“There are so many great things about this season,” said Lisa Wagner, executive director for Friends of Levitt Pavilion Dayton. “We had lot of artists to choose from and we, as a team, work together to make sure we’re bringing what we consider the best season every year. The intentionality of the curation of the season is about looking at it through the lens of equity, diversity and inclusion. We want to be reflective of the demographic of our society that we love and celebrate every day. So having artists from the Hispanic community and Black community – and we’re working on the Asian and Native American communities – it’s so important in our curating.”
Elaborating on the organization’s equity, diversity and inclusivity mission, Wagner is excited to partner again with Oral Funk Poetry Productions and Signature Educational Solutions. In addition to the collaborative Signature Levitt Music & Arts Camp in July, Levitt’s Juneteenth celebration, spearheaded by OFPP president and artistic director Sierra Leone, will spotlight the New Orleans sound of Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band on June 17. And in honor of Pride Month, Levitt will showcase the LGBTQ+ community by hosting art-punk duo Lung on June 3.
“I always like to say every day is Pride at the Levitt,” Wagner said. “We love celebrating everyone and everyone is welcome. We also have non-binary R&B artist Jordan Occasionally appearing July 14, and Cachitas Now!, an LGBTQ+ band, appearing June 9 who also wants to do youth outreach while they are here.”
Additional highlights of Levitt’s fifth season include a male and female hip-hop concert, and an appearance by Grammy-nominated Latin alternative rock singer/songwriter Elsten Torres in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. Also, the Projects Unlimited Gem Series features 15 local artists and bands as openers, helping to expand their audiences while celebrating the vibrancy of Dayton’s music scene.
Wagner is also busily booking engagements for the Levitt Connect: Community pop-up series, which brings the magic and music of the Levitt to the broader community. She noted last year’s pop-up concert at Westown Shopping Center featuring the Dayton Funk All-Stars drew a crowd of 500.
“We acknowledge there are barriers and not everybody has the ability to come to the free Levitt series,” Wagner explained. “So, we’re planning to do eight pop-up concerts. In May we’re going to go to the Lakewood Apartments in Dayton as well as The Foodbank and the Hope Center. We’ve also made arrangements with Dayton Children’s Hospital and the city of Trotwood. We really do believe strongly that the mission of building community through music is not just venue-specific. There are a lot of opportunities to do good work. Music is the universal language that brings us together and levels the playing field.”
All concerts in the 2023 Eichelberger Concert Season begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Levitt Dayton, 134 S. Main St., is located in Dave Hall Plaza in downtown Dayton and features lawn seating. Audience members can bring in their own lawn chairs and food and beverage, including alcohol, although glass is prohibited. There are also food and beverage vendors on site and lawn chair rental is available for a $5 donation.
“People have become like a family on the Levitt lawn,” added Wagner. “We love hearing that so many people are excited to reconnect through our free live music series this summer. We hope that they’ll invite their friends and family who have never experienced a Levitt Dayton concert, so that we can continue to grow this incredible community we’ve seen form over the five seasons that the space has been activated.”
The following artist descriptions have been provided by Levitt Pavilion Dayton:
2023 Eichelberger Concert Season at the Levitt Pavilion Dayton
Thursday, June 1
The Revered Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band is a country blues trio known for their high-energy live shows and unique blend of country, blues and rock music. The band consists of Reverend J. Peyton on guitar and vocals, his wife “Washboard” Breezy Peyton on washboard and backing vocals, and Max Senteney on drums. They have released several albums and toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, gaining a following with their impressive musicianship and raw energy.
Friday, June 2
Gem Series Opener: Yvette Diva Williams
Garth. is a New York City-based singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, with over 3 million streams on Spotify. His most recent studio EP, “Our Father,” is described as being “as evocative sonically as it is lyrically.” With songs running the full gamut from deep soul grooves to ‘80s-R&B-surf rock, “Our Father” gives Garth. the space to be reflective, jubilant and mournful. Garth. is a successful touring artist with performance highlights including shows at Carnegie Hall, Apollo Theater, Brooklyn Bowl, Bowery Ballroom and Irving Plaza.
