Downtown Beats: Summer Music Series
SUMMER CONCERTS IN THE PARKS
Downtown Amherst has beautiful parks and we make the most of them in the summer with a series of free concerts.
Stop by one of our fantastic restaurants and cafes and get some take out to enjoy while you listen to the music.
July 20, August 17 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm in Sweetser Park, Lessey Street, Amherst Center
(across from the Black Sheep)
Conducted by UMass Minuteman Marching Band Director, Tim Anderson!
Friday, June 22nd: The Animal Kingdom/”A Day at the Zoo” – a concert of music associated with animals.
Friday, July 20th: The Moon and Stars: a concert of space-related music, celebrating the 49th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing
Stars Wars: the Last Jedi
When You Wish Upon a Star
Highlights from Finian’s Rainbow, featuring “Old Devil Moon”
Blue Moon, featuring vocalist Anna Hartmann
By the Light of Silvery Moon
Friday, August 17th: a Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration: music by and associated with Leonard Bernstein, in the 100th anniversary of his birth.
DOWNTOWN BEATS THURSDAY EVE CONCERT SERIES
6 pm – 8 pm
July 19 – In the Nick of Time and Mister G
July 26 – ReBelle and Shokazoba
August 2 – Flathead Rodeo and Colorway
August 9 – Carinae with Special Guest
JULY 19 – Mister G & In the Nick of Time
Headliner MISTER G is a Latin GRAMMY Award winner. He is a superstar in the children’s music world. A former indie rocker who was awarded the first songwriting scholarship in the history of Berklee College of Music, Mister G (aka Ben Gundersheimer) tours internationally headlining major venues such as Austin City Limits, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Central Park SummerStage (New York City), Getty Museum (Los Angeles), Chicago Botanic Garden, The National Zoo (Washington, DC), The Hard Rock Cafe (Philadelphia), and Parque Chapultepec (Mexico City). We are lucky to have him living in western Massachusetts and happy he continues to perform for our Amherst community each summer.
IN THE NICK OF TIME
When was the last time the whole family agreed on something to listen to? With a generous blend of rock, pop, reggae, jazz and funk, Nick Deysher and In the Nick of Time delivers music for all, big and small. His clever lyrics and cheerful tunes will catch your ear and have you tapping your toes and singing along
Ed Popielarczyk of Magical Moments returns to our first concert to
create some amazing balloon art wonders.
July 26 – ReBelle and Shokazoba
Their energetic voices persuade a human race toward potent change-making. Nothing remains the same after a ReBelle experience.
Valley Advocate- “Why question a good thing- even if it doesn’t really make sense? Yeah, it may seem weird that some of the best American reggae is happening deep in New England, in the Pioneer Valley (land of abundant snow, bone-chilling freeze and un-Rastified temperments). But…why ask? To feel first and think later is the path of the righteous. And when ReBelle sparks up the Iron Horse on Saturday, the fortunate in attendance will know what it is to feel the music…When ReBelle performs, concert halls become churches, and for several hours, at least, people come together.”- Valley Advocate ReBelle is an intergenerational and intercultural band from Africa and America. They are an evocative musical force offering all original music, sung in many different languages including, English, Wolof, Creole, French, Arabic and Sanskrit.
Shokazoba is a nine piece horn driven funk powerhouse! We perform top quality, high energy music designed to move your feet, inspire the mind, and activate our souls. You will find us playing in theaters, underground clubs, on festival stages, at weddings, house parties, and wherever the cosmic tides take us. We aim to inspire greater human awareness through original, conscious, funky fusion jazz with progressive topical lyrics. Shokazoba offers our deepest love and gratitude to Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Tony Allen for inventing Afrobeat and for inspiring our existence. Since 2005, many talented musicians have influenced our sound and style and we appreciate them all for their unique contributions.
August 2 – Flathead Rodeo and Colorway
Flathead Rodeo, based in Western Massachusetts, plays an original blend of rockabilly and the music that influenced it: rhythm and blues, jump blues, jazz, swing/western swing, and country and western. FHR plays music by such artists as Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Patsy Cline, Bill Haley, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, LaVerne Baker, Wanda Jackson, Barbara Pittman and many others. The band also writes and plays original compositions in the style of the above categories and artists.
Colorway is a guitar heavy, pop rock trio formed and fronted by Independent Music Award winning guitarist, F Alex Johnson (The Young@Heart Chorus/Drunk Stuntmen).
Hailing from Northampton, Mass and exuding the progressive, energetic indie rock leanings of the Pioneer Valley (home of And The Kids, The Sun Parade and Sebadoh) Colorway has put out two full length albums of finessed rock and roll (their 2015 release mastered by engineering legend, Bob Ludwig). The band strive to make every live show an new experience where revelatory moments aren’t sacrificed for the sake of a cookie cutter set devoid of rough edges. Bandleader/vocalist/guitarist F. Alex Johnson gobbles up every inch of real estate on his guitar neck while bassist Matt Clegg and drummer, Riley Godleski hold down the fort with equal parts grace and ferocity.
Colorway has opened sold out shows for Foreigner, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, The Yardbirds, Delta Deep (feat. members of Def Leppard and Stone Temple Pilots), Ian Hunter, Quinn Sullivan and Television’s Richard Lloyd (who called the group “amazing and inspiring”) and was included in the 2016 Green River Festival alongside Dawes, Los Lobos, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Shakey Graves, Peter Wolf, NRBQ and tons more over three days.
The band’s third album, These Are The Days is slated for release on 6/21/18 and includes Chris Collingwood (Fountains of Wayne/Look Park) on backup vocals. The album–co-produced by Danny Bernini (Blondie, Martin Sexton, Stryper)–features nine songs about incredible love, loss, heartbreak and joy in this world we’re forced to share.
AUGUST 9 – Carinae & Special Guest
Amherst-native Nina Kent, bass-player extraordinaire, is a part of this fun, talented band.
Carinae is an unstable star in the constellation that is the Western Massachusetts music scene. Three part vocal harmonies orbit around patchwork guitar and keyboard textures laced with driving rhythms. Lyrics that bring you home and stretch you out. Star gazing in an open field.
“An homage to a distant star, far brighter than our own Sun, Massachusetts natives Carinae produce their own brand of psych-rock as individual and unique as their name…a strong focus on vocals and lyrical content, an element overlooked by many of their colleagues, without losing their laid-back grooves.”
-Brian Varneke, The Deli Magazine