BOPA Announces 16 Free Concerts in New SoBo Summer Music Series

| May 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) Release:

New SoBo Summer Music Series Features Free Concerts in South Baltimore
from June through September

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) in partnership with Youth Resiliency Institute, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Catholic Charities, and the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership presents the SoBo Summer Music Series. The SoBo Summer Music Series is a sequence of free concerts at various locations throughout South Baltimore featuring jazz, blues and contemporary house music. The series aims to activate greenspaces and community gathering locations in less frequented neighborhoods, with a particular focus on Cherry Hill, Westport, Lakeland, Sharp Leadenhall and Carroll Park neighborhoods.

South Baltimore is the entrance point for most visitors to the city, coming in off I-95 from the south, and home to some of the city’s major attractions: Fort McHenry, Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium. Those who dig a little further into South Baltimore will find a vibrant dining and nightlife scene, as well as venerable, but less visited neighborhoods that define what it is to be “authentic” Baltimore.

A full schedule of all events included in the SoBo Summer Music Series is below. Most events are produced specifically for the series, while others are existing events with a music component, such as the farmers’ market at the Baltimore Museum of Industry and the Federal Hill Jazz Festival.  In addition to the concerts, some events have pre-show activities such as music workshops, which are also listed below. For more information on the events, visit or call 410-752-8632.


Saturday, June 2, 2018
Reginald Cyntje Group (RCG)
Lakeland Park
2921 Stranden Road, Baltimore, MD 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: Sankofa Dance Theatre 5:00pm-6:30pm)

The Reginald Cyntje Group (RCG) has been in existence since March 1998. The band’s first performance was at the now-defunct One Step Down in Washington, DC. Since that time, the group has consistently performed at private and public events on the East Coast. RCG blends Jazz, Afrobeat, and Caribbean music to create a unique musical experience. The band mixes art and activism to inspire social change through song.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Anacostia Delta, UltraFaux, Karl Filipiak and the Jimi Jazz Band,
The Philtones, Babes of Yesteryear, TK Blue and Steve Guyger
at the Federal Hill Jazz Festival       

1065 South Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

Celebrate Federal Hill’s 17th Annual Jazz & Blues Festival! Enjoy a day in beautiful Federal Hill checking out awesome vendors, eating delicious food, and listening to the hottest jazz & blues bands in Baltimore! The event features live music, over 80 food, arts and crafts vendors, and an area just for kids! Featuring Anacostia Delta Band, Ultrafaux, Karl Filipiak, The Philtones, Babes of Yester Year, TK Blue and Steve Guyger.

Thursday, June 7, 2018
Lafayette Gilchrist and the Sonic Trip Masters All Stars
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

Lafayette Gilchrist is an American jazz pianist and composer. He has had a long association with saxophonist David Murray, with whom he has toured internationally.  Gilchrist leads an octet/nonet named the New Volcanoes, and a trio called Inside Out (with bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Eric Kennedy). Gilchrist acknowledges multiple influences on his music: “I come from hip-hop culture, “I’m not a rapper. I’m not a DJ. I’m not a dancer… But I feed off of all that. All of that’s part of what I grew up in, what I grew up around.”

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Violet Bell
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
Violet Bell is Lizzy Ross and Omar Ruiz-Lopez. Based out of Durham, NC, Violet Bell weaves gypsy, blues, and soul influences with folk-rock roots.  Fiona Apple, Laura Marling, Blake Mills, Eno, PJ Harvey, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Otis Redding, Velvet Underground, Joni, Yo La Tengo, Cowboy Junkies, James McMurtry, Astral Weeks

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Rhonda Robinson Trio
BMI Farmers Market
1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

Appearing all over the Baltimore-Washington region, the Rhonda Robinson Quartet has opened for poet/activist Amiri Baraka and Blue Ark Ensemble at University of Baltimore and performed at clubs, restaurants, festivals & private events including: An die Musik concert venue, Ethel Ennis Tribute Gala, The Creative Alliance at the Patterson, Federal Hill Jazz & Blues Festival, Tremont Hotels’ Jazz Nights, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Charles Village Festival, Mt. Vernon Lazy Sundays Concert Series, The Walters Art Museum, The Johns Hopkins University, Lexington Market Concert Series, Mark Cottman Art Gallery, Station North Arts Cafe and many others. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
The Love Peace Project (Juneteenth Celebration)
Cherry Hill Shopping Center
634 Cherry Hill Road, Baltimore, MD 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: Abu The Flutemaker, 3pm)
(Pre-Show Workshop: SoBo Drum Circle, 4pm)
(Pre-Show Workshop: Sankofa Dance Theatre, 6pm)

