Music series

Second year set for Levitt AMP Fort Smith Music Series

The Levitt AMP Fort Smith Music Series will return to Fort Smith on May 12 thanks to a grant from the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation. 64.6 Downtown received the grant for the second year, allowing it to bring 10 free, family-friendly concerts to Riverfront Park in downtown Fort Smith.

The musical serieswhich will run through July 14, will feature a diverse roster of artists performing along the Arkansas River, said 64.6 executive director Talisha Richardson.

The Levitt Foundation awarded 64.6 Downtown a second-year matching grant of $25,000 to present the Levitt AMP Fort Smith Music Series. As this was a second-year grant, Fort Smith did not have to go through the online nomination and voting process required for the initial grant.

In 2019, Fort Smith was selected as one of 20 cities to receive a $25,000 matching grant to present the first Levitt AMP Fort Smith Music Series. Levitt’s Permanent Outdoor Music Venues program features more than 50 free concerts a year in major metropolitan areas, but these grants are specifically designed for smaller towns. The series was scheduled to take place during the summer of 2020, but was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Music Series is a partnership between 64.6 Downtown and the City of Fort Smith, bringing free, accessible and inclusive music to the community. Across the series, multiple genres of music will be featured, including Norteño, Indie rock, jazz, R&B, Neo soul, folk, blues, Americana, and a unique combination of bluegrass and hip hop, the 64.6 website says.

“It is an honor to bring the Levitt AMP Fort Smith Music Series to downtown for a second year. The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation provides exceptional year-round support to its grantees. Because of this, we can offer an array of musical and artistic genres to get our community moving, in an inclusive environment listening to live music,” said Richardson.

Choctaw Casino & Resort will join the Dream Alliance Foundation as a series sponsor, she added.

Prior to last year’s series, Riverfront Park, 121 Riverfront Drive, held about 16 to 18 events a year, Richardson said. In 2021, the park had 40 events. She said people were encouraged, as they were last year, to bring their blankets and chairs and settle around the amphitheater. Picnic baskets and pets are allowed.

“It shows that (the foundation’s) goal of activating underutilized public spaces was largely achieved by this series of concerts. Not only were people coming to the concert, but they were being driven to organize other events there. -down,” Richardson said.

The concerts will take place every Thursday from May 12 to July 14. The park opens at 6 p.m., with the opener on stage at 7 p.m. and the headliner at 7:30 p.m. Here are the dates and acts.

May 12: Chris Cameron and Trey Johnson
Cameron mixes guitar virtuosity with heartfelt vocals in a way that flaunts his blues background. Johnson focuses on blues, roots and Americana.

May 19: Conjunto SinLey
A Hispanic band from Norteno, founded in 2007 in Oklahoma, the band performs using accordion and saxophone as their main melody.

May 26: Anitta Smith
Hailing from Fort Smith, Smith mixes gospel and soul music.

June 2: Hudost
The electric folk and global rock musical duo enjoy collaborating with other artists who focus on social and environmental justice through music, advocacy and art.

June 9: Dawson Hollow
This American indie-folk-rock band of five siblings fuses the cinematic colors of pop, nostalgic string elements of Americana and five-part harmonies.

June 16: New Breed Brass Band
This New Orleans band fuses funk, rock, jazz and hip hop in a bespoke enhancement of the city’s second-line brass band tradition.

June 23: Michael Fields Jr.
Fields, an international artist, bassist and producer, can be heard on smooth jazz stations around the world. His single, “Get Up On It”, reached No. 28 on the Smooth Jazz charts top 100.

June 30: Les Claudettes
The Claudettes fuse the blues of Chicago piano with the full-throttle energy of rockabilly and punk and the sensuality of 60s soul.

July 7: Gangstagrass
Gangstagrass combines the American traditions of bluegrass, hip-hop and beyond to create a new musical genre.

July 14: Chantae Cann
Cann’s background is rooted in jazz, soul and gospel, mirroring rhythm and hip hop. His debut album, “Journey to Golden”, landed No. 1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts in 2016.