SoBo Summer Music Series

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

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

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

June 2018 Schedule of Events

Saturday, June 2, 2018
5:30-8:30pm
Reginald Cyntje Group (RCG)                                                         
Lakeland Park
2921 Stranden Road, Baltimore, MD 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: Sankofa Dance Theatre 5:00pm-6:30pm)

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

Sunday, June 3, 2018
12:00-7:00pm
Anacostia Delta Band, Ultrafaux, Carl Filipiak, 
The Philtones, Babes of Yester Year, TK Blue and Steve Guyger at the Federal Hill Jazz Festival 
1065 South Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

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

Thursday, June 7, 2018
5:30-8:30pm
Lafayette Gilchrist and the Sonic Trip Masters All Stars
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230


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

Thursday, June 14, 2018
6:30-8:30pm

Violet Bell (BCPR)
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

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

Saturday, June 16, 2018
10:00am-12:30pm  

Rhonda Robinson Trio
BMI Farmers Market 
1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
1:00-7:30pm
The Love Peace Project (Juneteenth Celebration)
Featuring performances by
 WombWorks, Sankofa Dance Theater, DJ Shawn Smallwood, DJ GrownMan, Omina Azar 
Cherry Hill Shopping Center
634 Cherry Hill Road, Baltimore, MD 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: Abu The Flute Maker, 3pm)
(Pre-Show Workshop: SoBo Drum Circle, 4pm)
(Pre-Show Workshop: Sankofa Dance Theatre, 6pm)

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

Friday, June 29, 2018
5:30-8:30pm
R. Roundtree and Da B’more Brass Factory 

Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: Abu The Flute Maker, 5:00pm-6:30pm)

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

Saturday, June 30, 2018
5:30-7:30pm

Rhonda Robinson Trio
Solo Gibbs Park
1001 Leadenhall Street
, Baltimore, MD 21230

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

July 2018 Schedule of Events

Saturday, July 7, 2018
5:30-8:30pm 

Theljon Allen and Universal Language
Lakeland Park
2921 Stranden Road, Baltimore, MD 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: SoBo Drum Circle, 5pm)

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

Thursday, July 12, 2018
6:30-8:30pm
Vann Durham/Ricardo Valentine
Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

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

Saturday, July 21, 2018      
10:00am-12:30pm

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

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

Friday, July 27, 2018
5:30-7:30pm
Amorous Ebony / Ebony Evans
Solo Gibbs Park
1001 Leadenhall Street, Baltimore, MD 21230


Amorous Ebony lures you into a sultry trance like the dance of a summer night's soiree. Amorous is a vocalist, actress, jeweler, bruja and activist.

August 2018 Schedule of Events

Saturday, August 4, 2018
5:30-8:30pm
DC Cuban All Stars 

Carroll Park
1515 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD, 21230
(Pre-Show Workshop: Abu The Flute Maker, 5:00pm-6:30pm)
(Pre-Show Workshop: SalsaNow, 5:00pm-6:30pm)

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

Sunday, August 5, 2018
10:00am-8:30pm
Underground Experience

Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

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

Thursday, August 9, 2018
6:30-8:30pm
UltraFaux 

Middle Branch Park
3301 Waterview Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230

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

Saturday, August 18, 2018
5:30-8:30pm

The Craig Alston Band 
Carroll Park
1515 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD, 21230

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

Saturday, August 25, 2018
4:00-5:00pm
Omnia Azar
Solo Gibbs Park
1001 Leadenhall Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

Omnia Azar is a singer, songwriter, arranger with an incredible stage presence that demands attention. Hailing from Benton Harbor, MI, she has shared the stage with artists such as Chico Debarge, Sunshine Anderson, Dwele and Avery Sunshine. Omnia has worked on projects and showcases with artists including, Navasha Daya, Blaqstarr, Meagan McNeal, Osiris Azar, Yolanda Lavendar, DC and III Conscious, among others producers and artists worldwide have sought Ms. Azar for her songwriting and vocal talents. Omnia is the featured vocalist and arranger of the hot new Kariz Marcel song “Pokemongo” now available on Soundcloud. Her new EP "Omnia Azar' can be found at omniaazar.bandcamp.com.  

September 2018 Schedule of Events

Saturday, September 8, 2018
3:30-6:30pm
JaneliaSoul

Westport Block Party
Westport Academy, #225
2401 Nevada Street Baltimore, MD 21230

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

Pre-Show Activities: Music & Dance Workshops

SOBO Drum Circle                                                                
Tuesday, June 19, 4pm (Cherry Hill Shopping Center)
Saturday, August 25, TBA (Westport Block Party)
Saturday, July 7, 5pm (Lakeland Park)

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

Abu the Flute Maker – Musical Instruments on the Go…
T
uesday, June 19, 3pm (Cherry Hill Shopping Center)
Friday, June 29, 5:00-6:30pm (Middle Branch Park)
Saturday, August 4, 5:00-6:30pm (Carroll Park)

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

Sankofa Dance Theatre – African Dance Workshops
Saturday, June 2, 5:00-6:30pm (Lakeland Park)
Tuesday, June 19, 6pm (Cherry Hill Shopping Center)

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

SalsaNow – Salsa Workshops
Saturday, August 4, 5:00-6:30pm (Carroll Park)

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