Saturday, June 3
Gem Series Opener: Freya’s Felines
Powerhouse art-punk cello-rock duo Lung has a sound that is dark and commanding, evoking the driving sludge of early grunge with layered sinister undertones. Described as “loud, dissonant, innovative, and fearless” (Fair Shakes and Just Dessert) and “post-grunge mixed with a dose of the Avant Garde (Paul Silver, Jersey Beat), “Lung doesn’t try to fit in - they pry their way in with a velvet crowbar” (Brian Baker, CityBeat Cincinnati).
Thursday, June 8
Gem Series Opener: The Luv Locz Experiment
Etana rose to prominence in 2006 with an inimitable musical style that resists categorization. She is a mesmerizing performer whose vocals are as culturally defining as South Africa’s Miriam Makeba or Jamaica’s Marcia Griffiths and as dynamic as classic Whitney Houston. People are so consistently enthralled by Etana’s music that several of “Free Expressions’” songs topped the charts in Jamaica and reggae charts internationally.
Friday, June 9
With swooping hooks and party grooves the cumbia-grounded sound of this identity-inclusive LGBTQIA+ band buoyantly challenges societal norms, celebrates difference, and reclaims the love song for all.
Saturday, June 10
Son of SLAVE
The Son of SLAVE is the rebirth of funk representing Ohio music. The Son of SLAVE is Mark L. Akridge, bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, and the oldest son of the late great Mark Adams of the Funk group Slave.
Thursday, June 15
John Doe Folk Trio
Gem Series Opener: Harold Hensley
The John Doe Folk Trio is the latest project from the X frontman. Formed in his home of Austin, Texas, the trio recorded Doe’s latest album “Fables In a Foreign Land” and consists of Doe, bassist Kevin Smith and drummer Conrad Choucron.
Friday, June 16
Scales was born in Michigan, forged in Chicago, and now lives in Nashville. He grew up with B.B. King calling him “nephew” and calls his music “Dive Bar Soul,” a blend of indie rock storytelling and the passion of the blues. In 2022, he caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres who invited him to perform on her final season.
Saturday, June 17
Juneteenth Concert Ft. Grammy-Award Winning Rebirth Brass Band
Juneteenth Community Commemoration and Opening Ceremonies (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.)
For almost four decades, the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band has been “stunning” fans with a fiery live show and a rich musical catalog. Their trademark sound pays homage to the New Orleans brass band tradition while weaving a tapestry that combines elements of jazz, funk, soul, R&B and the sounds from the streets they grew up on.
Thursday, June 22
Named after Ukrainian nomads, Scythian (sith-ee-yin) plays roots music from Celtic, Eastern European and Appalachian traditions with thunderous energy, technical prowess, and storytelling songwriting, beckoning crowds into a barn-dance, rock concert experience.
Friday, June 23
Levitt National Tour Presents: La Santa Cecilia
Levitt National Tour presents this exciting Grammy-winning band, whose passionate, high-energy performances blend cumbia, rock, bolero and bossa nova into a unique fusion of sounds, captivating audiences across the globe.
Saturday, June 24
MarMonroe and CeeofDreams
Ohio native MarMonroe is an R&B singer that caught attention going viral for her stories on popular instrumental beats and her bold and loving personality. She’s an artist by nature that writes and sings the spirit and soul of what she sees.
Throughout the course of her musical career, Ceeofdreams has won over the hearts of music lovers from all walks of life. Born and raised in Dayton, Ceeofdreams is a proud Gem City native. Although she sang in the church during her early years, she would go on to participate in spoken word groups as well as performing art forms like stage plays, poetry, dancing and, of course, singing.
