by Joe Tressa
The 65th Annual Pastorious Park Concert Series sponsored by the Chestnut Hill Community Association will start on Wednesday, June 19, in Pastorious Park. The concert series will feature one performance a week for seven weeks. All performances are on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., and the series ends on July 31st.
The festivities will begin as Suzie Brown takes the stage on June 19. Suzie and her band are a mix of country and blues music. Brown has had a strange journey in becoming a singer/songwriter. She received her M.D. from Harvard University, a Master of Science in Transitional Research from the University of Pennsylvania, and even practiced cardiology. Brown released her first CD “Heartstrings” in May of 2011.
She even won a “Best of Philly” award for musical talent from Philadelphia Magazine in 2010.
The John Byrne Band will take the stage on June 26. The band, led by John Byrne, is a Celtic and folk music group. John and his band have toured the East Coast for the past few years, playing primarily in Philadelphia and the New York/New Jersey areas.
The band has frequently played at World Café Live in Philadelphia, selling out the venue four different times. Byrne’s band recently released a CD in March, which is titled “Celtic/Folk.” Find more information about the band at: johnbyrneband.com/CelticFolk.html
On July 3, the R&B/ blues group The Dukes of Destiny will perform for the Chestnut Hill crowd. The Dukes, led by Arlyn Wolters and John Colgan-Davis, have been together for more than 25 years and have established themselves as a widely-known Philadelphia music group. They also frequently play at the World Café Live venue in Philadelphia. The group has also released three CD’s during their time together.
On July 10, Pastorius will feature a recently created band, Aaron & the Spell. Aaron Brown is the front man for this group, which mixes soul, blues, folk, and even some rock music together to form one distinctive type of music. Aaron and his group perform frequently in Philadelphia. They also perform in New Jersey and New York. The group was recently nominated for a Tri State Indie Music Award, and Aaron was named “Artist to Watch” in 2013 by Ticket Magazine. He was also honored as “10 Artists You Should Have Known in 2012” by NPR Music.
The next act of the concert series will be Cheers Elephant on July 17. The band’s website describes them as a “tight, rootsy, psychedelic poprock quartet from Philadelphia, PA.” The indie-rock band has recently released it’s third album, titled “Like Wind Blows Fire.” The album was well-received by music critics.
The next performance will be that of the jazz band Phyllis Chapell and Siora. Philadelphia native Chapell is the lead singer and also plays guitar for the group. Chapell is multi-lingual and sings in 13 different languages including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Hebrew and Russian. The band has four CDs together, and Chapell has recorded two solo CD’s of her own. This unique band will take the stage on July 24.
Finally, the concert series will end on July 31 with a performance by the rock band John Train. This band, led by front man Jon Houlon, recently released its seventh album, titled “A Wig and a Wonder. “ The band’s 2007 album, “Mesopotamia Blues”, is dedicated to war and the past crisis with Iraq. John Train’s website is: trainarmy.com
The rain location for each concert will be at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Lower School Auditorium, Cherokee Campus, 8000 Cherokee St. Rain statuses will be posted on chesnuthill.org by 6 p.m. the day of the show.
The concert series is organized and produced by the Chestnut Hill Community Association and made possible by donations from the Chestnut Hill Community Fund and Chestnut Hill Hospital. Further sponsorship is provided by WXPN and the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department. Be sure to check back with the local for previews of each band act the week before each concert.