Thanks for a great summer!
Thanks for a great summer!
This season’s shows are over, which means we’re planning for next summer’s concerts! The submission period will open at the beginning of 2015, and our team is working to set a great lineup of acts for next year. (As always, Downtown Thursdays is an all-ages event and illicit content will not be considered.) If your band would like to receive more information, please contact us
We’re also asking everyone to contact us with any suggestions for 2015 – what you liked, what we can do better, and/or what you want to see next year.
Thanks again, and we’ll see you next summer!
Orquesta Afinke w/Vinny and Ray Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz
Orquesta Afinke w/Vinny and Ray Afro-Cuban Latin JazzJune 19, 2014
Wear your dancing shoes, because the June 19 kickoff for Downtown Thursdays will be non-stop! Orquesta Afinke and Vinny and Ray Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz are bringing their dynamic blend of Latin dance to McLevy Green.
Vinny and Ray Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz are redefining Latin music. They lead 11 musicians in a superior musical performance reflecting their musicianship and showmanship. Their ability to play music comes from their soul.
Afinke (pronounced ah-‘fin-keh and correctly spelled “afinque”) is a traditional Spanish slang term used amongst percussionists and musicians in general to denote a group who plays together as a team.
Led by trombonist Tito Planas and percussionist Sammy Diaz Jr., Orquesta Afinke is a Latin musical group featuring a dynamic percussion, a swinging rhythm section and harmonic brass sounds.The band is comprised of seasoned veterans of the musical field who after touring with many notables decided to come together to share their talents of entertaining audiences and educating them about this musical genre.
Afinke’s diverse repertoire includes styles typical to many Latin American countries including: salsa, merengue, cumbia, bolero, plena, Latin jazz, among others. Their swinging sounds will have everyone off their seats and moving to the rhythm.
Jen Durkin and the Business w/The Funky Dawgz Brass Band
Jen Durkin and the Business w/The Funky Dawgz Brass BandJune 26, 2014
With Funky Dawgz Brass Band and Jen Durkin & The Business, Downtown Thursdays on June 26 will lift your spirits!
The Funky Dawgz Brass Band is exploding onto the live music scene not just in their home state of Connecticut but also across the region and even down in New Orleans. This 10-piece funky groove machine made up of students from the University of Connecticut is loaded with high-energy horns and a backbeat that is irresistibly funky. This summer they blew audiences away at Gathering of the Vibes, on the main stage of the Norwalk Oyster Festival, and at many well-known venues in New York City, Boston, Providence, Hartford, and New Orleans just to name a few. They are taking the music of New Orleans to a whole new level, playing traditional New Orleans R&B, rocking their original music, and adding a brass twist to today’s top hits.
Jen Durkin’s unique vocal abilities have attracted opportunities from the diverse world of the jam band to the Masters of Funk. “I love drums and playing hand percussion, to me it’s all about the rhythm…”
The Revolution of Hip Hop
The Revolution of Hip HopJuly 10, 2014
July 10 is devoted to all fans of old-school hip hop! Hosted by Superman Jay of the Skinny Boys, Bridgeport’s hometown hip hop group, it’ll be a showcase of style and creativity.
DJ White Flash, DJ Grand Wizard Stevie, DJ Kool Keith, and DJ Billy Busch will be on the turntables throughout the night. G. Brunot & Crew and Def Groove will also be performing.
Beach Avenue, Liza Colby Sound, Alpaca Gnomes
Beach Avenue, Liza Colby Sound, Alpaca GnomesJuly 17, 2014
We are rocking out July 17 with THREE bands – Beach Avenue, The Liza Colby Sound, and The Alpaca Gnomes!
Beach Avenue formed in the summer of 2011 to perform at Mohegan Sun’s annual regional Battle of the Bands. After passing through quarter finals and semi finals, Beach Avenue took 1st place in the finals to win the competition. As a result, the band earned a headlining spot at the casino’s Wolf Den venue to kick off 2012. Soon enough, the band entered Firehouse 12 Studio in New Haven, CT to record their debut EP “Something To Believe In”. After a busy year of promoting their album and performing throughout Connecticut, Beach Avenue released their newest EP “Driving That Road” in Summer of 2013. The band has opened for artists such as: Third Eye Blind, Jefferson Starship, STYX, REO Speedwagon, Sammy Adams, Bad Rabbits, Jeffrey Gaines, Bronze Radio Return, Alternate Routes and many more! They are currently competing on the NBC hit show “America’s Got Talent”.
