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African American Heritage Festival Time and Taking a Journey...

July 25, 2014 - Jim Price
As the summer season rolls along, a few more annual festivals and events bring live music to the area this weekend.

Saturday marks the 21st annual African American Heritage Festival, taking place at Penn State Altoona. Presented by the African American Heritage Project of Blair County, this year’s Festival will again feature an assortment of arts, crafts and informational displays, food and refreshments, children’s activities, and entertainment under the Laurel Pavilion. Altoona-based step group Platinum Soujahz kicks off the entertainment at 1:30 p.m., followed by the Local Talent Showcase at 2 p.m. Included in this showcase will be a fashion show, dance and musical artists. Pittsburgh-based west African drum and dance group Ibeji Drum Ensemble returns to the Festival to perform starting at 3:15 p.m., presenting a variety of west-African drum songs and dances. Pittsburgh-based classic R&B group House Of Soul returns to this year’s Festival with performances at 4 and 6:30 p.m. And Pittsburgh-based jazz saxophonist and vocalist Derek Redd will perform starting at 5 p.m. Admission to the African American Heritage Festival is free; there is a $1 parking donation.

This weekend also marks the Roaring Spring Firemen’s Festival, part of Spring Dam Weekend in Roaring Spring. The Festival presents Full Kilt on Friday night, the Giants Of Science on Saturday night, and Felix & the Hurricanes during the Sunday afternoon Cruise In classic car show.

Altoona’s Railroaders Museum continues their Alive @ Five Summer Concert Series on Friday evening with Philadelphia/Long Island-based Journey tribute group Separate Ways. With singer Dan Gagliano in the Steve Perry role, Separate Ways celebrates the Perry era of classic 1970s and ‘80s-era Journey, with an emphasis on vocals, harmonies and musicianship. Local favorites 7th Gear kick off the show at 6 p.m. Advance tickets are $10, or can be purchased at the gate for $15.

As always, readers are encouraged to support the wide variety of musical talent gracing area stages every week, and help ensure that such music continues to happen. And if alcohol is involved while enjoying the music, please drink responsibly, get a designated driver or call a cab.

Here is a full listing for live music on area stages this weekend and the coming week:


Alive @ Five Concert Series with Separate Ways (Journey tribute) and 7th Gear at Railroaders Museum, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

Full Kilt at Roaring Spring Firemen’s Festival, Roaring Spring (starts 7 p.m.)

10 Million Devils and Black Sun at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

This Albatross at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

k-Band at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

Locked and Loaded at Cesare Battisti, Altoona

Punk Fiction at Buccinese Society, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Joan & John at Heidelberg Club, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Born and the Beanstalk at Aviation Inn, Duncansville

Unhurried Ways at City Hotel, Northern Cambria


Real Country featuring Bill Ross, Jr. at Beach Concession, Canoe Creek State Park (starts 2 p.m.)

African American Heritage Festival at Penn State Altoona; featuring Platinum Soujahz (step group) (1:30 p.m.), Local Talent Showcase (2 p.m.), Ibeji Drum Ensemble (3:15 p.m.), House Of Soul (4 p.m.), Derek Redd (5 p.m.), House Of Soul (6 p.m.) (free admission, $1 parking fee)


Giants Of Science at Roaring Spring Firemen’s Festival, Roaring Spring (starts 7 p.m.)

7th Gear at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

The Whatleys, Railroad City Murder Machines, The Pandemics and Barons at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

Inside Out (Altoona) at Teriz Place, Altoona

Half Tempted at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

Felix & the Hurricanes at Catholic War Vets, Altoona

No Angels at Buccinese Society, Altoona

Shades Of Leather at Carrolltown Church Festival

Punk Fiction at Maple Crest Golf Course, Portage

Fuse at Davey’s, Hastings

2nd Street at Patton VFW, Patton


Jim Mosey at Beach Concession, Canoe Creek State Park (starts 2 p.m.)

“Sunday Funday” at Lakemont Park, Altoona; featuring The Sitch, Left for Dead, Autumn’s Wake, Ground Crew, Jarrod Bartok (starts 3 p.m., free admission)

Felix & the Hurricanes at Roaring Spring Firemen’s Festival Cruise In, Roaring Spring (starts 1 p.m.)


The Syrins at Valley View County Park, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

Dreadnot at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona

Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

Greg Burley at Andy’s Bar & Grill, Altoona


Open Mic with the Backyard Rockers at D’Ottavio’s Gran Sasso, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Open Mic Night at Bedford Tavern, Bedford (starts 6:30 p.m.)


Open Mic/Jam Night at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Ty Ayers at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona


Hair Force One at Wing Festival, Legion Park, Hollidaysburg (starts 5 p.m.)

Steve Summerhill at Jethro’s, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

Event Horizon, New Trick and Black Sun at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Brian Pavlic at 30 Something, Altoona

(More shows may be added to this list as information becomes available. Feel free to check back.)

To report additional shows or corrections to this listing, email information to

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Blog Photos

Pittsburgh's Ibeji Drum Ensemble, performing during last year's African American Heritage Festival at Penn State Altoona. The Ensemble, which specializes in west African drum music and dance, returns to this year's Festival on Saturday afternoon.


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