North Mississippi Allstars
May
30
7:30 PM19:30

North Mississippi Allstars

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Founded in 1996 by brothers Luther (guitar and vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, piano, synth bass, programming and vocals) are the North Mississippi Allstars. This show is one of the annual favorites at Levitt Shell.

Website | Facebook


Sponsored by:

View Event →
Revel in Dimes
May
31
7:30 PM19:30

Revel in Dimes

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the Band:

If the delta blues gave birth to yet another slew of gold records why wasn’t anyone dancing?

After each gig as hired guns in too many New York City bands, this is the question that Eric Simons (guitar) and Washington “Washy” Duke (drums) found themselves asking. Their answer involved meditating over juke rhythms from Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside and covering their tracks with electrified Charlie Patton riffs.

When Kia Warren saw them play for the first time – two guys covering T. Model Ford at full volume on a Sunday at the Surf Lodge in Montauk – their live set stopped her in her tracks. Amid the grooves, there was grittiness to their music that her roots in Gospel and R&B hadn’t yet given her the opportunity to explore. She convinced them on the spot to let her join on vocals for a few tracks, and Revel In Dimes was born.

Website | Socials


View Event →
River Whyless
Jun
1
7:30 PM19:30

River Whyless

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

For many bands, and especially those who’ve been together for several years, recognizing maturation, progress or palpable evolution is a daunting task. Is it continued creative accomplishment that signals progression? Or perhaps it’s profitable commercial endeavors? The answer is often quite unclear. Six years, two albums and countless gigs after first forming as a band, River Whyless, the North Carolina-bred folk-rock outfit has discovered their evolution is a subtler albeit monumentally important one.

Website | Socials

Sponsorship Available

View Event →
Talibah Safiya
Jun
2
7:30 PM19:30

Talibah Safiya

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Talibah Safiya is an independent Soul Artist and a captivating Story Teller from Memphis TN. Using minimal but impactful instrumentation and visually stimulating lyricism, Talibah’s music has a way of deeply connecting you her story and your own. 

Since 2011, Talibah has been dropping jewels that have put her on stages Nationwide. She has opened for artists like Bilal, The Pharcyde and Cedric Burnside. She was featured on KAMAU’s “MiNT” was recognized by the FADER, Pigeons and Planes and others. Soon after, Talibah released her noted single Middle Of The Night. Since, she has been consistently dropping engaging visuals and that you can’t help but watch over and over again. 

Website | Socials


Sponsored by:

View Event →
Sam Lewis
Jun
6
7:30 PM19:30

Sam Lewis

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

With rich soulful vocals, well-crafted songs, roots country and blue-eyed soul Sam Lewis is connecting the dots. Whether crossing genres or state lines, he has pieced together a story people need to hear.

Sam Lewis has collaborated with everyone from Leon Russell to The Wood Brothers. Chris Stapleton dubbed him “a modern Townes Van Zandt”. And while he’s often labeled with some form of the word ‘soulful’ (some have even compared his voice to molasses), Lewis’ style meets at a juncture of many different genres. There’s something about Sam Lewis that is indescribably different ­­ and with his newest project, he’s discovered what most musicians spend lifetimes working for ­­ the place where feel ­good music meets vital social commentary.

Website | Socials


Sponsored By:

View Event →
The Commonheart
Jun
7
7:30 PM19:30

The Commonheart

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

With gritty vocals over rock riffs and horns, The Commonheart delivers an emotion-packed, soulful sound that lights up any stage. Frontman Clinton Clegg is a powerhouse who commands full attention with his limitless onstage energy and vocal range. The new album “Grown” is a remarkable display of each member’s talent interlacing heavy blues, soul, and gospel influence across trumpet, saxophone, keys, guitar, and singers. The Commonheart’s sound is a true testament to the past while completely holding its own as one of today’s most promising acts.

Website | Socials


Sponsorship Available

View Event →
Freddie McGregor
Jun
8
7:30 PM19:30

Freddie McGregor

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated singer, Freddie McGregor has been a pioneer in Reggae music since it’s inception and continues to be a living pillar of the scene with his conscious lyrics, Philly-Soul style, and dedication to touring for over 50 years. Whether a romantic crooner or an emissary of strong cultural messaging his undeniable vocal ability boasts hits like his signature “Big Ship”, “Push Come to Shove”, “I Was Born A Winner”, “Guantanamera”, “Lock Dem’ Down” and “Bangarang” – the last 2 being chart-topping hits from the album “Comin’ in Tough”. With his profound natural talent and notable influence by legends Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Bob Andy and many others, Freddie has finessed his craft to become one of reggae’s greatest singers.

Website | Socials


Sponsored By:

View Event →
The Bodeans
Jun
9
7:30 PM19:30

The Bodeans

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Those who have followed BoDeans’ remarkable 30-year musical career know that their blend of compelling songs and high energy performances have retained an unpretentious rock & roll loyal following like no other.Best known for their catchy single, “Closer To Free,” the band’s accessible adult alternative sound has led to many a milestone, including a Rolling Stone Reader’s Poll for Best New American Band in 1987, and support slots with U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, George Thorogood, The Pretenders, David Bowie and numerous others. Appearances at Farm Aid, Summerfest, ACL Festival and others followed, along with TV appearances on “Saturday NightLive,” “Letterman,” “Today,” “Imus,” CNN, and ESPN, to name a few. BoDeans have a permanent installation at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland as part of their Midwest Artists exhibit. After multiple chart-topping radio singles, and TV placements, BoDeans have defined a generation that embraced songs like “Good Things,” “You Don’t Get Much,” “Idaho,” “If It Makes You,” “Closer To Free,” “Stay,” and “All The World.” BoDeans signed their first recording contract with Slash/Warner Brothers Records in 1985 and their debut record, “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams” was released May, 1986. Since then, they have released 12 studio albums with ten records that hit the Billboard Top 200 Chart, and numerous singles on the Mainstream Rock, Top 40 and Triple A radio charts.

Website | Socials


Sponsored by:

View Event →
OSOG
Jun
13
7:30 PM19:30

OSOG

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Rebellious Acoustic Americana.

OSOG is an exotic musical collective from Tel-Aviv. These Middle Eastern anti-heroes are taking the classic old-time and country sounds, injecting them with heavy doses of head-banging energy and attitude, while keeping the music authentic and true to the core. This large outfit brings together punk rockers, metal-heads, jazz and classical players, and each show is a celebration of creativity and love for music.

Website | Socials


Sponsored By:



View Event →
Shell Yeah! Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Jun
14
6:00 PM18:00

Shell Yeah! Robert Randolph & The Family Band


General Admission- $25 Advance/ $30 Day of


Shell Yeah! (formerly Stars at the Shell) is a fundraising event benefiting the Levitt Shell. 

The Levitt Shell is a non-profit presenting 50 free concerts each year.  Our mission is building a stronger Memphis community through free music, finding common ground in a diverse audience.  All proceeds from Shell Yeah! support the free concerts.  We thank you for your support!


About the band:

Many musicians claim that they “grew up in the church,” but for Robert Randolph that is literally the case. The renowned pedal steel guitarist, vocalist and songwriter led such a cloistered childhood and adolescence that he heard no secular music while growing up. If it wasn’t being played inside of the House of God Church in Orange, New Jersey—quite often by Robert and members of his own family, who upheld a long but little known gospel music tradition called sacred steel—Randolph simply didn’t know it existed.
 