Thursday, June 29
Salvadore Ross is a fuzz-inspired psychedelic rock and roll band from Dayton featuring equal parts space rock, heavy greasy riffs and 1960s style songwriting. The band’s name is derived from a 1964 episode of the television series “The Twilight Zone” entitled, “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross”, which emphasizes the importance of compassion over selfishness.
Comprised of a tight knit group of six fun-loving best friends, Nightbeast, out of Dayton, is one-part nerdcore, one-part pop-punk, and 100 percent the hottest party band in the Midwest. Having opened for world-renowned acts like Andrew WK and local emo legends Hawthorne Heights, Nightbeast thrills audiences and recapitulates the foolhardy nostalgia for the party metal scene of the late ‘90s and early 2000s.
Friday, June 30
Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones
Gem Series Opener: The Mulchmen
Dave Alvin, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, singer and self-described barroom guitarist, is considered by many to be one of the pivotal pioneers of Americana. Alvin has recorded with such diverse artists as Bobby Rush, Tom Waits, John Mellencamp, Little Milton, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and The Knitters, while his songs have been recorded by performers like Los Lobos, Dwight Yoakam, James McMurtry, Buckwheat Zydeco, Joe Ely and Marshall Crenshaw as well as having been featured in various movies/TV shows including “The Sopranos,” “Justified,” “Girls,” “Crybaby”, “Dusk To Dawn,” “The Wire” and “True Blood.”
Saturday, July 1
Ernie Johnson From Detroit
Ernie Johnson From Detroit is a Cincinnati based big band that blends funk, afrobeat, and jazz with ‘70s psychedelia and hard rock to create a hypnotic, danceable sound that is both accessible and boundary pushing at the same time. Their stage show is known to be a high-energy, infectious dance party that centers on intense, spontaneous improvisation combined with tight, sophisticated compositions that live inside the groove.
Thursday, July 6
An Evening with Tab Benoit
Gem Series Opener: Anthony Rosano & Conqueroos
Tab Benoit is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist who has built a remarkable 30+ year career on the foundation of his gritty and soulful Delta swamp blues, acquiring a devoted legion of fans along the way, as well as five Blues Music Awards, including BB King Entertainer of the Year (twice) and an induction into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Friday, July 7
King and Associates
Formed in Adelaide South Australia in 2014, the band first made waves across Australia and New Zealand being nominated in every category of the 2018 Australian Blues Music Awards on the back of their second album “Tales of A Rich Girl.” Tales was tracked in L.A. by seven-time Grammy winner Jim Scott and mixed in Nashville by four-time Grammy winner Vance Powell.
Saturday, July 8
The Vindys are passionate about representing their hometown of Youngstown as a place where the music scene is thriving. Their name pays homage to their roots by drawing influence from Youngstown’s daily newspaper, The Vindicator. The Vindys have performed at various festivals including WonderRoad, Three Rivers Arts Fest, and Summerfest where the band won the vote as the crowd’s favorite artist as part of the Emerging Artist Series. Additionally, The Vindys were direct support for Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Walk Off the Earth, The Drive-By Truckers, Hunter Hayes and more.
Thursday, July 13
Gem Series Opener: Stringus Khan
Kentucky-born Dean Osborne began his music career at age 5, learning to play the piano from his father. While attending a concert by his cousins, Grand Ole Opry stars, the Osborne Brothers, Dean fell in love with bluegrass music. Dean has shared the stage with some of the most well-known names in the Bluegrass world, including the Osborne Brothers, J.D. Crowe, and Ralph Stanley. He has also recorded as a guest artist with Richard Bennett and appears on Rebel Records’ first “Live” video featuring Richard and Wanda Bennett, Randall Barnes, and the late, Phil Leadbetter.
Friday, July 14
Jordan Occasionally (they/them) is a non-binary, dance-pop and R&B artist who received critical acclaim after the independent release of their album “Indigo.” Following that successful release, Jordan Occasionally’s Single “Lie Lie Lie” went viral on TikTok, leading to JD’s first ever awards nomination by the Black Boy Bulletin Magazine as “Tik Tok’s Hit Song.” It was added to four Spotify editorial playlists, and played in H&M retail stores all around the US. Jordan Occasionally’s platform is bigger than music. Their passion for social activism has always been the catalyst for their creativity, from the second they released their first EP “1998″. In 2021, JD was awarded the “Communicator of the Year Award” for protests they lead on behalf of Black women and Black trans lives in the US.
