Calico is a soulful dynamic trio performing neo-soul with a ‘90s hip hop vibe. Their mix of vocals, keyboards, & drums create a range of positive moods from chill to energetic dance music. The musicians include Maria Marmarou (drums), Norma Khallouf (vocals, keyboards, percussion), and June Thomas (vocals, keyboard, left-hand bass). Maria Marmarou, 20, is currently a student at Temple University and studies with Justin Faulkner and Terell Stafford. She has traveled with Temple’s Jazz Band to Chicago and Lincoln Center where the band won the first inaugural Jack Rudin Competition. Maria also performs with various groups around Philadelphia. Norma is a pioneer R&B/Arabic recording artist who has been compared stylistically to Alicia Keys. A triple threat, Norma has performed extensively in the Manhattan & Boston areas as a vocalist, dancer, and actress and he has worked as lead vocalist for the popular Lehigh Valley group Post Junction. June Thomas is an award-winning multi-keyboardist/vocalist who has played with regional jazz, blues, & pop artists for over twenty five years. She is sought after by recording artists and venues as a well-rounded, diverse keyboardist and vocalist, workshop facilitator and composer/arranger.
Tony Gairo with Lou Lanza
Tony Gairo and Lou Lanza have been performing and recording music, jazz in particular, together in myriad disparate ensembles for more than 25 years. The duo has become their centerpiece and preferred gigging ensemble. As such, they have appeared at Musikfest many times and have kept monthly gigs at the Bookstore Speakeasy for 9 years. In addition, they have performed in this setting at numerous private engagements. Whether scatting, taking a few choruses of jazz or reinterpreting standards, audiences of various ages and sensibilities are always thoroughly entertained. Dig Tony and Lou. In duo.
Mark and Ricky from South Penn Dixie
South Penn Dixie is a modern country band with a rock edge. A group of seasoned players with a passion for great country music. Focusing on the latest country music hits mixed with some timeless classics, South Penn Dixie will keep the dance floor full with upbeat country hits.
“Keep the Fire Burning” is more than just the title to one of Ralph Pagano’s most popular songs. It’s his mantra; one that has persisted through the decades. The Lehigh Valley, PA-based folk artist has always had a knack for keeping the light alive, learning and growing as a musician all the while. Indeed, Ralph has continued to challenge himself over a lifetime of making music, beginning in his childhood when his love of artists like Neil Young, The Beatles, Bob Seger, and Bad Company led him to serve as the bassist in a number of cover bands. It wasn’t until later in life, however, that Ralph picked up the guitar. A self-taught musician, Ralph soon realized he had his own stories to tell. This fall, Ralph will return to Canton, OH to record “This Guitar,” the first track from his forthcoming full-length release set for 2019. He will then embark on a tour of the southeastern United States, with stops in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
We May Be Right (Billy Joel Tribute)
“We Me Be Right” delivers an electrifying performance as they authentically re-create the music of one the greatest Rock and Roll Keyboard Players, the “Piano Man”, Billy Joel. This is an accomplished 5-piece band whose members combine their respective years of touring experience to capture the spirit and integrity of the Billy Joel legacy. Voted #6 on the What’s Hot List for Musikfest 2019 (USA Today’s named #1 Free Festival in America) and Hunterdon Happenings Best Band for 2019, “We May Be Right” has developed a strong following playing venues from the Stone Pony to Fairfield Theater Company and Brook Arts Center.
Billy’s music has been a “soundtrack” to their lives, and during this time, such powerful music has a way of healing and pulling people together. As we begin to re-emerge, “We Me Be Right” is looking forward to restoring enjoyment and fun through the power of music. Enjoy, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along!
Named after the famous big band leader, Glenn started performing at the age of ten. At 16, he was leading his own dance band and was a featured trumpet soloist for concerts. Today, well over 350 shows are scheduled each year. One of the Lehigh Valley’s favorite musical and vocal talents, Glenn is a seasoned entertainer also known as “The Big One Man Band”. He has a broad appeal throughout the United States and when you hear Glenn you can be sure that it will be an enjoyable and memorable experience. He has an extensive repertoire and musical library which he uses to provide a performance which resonates with young and old alike! Each performance features a multitude of instruments and clean comedy which pair nicely to create an incredible show.
Smooth Retsina Glow
Smooth Retsina Glow (S.R.G) is one of the most exciting and original bands to emerge from the Eastern PA music scene in some time. Formed in July 2015 by guitarist Colin Wolf and vocalist Marie DeFilipps, they released their self titled album “Stoney Run Group” in 2017. A lineup change in early 2019 led the band changed its name to “Smooth Retsina Glow”, and Wolf became the bands primary lead singer. They then went on to begin releasing singles from their 2nd album, “New Frontiers”, with Wolf laying down all the tracks except drums due to the lack of a bassist. The title track became the bands first music video, and the 3rd single, “Walking a Straight Line”, became Bank Radio Australia’s 9th most popular song on the final week of July 2019. The album “New Frontiers” was released in November and quickly received acclaim from Micheal McKenna and Dustin Schoof. The same year the band was nominated for Best Album, Best Song (“New Frontier”), Best Music Video, and Best Band at the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Ceremony in 2019. Wolf would also win Best Music Educator in this award ceremony. Nick Dejesso has since taken over drums in January 2020, but bassist, Jake Buxton, has to take a hiatus to assist his family business in Texas during the Covid Pandemic. Until his return in August 2020, the bands good friend, Anthony D’Angelico, is filling in. The band is presently working on a 3rd album due in late 2020 or early 2021.
Becky Saunders and Jay David
Jay David is a singer/guitarist that has performed in Los Angeles, Northern California, Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona, and here in the Lehigh Valley. Jay has worked at Musikfest, restaurants and many dance clubs. He has worked with Johnnys Jukebox, Uncle Smiley, Walt Groller’s Band, and as a solo act.
Becky Saunders is a professional variety singer with a repertoire equal to her years of experience. Starting with show groups in her early days, Becky has worked all over North America including Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Lake Tahoe, state fairs, and cruise ships (Disney, Holland America). She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association.
Mark & Ralph Acoustic Duo
Both Ralph Pagano and Mark Hannig have been performing for decades, Mark as a solo artist and Ralph as a solo and cover artist. They have known each other for around 20 years and have played together “unofficially” at parties, backyard BBQ’s quite frequently. Just last year they decided to try and make things happen as a duo. Both talented vocalists, Mark and Ralph share lead vocal responsibilities working to highlight the other’s vocal strengths. Their harmonies draw a lot of attention because of Mark’s ability to provide the high-end harmonies and Ralph’s lower bass vocals which warm the duo’s sound. A well trained pair of musicians, this duo brings life and talent to every performance.
Russ Rentler is a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter based in eastern PA. Most of his songs are original and played on traditional acoustic American instruments including hammered and mountain dulcimers, banjo, dobro, mandolin, autoharp, uke, harp guitar, bouzouki, harmonica , and fiddle. His song “New Car Smell” was aired on NPR’s CarTalk. He often accompanies John Gorka and accompanied him at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 2018. He has recorded and independently released 6 CDs and his last CD, “Escaped the Tide”, made the list of top radio airplays in 2017 on Folk Radio.