Which makes it all the more remarkable that the leader of Robert Randolph and the Family Band—whose label debut for Sony Masterworks, Got Soul—is today an inspiration to the likes of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Derek Trucks, all of whom have played with him and studied his technique. It wasn’t until he was out of his teens that Randolph broke away from the confines of his social and musical conditioning and discovered rock, funk, soul, jazz and the jam band scene, soon forging his own sound by fusing elements of those genres.
 
“It was all church music. It was a movement within our church and that’s all we used to do,” says Randolph of the sacred steel music he played at the time, music whose association with his church stretches back to the 1920s. Once Randolph began to discover other forms of music, he saw how they were all connected, and was eager to find his own place. “All music is related. Gospel is the same as blues,” he says. “The only thing that changes is in hardcore gospel people are singing about God and Jesus and in the blues people are singing about ‘my baby left me’ and whiskey. When we first started out, guys really weren’t allowed to leave the church. I was the one that stepped out and started this thing. My dad would say, ‘Why do you come home smelling like beer and cigarettes?’ ‘Well, we just got done playing some smoky club till 2 a.m.!’ It was all foreign and different.”

By the early 2000s, Randolph had begun applying his dazzling steel guitar technique to secular music, and from that grew the Family Band. The group’s sound was so different than anything else around that they were soon packing New York City clubs. Their first album, 2002’s Live at the Wetlands, was recorded at the now defunct jam band haven, and was followed by four studio albums and another live set, each widening the band’s audience—they’ve long been regulars on the festival circuit—and broadening their stylistic range as well.
 
“Things happened really fast,” Randolph says now. “When I look back on that time, to be honest, I had no idea what the hell we were doing. We’d get told, ‘You guys are going on tour with Eric Clapton.’ ‘Oh, OK.’ I thought, this guy must not have a clue who I am but the first time I met him we talked for about an hour and played music backstage.”
 
The Family Band’s improvisational skills quickly made them mega-popular among the jam-band crowd, but for Randolph and his band mates, what they were doing was just an extension of what they’d always done. “The jam band scene has that name but it’s really a true music art form scene where you can just be who you are,” Randolph says. “We fit in that category in some sense but the jam band scene itself has changed a lot since that time. I’ve grown to like songs and I like to jam within the song.”
 
On Got Soul, Robert Randolph and the Family Band walk that line deftly, displaying their virtuosity within the context of a dozen smartly crafted tunes. “I like both playing live and recording,” says Randolph. “The thing about a record is you get a chance to rehearse parts and fine-tune things. But if you look at most great music artists—people like Stevie Wonder—the song is totally different from the show. When you’re in the studio, it’s hard to improvise without an audience. But for us, well, we’ve been playing in front of audiences our whole lives.”


A few special notes about this event:

  • Gates open at 6:00pm. Show at 8:00PM.

  • Food and beverages (including wine and beer) will be sold at multiple concession stands throughout the area.

  • No outside food, drinks, coolers or pets are allowed at this event.

  • This event is rain or shine.

  • Because this is a fundraiser, no refunds are available.

  • Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

  • There are NO reserved seats for this event. It's general admission only.

  • The Levitt Shell is wheelchair accessible.

  • No professional photography, video or audio recording equipment.


View Event →
Jenny & the Mexicats
Jun
15
7:30 PM19:30

Jenny & the Mexicats

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

A jazz kit played with sticks and mano, an upright bass tattooed with comely women, jaunty Caribbean-influenced acoustic guitar and a beautiful blonde siren with, yes, a trumpet. Do you wanna dance yet? Jenny will lure you in with her bluesy no nonsense voice. She doesn’t want to work, just to dance. This relationship is torture. It’s just plain better in Buenos Aires. And always her case is compelling, the music a perfect dance in and of itself, pieced together like good jazz—every player counts. Jenny’s from Britain but her Spanish is impeccable, the drummer is from Spain and the strings are from Mexico, but this group is original, like Manu Chau without the political agenda or a killer ska combo minus the kitsch

Website | Socials


Sponsored by:

View Event →
Bluffcity Backsliders Anniversary Show
Jun
16
7:30 PM19:30

Bluffcity Backsliders Anniversary Show

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

THE BLUFF CITY BACKSLIDERS second, as-yet-untitled album will be released in time for a show June 16 (Father’s Day) at the Levitt Shell in Midtown Memphis’ Overton Park. The record was recorded at world-famous Sun Studio in downtown Memphis on the same spot where the legendary Sam Phillips recorded Howlin’ Wolf, Rosco Gordon, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, among many others. Produced by the band and engineered by Ples Hampton and Crockett Hall, the record highlight’s the band’s original songs that take up and extend the sounds of early 20th century music upon which THE BACKSLIDERS have built their unique sound.

Website

Sponsorship Available

View Event →
Hayes Carll
Jun
20
7:30 PM19:30

Hayes Carll

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

The chorus to the title track on the new Hayes Carll album, What It Is, is a manifesto.

“What it was is gone forever / What it could be God only knows. What it is is right here in front of me / and I’m not letting go.”

He’s embracing the moment. Leaving the past where it belongs, accepting there’s no way to know what’s ahead, and challenging himself to be present in both love and life. It’s heady stuff. It also rocks. With a career full of critical acclaim and popular success, Carll could’ve played it safe on this, his sixth record, but he didn’t. The result is a musically ambitious and lyrically deep statement of an artist in his creative prime.

Website | Socials


Sponsored By:

View Event →
Nicole Atkins
Jun
21
7:30 PM19:30

Nicole Atkins

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

To borrow a phrase from heaven's new poet laureate, Leonard Cohen, Nicole Atkins was "born with the gift of a golden voice." But somewhere along the way she misplaced it. Goodnight Rhonda Lee is the story of Nicole finding her voice, and how, in doing so, she went a little crazy.

Great Art is born of struggle and Nicole was struggling. The problem was that she felt nothing. Her fans responded to her performances with the same fervor they always had, but Nicole felt nothing. Her new husband loved her and doted on her, but she felt nothing. She traced it back to her drinking and decided to try to learn to live without booze. But that first day of sobriety brought with it an unexpected additional test -- Nicole's dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. This Jersey girl, whose big voice was tethered to a big heart, and whose reaction to the mundane setbacks of everyday life had always been equally overblown, suddenly faced a real problem. "It toughened me up," she says.

And the songs started to come. Little bursts of therapeutic creativity. Thorny feelings transubstantiated into melodies. Beginning with "Listen Up," a wake-up call to a lucky girl who hadn't realized how lucky she'd been, Nicole started to find her redemption in these songs. They rang true in a way no songs ever had before. They came from a deep, vulnerable place. If Nicole had been living an unexamined life, she wasn't anymore.

Website | Socials

Sponsorship available

View Event →
Ekpe & The African Jazz Ensemble
Jun
22
7:30 PM19:30

Ekpe & The African Jazz Ensemble

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

A rare appearance by Ekpe Abioto and the African Jazz Ensemble, a 10-piece band made up of some of Memphis' finest musicians. The core of the band began in the early 70s as the soul group the Exotic Movement, and later changed their name to Galaxy. They've played together for over 40 years, and members have toured the world with Michael Jackson, Al Green, BB King, Eric Clapton, the Dells, Luther Allison, and Rufus and Carla Thomas. They formed the African Jazz Ensemble as a way to incorporate African influences into more traditional jazz, soul and R&B.

Website | Socials


kensteinberg.jpeg

Sponsorship available

View Event →
Los Colognes
Jun
23
7:30 PM19:30

Los Colognes

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

“Only the living feel the flow/only the loving let it go”- Unspoken

One of the highest and rarest aspirations in popular music is to reach for the transcendental, to access the spirit. On the third album “The Wave”, they succeed just this- in breaking through the confines of everyday pop song lyricism to tell a sort of holistic story. It’s not a concept piece, but it’s a brooding and still joyful song cycle filled with philosophical rumination, effortless hooks, inspiring musicianship, and expansive arrangements. It’s an album perfectly suited of the current zeitgeist of unease and hope.

Website | Socials

Sponsorship Available

View Event →
Patriotic Pops (special guests: Memphis Wind Symphony)
Jun
27
7:30 PM19:30

Patriotic Pops (special guests: Memphis Wind Symphony)

c3a3d9_b326097b3b014fd6baa8560618ec6d72.jpg

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


This annual patriotic concert will continue with our new musical guests, the Memphis Wind Symphony this year accompanied by fireworks at the close. The Memphis Wind Symphony and its 65 members serve greater Memphis performing music of all genres and styles as an outreach of brotherhood as well as advancement of the Arts. As a not-for-profit organization, our goal is to spread our musical magic throughout this great city, appealing to all walks of life. In addition to our community outreach, we also serve as an outlet for talented musicians to play quality music.


Sponsored By:

View Event →
Levitt National Tour Presents: Flor de Toloache
Jun
28
7:30 PM19:30

Levitt National Tour Presents: Flor de Toloache

The 2019 Levitt National Tour presents the GRAMMY-winning, all-female mariachi sensation, Flor de Toloache, for an electrifying evening of soaring vocals, plush harmonies, and genre-busting fusions of mariachi, jazz, salsa, pop and more! Led by co-band directors Mireya I. Ramos on violin and Shae Fiol on vihuela, the pioneering women of New York City’s first and only all-female mariachi group continue to win the hearts of both contemporary and traditional mariachi music fans alike through their distinct artistic vision and sophisticated, fresh interpretation of mariachi classics. The group’s diverse ethnic and musical backgrounds transcend cultures and break barriers by forging new paths. Much like the Toloache flower—widely known for its use in Mexican 'love potions'—the ladies of Flor de Toloache cast a spell over audiences with their magnetic stage presence. Since forming in 2008, Flor de Toloache’s passionate performances have connected concertgoers to one another and the tradition of mariachi.

Following the debut of their GRAMMY-nominated self-titled 2015 album, Flor de Toloache’s follow-up 2017 release “Las Caras Lindas” was awarded the 2017 Latin GRAMMY for “Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album.” The group has since captivated audiences across the nation from such legendary stages as the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, The Vic in Chicago, Terminal 5 in New York City, 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and First Avenue in Minneapolis—as well as permanent Levitt venue stages in Denver, Los Angeles and Memphis, and Levitt AMP stages in Middlesboro, Ky.; Ocala, Fla.; Santa Fe, NM; Sheboygan, Wis.; St. Johnsbury, Vt.; and Utica, NY. Flor de Toloache has delighted international audiences from Chenai, India to Paris, France and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. as a supporting act for Dan Auerbach of “The Black Keys”’ new project “The Arcs," as well as Café Tacvba, La Santa Cecilia, Ozomatli and Ana Tijoux.

Levitt National Tour audiences are in for a dynamic modern mariachi experience unlike any other! And those eager to hear more from Flor De Toloache before the Levitt National Tour this summer are in luck: the group has just released the first single—“Besos de Mezcal” (produced by Camilo Lara, the artist behind the music of the animated film “Coco”)—off their forthcoming album, which is slated for a May 2019 release.

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

View Event →
 Stax Academy
Jun
29
7:30 PM19:30

Stax Academy

This show has become an annual favorite at Levitt Shell. 

The Stax Music Academy Summer Music Experience is a 4-week intensive music program that provides not only music education but also a stable, positive environment for 150 middle and high schoolers. With classes in Stax Records history, songwriting, music production, and music business, students learn how to write and record their own songs, protect their works of art, market themselves using web-based tools and digital media, and gain teamwork and leadership skills while working within a peer group. The Summer Music Experience culminates with a Grand Finale Concert at your very own Levitt Shell.

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Donna The Buffalo
Jun
30
7:30 PM19:30

Donna The Buffalo

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

One of the most dynamic and determined bands continuously touring America for since 1989, Donna the Buffalo has created a community environment at their shows through their distinctive, groove-heavy, and danceable music. Donna the Buffalo is a band for the people that is accessible, positive, and memorable.

With roots in old time fiddle music that evolved into a soulful electric American mix infused with elements of cajun/ zydeco, rock, folk, reggae, and country, Donna’s music often contains social and moral responsibility as core beliefs, and they are just simply fun to get out and celebrate life with.

Donna the Buffalo drew its original inspiration from a cherished part of the American heritage: the old-time music festivals of the south that drew entire towns and counties together. Not only was it playing music at these events, it was the vibe and the togetherness that bonded the people that attended.

Website | Socials


View Event →
Walden
Jul
5
7:30 PM19:30

Walden

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Walden is a band of brothers that have played music together since they were in high school. Richard, Eric, Jamie and Andrew have a bond that stands the test of time and it comes as no surprise that their music is as tight and well-crafted as their friendship. 

Walden were launched onto the national stage (literally) in 2017 when the band won the “Road to Roo” competition for the state of Georgia, granting them a spot on the Bonnaroo Music Festival line-up. This proved to be just the beginning of their success. Soon after, the band was invited on tour supporting the likes of Moon Taxi and Twiddle, as well as landing additional spots at Slossfest and Sweetwater 420 Fest.

Website | Socials

Sponsorship Available

View Event →
Orquesta Akokán
Jul
6
7:30 PM19:30

Orquesta Akokán

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Daptone Records is proud to introduce Orquesta Akokán, a big band collective of Havana’s top musicians both young and old,  joining forces with some of the most creative and spirited talents of New York’s Latin music scene. Born out of a shared vision by singer José "Pepito" Gómez, producer Jacob Plasse, and arranger Michael Eckroth, the group reinvigorates the sound of the golden era of Cuban mambo with a bold new energy.

Akokán is a Yoruba word used by Cubans to mean “from the heart” or “soul”, so it comes as no surprise that a recording like this would find its way back to Brooklyn’s Daptone Records. For nearly a generation, the venerable label has brought us soulful music in a myriad of styles, made in the present, but with all the craft and flavor of the classic recordings of the past. In doing so Daptone has enshrined both the genres it honors as well as artists creating new works in the universal canon of dance music. A perfect kitchen from which to serve this captivating baile between old and new, performed with rhythm, with care, and above all, con akokán.

 Website | Facebook

Sponsorship Available

View Event →
Peterson Brothers
Jul
7
7:30 PM19:30

Peterson Brothers

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

The Peterson Brothers combine youthful energy and modern influences with old-school blues, soul and funk to a create a sound that is uniquely their own. Their live shows feature jam-band style improvisation.

