News Column

Berks Arts Council announces summer bandshell concert lineup

June 16, 2013

YellowBrix

June 16--Berks Arts Council unveiled the lineup for its 2013 Bandshell Concert Series, bringing diverse musical styles that bridge numerous cultures to Berks County. All concerts are at the City Park Bandshell and begin at 7 p.m.

This summer's concerts also feature pre-show events related to each evening's performance. These new events, which will start at 6:15 p.m., offer audience members the opportunity to come early, join in and experience the Bandshell Concert Series in a new way.

"We are very excited to present this summer's Bandshell Concert Series," said Berks Arts Council Executive Director Karen Haver. "The concerts show off some terrific music in the heart of our city. Audience members get the chance to experience great music that they may not hear otherwise. The artists are extremely diverse, and the series has an international flair that I think Reading will love. This year we are offering the pre-show events to add a whole new element to the series. We're looking forward to a terrific summer."

The series kicks off July 12 with Matuto, whose sound is described as Brazilian Carnival in the Appalachian. Founder and lead singer Clay Ross, a South Carolina native, originated the group's unique combination of North American folk songs over South American rhythms during his time spent in Brazil studying the region's folkloric music. The group is also well-known for its music outreach to youth, which makes the Reading High School Dance Team and its high-energy dance routines a fitting pre-show event to welcome concert-goers to the 2013 season.

The Sweetback Sisters will perform July 19 with their blend of country, swing and honky-tonk. The band has created a unique sound that delivers arrangements combining the soul of classic Nashville with a contemporary edge. Audience members are invited to participate in a pre-show dance workshop presented by Louise Lamar Dance Studio, Reading.

On July 26, the Chris Bergson Band heats up the bandshell stage with its blend of blues, roots and soul. Bergson has shared the stage with many notable musicians throughout his career, including Norah Jones, Levon Helm, and Etta James. In 2002, he was appointed a Jazz Ambassador of the USA by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and toured Africa with his trio.

The 12-piece Latin pop orchestra The Cintron Band wraps up the 2013 concert series on Aug. 2 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 5, 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 concerts and the pre-show events are free and open to the public. Food will be available for purchase from local vendors including Callowhill Cafe, Mezcal's Mexican Restaurant, the Pig Pit and Stephan's Concessions.

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(c)2013 the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa.)

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