NEPA Scene Staff

Scranton Cultural Center will host free Outdoor Summer Concert Series with local artists

Scranton Cultural Center will host free Outdoor Summer Concert Series with local artists
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From a press release:

Today, the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple in downtown Scranton announced a new Outdoor Summer Concert Series that will be free and open to the public.

The monthly concerts will take place on Friday nights outside of the Scranton Cultural Center and will feature a variety of local and regional talent. The lineup includes Stroudsburg reggae band Young Lion on June 11, Scranton jazz singer Erin Malloy & Friends on July 9, Scranton Americana band The Mule Team on Aug. 13, and Lehigh Valley alt/punk rock trio Blind Choice on Sept. 10.

“It has been a long hiatus for in-person events, which is what we thrive on,” SCC Executive Director Deborah Moran Peterson said.

“We have enjoyed being able to connect with our audiences virtually through the past year, and we are so grateful to be able to welcome back the community with this free concert series.”

All current state and CDC guidelines will be followed at each performance, with any updates being shared via social media. All concerts will run from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. A cash bar with light fare will open at 6 p.m. prior to each show.

The Scranton Cultural Center (420 N. Washington Ave., Scranton) had plans to launch this free series for the community last summer. During the past year, it has offered its popular Underground Microphone series as a live stream on Facebook and YouTube each week, as well as a virtual variety show as part of the SCC Youth Theatre Program.

Young Lion – Friday, June 11

Young Lion began playing together for Sarah Street Grill’s George Wesley Tribute Night in December of 2016 in Stroudsburg. Chris Condel and Lion Sanford were Wesley’s bandmates, and Jamie Zaleski of the Southside Bandits fronted the band for most of the tribute night. They decided to keep working together and have since added Angelo Miraglia on keyboards to round out their sound.

Young Lion’s blend of roots, rock, and reggae is accomplished by the different playing styles and experience of its members. Their live performances include improvisation to provide listeners with a fresh experience every time people hear them perform.

Erin Malloy & Friends – Friday, July 9

Erin Malloy has been singing, dancing, and acting since the age of 4. She grew up in Scranton and started her formal dance training with the Ballet Theatre of Scranton under the tutelage of Constance Reynolds and Joanne Arduino. She started her formal vocal training at age 11. She moved to New York City to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy at 18.

Upon graduation, Malloy began her professional career at 20 years old and played Maggie in the national tour of the musical “A Chorus Line.” She has since played that same role with 11 different companies in over 1,000 performances. She became a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association at 21 and remains a member to this day. She played the roles of Belle (“Beauty and the Beast”) and Meg (“Hercules”) on the very first cast of the Disney Cruise Line in 1998. Her last national tour in which she toured all of North America for two years was with “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” starring the legendary Ann-Margret.

Malloy has performed in many different shows at many different regional theaters around the country, such as Arena Stage, Walnut Street Theatre, and Stages St. Louis. Over her 16 years in New York City, she worked with many amazing artists and also performed nightly at the famous Don’t Tell Mama piano bar in the heart of the theatre district. She now resides back in her hometown and is a freelance singer with many different talented bands and musicians throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

She is a rostered artist for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and teaches for the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19. There, she has had the opportunity to teach voice, dance, and musical theatre to students in the area school districts. In 2012, she was named Artist of the Year by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and NEIU 19. Malloy also has her own voice coaching business and teaches voice privately to students of all ages. Additionally, in 2003, she traveled to Koh Samui, Thailand to train and become a certified yoga instructor, her other passion, and now teaches at Jaya Yoga in Clarks Summit. She is grateful for the opportunities she has had and the ability to continually live her dream as a full-time professional artist.

At this event, she will be joined by Jim Waltich (piano), Tommy Hamilton (sax), Doug Smith (bass), Mark Montella (drums), and Denise LaBamba (percussion).

The Mule Team – Friday, Aug. 13

The Mule Team is an Americana group from Scranton pulling from traditional country, folk, rock, and R&B, featuring three-part harmonies and songwriting from Chris Kearney (guitar), Roy Williams (piano, guitar, pedal steel) and JP Biondo (guitar), with Ian O’Hara (bass) and AJ Jump (drums) rounding out the rhythm section – a talented cast of NEPA musicians coming together for the greater good of the song. Fans of The Beatles, The Band, The Grateful Dead, Merle Haggard, John Prine, Willie Nelson, and Ray Charles are sure to enjoy any performance from this veteran “supergroup” known for their work in local bands like Cabinet, Coal Town Rounders, And the Moneynotes, Underground Saints, and many more.

The Mule Team made their official debut at Karl Hall on Jan. 11, 2020, playing their own original music as well as favorites from Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, The Band, Neil Young, and John Prine. The quintet has since played at The Bog and Jack’s Draft House in Scranton, the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, Canteen Park in Kingston, Henry Citizens Club in Plains, and Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township.

Blind Choice – Friday, Sept. 10

An alternative rock and punk trio from the Lehigh Valley, Blind Choice was formed with its current members in March of 2017. With four years and well over 150 shows under its belt, the band has quickly gained success and has shared the stage with artists like Richie Ramone, Bowling for Soup, Drake Bell, Diamante, Sponge, and Trapt, just to name a few. The young rockers continue to perform throughout the tri-state region, playing at iconic music venues like The Bitter End, The Stanhope House, Chameleon Club, Mount Airy Casino Resort, and the Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center. Dylan Pysher (lead vocals/guitar), Matt Habrial (bass/vocals), and Tanner Snyder (drums) are available for originals, covers, a mix of both, or even stripped-down acoustic sets.

The Scranton Cultural Center’s 2020-2021 season is sponsored by Fidelity Bank and LT Verrastro and supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Lackawanna County Office of Arts and Culture, and Lackawanna County Commissioners Jerry Notarianni, Debi Domenick, and Chris Chermak.

See NEPA Scene’s photos of The Mule Team and Blind Choice performing outside the Mohegan Sun Arena last July here and learn more about The Mule Team and the various musical projects of its members in Episode 128 of the NEPA Scene Podcast, which also features a live performance of Roy Williams’ original song “Ruby Begonia:”

Photo of Blind Choice by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene