Bigger, better Levitt AMP concert series delivers on family fun

Bigger, better Levitt AMP concert series delivers on family fun

P. Lowe, above, and Chachi Carvalho, in the photo below the story, will kick off the 2019 Levitt AMP summer concert series at River Island Art Park in Woonsocket on Friday, June 14, at 6 p.m. The series will continue every Friday night through Aug. 23.
P. Lowe and Chachi Carvalho kick off 10-week series

WOONSOCKET – With the first year of the Levitt AMP concert series behind them, organizers say the city’s second summer of outdoor music will be bigger and better than the first, with a full lineup of food vendors and family activities accompanying 10 weeks of national and local acts.

The series, which kicks off this Friday, June 14, at 6 p.m. at River Island Art Park, is an all-hands-on-deck effort. In addition to NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, the sponsoring organization, the series is put on in conjunction with the city, the Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative, St. James Baptist Church, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and other local organizations with the support of a $25,000 matching grant from the Levitt Foundation. This year, a planning committee took on the task of coordinating the series, which will bring more than a dozen artists to the city through the end of August.

“Everything is all set for the opening night. We’re very excited. The first week we actually have two local acts,” said Meghan Rego, director of resource development and communications for NeighborWorks.

The first week will feature P. Lowe, a Rhode Island-based artist with Jamaican roots, alongside Chachi Carvalho, who runs Beatbox Studio in Pawtucket. Lowe is known for his ability to blend Kizomba, a dance and music genre that originated in Angola, with hip-hop, rock and other styles. Carvalho, an award-winning emcee and hip-hop artist, draws inspiration from his community and his family’s Cape Verdean roots and has performed worldwide. Both artists deliver a strong commitment to the community both within and outside their music, Lowe through his work with the NeighborWorks youth program and Carvalho through his work at Providence’s Metropolitan Career and Technical Center and other community venues.

In addition to the artists, Friday’s kickoff will feature a special recognition for students graduating from the city’s high schools this year. Graduates of Woonsocket High School, Mount Saint Charles Academy and Beacon Charter High School for the Arts are invited to attend to be recognized and receive a commemorative gift at the information desk.

This year’s series, said Rego, will offer an extensive lineup of food options, with different food trucks and vendors participating every week. On Friday, those options will include the city’s own Bugg’d Out BBQ, Tacos Don Nacho and SoulFull, along with a crepe station from the culinary students at Beacon Charter High School for the Arts. NeighborWorks’s newly opened bread oven will also be open and serving made-to-order wood-fired pizzas, with proceeds benefitting the organization’s free monthly community pizza nights. Ciro’s Tavern will return to the series this year, offering Ravenous Brewery beer along with wine and summer cocktails for 21+ patrons at the popup bar.

New to the series this year will be a “kid’s zone” featuring activities by various local partners and organizations. This week, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council will host a nature exploration activity, while Riverzedge Arts will offer screenprinting workshops and mural painting. The Woonsocket Fire Department will be on hand each week with a fire engine for “Touch-a-truck,” and kids can also participate in chalk art and giant yard games.

“Our goal is that if we pull people into the park, if they see the fun things that are happening week after week, they’ll want to bring their friends and everyone will think of River Island Art Park as just a great place to be on Friday nights,” said Rego.

The Levitt AMP concert series started last summer after the city won a $25,000 matching grant from the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting free, live music in underutilized urban spaces. This year, the city was selected for a second grant during a process that included an online popular vote. The series will run from June 14 to Aug. 23, with genres spanning from rock to hip-hop to gospel to salsa.

The full lineup includes:

• June 14 – P-Lowe and Chachi Carvalho (kizomba/hip-hop)

• June 21 – Geraldo Contino y Los Habaneros (salsa) with O.B. Howard (indie)

• June 28 – Nalani & Sarina (pop) and Southern Drawl Band (country)

• July 12 – Steve Smith & the Naked Truth (rhythm and blues)

• July 19 – Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson (blues) with The Brian James Quartet (jazz)

• July 26 – Doobie Powell (gospel) with Calvary Worship Center (praise)

• Aug. 2 – Kwame Binea Shakedown (soul) with The Z-Boyz (surfer rock)

• Aug. 9 – Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles (rock) with Sidy Maiga (West African drums)

• Aug. 16 – Flor de Toloache (mariachi) with Julie Rhodes (blues)

• Aug. 23 – Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience (zydeco) with Mark Cutler & the Men of Great Courage (roots rock).

Chachi Carvalho, along with P. Lowe will kick off the 2019 Levitt AMP summer concert series at River Island Art Park in Woonsocket on Friday, June 14, at 6 p.m.