NEPA Scene Staff

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Spyro Gyra, Lisa Simone, and more join RiverJazz series in Bethlehem

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Spyro Gyra, Lisa Simone, and more join RiverJazz series in Bethlehem
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From a press release:

It was announced today that iconic swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Grammy Award winners Spyro Gyra, Broadway singer Lisa Simone, and jazz trumpeter Bria Skonberg headline the 2018 RiverJazz series presented by Concannon Miller this spring in the Musikfest Café at the SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

It was announced last month that Blues Traveler frontman John Popper will kick off RiverJazz on Wednesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for that show are on sale now.

Tickets for the rest of the series go on sale starting this Tuesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. to ArtsQuest Members and on Friday, March 16 at 10 a.m. to the public at and 610-332-3378.

In a special Mother’s Day concert on Sunday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Musikfest Café (101 Founders Way, Bethlehem), Grammy-nominated singer Lisa Simone, daughter of the legendary Nina Simone, celebrates the 10th anniversary of her album “Simone on Simone,” which honored her mother’s legacy. A decade later, Simone reunites on stage with musicians from the original recording, including the Lehigh Valley’s Rob Stoneback Big Band, Craig Thatcher, and Craig Kastelnik, to recreate the album. Best known for her work on Broadway originating the roles of Aida in Disney’s “Aida,” Nala in “The Lion King,” and Mimi Marquez in “Rent,” Simone has also graced the stage of New York’s Carnegie Hall and Australia’s Sydney Opera House, as well as worldwide jazz festivals in Telluride, Montreaux, The Olympia in Paris, and more. Tickets are $34-$39.

On Wednesday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m., Grammy Award-winning contemporary jazz icons Spyro Gyra take the stage at the Musikfest Café. Performing internationally for more than 40 years, Spyro Gyra has played more than 5,000 shows on five continents. Known for hits like “Morning Dance,” “Shaker Song,” and “Catching the Sun,” the group released their 30th album in 2013, “The Rhinebeck Sessions,” which was hailed as Jazz Album of the Year by Travis Rogers of the Jazz Journalists Association. Tickets are $49-$59.

On Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m., RiverJazz welcomes jazz trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg. Winner of the 2017 Juno Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, Skonberg is co-founder of the New York Hot Jazz Camp and the New York Hot Jazz Festival and has performed at more than 100 festivals worldwide. She’s also been recognized by Hot House Jazz Magazine as Best Vocalist in 2014 and Best Trumpeter in 2015, received the Outstanding Jazz Artist at the New York Bistro Awards in 2014, won a DownBeat Rising Star in 2013 and 2015, and was nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association as Up and Coming Artist in 2013. Tickets are $20-$25.

Celebrating their 25th anniversary tour in 2018, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy closes out the RiverJazz series on Thursday, June 7 at 8 p.m. Famously named after an autograph by blues legend Albert Collins, the band has appeared in concert venues across the world, sold millions of records, and had their music appear in hundreds of movies and television shows. With sold-out concerts from the Hollywood Bowl to the Lincoln Center, appearances with many of the country’s finest symphony orchestras, and television appearances ranging from “Dancing with the Stars” to Superbowl XXXIII, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy continues their decades-long mission to celebrate and revitalize jazz and swing music and bring joy to audiences around the world. Tickets are $39-$49.

“From the jazz fusion of Grammy winners Spyro Gyra and the swing sounds of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy to Lisa Simone’s moving tribute to her mother, this year’s RiverJazz series showcases some of the best in jazz, blues, and more,” says Concannon Miller Director of Business Development & Marketing Betsy Storey-Bono.

“This is Concannon Miller’s seventh year as presenting sponsor of RiverJazz, and the lineup keeps getting better and better. We’re honored to be part of this series showcasing great national acts, as well as some of the region’s most talented jazz performers. We can’t wait to see everyone at SteelStacks this spring.”

In addition to the Musikfest Café performances, RiverJazz also showcases dynamic local and regional jazz acts on SteelStacks’ free stages. This year’s acts include Corinne Mammana on Sunday, May 13 at 5 p.m. in the Capital BlueCross Creativity Commons and The Bryan Tuk Complex on Thursday, June 7 at 5 p.m. on the TD Bank Community Stage.

Additional RiverJazz performances will be announced in the coming weeks. Sponsors helping to make RiverJazz possible include Concannon Miller, along with 69-WFMZ-TV and WDIY Public Radio.