Led by Glenn Jr., 21 and Alex, 18, the Peterson Brothers have toured throughout the United States, and had the opportunity to play with and open for the likes of Gary Clark Jr., Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Buddy Guy, the late B.B. King and other musical greats. They have also played festivals throughout the U.S., including the Chicago Blues Festival, Minnesota State Fair, Riverbend Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, Ogden Roots and Blues, King Biscuit Festival, Old Settler’s Music Fest, Kerrville Folk Festival, Lancaster Blues & Roots, Allentown Blues, Brews & Barbecue, and many more.


"The Peterson brothers, two barely-legal sibling guitarists from Texas, played one
 of the funkiest, most fun headline sets the festival has seen.” -The Morning Call

Website | Socials

Sponsorship Available

View Event →
Israel Nash
Jul
11
7:30 PM19:30

Israel Nash

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Texas’ genre-bending rock ‘n’ roller Israel Nash presents his latest long play, Lifted. It is a modern day hippie-spiritual, a tonic for those needing to put aside the mess of the daily grind. With luscious beds of strings, horns and well adorned towering walls of sound, Lifted finds Nash continuing his tradition of creating a sonic experience of feeling that is at once both vast and intimate – soaring and untamed at times, placid and sincerely personal at others.

Website | Socials


Sponsored by:

View Event →
The Marias
Jul
12
7:30 PM19:30

The Marias

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

The Marías are the psychedelic-soul lovechild of Los Angeles native, Josh Conway and Puerto Rican-bred, Atlanta-raised María. A smooth rendezvous of jazz percussion, hypnotic guitar riffs, smoke-velvet vocals and nostalgic horn solos, there’s something undeniably sensual in the group’s dreamlike fusion of jazz, psychedelia, funk and lounge. 

Website | Socials


Sponsored by:

View Event →
John Paul White
Jul
13
7:30 PM19:30

John Paul White

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

With The Hurting Kind, John Paul White has crafted a stunning album that draws on the lush, orchestrated music made in Nashville in the early 1960s. Yet these songs retain a modern feel, whether he’s writing about overwhelming love, unraveling relationships, or the fading memory of a loved one. White grew up in tiny Loretto, Tennessee, and now lives in Florence, Alabama, not far from Muscle Shoals. He has cultivated his career in Nashville for two decades, first as a songwriter for a major publisher, then as half of The Civil Wars – a groundbreaking duo that won four Grammy Awards before disbanding in 2012. Because The Civil Wars were so hard to categorize, White has earned a fan base among indie rock listeners, folk audiences, Americana outlets, and AAA radio. So, what will happen if people hear The Hurting Kind and call it country? “Well, that doesn’t scare me in the least,” he says. “As a matter of fact, it kind of thrills me.”

Website | Socials


Sponsored by:

View Event →
Los Coast
Jul
14
7:30 PM19:30

Los Coast

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

On their eagerly awaited debut album Samsara, the visionary Austin, TX combo Los Coast delivers a fresh blast of punchy psychedelic-pop-soul that effortlessly incorporates a wide range of genres. The band's seamlessly soulful songcraft incorporates the band's distinctive grooves along with the inventive compositions and commanding vocals of principal members Trey Privott (lead vocals, guitar) and John Courtney (guitar, keyboards, vocals).

Even before Samsara had been recorded, Los Coast had already earned a reputation as one of Austin’s most exciting and inventive young bands. With its lineup rounded out by Megan Hartman on bass, Damien Llanes on drums and Natalie Wright on keys, plus a varied assortment of guest players, Los Coast was already renowned for its rousing, expansive live sets.

That same mix of energy and expertise is reflected on Samsara, which features such memorable, no-nonsense tunes as "Simplify," "Monsters," "Graves" and the frantic, tongue-twisting "(Everything But) The Kitchen Sink." The album delivers infectious hooks, ironic lyrical twists and explosive funk grooves in equal measure, providing an irresistible frame for Privott's soulful vocals and the band's explosive grooves.

"We love pop music, but we also love to experiment," says Courtney. "We try to avoid letting the listener know what's coming, and we like playing with people's expectations and catching the listener off guard.  It becomes stale if it's too familiar, so we like to come up with music that's familiar and surprising at the same time."

Website | Socials


Sponsored by:

View Event →
Black Joe Lewis
Jul
18
7:30 PM19:30

Black Joe Lewis

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

While working at a pawn shop in Austin, Joe Lewis first picked up the guitar. Shortly thereafter, Joe Lewis immersed himself in the local Red River blues/garage scene, recording and performing with Austin luminaries such as the Weary Boys and Walter Daniels

Website | Socials


Sponsored by:

View Event →
 New Breed Brass Band
Jul
19
7:30 PM19:30

New Breed Brass Band

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the Band:

“That’s what we came up under,” says snare-drummer Jenard Andrews of second line bands like the ReBirth, Dirty Dozen and Lil’ Rascals Brass Bands. “Now we’re trying to take that sound and bring in some new stuff and expand it.  We bring outside influences like Earth Wind & Fire and Brass Construction, trying to interpret a different song for every genre, and make it all our own sound.”

With a founding core of five New Orleans natives, New Breed Brass Band made its street debut as a nine-man unit in November 2013 at the Nine Times Second Line.  Since then, they have showcased their originality opening for such diverse bands as The Fray, Red Baraat, Dr. John, The Waterboys, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, as well as competing in the Red Bull Street Kings brass band competition in 2013. Most of the members have been playing music since they were toddlers and count such New Orleans legends as James “12” Andrews, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Topsy Chapman, Karl Leblanc, and Bruce “Sun-pie” Barnes as family members.  Honing their childhood experiences playing music with their families, and on through high school marching bands and concert ensembles, the nine members of New Breed are united to one cause: rocking each show and entertaining audiences to the maximum degree possible.  The band’s strong desire is to be the next heavyweight contender among internationally-known New Orleans brass bands.

Website | Facebook


Sponsored By:

View Event →
The Slackers
Jul
20
7:30 PM19:30

The Slackers

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

For more than 28 years, the NYC-based and critically acclaimed Slackers have been touring the world with their blend of Ska, Reggae, and Soul.

Since the early 1990s, the Slackers have released fifteen records and countless singles while their live performances feed their fans with their energetic sets of ecstatic music. And the press agrees: Modern Vinyl says “For some bands, hitting 25 years together seems light years away. For The Slackers, it’s a cause for celebration. The band is deeply rooted within the ska movement, while their “Jamaican Rock n’ Roll” sound sets them apart from many bands today.

Website | Socials

Sponsorship Available

View Event →
Devon Gilfillian
Jul
21
7:30 PM19:30

Devon Gilfillian

Show begins at 7:30PM sharp.

2019 Orion Free Music Concert Series at Levitt Shell. Picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, and lawn chairs are always welcome. We also offer food and beverage for sale in our ShellEats community area. Dogs on a leash are welcome in designated areas. Levitt Shell in a nonsmoking facility.


About the band:

Devon Gilfillian fires twin barrels of gospel-blues and southern soul on his debut EP. Fueled by groove, guitar, and the powerful punch of Gilfillian's voice, the songs shine a light on a young songwriter who grew up outside of Philadelphia, absorbing everything from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock & roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian puts a personalized stamp on those childhood influences, rolling them into five original songs that showcase not only his songwriting and singing, but also his talent as an instrumentalist.

