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July 9, 2009

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Local all-stars bring ‘rock and soul’ to Pastorius

The Chestnut Hill All-Stars (from left) David Cope, Katie Drake, Chris Marcseill, Jason Fifel and Roger Learnard.

A cast of all-stars will bring ‘rock and soul’ to Pastorius Park on July 15. Local favorites Jason Fifel, David Cope, Katie Drake, Roger Learnard and Chris Marcseill are coming together for The Chestnut Hill All-Star Revue at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday night.

 “Grant [McAvoy, a park summer concert organizer] called and asked me to put together a show of a local favorites,” Fifel, a local bassist and owner of Slife Productions, said. “There are a number of musicians who play locally, and a lot of fans were saying [to McAvoy], ‘Oh, you should get David Cope; you should get Katie Drake’ — all regular faces on the Avenue.”

Instead of performing as one band for the evening, the musicians are planning a revue that will “highlight each individual,” Fifel said. “Rather than one act, there will be four mini acts.”

Cope, Drake, Learnard and Marsceill will all perform original songs as well as covers, and Fifel said he will also sing a tune or two.

Because Fifel has played bass for each of the musicians slated to perform in the revue, McAvoy contacted him first to put together the show.

“Of these four featured artists, we have all played together in various incarnations,” Fifel said. “We’re used to working together. There’s a cross-pollination going on musically.”

The music, according to Fifel, will “vary in terms of individual styles, but we’re calling it rock and soul.”

“It’s pretty much rock and roll, some original rock and roll, some covers,” he added. “It fits under the umbrella of rock and soul music.”

Attendees to the park concert can expect some Beatles-esque music from local guitarist Cope.

“[He] is an extremely talented guitar player,” Fifel said. “His song writing and composition skills are very developed. His original material is melodic.”

Drake, according to Fifel, has been performing in the area for years, and is an in-demand vocalist in the region. She will perform original songs off her CD, as well as classic R&B tunes.

“[Marsceill] is an incandescent piano player,” Fifel said. “He has been playing here since his return from New Orleans, where he soaked up that New Orleans vibe — the audience will hear that [in his performance].”

Fifel promises Learnard will “bring the house down with classic rock at the end of the night.”

As for Fifel, he said he will enjoy “the best of both worlds.”

“I’ll be playing electric bass, probably some guitar, a little blue-eyed soul,” he said. “I really enjoy my role in the show because I won’t have to work on stage all night, and can enjoy the show.”

In addition to Fifel, Cope, Drake, Marsceill and Learnard, the event will feature Tony Garro on bass, Drew Eriksen on drums and Donald Williams playing saxophone.

The Chestnut Hill All-Star Revue will perform at 7:30 p.m. July 15 (weather permitting) at Pastorius Park, Abington Avenue and Hartwell Lane.

The Pastorius Park Concert Series is a production of the Chestnut Hill Community Association, and is sponsored by many neighborhood organizations, most notably the Chestnut Hill Health Systems. Other sponsors include WXPN 88.5, Fairmount Park and Chestnut Hill Community Fund.

For more information or to confirm concert cancellations due to inclement weather, call the association at 215-248-8810. The next concert will feature singer-songwriter John Conahan July 22.




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