Saturday, July 15
Gem Series Opener: Signature Levitt Summer Camp Student Showcase
With a voice rich in emotional vulnerability and nimble power, Nomfusi conquers every stage and every heart. She tackles complex and culturally urgent topics, from domestic violence to female desire, in originals that shimmer with maskandi guitar flourishes and soaring melodies, while hinting at everything from house to ‘70s jazz to funk.
Thursday, July 20
Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers
The Classic Jazz Stompers have been serving up early jazz, blues, and hot dance music since the early 1980s. That old music remains young, and so do the members of this band. All are masters of the craft. If you haven’t as yet fallen in love with their brand of music, you will do so when you hear them play.
Friday, July 21
Angie K is shaking up Nashville with her fresh blend of hard-hitting country with a nod to her Latin roots. Her first bilingual single “Real Talk” catapulted her onto the country scene by making her a ‘Highway Find’ on Sirius XM the Highway. Since then, she has accumulated over 20 million+ streams, 500k+ followers, and was the only independent artist to play on the Nissan Stadium stage during the 2022 CMA Fest. She was recently named to the 2023 class of CMT’s ‘Next Women of Country’ after scoring three back-to-back No. 1 music videos on the channel’s 12 pack countdown. Angie has shared the stage with artists like Big & Rich, Tanya Tucker, Sammy Kershaw, Trace Adkins, Melissa Etheridge, Jake Owen and more.
Saturday, July 22
Gem Series Opener: The Price Brothers Band
Triple threat vocalist, songwriter and guitar player, Hannah Wicklund boasts a resume that can be hard to match for most multi-decade musicians. Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones has amassed over 4.5 million streams on their most recent project and have been billed alongside current and legendary chart-topping mainstays such as X Ambassadors, Cage the Elephant, Tom Petty, Alanis Morissette and Muse.
Thursday, Aug. 3
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
Gem Series Opener: Crazy Joe and the Mad River Outlaws
Since forming in 1988 in Southern California, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys have become one of the world’s most beloved Americana/Roots acts, drawing from the deep musical waters that flow just beneath the surface of rock and roll’s fertile soil. After nearly 35 years on the road, and more than two dozen releases to their credit, they remain key figures on the ever-changing Americana circuit, both on record and in live appearances.
Friday, Aug. 4
The Rumble featuring Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr.
Featuring six Grammy-nominated musicians, The Rumble is more than just a band —it’s an opportunity to be immersed in a wholly unique facet of New Orleans culture. Composed of Second Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr. of the Golden Eagles, trumpeter Aurélien Barnes, trombonist José Maize Jr., bassist TJ Norris, guitarist Ari Teitel, keyboardist Andriu Yanovski, and drummer Trenton O’Neal, the group fuses iconic New Orleans funk in the vein of The Meters and The Neville Brothers — but updated, modern and vibrant befitting the next generation —with electrifying brass and the singular visual splendor of the Black Masking carnival tradition.
Saturday, Aug. 5
Eman, Tino, and K. Carter
Gem Series Opener: Trey Posey
Eman Jones is a hip-hop artist from Dayton. Music for Eman started out as therapy, but then grew into him pursuing it as a career to be able to help others. Over the years he has toured and worked with Talib Kweli, Roscoe Dash, Young Money, Mike Jones, Dj Toomp, Skyzoo, etc. Achieving success in his own right Eman has laid foundation for his audience to be able to relate and heal in life, but also have a good time with the fun and creativity.