Website | Socials


Sponsored By:

View Event →

Nefesh Mountain
Oct
21
7:00 PM19:00

Nefesh Mountain

Nefesh Mountain is the place where Bluegrass and Old-Time music meet with Jewish heritage and tradition. Husband and Wife team Eric Lindberg & Doni Zasloff are the pioneers of this new blend of spiritual American music and bring their unique knowledge and passion for these beautiful worlds to the fore with songs in English and Hebrew alike.

Website

Sponsored by:

View Event →
Film and Music Night: The Wizard of Oz
Oct
20
7:00 PM19:00

Film and Music Night: The Wizard of Oz

0011198photo.jpg

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Join us on the lawn for family friendly activities, film, and fun under the stars.

Sponsored by:

View Event →
John Fullbright
Oct
19
7:00 PM19:00

John Fullbright

Due to forecasted rain, this show has been moved to Minglewood Hall’s 1884 Lounge. Still FREE! Still all ages. Please leave food and drink at home because Minglewood sells it. Chairs and blankets are welcome. 7PM sharp

John Fullbright got his start at the legendary Blue Door listening room in Oklahoma City. It was there that he recorded a live album and found his base, opening for many other writers including fellow Oklahomans Kevin Welch and Jimmy Webb. His 2012 studio debut, From the Ground Up, received a Grammy nomination for Americana Album of the Year, and later that year he won ASCAP’s Harold Adamson Award for lyric writing. In 2014, John released the critically acclaimed Songs, toured all over America and the UK, and appeared on Late Night with David Letterman.

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

Levitt_10_year_anniversary_1c_Pos_K_RGB.png
View Event →
Kelley Anderson and the Crystal Shrine
Oct
18
7:00 PM19:00

Kelley Anderson and the Crystal Shrine

Kelley Anderson is an artist based in Memphis, TN. The imagery and ideas in her work conjure up Gram parson’s “cosmic American music” – a blend of blues, country, and gritty rock’n’roll blended into a sound that is uniquely her own. Anderson uses her experience in sound engineering to create wide sonic textures, incorporating those soundscapes into more traditional song structures of the American musical canon. 

Ever an innovator, she founded the Southern Girls Rock Camp and Youth Empowerment through Arts & Humanities (YEAH!), an organization that helps young people find their power through music. Prior to her current work, Anderson founded and toured internationally with the band Those Darlins, releasing two full-length albums and several singles with the group.

Website

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Las Cafeteras
Oct
14
7:00 PM19:00

Las Cafeteras

In 2005, rooted in community & tradition, a group of students learning Son Jarocho music became known as ‘Los Cafeteros,’ named after the Eastside Cafe community center, which 2 members helped found.  They soon changed their name to Las Cafeteras to honor the feminine spirit of the group. Without intending to, they organically evolved from student-group into a performance group aimed at sharing Afro-Mexican music from Southern Veracruz, Mexico in their neighborhoods.

Over the years, Las Cafeteras would develop a genre-bending sound & electric live performance infusing lyrically rich storytelling with the purpose of sharing the hidden stories of migrant life in Los Angeles.  Las Cafeteras, who grew up in Los Angeles, were inspired not only from Mexican music, but from rock, reggae, hip-hop and Motown.  For Las Cafeteras, it was essential to use music as a way to build bridges among the different cultures and communities that historically have had tension.  Through music, Las Cafeteras were trying to help build ‘a world where many worlds fit.’

As Native and migrant children who are remixing roots music, the Las Cafeteras sound was brought to life by 4 distinct vocalist and their eclectic instrumentation, including jaranas, a donkey jawbone, a West African bass instrument, cajón, and a wooden platform used to dance Zapateado.  Their 1st album, “Live at Mucho Wednesday” was a recording at the famous, “La Cita” Bar in Downtown LA.  After receiving local praise for a raw and authentic sound that could not be replicated, Las Cafeteras jumped into the studio to do what no one ever thought they would do … record a real record.

The success of their first studio album “It’s Time” launched the band to new heights, placing them on stages with Mexican icons Café Tacuba, Lila Downs, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s & the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.  They’ve since toured North America from the Santa Barbara Bowl in California to the Lincoln Center in New York; from the Montreal Jazz Festival to WOMAD Festival in the UK.

Las Cafeteras released their highly anticipated new album in the Spring of 2017.  Las Cafeteras play music with the spirit that can only be explained through an ancient African Proverb, “if you can walk, you can dance, and if you can talk you can sing.”

Website | Facebook

 

Sponsored By:

sponsor-fpc@2x.png

 

View Event →
Walden
Oct
13
7:00 PM19:00

Walden

Four friends from Athens, Georgia have started a revolution in rock music. Driven by passion and purpose, the band Walden seeks to evoke emotion and inspiration through their music and live performance. To do so, these young men have stripped away every stigma and stereotype associated with playing in a rock band to focus on what actually matters: the music, the message, and the people. Four guys with nothing but a passion for playing shows and creating music quickly became one of the biggest upcoming musical acts in Georgia, capturing the attention of audiences of all ages with their raw sound, infectious energy, and undeniable connection they share on stage. 

Walden's live performance truly shone when they won the 2017 Road to Bonnaroo competition for the state of Georgia. This competition generated a passionate and supportive following for the band in their hometown of Athens, GA . As a result of their growing popularity, Walden has also had the opportunity to open for well known acts such as Moon Taxi and Twiddle and further grow their fan base. These successes amount to nothing more than a stepping stone towards these four friends achieving their actual goal of playing and creating music together for the rest of their lives.

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Bette Smith
Oct
12
7:00 PM19:00

Bette Smith

Born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Bette Smith reconnected with her musical roots in Memphis and Mississippi – and fulfilled a promise to her late brother in the process. Recording her debut full-length album in Mississippi brought her to the roots of the gospel she sang in the church and the soul music she heard on the block on hot summer nights growing up on the corner of Nostrand and Fulton. The powerful ‘Jetlagger’ came out Fall 2017 on Big Legal Mess, a Fat Possum subsidiary. “The south came to me and grabbed me and pulled me down there. The southern migration came up and got me. My neighbors in Bed-Stuy influenced me,” she says.

Website

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience,
Oct
11
7:00 PM19:00

Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience,

For 35 years, two- time GRAMMY award winning artist Terrance Simien, 8th generation Louisiana Creole has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is and is not. Leading his Zydeco Experience band, Simien has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today. He and his band mates have performed over 7000 concerts, toured millions of miles to over 45 countries during their eventful career.

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

sponsor-iheart.png
sponsor-balletmemphis.png
Levitt_10_year_anniversary_1c_Pos_K_RGB.png
View Event →
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Oct
5
7:00 PM19:00

Squirrel Nut Zippers

The Squirrel Nut Zippers began their musical journey in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the mid 1990's, as a musician's escape from the cookie cutter world of modern rock radio at the time. Jimbo Mathus along with drummer/percussionist Chris Phillips formed the band as a casual musical foray among friends and family in the area. It wasn't long before the band's quirky mix of Jazz chords, Folk music, and Punk Rock leanings spread out of the region and attracted a national audience.
 

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Dean Owens & The Whiskey Hearts
Oct
4
7:00 PM19:00

Dean Owens & The Whiskey Hearts

Celtic spirit, Country soul
Dean Owens is one Scotland’s finest singer/songwriters. Armed with a searingly soulful voice, skillfully crafted stories and memorably heart-twisting melodies, he is a compelling and engaging live performer, with an emotional hurricane of stories and songs. His band, The Whisky Hearts, is a mighty all star line-up who can rock up a storm, with subtle flashes of roots and twang.

