics, and backgrounds, coming together at a cool, upstart venue for the sake of enjoying some original tunes.
Perhaps this diversity is a byproduct of the many offerings Coffee House Without Limits gives to the community at any given moment. Artists can work with Coffee House Without Limits to schedule music, poetry, or other performances, or participate in open mic nights. Coffee House Without Limits also offers performers “CWOL Sessions;” opportunities to tape intimate, in-house performances, akin to NPR’s Tiny Desk sessions. A full schedule of events can be found on CWOL’s homepage.
Coffee House without limits is no longer a secret to me, and I look forward to heading back, sooner rather than later.
Art is all around us, and it comes in many forms. It can happen just about anywhere, and this week is no exception.
Don’t believe us? Well, then check out these…
Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!
Thurs., Sept. 29 | 6 p.m.
Abdu Ali and Joy Postell
Venue: Consolidated Cardboard
Admission: $7-10 donation; 21+ BYOB
Description: Really want to #GoUnderground? Start your weekend early with a house show featuring out-of-state artists!
Thurs., Sept. 29 | 7 p.m.
Experimental Jazz with the Bryan Tuk Complex
Venue: Coffeehouse Without Limits, 707 N. 4th St., Allentown
Description: Consider it a JazzFest preview as Bryan Tuk brings a four-piece to expand musical boundaries.
Sept. 30-Oct. 2
Venue: Cedar Beach Park, Allentown
Description: Enjoy three stages of entertainment, vendors, artwork and more, all weekend long!
Sat., Oct. 1 | 2 p.m.
Scott Marshall & Marshall’s Highway
Venue: Pinnacle Ridge Winery, 407 Old Route 22, Kutztown
Description: Join our friends for some music that’s good for the soul. Speaking of soul…
Sat., Oct. 1 | 8 p.m.
Not For Coltrane & Soul Folks
Venue: Unicorn Theater, 417 Front St., Catasauqua
Description: Come enjoy the moving folk music of Not For Coltrane and the harmonic bliss of soul folks for a truly memorable listening room experience.
After stopping by Hamilton Kitchen & Bar’s second birthday party on Tuesday night to buy what The Groove Merchants were selling, I had time to walk around the corner and stop by Hook, where Bryan Tuk Complex was getting set to play Network Magazine’s launch after party.
I had never been to Hook before, but it was nice to show up and hear some smooth notes that hearkened me back to Allentown JazzFest this past April and May. It was also good to see Bryan — he and his trio (Eric Mintel on keys and Brian Bortz on bass) are as good as they come.
We’re a bit late with our typical early-week preview. I guess that’s what happens when you’re out on the scene all day Sunday and have hundreds – literally, hundreds – of photos to sort through from Easton Heritage Day.
To make up for the tardiness, we present you with even more options as part of this week’s…
Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!
Tues., Jul. 12 | 6 p.m.
The Groove Merchants
Venue: Hamilton Kitchen & Bar, 645 W. Hamilton St., Allentown
Description: Listen to some funky, bluesy rhythms to celebrate Hamilton Kitchen’s second birthday.
Tues., Jul. 12 | 7 p.m.
Bryan Tuk Complex
Venue: Hook, 22 N. 6th St., Allentown
Description: Jazz drummer Bryan Tuk and his trio perform at Network Magazine’s release after-party
Double Decker/Square of Opposition Anniversary Fest
Venues: St. Bernard’s, 331-333 Brodhead Ave., Bethlehem (Fri); Merchants Square Mall, 1901 S. 12th St., Allentown (Sat/Sun.)
Description: Celebrate 20 years of Double Decker and 15 years of Square of Opposition Records, all weekend long.
Sat., Jul. 16 | 4 p.m.
Julius’ Birthday Bash at Ranger Lake
Venue: Coplay, PA
Description: Celebrate the birth of one of the Valley’s premier rockers with his first gig at Ranger Lake.
Sat., Jul. 16 | 7 p.m.
Roi & the Secret People w/ Special Guest Carter Lansing
Venue: Tally Ho, 205 W. 4th St., Bethlehem
Description: The Easton rockers perform as part of the WSCI Radio Summer Concert Series.
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’ Beginning – Tonight 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.
Like jazz? Free Thursday after work? We have just the thing…
The Bryan Tuk Complex, who were super-stoked to hear perform at Allentown JazzFest, will be performing as part of Allentown Brew Works’ HighGravityJazz Series this Thursday night from 6:30-8 p.m. The band will be joined by DCI World Champion snare drummer, Rob Robinson.
The show’s official Facebook event describes the evening as “controlled, yet funky, chaos” as Tuk’s high-energy ensemble takes the stage just eight days before JazzFest kicks off with a headlining show from Al Chez & the Brothers of Funk. The evening will be emceed by WDIY radio personality, John Dodds.
Tickets are available for $20 at the door and at this link. Not to mention, the show lets out early enough in the evening for you to drive across Allentown and catch most of another one of our Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week, which makes Thursday night another evening full of great live music in our fair Lehigh Valley.
Check out an all-new QSLehighValley tomorrow when we’ll be joined by Bryan Tuk. Bryan will talk to us about Allentown JazzFest, Performing Arts Live!, Inc. and more on SoundCloud, iTunes, and right here on Lehigh Valley Underground.