Prepare for a summer of live music with AvonLIVE!
On Wednesdays this summer, the town of Avon invites the community to get their groove on at the AvonLIVE! Concerts in the Park series. The talent lineup for some of this year’s festivities was announced on Tuesday and involves acts from near and far.
Apart from providing an opportunity for people to see award-winning musicians play with the backdrop of mountains and Nottingham Lake, AvonLIVE! prides itself in enhancing the community by bringing neighbors together since 2015.
The AvonLIVE! 2023 dates are as follows: June 14, 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, August 2, 9, 16 and 23. The lineup for the first six shows was announced this week, and Avon Cultural Arts and Special Events Manager Danita Dempsey said there’s a bit of everything for the community to enjoy.
“I think the community is going to be pretty excited about who they’re in to see on stage this summer,” Dempsey said.
Opening up the summer concert series this year, Eagle County bands will take to the stage at Nottingham Park for Avon’s inaugural Battle of the Bands. Local bands The Evolution, Trees Don’t Move, Primal J and the Neanderthals and Al Maul & The Wandering will jam it out in a battle over the status of Eagle County’s best band. The competition will bring a genre-spanning show to the Avon Performance Pavilion—with a taste of global jam beats, pop punk, rock, reggae and Americana, lots of variety can be enjoyed at this June 14 show to kick another summer of AvonLIVE! performances.
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On June 21, the second show in the series will headline Bonerama, a New Orleans-based “funky rock band with brass,” according to the band’s website. Bonerama frequently covers Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath, but also has delivered original music that’s “unmatched, high-energy, fun, dynamic and bold” since 1998. Opening for Bonerama on June 21 will be Funkiphino, a high-energy funk band with “explosive horn lines, old school Hammond organ sounds, and pumpin’ bass with intoxicating vocal harmonies,” according to the Funkiphino website.
The June 28 AvonLIVE! show headlines AJ Lee & Blue Summit, a bluegrass band that made their first appearance in Santa Cruz in 2015. In 2019, AJ Lee & Blue Summit won the FreshGrass Band Competition and lead vocalist AJ Lee is a nine-time winner of the National Cage Bird Show American Singer competition for best female vocalist. The People’s Key, bluegrass band from Summit County, will be opening for AJ Lee & Blue Summit.
July 12, the AvonLIVE! headliner will be Magnolia Boulevard, a five-piece band with American songwriting. Formed in 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky, Magnolia Boulevard has been on the up and up. The band holds two “Best Rock Band” awards from the 2018 and 2019 Lexington Music Awards and won the first “On the Rise” prize at the Floydfest music festival in Virginia in 2018. Opening for Magnolia Boulegard on June 12 will be The Burnsville Band, a blues-rock band originally from Southern California that relocated to the Vail Valley in 2014, and to Cortez, Colo earlier this year. The Burnsville Band “keeps the blues alive in the Southwest with their signature meat-on-the-bones blues, rock and soul sound,” according to the band’s website.
On July 19, Damon Fowler will headline the AvonLIVE! event. The blues singer, songwriter and guitarist from Florida is a “hard-driving troubadour—his music is steeped with soul and representative of the many styles that make up the roots of American music,” the musician’s website reads. The Chris Bauer Band will be opening for Damon Fowler at the Avon Performance Pavilion on July 19. The Chris Bauer Band is a blues trio from Summit County, led by guitarist Chris “Banjo” Bauer.
The final AvonLIVE! show of the summer will headline Kaleta & Super Yamba, Afrobeat band led by Leon Ligan-Majek, also known as Kaleta, a musician from Nigeria. Kaleta & Super Yamba’s debut album “Mèdaho,” was included on Bandcamp’s “Best Albums of Summer 2019” list and two of the songs on “Mèdaho” were featured on the ABC and Hulu series, “High Fidelity.” Kaleta & Super Yamba will be joined by supporting act, reggae band Selasee & The Fafa Family on July 26. Selasee of Selasee & The Fafa Family grew up in Ghana and brought his influences together, blending reggae, West African highlife music and American pop.
All AvonLIVE! events will begin at 5:30 p.m. on their respective days, with music starting at 6 p.m. Festivities wrap up around 9 p.m. each week.
The AvonLIVE! shows are also designated plastic-free events. Coordinators encourage attendees to bring reusable water bottles. So, beverages that come in single-use plastic will not be sold at the events.
“There will be water filling stations and canned products available for purchase,” the AvonLIVE! webpage reads. “Local food trucks will be serving up mouthwatering food and the Hahnewald Bar will be selling an assortment of ice-cold refreshing libations.”
Because alcohol will be sold at the events, event coordinators remind the public that outside alcohol will not be allowed within the liquor boundary despite Nottingham Park’s “open container” designation for summer.