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Jazz, R&B and Mountain Days Relief from the Heat This Weekend
July 22, 2011 - Jim Price
With the current heat wave, Prince Gallitzin State Park might already be on your list as a destination for relief from the city heat and humidity. It just so happens that this weekend is the Park’s annual Mountain Days celebration, with lots of events happening in and around the park; including some live music events. On Friday evening, the Glendale Fire Company will present a barbecue dinner and live music at Uncle Phil’s General Store, along Route 53 near Flinton. The barbecue will include ribs and corn, and classic and southern rock music will be provided by Cottonmouth. The music is free, and the dinner is $8. There will also be an auction, plus children’s activities. And on Saturday evening, the Smoke Run Band will entertain at Prince Gallitzin State Park’s Muskrat Beach area from 6 to 9 p.m.
If you don’t feel like leaving the Altoona city limits, the latest installment of the Summer Sounds of Jazz concert series takes place on Friday evening from 6 to 10 p.m. at downtown Altoona’s Heritage Plaza. Johnstown-based jazz troupe Jazz In Your Face will perform. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase. Admission and parking are free.
Bluegrass fans can enjoy area bluegrassers Mountain City Grass this Friday evening at 7 p.m. at Claysburg Area Community Park. Admission is free. The show is part of the Park’s Summer Concert Series.
For live music and some local heritage and culture, the 18th annual African American Heritage Festival happens on Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. at Penn State Altoona. There will be arts and crafts, ethnic food and refreshments, cultural and community information, and musical entertainment. The musical slate at this year’s Festival includes gospel group Pastor Best and Restored from Laurel, Maryland; Pittsburgh’s Ibeji Drum Ensemble performing African dances and percussion-based music, and Columbus-based R&B recording artist Dr. E (Elaine Richardson). Admission to the festival is free; there is a $1 parking donation. The festival is presented by the African American Heritage Project of Blair County.
Area nightspots provide a diverse slate of live music this weekend as well:
The House Band at Rubine’s, Altoona
Voodoo Bullet at 30 Something, Altoona
It Is Written and Denied By Deception at Aldo’s, Altoona (late word, this show will be a benefit for the family of Kyle Austin, a teenager who drowned Thursday afternoon while trying to save his friend’s life along the Juniata River near McVeytown; his father, Brian, is a member of Denied By Deception)
That’s What She Said at Pellegrine’s, Altoona
Bodacious B at Zach’s, Altoona
Barrelhouse Ramblers at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob
Chuck Mason & Blue Reality at Magoo’s, Cresson
Michael O’Brian Band at the City Hotel, Northern Cambria
Justin Hale at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg
R2B2 at benefit for Blair County Association for the Blind at Juniata VFW, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)
Benefit for U.S. Army Iraq war veteran featuring Drop Dead Sarcasm, King Viking and Limb By Limb at 30 Something, Altoona
Three-band punk show with The Fisticuffs, Xs For Eyes and LeBeau’s Fury at Aldo’s, Altoona
Johnny Danger at Family Pizza, Altoona
Slim Bzzy Band at the Belmar Hotel, Altoona
The Hawks at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona
Hello, Vixen at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona
Sheldon Port at Zach’s, Altoona
13 Stories at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg
Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s, Altoona
(More shows may be added to this list as information becomes available. Feel free to check back.)
Pittsburgh's Ibeji Drum Ensemble, performing at Penn State Altoona's Slep Center in February 2010. They will bring their traditional African drum sounds to the African American Heritage Festival at Penn State Altoona this Saturday.