A powerful message delivered by powerful men focused on healing through music. Transcending race, geography, religion and socio-economic status, the Love Peace Project takes their commitment to their community and themselves seriously and with a passion that comes through clearly in the works they create. In an environment where the social gap between generations causes disharmony the sounds that the Love Peace Project create restores faith in the healing power of urban music and facilitates the healing between the generations.

Friday, June 29, 2018
Rufus Roundtree and Da B’More Brass Factory
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: Abu The Flute Maker, 5:00pm-6:30pm)

Formally trained musicians, Rufus Roundtree and Da B’More Brass Factory infuse the essence of the New Orleans brass band sound that defines the Mardi Gras experience with a hometown contemporary flare; recreating versions of R&B and hip-hop songs with funk, neo-soul and jazz elements…guaranteed to keep the crowd dancing. This is not the traditional band; this is truly an invigorating experience. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018
5:30pm- 8:30pm
Theljon Allen
Lakeland Park
2921 Stranden Road, Baltimore, MD 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: SoBo Drum Circle, 5pm)

Theljon Allen is a native of Baltimore. He began playing trumpet in the sixth grade, attended Randallstown High School and went to college at New School University. Since school, he has had the opportunity to play and or record with many music acts such as Ledisi, Janet Jackson, Lonnie Liston Smith, Cyrus Chestnut and many more.

Thursday, July 12, 2018
Vann Durham & Ricardo Valentine
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

Featuring blues/rock/jazz musicians Vann Durham & Ricardo Valentine; Ricardo Valentine (better known as 6lack, pronounced “Black”) spent his first four years in Baltimore before relocating to Atlanta as a child. From there, he has cultivated a murky sound that fits in the pocket between rap and R&B.

Saturday, July 21, 2018
Clarence Ward III & Dat Feel Good
BMI Farmers Market
1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

Agile and passionate, multi-instrumentalist Clarence Ward III’s heartfelt, soulful music stands as an anchor of the Baltimore music scene. The minute you hear the crisp, agile wail of his trumpet, or the playful sincerity of his sax you’re frozen, mesmerized, until he’s said his peace. Clarence doesn’t just play the notes, he lives them, and you are helpless to avoid the way it vibrates through your chest cavity and breaks you open to the world and its complexity.

Saturday, August 4, 2018
DC Cuban All Stars
Carroll Park
1515 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD, 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: Abu The Flute Maker, 5:00pm-6:30pm)
(Pre-Show Workshop: SalsaNow, 5:00pm-6:30pm)

Afro-Cuban saxophonist of panache and volatility, Luis Faife unites his upbringing in Holguin, Cuba, with singer and composer Juan Del Risco from Havana Cuba. Under Faife’s and Risco’s direction, the D.C. Cuban All Stars perform live Cuban timba music, showcasing both traditional and contemporary Cuban 

Sunday, August 5, 2018
Underground Experience
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

The 2018 Underground Experience Fest, the premier event for electronic dance music and arts is to take place at Middle Branch Park. Baltimore City is home to some of the greatest DJs and producers in the electronic dance music industry. This event provides an opportunity to engage with today’s most experimental and innovative artists across various media.

Thursday, August 9, 2018
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

Baltimore-based UltraFaux, led by guitarist/composer Michael Joseph Harris, performs original acoustic music with Romani, Manouche, swing, funk, blues, and musette influences. The band is an acoustic powerhouse of dazzling leads and rich gypsy-inspired melodies. The musicians of Ultrafaux are also the core trio of Hot Club of Baltimore, a larger ensemble which features vocalist Alexis Tantau, specializing in the music of Django Reinhardt and traditional French Jazz.

