Reading, PA—Berks Arts Council is pleased to announce the lineup for the 28th annual Bandshell Concert Series scheduled for Friday evenings July 6, 13, 20, and 27. All concerts are held at the Volunteer Firemen’s Memorial Bandshell in Reading’s City Park. The 2018 series brings a diverse lineup of national and international artists to Reading to present unique musical styles to enjoy and explore music from around the world.
“We are very excited to continue the summer tradition of great music with Berks Arts Council’s Bandshell Concert Series,” said Executive Director Karen Haver. “The concerts showcase an international sound that I believe Reading will love! We’ve got a great mix of bands that will keep our audiences on their feet all summer long!”
All Bandshell Concert Series performances are free and open to the public. The 2018 concerts are being held on all five Fridays in July; the dates are July 6, 13, 20, and 27. Headliners take the Bandshell stage at 7 p.m. each week. Refreshments from food trucks and local restaurants are available for sale beginning at 6 p.m.; preshow entertainment begins at 6:15 p.m.
The Bandshell Concert Series opens on July 6 with Ustad Shafaat Khan leading a blend of Indian and Western music by Ustad Shafaat Khan and his fusion group East Meets West. A world-renowned Indian Classical musician, Khan has performed worldwide at many prestigious concert halls, music festivals and universities around the world. Recently, he performed with Stevie Wonder at Tennessee’s famous Bonnaroo music festival. This performance filled with multicultural fusion music inspiration makes for an international kickoff to a great Bandshell season! Watch the young performers from Yocum Institute prior to the concert.
On July 13, Bumper Jacksons bring its lively Americana roots, swing, and “street blues” original musical style to the Bandshell stage. Winner of Washington Area Musical Awards “Artist of the Year” (2015) and “Best Traditional Band” (2013-2015), their influences range from the streets of New Orleans to the Appalachian Mountains. Their playful, reimagined roots music is like an old-time barn dance in New Orleans with a “brassed-up bluegrass” dance party. Join RMF Olivet Center for the Arts Guitar Club prior to the concert to hear Reading’s stars of tomorrow!
On July 20, twelve-piece Latin pop orchestra Cintron returns to the bandshell with a set list that includes salsa, Latin jazz, and popular dance music. Founder Edgardo Cintron began studying French horn and guitar by the age of five, and by age 12 had the percussion chair for Los Tropicales, which was founded by his father and played up and down the East Coast. Wanda Holdren-Vega, founder and choreographer of the Latin Flair Dance Troupe based in Reading, will provide Salsa dance instruction for audience members prior to the concert.
The 2018 season wraps up on July 27 with Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers. Dwayne and his Zydeco Hellraisers take zydeco to new, energetic, heights. Son of zydeco legend “Rockin’” Dopsie, Dwayne Dopsie was named “America’s Hottest Accordionist” by the American Accordion Association at age 19 and Rolling Stone magazine once called him the “Jimi Hendrix of the accordion.” Playing their own high-energy style of zydeco, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers are blazing a new path for 21st century zydeco music that includes elements of rock, R&B, blues, and reggae. RIZE’s Dance Program will be getting the party started with a Hip-Hop dance performance prior to the concert.
Concert-goers are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and, of course, their dancing shoes to City Park to experience great music in a natural setting. Listen to WEEU 830AM Stereo each week for artist interviews and weather-related schedule changes. Alcohol and smoking are not permitted in City Park.
Berks Arts Council offers special thanks to the 2018 Bandshell Concert Series sponsors: County of Berks, City of Reading, Reading Eagle Company, Land Display, FirstEnergy Foundation, Visions Credit Union, and Century21 Gold.
The mission of Berks Arts Council is to cultivate, support, and promote the arts in our community through collaboration, education, and presentation. In addition to the Bandshell Concert Series, Berks Arts Council presents the Berks Jazz Fest, Reading Blues Fest, Pagoda Awards, and Fast Lane Art, administers the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts Re-Granting Program, and provides art exhibition and marketing opportunities for member artists. Visit www.BerksArts.org for more information.