Website | Facebook

Sponsored:

View Event →
Stars at the Shell: Lake Street Dive
Sep
29
8:00 PM20:00

Stars at the Shell: Lake Street Dive

Stars-LakeStreetDive-Square.png

 

General Admission - $30 Advance/ $35 Day of show 

A special night of Stars at the Shell featuring the rock/soul quartet -- Lake Street Dive!

 

Stars at the Shell is a fundraising event benefiting the Levitt Shell. 

The Levitt Shell is a non-profit presenting 50 free concerts each year.  Our mission is building a stronger Memphis community through free music, finding common ground in a diverse audience.  All proceeds from Stars at the Shell support the free concerts.  We thank you for your support!

LAKE STREET DIVE

Lake Street Dive will release Free Yourself Up, its second album with Nonesuch Records on May 4. The band --drummer Michael Calabrese, bassist Bridget Kearney, singer Rachael Price, and guitarist/trumpeter Michael "McDuck" Olson -- self-produced the album at Goosehead Palace Studios in Nashville with engineer Dan Knobler. Lake Street Dive formed in 2004 while students at New England Conservatory and have been touring non-stop ever since, growing from basement venues like The Lizard Lounge in Boston to selling out Radio City Music Hall in New York City. For this album, the quartet drafted touring keyboardist Akie Bermiss to join them in the studio. Adding another player to the process freed up the band members to explore a wider range of instrumental textures, construct more full-bodied arrangements, and build on their well-known background harmonies. "This album is based in the realities in our time," Kearney reflects, "which have inevitably become part of everyone's daily life. It's something you think about and obsess over -- and write songs about. Free Yourself Up is about empowering yourself, emboldening yourself, no matter what's going wrong.”

A few special notes about this event:

  • Gates open at 6:00pm.

  • Food and beverages (including wine and beer) will be sold at multiple concession stands throughout the area.

  • No outside food, drinks, coolers or pets are allowed at this event.

  • This event is rain or shine.

  • Because this is a fundraiser, no refunds are available.

  • Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

  • There are NO reserved seats for this event. It's general admission only.

  • The Levitt Shell is wheelchair accessible.

  • No professional photography, video or audio recording equipment.

  • Kids 12 and under are admitted free with parent or guardian.

 

View Event →
Opera Memphis
Sep
23
7:00 PM19:00

Opera Memphis

Opera Memphis is back at the Levitt Shell during this year's 30 Days of Opera! 30 Days of Opera is exactly what it sounds like: 30 days of totally awesome - totally FREE - performances by Opera Memphis all over Memphis and the MidSouth. A fan favorite, our yearly Levitt Shellperformance is full of fun for operaphiles and newbies alike. Think of it as Opera's Greatest Hits with pop music favorites and exciting surprises thrown in for good measure. Bring the whole family and join us for this event - one of the highlights of our year!  

Website

Sponsored By:

Levitt_10_year_anniversary_1c_Pos_K_RGB.png
View Event →
Low Cut Connie
Sep
20
7:00 PM19:00

Low Cut Connie

Low Cut Connie is a rock and roll band based in Philadelphia, PA. The band has been recognized for their high-energy live show, of which the Los Angeles Weekly said, "Their ferocious live show...is unmatched in all of rock right now." They were recently called “the essence of what rock n roll should be” by Greg Kot (Sound Opinions / NPR) and the New York Times has said “their live show is a phenomenon.”

Website | Facebook

 

 

View Event →
Those Pretty Wrongs
Sep
16
7:00 PM19:00

Those Pretty Wrongs

Those Pretty Wrongs are Jody Stephens and Luther Russell, two old friends and veterans of the music scene in different ways. Jody was the drummer for the legendary band Big Star and now helps run equally legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis. Luther Russell was the leader of seminal roots-rock band The Freewheelers and is now an acclaimed solo artist and producer.

It was the documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me that brought Jody and Luther together creatively, when Jody asked Luther to join him for some promo performances. A chemistry was immediately noticed. They began writing songs and performing them whenever possible, soon taking their name from the opening line of Shakespeare Sonnet 41, which they slipped into one of their first collaborations, “Fool Of Myself”. Burger Records released the first track they cut in Memphis, “Lucky Guy”, with “Fool Of Myself” as the flip side. There was an outpouring of support for the new music, which gave Jody and Luther the confidence to move forward.

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Black Umfolosi
Sep
13
7:00 PM19:00

Black Umfolosi

Black Umfolosi were formed in 1982 by school friends in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, who named themselves after the Umfolozi Omnyama River in South Africa- to where their ancestors can be traced. In 2009 The Black Umfolosi 5 continue to present their spectacular songs and dances thrilling audiences worldwide with a NEW LINE-UP.

Their performances are energy driven and completely engaging, mixing a great gentleness of spirit and song with an exuberance in dance. Their trademark harmonies mixed with intricate rhythms, clicking and clapping are highlighted during their brilliantly choreographed shows with a full range of movements from subtle to vibrant stomping and leaping! Their famous Gumboot Dances showcase the traditional styles and rituals of the South African mining regions and are a particular crowd pleaser.

“Their music is fresh and surprising, with typical intricate rhythms, unusual harmonies and interspersed clicking, clapping and shouting, which combine to produce a natural funky and rugged aura” THE ROUGH GUIDE

“It was the best of all the festival, They have an incredible way to sing, to dance, a beautiful presence on the stage. Their simplicity, naturalness and cheerfulness was for us, at the end of the festival a beautiful present. MILAN FESTIVAL JULY 2007

“Their singing is a marvellous blend of rhythm, melody and harmony welded together with enormous complexity, but ending up with a sound that is acting simplicity” F ROOTS

"Marvellous harmonies, spine-tingling gospel singing and bare-torsoed, hard-hatted gumboot dancing” GLASGOW HERALD

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Reba Russell Band
Sep
9
7:00 PM19:00

Reba Russell Band

Reba Russell is a name synonymous with the Memphis Music scene. Beginning early in the 1980’s (with band’s Visions, Portrait, and Reba and the Portables) and now currently fronting the Reba Russell Band, Reba has covered most bases in the music industry. She is a published songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, backing vocalist, bandleader and producer, as well as a touring and recording artist.

Reba Russell and her band tour throughout the United States and Europe and have released 8 Independent Albums. She is a highly respected Memphis studio/session vocalist but she is perhaps more popularly known as a powerful live performer.

The list of credits for recording artists that Reba has performed backing vocals in session for is vast. A few notable credits are; U2 (When Love Comes to Town, BB King/ Bono). Class of 55 Homecoming featuring: Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins. Huey Lewis and the News, album; Soulsville. A few Local/Blues/Regional acts include; Tracy Nelson, Jim Dickinson, Sid Selvidge, and Lucero.

The Memphis Chapter of NARAS awarded a Premier Player Award for vocals to Reba in both 1998 and 1999. She was also named an Emissary of Memphis Music by the Memphis Shelby County Music Commission in 2009.  In 2011, Reba Russell was nominated for the Koko Taylor Vocal Award by the Blues Foundation during their annual Blues Music Awards Show in Memphis.

For over 35 years Reba Russell has performed in almost every venue, studio and event around the Memphis area and continues to be a stalwart of the Memphis Music Scene.

