Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: July 17-23

This week, it’s all about variety. From rock and Americana, from jazz to blues – and a dash of comedy – you’re sure to find something you like this week.

Here we go!

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!

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Shawn Cav Ensemble’s ‘Polygons’ a Dynamic, Shape-Shifting Masterpiece

Artist: Shawn Cav Ensemble
Album: Polygons
Released: May 25, 2017
Genre: Jazz fusion

Much has happened in the world of Shawn Cav since last year’s release of his ensemble’s debut EP, “Glass Houses.” The bassman became a father for the first time and completed his band’s first full-length album, dedicated to his first-born daughter, Teagan.

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Allentown JazzFest Holds 2017 Preview Night

You can tell that Allentown JazzFest is getting close when Preview Night rolls around. Thursday night, got their first taste of this year’s bold new artwork and enjoyed live music inside of the festival’s newest — and perhaps most interesting — performance space.

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Lehigh Valley Music Awards Performers Announced

Last week, we announced that Serene Green would be joining us for the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Preshow, to be presented by Lehigh Valley Underground at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks on Sunday, March 5.

Now, we know the performers for the ceremony itself.

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Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: Nov. 14-20

We like to encourage participation in our music scene in a variety of ways. This week, two events at Allentown’s Coffee House Without Limits put the creative power in your hands!

Truthfully, you have options in all three of the Valley’s primary cities this week, as well as a special show to the south. Learn more below about our…

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!

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Dinner with a Side of Jazz, Thursdays at Porters’ Pub

Pictured: Carter Lansing performing with Acoustic Kitty Trio at a visit to Porters’ in September.

Porters’ Pub, Eastonian purveyors of delicious food and drink and longtime supporters of local music, just stepped up to give jazz a home.

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Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: Oct. 24-30

This might be the most stacked weekend lineup yet this fall. There are plenty of great musicians playing big shows around the Valley.

Whether we’re raising awareness for a cause or celebrating an anniversary, the Valley brings it for this week’s…

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!

Continue reading Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: Oct. 24-30

A Night on Northampton Street

Oh, Easton. You always give me more than I bargain for.

My night began a hair after 8 p.m. when, after I found parking just off the circle, I walked over to Connexions Gallery to catch Shawn Cav Ensemble’s latest performance. I was surprised, then, when I walked into the gallery to find it empty, except for a couple of pets and, of course, the artwork hanging throughout the room.

As I wandered back, I noticed the sound of Dan DeChellis’ keyboard getting louder. I then stumbled upon a back room leading to an outside courtyard which, lo and behold, was the venue for this evening’s performances.

I have to say, I really dig this performance space. It has a summer night’s ambiance which was enhanced by the tunes being brought forth on this muggy night. I arrived for a few selections of DeChellis’ piano mastery to open the evening before things changed over to Shawn Cav Ensemble.

The Ensemble, as always, brought its best, performing a mix of selections off of its new album, “Glass Houses,” as well as some unreleased tunes. I always find myself blown away by saxophonist Matt Truscott in particular, whose improv ability is some of the best you’ll find in the Valley or elsewhere.

After a while, I looked at my phone to find that it was 9:30. Admittedly, the Bayou-style humidity had me feeling a bit sluggish, and my ill feeling was probably compounded by the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything since meeting my sister at Mesa for lunch earlier in the day. Realizing that my busy schedule had kept me from sustenance for much of the evening, I decided to address that, moving onto the next stop: Two Rivers Brewing Company, where LVU’s fellow Mega Power Dustin Schoof was playing with his acoustic duo, Blue Jean.

I walked uphill for a few blocks, deciding too late that driving would have been a better option, to join Blue Jean mid-set. Upon arriving, I found out two things:

  • Acoustic Kitty Project was playing just down the street at Porters’ Pub.
  • The kitchen at Two Rivers closes at 10 p.m., and it was 9:52.

Upon hearing that second point, I quickly grabbed a menu and ordered the first thing that caught my eye – a buffalo chicken flatbread that, as it turned out, was bangin’. I wolfed that down alongside glass after glass of water – yes, I went to a brewery, and all I drank was water – as I enjoyed a mix of covers and originals from Blue Jean. I also briefly caught up with Dustin for a few minutes, discussing things that only we Mega Powers would understand… for now. #foreshadowing

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After hanging out at Two Rivers for a while, I settled up and decided that I WASN’T. FINISHED. YET! (I love doing that…)

I embarked on the next phase of the evening’s journey, walking a few blocks down (and further away from my car) to Porters’, where AKP was in the midst of an intimate trio show.

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As always, the music – another healthy mix of covers and originals – was on-point, but what stuck out to me even more at this stop were the conversations I had while I was there.

Talking to those in attendance, I realized that there is a great hope for our music scene, and a gratitude for the fact that things really seem to be coming together for everyone involved. Folks seem appreciative of the fact that people like Dustin and I provide meaningful, hyper-local media coverage of the Lehigh Valley’s true music scene – that is to say, the artists and people who make it what it is every single day.

It made me even more grateful to do what I do through Lehigh Valley Underground. The thing I’ve come to understand is that this scene has, for quite a while, been in need of a unifying force to connect the dots and help place emphasis on the hidden talent that is rampant throughout our region. It is an honor and a privilege to be one of the people to facilitate that, while getting to meet great people and enjoy the varied and many talents of this area’s performers multiple times per week.

As I said, I got more than I thought I would out of this night in Easton at the outset. Of course, I was expecting a nice time and some great tunes. That’s par for the course. In addition, however, I had a spring in my step. As I walked back to the car just after midnight, I knew that I had received another inspiring reminder of why we do what we do at LVU.

VIDEO: Shawn Cav Ensemble’s ‘Glass Houses’ EP Release Party

Last night, jazz fans and supporters of original music braved the rain to make the trip to The California Drum Shop in Bethlehem, where Shawn Cav Ensemble was celebrating the release of its new EP, “Glass Houses.” (Review here)

The jazz fusion quartet, supported by an opening set from local piano master Dan DeChellis, played selections from the new release, as well as a few standards. Musicianship was on full display as the band sounded crisp and in rhythm, with improv-based solos highlighting each tune.

In case you missed it, here’s a video taken of the band playing “Looking Busy” off of the new EP. We suggest that you get busy and pick up “Glass Houses” today.

Easton Heritage Day #2: So. Much. Music.

The past few hours have been a wild time, as I’ve raced from one side of Easton’s Centre Square to the other to capture all of the great music happening downtown (with the occasional refreshment or restroom break in between).

I’ve come a long way, and by no means am I finished yet. Heritage Day is in the process of proceeding down to the riverfront for tonight’s shows and fireworks. Of course, you can be sure that I’ll be sticking around until things are finished going boom.

In the meantime, here’s what’s captured of the great performers I’ve seen so far, in order of appearance. I’ll be back with more after the conclusion of Heritage Day.

Dan DeChellis Trio (Jazz)

Swing Time Dolls (Vintage 1940s Pop)

Copper Fields (Acoustic Rock/Bluegrass)

The Jolly Tars (Traditional Irish Folk)

Roi & the Secret People (Rock)