The Alpaca Gnomes are a collective of musical gnomes who travel from gig to gig and place to place by way of Alpacas. Therefore, they are The Alpaca Gnomes! They bring musical joy and overall giddyness to all people of all races in all places.
Liza Colby was looking to put a band together and she was looking for tough players. She had done time singing hooks on rap trax but what she really wanted was a band. She knew that live, no one could touch her. She found Alec Morton and the Roth boys, three guys who had been around and played with them all. Between the three of them they had played with Ozzy, The del Fuegos, Bessid Union of Souls, Jim Carroll, and Raging Slab. Liza needed a band that could stand next to her and match her hundred watt voice.
Beach Avenue formed in the summer of 2011 to perform at Mohegan Sun’s annual regional Battle of the Bands. After passing through quarter finals and semi finals, Beach Avenue took 1st place in the finals to win the competition. As a result, the band earned a headlining spot at the casino’s Wolf Den venue to kick off 2012. Soon enough, the band entered Firehouse 12 Studio in New Haven, CT to record their debut EP “Something To Believe In”. After a busy year of promoting their album and performing throughout Connecticut, Beach Avenue released their newest EP “Driving That Road” in Summer of 2013. The band has opened for artists such as: Third Eye Blind, Jefferson Starship, STYX, REO Speedwagon, Sammy Adams, Bad Rabbits, Jeffrey Gaines, Bronze Radio Return, Alternate Routes and many more!
Son 7 w/ Mikata
Son 7 w/ MikataJuly 24, 2014
July 24 is going to be a hot night with the salsa and Latin rock combo of Son 7 and Mikata!
It’s dance…it’s rhythm…it’s Mikata! Feel your pulse quicken as this powerful Salsa band ignites the stage in a joyful celebration of contemporary Latin music. Mikata, which means “all of us” in Ghana’s Ewe dialect, fuses the musical elements of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Africa and New York to bring you the elegant sounds of classical Salsa music. Each beat of the conga beckons you to take a step closer and become a part of Mikata.
Son 7 knows how to make an impression. This seven-piece band can take you back to the days of Hector Lavoe and bring you forward to the sounds of Coldplay with their unique salsa rendition of Clocks. Their wonderful combination of Latin Rock and Salsa can get heads turning and bodies moving.
Mystic Bowie w/Soulshot
Mystic Bowie w/SoulshotJuly 31, 2014
On July 31, Downtown Thursdays is devoted to reggae!
Soulshot is New England’s premier reggae, ska, and rocksteady band. Formed in 2003, Soulshot is known for its many gigs in the U.S. and Jamaica with legendary singer/songwrier/guitarist Ernie Smith, as well as work with Dalton “Screwdriver” Lindo at the Ocean State Reggae Festival, the Cape Cod 2007 Winter Bash, and with the sweet voice of Rastaman Roger Robin from the UK. Soulshot’s members combine for decades of experience performing Jamaican style ska, rocksteady and reggae.
Since the 1980s, Mystic Bowie has been keeping the art of music alive – entertaining audiences from New York to Japan with his vibrant music and high-energy performances. From humble beginnings in Jamaica, Mystic has become one of Reggae’s hardest working independent artists, compared to musical legends Jimmy Cliff, Lucky Dube and Toots and the Maytals.
Girls on Bikes w/CT Free Shakespeare
Girls on Bikes w/CT Free ShakespeareAugust 7, 2014
Girls On Bikes started two and a half years ago as a classic rock band from Fairfield, and has since evolved to embrace such other genres such as funk and jam. With influences ranging from the original classic rock giants like Led Zeppelin, to the psychedelic sounds of the Grateful Dead, Girls On Bikes creates a unique sound that will take the old birds back, and the young guns to destinations they didn’t know music could take them. In essence, though, Girls On Bikes creates effortless, undeniably real rock and roll.
August 7 also marks the second night of Connecticut Free Shakespeare’s performance of “As You Like It” on McLevy Green starting at 8pm. While we’re sad to cut our evening short, there’s no better reason than for this amazing season of free Shakespeare!