TINO found his love for rhyming while attending college in Dayton. Since 2012 TINO has performed numerous shows across multiple states opening for hip-hop greats such as Talib Kweli, Del The Funky Homosapien, Cappadonna and more. TINO has released a multitude of projects with his latest release, “La Pa Bavarde,” being an international collaboration with French producer DJ Marrrtin. TINO, an ‘80s baby, has a unique style which blends the Golden Era of hip-hop with modern elements bridging the gap between the old and new schools of the genre.
K. Carter is a hip-hop artist from Dayton. The self-proclaimed “Son of Hip-Hop” has a style of music that fits any demographic. He is all about community and love and it shows through his lyricism. His music is loved by people all over the world. His songs have people from all walks of life enjoying themselves.
Thursday, Aug. 10
Gem Series Opener: Solistic
Marcella Simien was born into one of the first Creole families to settle St. Landry Parish. Daughter of two-time Grammy-winning Zydeco luminary Terrance Simien, Marcella was practically born onstage and grew up immersed in sound and performance.
Friday, Aug. 11
Black Opry Revue
Black Opry is a home for Black artists and Black fans of country, blues, folk, and Americana music. The Black Opry Revue showcases the diversity in sound and stories that Black artists offer to these genres.
Saturday, Aug. 12
Larry Lee & the Back in the Day Band
The “Back In the Day Band” was formed by Larry Lee who played professional football with the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins and Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos. The “Back In The Day Band” that Larry assembled is comprised of some of the finest musicians around. They feature former members of The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Spinners, The Dramatics, The Contours, and The Funk Brothers.
Thursday, Aug. 17
Deron Bell Smooth Jazz Band
Deron Bell is a music director, keyboardist, bass player, producer, composer and recording artist. His band has shared the stage with many national recording artists, particularly opening for Ledisi, Wyclef Jean, Boney James, Rachelle Ferrell, Mint Condition, The Stylistics, Kirk Franklin, Alex Bugnon, Marion Meadows, Peabo Bryson, Bootsy Collins, Marvin Sapp, Howard Hewitt, Phil Perry and many others. The Deron Bell Smooth Jazz Band will be performing a high energy show that encompasses a jazzy R&B Motown funk flavor with audience participation.
Friday, Aug. 18
North to Nashville
Gem Series Opener: Ludlow Creek
North to Nashville consists of Evan Blankenship as the lead vocalist, Brian Turnbull on lead guitar, Ryan Tuhy on bass guitar, and Ben Anderson on drums. While each of the band’s members comes from their own different musical backgrounds, one thing is clear – their passion for playing great country music. Formed in March of 2018, the boys of North to Nashville have quickly gained significant recognition throughout the Midwest and have achieved massive success throughout their hometown of Columbus.
Saturday, Aug. 19
Noah Wotherspoon and Eric Jerardi
Noah Wotherspoon found his calling at a young age and made a name for himself as one of the leading musicians and blues guitarists to reign from Dayton.
Eric Jerardi is a musician, singer and songwriter who has been making waves in the music industry for many years. With his unique blend of blues, rock, and soul, Jerardi has carved out a place for himself in the music industry and is sure to continue making an impact for years to come.
Thursday, Aug. 24
Falu: Indie Hindi
Falu, known for her “Indie Hindi” sound, blends traditions of Indian classical and folk music with western pop, rock and electronic styles to create songs that explore themes of womanhood, romance, longing, love, and loss. Seamlessly able to vacillate between five different South Asian languages while backed by her award-winning band, Falu’s sound has been called “Ethereal and Transcendent” by Billboard Magazine, and “reflects a rare brand of timelessness and Avant-guard charm” (Vogue India).
Friday, Aug. 25
Founding member, lead singer and bass player of internationally acclaimed blues/rock band Trampled Under Foot, Danielle Nicole Schnebelen stepped out on her own in 2015 with her debut album “Wolf Den.” In 2018, Nicole returned with a follow-up release via Concord Records entitled “Cry No More” garnering a 2019 Grammy nomination for Contemporary Blues Album.
