Ever-evolving Erie All Stars launches 8 Great Tuesdays for free on July 5
With two dozen musicians ready to take the stage at the Highmark Amphitheatre, the Erie All Stars prepare to thrill the crowd on July 5 at the first ErieBank 8 Great Tuesdays show of the year at Liberty Park on the waterfront. sea.
Fans can expect a mix of musical genres from the All Stars, who will perform at least a 3-hour set, according to performance creative director Ron Yarosz.
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“This year’s theme is Erie All Stars Greatest Hits,” Yarosz said. “We’ll be rehashing a few of the ones we’ve done and we’re doing a lot of genres. We’re doing a bit of country, we’ve got a lot of blues and we’ve got reggae in the set. We’re also doing stuff that The Groove would do normally. We have a few rock songs, AC/DC, Steve Miller, some (Eric) Clapton. We’re doing a Frank Zappa song… so it’s gonna be everywhere. Something for everyone for sure.
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The All Stars, a rotating band of the area’s top musicians with a handful of regulars at heart, will open the 22nd season of 8 Great Tuesdays free concerts at 828 West Bayfront Parkway. The only year the entire series was canceled was in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Port Authority of Erie-Western Pennsylvania hosts the weekly series which runs for eight consecutive Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
“The concerts continue to offer a very balanced lineup … We haven’t tinkered with its success,” said Brenda Sandberg, executive director of the Port Authority. “The authority is having discussions and setting parameters for both type of music and age diversity (with the promoter). This year we have a country night, an 80s rock night, a latin fusion night , a jazz and blues evening. We strive to have a form of entertainment for everyone.”
Ron Esser, the 8 Great Tuesdays promoter who delivers acts on behalf of the Port Authority, was also involved in creating the Erie All Stars.
“(Esser) was the one who wanted the concept to make Erie All Stars,” Yarosz said. “He approached (guitarist Eric) Brewer about it about nine years ago. The first one they did was the Tribute to Woodstock (in 2013).”
Sandberg said The Authority was also happy with Esser in his role as booker and promoter of the series.
“Our music budget is $50,000. Our promoter is doing a fantastic job providing us with quality entertainment for that amount of funding for eight nights,” she said.
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Opening show for 2022
The All Stars, as always, will bring a unique lineup and setlist for the 8 Grand Opening Night. Yarosz, known for his talents on harmonica, Hammond B3 organ, and soulful vocals with Ron Yarosz and the Vehicle, was the primary decision maker in choosing which musicians would join at this time. Brewer and bassist Doug Phillips served as creative directors for previous All Stars shows as members of the core band which also includes Ron Sutton on drums, Craig Stevens on keyboards and guitarist Rich Grisier.
“The core group gets together and we come together on what we think works for this year. It’s kind of a pretty democratic thing, though,” Yarosz said. “In years past for CelebrateErie when they did the themed shows, those were a lot more involved, but the budget was a lot bigger at the same time. Ralph Reitinger helped me organize that with substantial help .”
In previous releases, the Erie All Stars have performed tribute shows to Queen (at CelebrateErie in 2019), Tom Petty, The Beatles, various guitar legends, hit songs recorded at Sound City, and more, for n to name a few.
Rehearsals began earlier this week for the All Stars, starting with the main band before others had time to go through the songs “with the horns and iron out all the wrinkles,” Yarosz said. .
“It will be pretty cool for us because it might be the only time we play this year,” Yarosz said. “It’s always an adventure to set the stage, but everyone involved is professional. Everyone can’t wait to play. Everyone loves 8 Great Tuesdays, of course.”
The All Stars will not be among the performers performing at CelebrateErie this year, according to Jason Loncki, City of Erie Marketing Strategist and Executive Director of CelebrateErie.
“Every time they play, the Erie All Stars put on a fantastic performance,” Loncki said in an email. “Our team has decided to book national headliners on the main stage for all three nights this year, but we hope the All Stars will be back in the future.”
After:Musicians Ja Rule, Mýa, Jimmie Allen and X Ambassadors will headline CelebrateErie
Pop rock group X Ambassadors, hip-hop artists Ja Rule and Mýa and country singer Jimmie Allen are scheduled to perform at CelebrateErie, which takes place downtown August 19-21.
But fans of some of Erie’s top musical artists can first catch the All Stars show on July 5.
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The Erie All Stars members for the July 5 show, according to Yarosz, are as follows:
- Harmonica/Organ: Ron Yarosz
- Keyboards: Craig Stevens Kennedy Thompson
- Guitars: Rich Grisier, Eric Brewer, Barry Sherman, Tony Ferrara
- Low: Ralph Reitinger, Jassen Wilber, Doug Phillips
- Drums: Ron Sutton, Mike Russell, Steve Barrone, Joe Travers (special appearance on some songs)
- Singers: Elly Vahey, Brittany Morton, Roy Hollis, Jeffrey Crock, Dan Baney, Matt Boland, Preach Freedom, Yarosz, Sherman, Phillips
- Horns: Brian Hannah, Allen Zurcher, Kent Tucker
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Programming of the 8 big Tuesdays
- July 5: Erie All Stars
- July 12: Zac Brown Tribute Band. Opening: Reignmaker
- July 19: “King” Solomon Hicks. Opening: The Pierce Dipner Group
- July 26: Concrete castles. Opening: The Polkamaniacs, Patrick Lah
- August 2: City pants. Opening: The Probables
- August 9: Latin Fusion
- August 16: Buffalo Rose. Overture: The Powerful Organ Trio Ron Yarosz
- August 23: Bruce in the United States. Opening: Jack Stevenson & The Buried Treasure Band
Many local merchants will be present at the 8 major events. Check restrictions on what customers are allowed to bring on site at porterie.org or by calling 814-455-7557.
Contact Tony Battaglia at [email protected] Follow the GoErie.com Instagram page at instagram.com/goeriecom.