Website 

Sponsored By:

sponsor-Shelby-County-Drug-Court.png
View Event →
Meta & the Cornerstones
Sep
8
7:00 PM19:00

Meta & the Cornerstones

Meta and the Cornerstones fuse afro-Pop, hip-hop, rock and soul with an international mixture of vocals. This synthesis of reggae and soul with powerful lyrics and feel-good melodies creates something that transcends oceans, borders, and language barriers. Consisting of seven members who are as diverse as their music, each brings their own unique background to create a unifying and soul-pounding experience for audiences.

“The future of reggae music”, Nat Geo Music

“My music is about peace, love and harmony. It is the language of the free soul.” Meta Dia

Website 

Sponsored By:

Levitt_10_year_anniversary_1c_Pos_K_RGB.png
View Event →
Orquesta Akokán
Sep
7
7:00 PM19:00

Orquesta Akokán

Daptone Records is proud to introduce Orquesta Akokán, a big band collective of Havana’s top musicians both young and old,  joining forces with some of the most creative and spirited talents of New York’s Latin music scene. Born out of a shared vision by singer José "Pepito" Gómez, producer Jacob Plasse, and arranger Michael Eckroth, the group reinvigorates the sound of the golden era of Cuban mambo with a bold new energy.

Akokán is a Yoruba word used by Cubans to mean “from the heart” or “soul”, so it comes as no surprise that a recording like this would find its way back to Brooklyn’s Daptone Records. For nearly a generation, the venerable label has brought us soulful music in a myriad of styles, made in the present, but with all the craft and flavor of the classic recordings of the past. In doing so Daptone has enshrined both the genres it honors as well as artists creating new works in the universal canon of dance music. A perfect kitchen from which to serve this captivating baile between old and new, performed with rhythm, with care, and above all, con akokán.

 Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Devon Gilfillian
Sep
6
7:00 PM19:00

Devon Gilfillian

Due to weather from Tropical Storm Gordon, the season opening show at the Levitt Shell with Devon Gilfillian has been moved to Minglewood Hall for the safety of everyone. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to have this show at the wonderful Minglewood Hall!

A few notes regarding the show:

  • Music is still FREE :-).
  • Free parking is available in the Minglewood lots.
  • Doors open at 6PM. Show is at 7PM.
  • Donations are always welcome.
  • All ages show.
  • No pets are allowed.
  • Blankets and chairs are welcome.
  • No outside food or drink allowed. Items will be available for purchase onsite with food trucks and in the big room at Minglewood hall.  Food purchased at the food tucks may be brought in the big room at Minglewood hall but not beverages. Beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and food will also be available for purchase in the big room.

The Artist:

Devon Gilfillian fires twin barrels of gospel-blues and southern soul on his debut EP. Fueled by groove, guitar, and the powerful punch of Gilfillian's voice, the songs shine a light on a young songwriter who grew up outside of Philadelphia, absorbing everything from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock & roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Now based in Nashville, Gilfillian puts a personalized stamp on those childhood influences, rolling them into five original songs that showcase not only his songwriting and singing, but also his talent as an instrumentalist. 

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

View Event →
Event Rental: Stone Soul Picnic
Sep
1
12:00 PM12:00

Event Rental: Stone Soul Picnic

Stone Soul Picnic photo1.jpg

WLOK STONE SOUL PICNIC TO FEATURE GOSPEL GREATS

                                     (44th Annual Event Embraces Unity Theme)

Memphis, TN -- More than a dozen of the nation’s leading gospel singers and local gospel greats will star in the 44th annual WLOK Stone Soul Picnic from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, September 1, at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park.

The Stone Soul Picnic is one of the oldest and largest free outdoor concerts in the Mid-South, with entertainment and fun for the entire family. The event has evolved into one of Memphis’ musical cornerstones since its founding in 1974 as a tribute to music-loving Memphians and their support for WLOK radio.

The 2018 Stone Soul Picnic takes on a new dimension this year, adopting the theme of community unity tied to the glorious and heartfelt sounds of pure gospel.

“Through the WLOK Stone Soul Picnic, we seek to create an understanding and appreciation for those cultural and sociopolitical differences within our community in an effort to develop a more harmonious city and nation,” said Art Gilliam, the president and chief executive officer of WLOK Radio and the Gilliam Foundation.

The day-long 2018 WLOK Stone Soul Picnic is a family event that will feature gospel favorites including Doc McKenzie & the Hi-Lites, the Echoaires, Billy Rivers & the Angelic Voices of Faith, and the Sensational Wells Brothers. Other featured artists include the Southern Sons, Uncle Richard’s Puppets, the Gospel Four, Bishop Cooper, and Spiritual Excitement.

The event also will feature food vendors, rides for children, health screenings, and a voter-registration booth. More than 100 prizes will be given to attendees, with many of them valued for as much as $100.

WLOK is a Memphis, Tenn.-based radio station that broadcasts a gospel format on both AM and FM channels under AM 1340 and FM 105. For any questions or communications regarding this event, please contact Art Gilliam, 901- 527-9565, or wlokradio@aol.com

    LINE UP

 

Noon:     OPENING PRAYER, NATIONAL  ATHEM – BRENDA JOHNSON, LIFT  EVERY VOICE AND SING – TAMARA  TOWNSEND, NEW  ERA  BAPTIST  CHURCH

12:20:      SOUTHWIND CHOIR

12:35:      SAIAH,  THE  GUITAR  BABY

12:40:     BEVERLY  WHITE

1:00:       SPIRITUAL EXCITEMENT

1:25:        KELLY  &  KELLY

1:45:       BISHOP  COOPER

2:05:      MEMPHIS  BAPTIST  MINISTERIAL  ASSOCIATION W/PASTOR  FRANK  RAY

2:35:       SENSATIONAL  WELLS  BROTHERS

3:00 :     BILLY  RIVERS  &  THE  ANGELIC  VOICES  OF  FAITH

3:30 :     ECHOAIRES

4:00:     TENNESSEE  MASS  CHOIR

4:25:      SOUTHERN SONS

5:00:      UNCLE  RICHARD’S  PUPPETS

5:40:      GOSPEL  FOUR

6:15:       DOC  MCKENZIE  &  THE  HI-LITES

For any questions or communications regarding this event, please contact Art Gilliam, 901- 527-9565, or wlokradio@aol.com.

View Event →
REI presents Liz Cooper & the Stampede
Aug
4
6:00 PM18:00

REI presents Liz Cooper & the Stampede

REI Memphis is celebrating in anticipation of our new store opening... AND the fun is on us during REI Play Days! Join us in Overton Park at the Levitt Shell on the evening of Saturday August 4th to rock out to Liz Cooper and The Stampede - we've teamed up with our friends at the Levitt Shell to keep the music going for a special free concert. Liz Cooper & The Stampede are a three-piece American rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. NPR describes their music as "a seamless balance of muted rhythmic sounds and propulsive drive that feels so good". Event starts 6PM, music will kick-off at 7:30PM! Questions? Call us on the REI Play Days Hotline! 901-701-7233

Website

View Event →
Sammy Miller & The Congregation
Jul
14
7:30 PM19:30

Sammy Miller & The Congregation

Sammy Miller and The Congregation are on a mission to put the generosity back into jazz and bring art back to the people.

We play joyful jazz -- music that feels good. It is a style that entertains, enriches, but most of all uplifts.