A Comedy by William Shakespeare set in the Time of Hippies, Love-Ins and Exuberant Music. “Think ‘Hair.’ Think ‘Godspell.’ Think flower children. Think Beatles songs and folk tunes. Think wandering minstrels who strum guitars. Think partying and love-ins and the joys of nature…” As with many of Shakespeare’s comedies, the plot involves feuding, disguised lovers and misplaced love resulting in a great deal of hilarity. “Amazingly Lieberman has remained true to the spirit (and the text) of Shakespeare’s rustic comedy while moving into the Age of Aquarius. The result, as it turns out, is sheer magic.” (Irene Backalenick, NY Theater Scene, 2005) Actors are courtesy of Actor’s Equity.
Attendees should bring blankets or chairs for seating. Performances are cancelled only when weather is severe.
Karaoke talent night w/Pocket Hotties
Karaoke talent night w/Pocket HottiesAugust 14, 2014
Karaoke talent night is BACK on August 14! We will be seeking the most talented, dynamic and trailblazing karaoke stars for this year’s competition. Email email@example.com or message Downtown Thursdays Facebook or Downtown Thursdays Twitter with a link to your video or audio performance, and we’ll create a poll that will help us pick the performers for the August 14 karaoke competition!
The Pocket Hotties band includes four talented musicians, Cristyn, Kenny, John and Keith. They’re an energetic 90’s cover band with tons of talent and enough quirkiness to fill a room.
Mates of State,The Zambonis, Harry and the Potters
Mates of State,The Zambonis, Harry and the PottersAugust 21, 2014
We are excited to have Mates of State, the Zambonis AND Harry and the Potters rocking out on McLevy Green on August 21!
The Zambonis formed in 1991 in Bridgeport, CT when defenseman/guitarist/singer Dave Schneider envisioned a group that played nothing but songs about hockey. And he wasn’t joking. What started as a fun “little thing” is now the most popular sports-rock band in North America. Explaining his band’s unique style, Dave says, “We’re the only band in the world whose two biggest influences are The Beatles and Wayne Gretzky!”
Imagine if Harry Potter quit the quidditch team and started a punk rock band. Take that one step further and imagine that he stole a time-turner and decided to start that band with himself from a different point in time. Imagine a band that uses the power of rock and roll as the ultimate weapon against evil. This is Harry and the Potters. Since 2002 they have released 3 full length albums and played over 500 shows in libraries, rock clubs, art spaces, bookstores, basements, backyards and pizza places all over the world. They are now hailed as the founders of the wizard rock genre – a DIY music movement of bands playing songs about the Harry Potter books.
Kori Gardner (keyboard/vocals) and Jason Hammel (drums/vocals) were both playing guitar and singing in the Kansas music metropolis of Lawrence before forming the Mates of State in 1997. With their dual vocal harmonies and minimal pop appeal, Omnibus Records released Mates of State’s first EP as a split with Fighter D in 1999. Upon relocation to San Francisco, the duo’s second EP, It’s the Law/Invitation Inn, and a debut studio effort, My Solo Project, followed in 2000.
Soul Synergy, That ’80s Band, Superhero
Soul Synergy, That ’80s Band, SuperheroAugust 28, 2014
The final Downtown Thursdays concert of 2014 is a huge cover band revue! Come out, sing along with your favorite songs from today back to the ’60s, and celebrate another season of Downtown Thursdays!
Superhero is a professional high energy rock band based out of Greater New York specializing in 90s and modern pop songs. The band performs music catering to ages 20-50 years in the hopes to rekindle a fire within. They have a knack for getting people into party mode, and prioritize making the night epic.
That 80’s Band is a CT oriented band that performs one hit wonders of the 1980’s loudly and proudly. This five person tribute band likes to engage the audience, and is known for their entertainment skills. They are definitely a presence you don’t want to miss.
Soul Synergy is a one of a kind vocal and instrumental ensemble that embodies the heart of classic soul music and funk. The group and its members have performed at the Inaugural Ball for the African American Churches in Washington, DC, Riverfest in Yonkers, College Careers Gala in New Rochelle, and many other regional locations. The band is led by drummer Brent Williams who is a seasoned musician with performance credits that include countless R&B legends and jazz greats. Other outstanding members of the band are Shevon Loftin on vocals, Dana Bryant on vocals, John Adams on keys, Bobby Clarke on bass and Gemini on guitar.