by Gabby Blair
Come one! Come all!… To the highly-anticipated 5th Annual JCC Backyard Concert Series!
This year’s line up of performances, set to take place on Sunday, Aug. 16, 23, and 30 from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. are expected to draw the largest crowds yet. “Interest has continued to grow for this popular event; everyone enjoys listening to good music in a fun, relaxed atmosphere,” explains Esther Katz, JCC Cultural Arts Director. She goes on to say that “Summer is winding down, school is back in session and the lush, shady lawn behind the JCC, next to the pavilion and playground, is a perfect, family friendly place to meet up and reconnect after being out and about all summer.”
Kicking off this year’s JCC Summer Concert Series on Sunday, Aug. 16 is Velvet Crush, Omaha’s premier cover band playing all your favorite funk, pop, rock, country and top 40 hits, from the 60’s through today. “We are a true cover band. We try to play ‘em just like they sound on the radio. Our main goal is to get as many people on their feet dancing, singing and having a blast with us!” Velvet Crush has been rocking Omaha benefits, parties, festivals, weddings and top local venues since 2009 and are sure to please at the JCC on Aug. 16.
Next in the line up, on Sunday, Aug. 23, is local band Pancho and the Contraband, which has been described as having a unique and fresh ska-funk sound and has been likened to Satchel Grande. Pancho and the Contraband utilizes a range of instruments from guitar and ukulele to percussion and bass to a range of brass and woodwinds. They are sure to delight with their music, all written and composed by the band itself.
Last, but certainly not least, Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers, are bringing some funk, soul and R&B to wrap up the series on Sunday, Aug. 30. Lead man Hoyer has been described by the Omaha Reader as “one of Lincoln-Omaha scenes’s finest song
writers.” Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers are currently touring the nation after the recent release of their second album and Katz says, “We are certainly fortunate to have them booked for our final show of the series!”
The JCC Backyard Concert Series is open to the public, free of charge, and, this year, desserts will be available for purchase. Attendees are encouraged to bring camp chairs, blankets, and picnics, if they wish. Pets and alcohol are permitted; however, concert goers are asked to be considerate to others; remember that the JCC campus is entirely smoke free, so please refrain from smoking. In the unfortunate case of rain, the concerts will be held in the JCC Theater. While there is no cost to attend, please consider bringing a donation for Jewish Family Services to help those in need. JFS is specifically requesting donations of unexpired pasta sauce, pasta, 15 oz cans of fruits in juice, and vegetables, toilet paper, deodorant, and disposable razors. Look for the specially-marked donation blue bins as you enter the concert. Any questions should be directed to Esther Katz, JCC Cultural Arts Director 402.334.6406 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to the Karen Sokoloff Javitch Music fund, the Herbert Goldsten Trust and the Jewish Federation of Omaha Special Donor-Advised Fund for generously supporting The 2015 JCC Omaha Backyard Concert Series. Without the continued support of these special donors, the show could not go on!