Saturday, Aug. 26
Gem Series Opener: Visitor
Formed in late 2019, Bohemian Funk is a four-piece band from Dayton. Best described as ‘rock n soul,’ their music is a modern take on classic rock blended with elements of southern rock, country, gospel, funk, reggae and blues. Their first single, “Detroit Cowboy,” was released in January of 2021 and featured on HBO’s “NFL’s Hard Knocks: Detroit Lions” in 2022.
Thursday, Aug. 31
David Hause and the Mermaid
Gem Series Opener: Novena
Dave Hause is a singer-songwriter currently performing both solo and with his band The Mermaid. His music draws from heartland rock, folk rock, and punk rock. He has also played in multiple Philadelphia-area punk and hardcore bands, including The Loved Ones and The Falcon.
Friday, Sept. 1
Erica Falls and Vintage Soul
Gem Series Opener: Crabswithoutlegs
Soul singer and songwriter Erica Falls credits her unique vintage sound to her childhood growing up in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, where her parents introduced her to Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughn and Whitney Houston. Whether on stage or in the studio, she channels a sassy, soulful tone that recalls an earlier era. But Erica cautions her fans: “Vintage soul is not about bringing the listener back to a time of authentic music, it’s about reminding them that it never went anywhere.”
Saturday, Sept. 2
McGuffey Lane is a country rock band from central Ohio. McGuffey Lane is still going strong with the three original surviving members (Steve George Reis, Terry Efaw and John Schwab) in the band. McGuffey Lane still performs about 20 concerts annually.
Thursday, Sept. 7
Right off the streets of New Orleans, Tuba Skinny is dedicated to bringing the best in traditional early jazz swing to audiences around the world. For over a decade Tuba Skinny has grown steadily in popularity, releasing 12 albums and touring all over the world. They’ve attracted a wide variety of fans with the strength of their musicianship and the scope of their jazz and American roots music catalog.
Friday, Sept. 8
Based out of Nashville and Arizona, the band unites around the pursuit of fostering a community of worshippers centered around God’s love. Village Lights’ heartbeat is one of unity, inclusivity and reconciliation wrapped in worshipful devotion. More than a band, Village Lights is the beginning of a movement of worship and rally cry for those who seek justice in our world and in our Church.
Saturday, Sept. 9
Dayton Funk All-Stars
Dayton Funk All-Stars, sometimes called Dfunk, offers the best of the iconic sound of funk: soulful with horns, sparkling vocals and plenty of flash! They have hit the stage opening for Ledisi, After 7, Mark Woods of Lakeside, The Ohio Players, Zapp and more. This musical group specializes in the Dayton sound. However, performing DFunk originals infused with R&B grooves and Funk energy is exciting too.
Thursday, Sept. 14
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
In the past few years Cherry Poppin’ Daddies have become the kind of band that you would want to book if you were throwing a soiree at the Gatsby mansion. Penning elegant, lush, pitch perfect arrangements of much of the great American songbook, from Cole Porter to Frank Sinatra, the Daddies have surprised many, likely familiar with them from the early ‘90s.
Friday, Sept. 15
A musical pioneer, having been credited as one of the prominent creators of the Latin alternative rock sound of the late ‘90s in the USA, this eclectic and unconventional musician has cemented his artistic fingerprints in the music industry for over three decades now. Elsten is a multicultural bilingual artist who has performed on stages all over the world as well as an award-winning songwriter with major international hits. He has earned two Grammy nominations, two BMI songwriting awards and six Billboard Top 10 hits throughout his career.
Saturday, Sept. 16
The Sensational Barnes Brothers
The Sensational Barnes Brothers are a melting pot of the old and the new. As Popmatters states, “The brothers run through a spectrum of moods and modes in their gospel soul, often bridging the gap between, say, the Soul Stirrers and Stax, all the while keeping a local flavor.” The brothers are able to dive deep into their roots, creating a sound that reflects the music of their history, all the while drawing in a modern-day audience.
For more information, visit LevittDayton.org.