A native of Los Angeles, Grammy®-nominated drummer Sammy Miller has become known for his unique maturity and relentless focus on making music that feels good as a drummer, singer and bandleader. Upon completing his Master's at The Juilliard School, Sammy formed his ensemble, The Congregation. As a band, they are focused on sharing the power of community through their music -- joyful jazz.

Arts Nova selected The Congregation for the 'Makers Lab' in 2017 to produce their original theater jazz show, "Great Awakening." While independently the band members have performed and recorded with notable artists including Wynton Marsalis, Iron and Wine, and Jason Mraz at venues including the White House, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl, they have opted to stick together to spread joy throughout the world.

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

Gilmore_logo_HighRes.jpg
View Event →
Stars at the Shell: Robert Cray
Jul
13
6:00 PM18:00

Stars at the Shell: Robert Cray

Stars_RC_slide.png
172242_Levitt_SS_banner.png

General Admission - $25 Advance/ $30 Day of show 

A special night of Stars at the Shell featuring the Blues/Soul/R&B legend Robert Cray, with special guest Cedric Burnside! 

BUY TICKETS

Stars at the Shell is a fundraising event benefiting the Levitt Shell. 

The Levitt Shell is a non-profit presenting 50 free concerts each year.  Our mission is building a stronger Memphis community through free music, finding common ground in a diverse audience.  All proceeds from Stars at the Shell support the free concerts.  We thank you for your support!

ROBERT CRAY

Robert Cray has been bridging the lines between blues, soul and R&B for the past four decades, with five Grammy wins and over 20 acclaimed albums. Cray became a sensation, leading his band in concerts at large arena and rock festivals. He was the first African-American artist since Jimi Hendrix to rise to such fame in rock music. Over his illustrious career, Cray has performed with Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker, B.B.King, Bonnie Raitt and many more. His latest project, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, the Blues Hall of Famer traveled to Memphis to make a classic soul album with Hi Rhythm, the band that helped create that sound. 

A few special notes about this event:

  • Gates open at 6:00pm. Cedric Burnside at 7:00pm and Robert Cray at 8:30pm.

  • Food and beverages (including wine and beer) will be sold at multiple concession stands throughout the area.

  • No outside food, drinks, coolers or pets are allowed at this event.

  • This event is rain or shine.

  • Because this is a fundraiser, no refunds are available.

  • Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

  • There are NO reserved seats for this event. It's general admission only.

  • The Levitt Shell is wheelchair accessible.

  • No professional photography, video or audio recording equipment.

  • Kids 12 and under are admitted free with parent or guardian.

Food Trucks:

Central BBQ, Kebab, DeJavu, and Slider Inn! Plus MemPOPs will have popsicles to cool off and the Tapbox will be selling water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

 

Sponsored By:

sponsor-shipp-2-2.jpg
sponsor-newsouth@2x.jpg
nexAir_logo2.png
View Event →
JD McPherson
Jul
12
7:30 PM19:30

JD McPherson

Undivided Heart & Soul (2017)

“I was having nightmares every night, thinking, ‘Wow, they’re going to hate this,” says JD
McPherson.

When he talks about his new album, Undivided Heart & Soul, there’s no glimmer of self-adulation, or even the confidence one might expect of a veteran artist. Instead, there’s a snapshot of McPherson’s creative process bringing the record to life, a journey filled with fear and change, then boldness, and, eventually, catharsis.

The best rock music has a story to tell. This record chronicles a series of upheavals, frustrations, roadblocks, and kismet—a cross-country move, failed creative relationships, a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity, and learning to love making music again by letting go.

McPherson calls moving his family from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, to East Nashville a decision based “on opportunity” and one he was reluctant to make but notes the profound influence the city has had on his new crop of songs.

“Up to this point, I thought I knew what I was doing with songwriting, that I don’t do this or that,” McPherson says. “Writing with people who co-write for a living…maybe I saw myself as John Henry, and them as the steel-driving machine.”

Along with collaborations with fellow Oklahoman Parker Millsap, Butch Walker, and Aaron Lee Tasjan, McPherson’s selections for Undivided Heart & Soul include many deeply personal themes: “Let’s Get Out of Here While We’re Young” shares writing credits with longtime bandmate Ray Jacildo and McPherson’s wife Mandy. He also delved into character profiles, both fictional and based on real-life experiences, stories McPherson has held onto but never thought of as fodder for songwriting, such as the Las Vegas bus station interlude detailed in “Style (Is a Losing Game).”

“That seems like a pretty normal thing for a singer-songwriter to do, to write about personal experience, but I really have never done that,” McPherson says. “It felt great but it also was tough at the same time. The thing is, John Henry is trying to beat the machine because he’s in awe of it. It was a lot of me saying, ‘You’re really good at this, and I have a hard time doing it.’”

With a group of soul-baring tracks taking shape, McPherson and crew scheduled studio time to help force the issue. It quickly became apparent that these sessions were not going to work, bringing McPherson’s momentum to a halt.

To clear his head, he flew to Los Angeles at the invitation of friend and longtime supporter Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, who was also recording at the time. McPherson, Homme, and his Queens bandmate Dean Fertita played around with some songs, with Homme pushing McPherson outside of his comfort zone in a no-stakes environment.

“His thing was, ‘I’m going to throw all kinds of crap onto your songs that you’re not going to want to hear, and you’re going to play ridiculous stuff you wouldn’t normally do,’ and Dean was kind of the calming presence,” McPherson says.

McPherson calls the getaway “the most fun I’ve had since I was 15 years old” and returned to Nashville with a clear head, internal filters successfully stifled, ready to move forward.

That fresh perspective in tow, McPherson learned that the long-shot “backup” studio, the legendary RCA Studio B in Nashville, was willing to host his band for the making of the record. RCA Studio B was fundamental to the creation of the “Nashville Sound,” and the ghosts of some of the greatest songs in history live within its walls: Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” and Elvis Presley’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” among them.

Artists who choose to record at Studio B are met with a rigorous list of requirements, including using a recording method appropriate during the studio’s heyday. Since the studio is a working museum by day, the entirety of McPherson’s workspace had to be reset at night: Load in all equipment in the late afternoon, work until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., and leave no trace nightly. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

“Those rules would probably turn a lot of bands off, but they turned us on, 100 percent,” McPherson says. “I really love walking into a classic studio as much as I love getting my hands on a really old guitar. I like knowing that something was used for a long time and has good things in it.”

But this isn’t an old Nashville record, by any measurement, nor is it the record McPherson set out to make, with credit due to co-producer Dan Molad (also the drummer for Lucius).

“There’s a pretty broad gap in our tastes, what we do and what we’re into,” McPherson says. Where he’s as likely to lean on The Cramps as he is Irma Thomas for inspiration, Molad’s left-field production suggestions included a Casio synthesizer and running a Fender Rhodes through a tape delay. (McPherson nixed the former; the latter became the signature sound of one of the record’s tracks.) “We ended up learning a lot from each other, and he did a lot of stuff I’d have never thought to do.”

During the song “Let’s Get Out of Here While We’re Young,” JD sputters the line “We’ve worn out all the songs we’ve sung.” This is not a statement McPherson takes lightly.

“This record was difficult for me to make, difficult to write, difficult to record. It took a lot for me to say that I can’t force these songs to be the way people are expecting,” McPherson says.

Undivided Heart & Soul is a statement record, one that asserts McPherson as he is now, battle-weary but stronger than ever. 

Website | Facebook

Sponsored By:

View Event →