Saturday, August 18, 2018
Craig Alston
Carroll Park
1515 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD, 21230

Craig Alston is a multi-instrumentalist from Baltimore who is best known as the saxophonist for Fertile Ground. Craig began performing with Fertile Ground while attending Morgan State University. As the band became more successful, Craig chose to leave college and pursue his passion.  Craig plays the saxophone, bass, or keyboard. As a saxophonist, Craig has played with jazz legends such as Larry Willis, David Murray, Oliver Lake, John Hicks and Jimmy Heath.

Saturday, August 25, 2018
Amelia White
Solo Gibbs Park
1044 Leadenhall St. Baltimore, MD 21201

The Alternate Root calls East Nashville-based singer-songwriter Amelia White a “Nashville Treasure.” She lives and writes with others in town, but is no “Nashville hat act.” In a recent interview she describes herself as “Considerably more Neil Young than Taylor Swift.” Maybe it is that left of center quality that draws other writers such as Lori McKenna, Tony Furtado, Tom Kimmel, and Bill Lloyd to collaborate with her.

The Sign at Solo Gibbs Park, Across the Street from the Proposed Development

Saturday, September 8, 2018
Time TBA
Westport Block Party
Westport Boys and Girls Club, 2343 Norfolk Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

With her exciting multi-cultural background, Nigerian-American singer and band leader Janelia set out to charm listeners with her unique and charming melodies. Growing up in Nigeria Janelia learned the local dialects and enjoys composing songs and singing in English, Pidgin and Yoruba. Now in the States, her latest single, Love-Hate, created some buzz in the independent music scene with over a million YouTube views.  Her eight piece band, collectively known as “Janeliasoul” is the only female-fronted world music band based in Baltimore, MD. The band fuses traditional Nigerian rhythms with contemporary sounds like soul and Jazz and is heavily influenced by world music artists Angelique Kidjo and Fela Kuti.


SOBO Drum Circle                                                                

Tuesday, June 19, 4pm (Cherry Hill Shopping Center)

Saturday, August 25, TBA (Westport Block Party)

Saturday, July 7, 5pm (Lakeland Park)

Baltimore’s Youth Resiliency Institute hosts a series of community drum circles in the Cherry Hill and Westport Communities of Baltimore, featuring Grammy Award winning percussionist Moziah Saleem.  Drum circle events of any kind are about the dynamic interaction of musical and personal relationships. When involved in any group rhythmic alchemy event, these relationships are based on a simple set of unwritten guidelines. When adhered to, these guidelines can help direct a group of players to their highest musical potential, creating a fun and exciting musical experience while enabling an individual to merge comfortably into an ongoing drumming circle without being obtrusive.

Abu the Flute Maker – Musical Instruments on the Go…

Tuesday, June 19, 3pm (Cherry Hill Shopping Center)

Friday, June 29, 5:00-6:30pm (Middle Branch Park)

Saturday, August 4, 5:00-6:30pm (Carroll Park)

William Emerson, better known as Abu the Flutemaker is a Youth Resiliency Institute Master Artist in Residence and Baltimore native who has been making musical instruments out of found objects for the past 43 years. As a child, he discovered his ability to create music out of almost anything—a chair, a bedpost, a clothes hanger, for example. He could also make flutes. With his perfect pitch and uncanny ability to know just where to place the openings for air, his flutes create music with an ethereal quality. His talent, of course, “didn’t count” in school.  Now he has his own group that makes music from a variety of homemade wind and percussion instruments. He travels from school to school demonstrating to children that each one of us has value and attempting to nurture the creative ability in each child he meets. 

Sankofa Dance Theatre – African Dance Workshops

Saturday, June 2, 5:00-6:30pm (Lakeland Park)

Tuesday, June 19, 6pm (Cherry Hill Shopping Center)

Dance classes often feature movements from the Casssamance Region of Senegal, West Africa … movements that are chosen because of they bring an upright flowing beauty while at the same time giving the spirit that follows the path of the rhythm that is intrinsic to the pulsating, pounding wonderfully repetitious, yet always unique beat of Africa. 

SalsaNow – Salsa Workshops

Saturday, August 4, 5:00-6:30pm (Carroll Park)

SalsaNow was formed out of love for the music and dance and a passion for sharing the experience and joy of dancing with others. Niss and Alexandra Albaig are very active in the Baltimore Salsa community as instructors, promoters, organizers, and ambassadors of dance. They are committed to supporting and growing the dance community through professional instruction, fellowship and camaraderie. 

About the Author:

News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.