Members of musical ensemble Jakopa's Punch are celebrating Mardi Gras a little early this year.
Tonight, the group will perform its Mardi Gras-meets-Mummers-inspired "Jakopa's Punch Bowl" fundraising concert at the Charles A. Brown Ice House in Bethlehem.
The price of tickets -- which costs $35 in advance and $40 at the door -- include New Orleans-inspired light fare, beer and wine. Proceeds from the show will benefit Bethlehem-based Touchstone Theatre, which is a co-presenter of the "Jakopa's Punch Bowl."
Jakopa's Punch's catalog runs the gamut from Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs and Elton John to Prince and Bruce Springsteen. Their instrumentation features trumpet, trombone, theremin, flute, bassoon, ukulele, clarinet, piano, accordion, banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums and percussion.
"Jakopa's Punch has the most eclectic instrumentation and arrangements of any band I've seen in my 20 years playing in the Lehigh Valley, with only exception being George Hrab's Geologic Orchestra or Zen for Primates," said Hedrington, who performs in Jakopa's Punch, as well as the Lehigh Valley rock bands Roi and the Secret People and The Gonzo Project. "Sometimes I look up from the piano while we're playing 'Let's Go Crazy' and I hear a bassoon covering the bass as a Moog tackles the guitar solo, or I listen to our (Barcelona) Gypsy-Klezmer (Orchestra) interpretation of 'Blinded by the Light' and I really don't know whether to be amused or amazed. Until we hit 'Levon.' That is when my heart breaks and spills all over the floor."
Jakopa's Punch made their debut in early 2016 during a David Bowie and Glenn Frey tribute concert in Allentown, which also doubled as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The inaugural "Jakopa's Punch Bowl" concert was held in 2017.
Bassoonist Silagh White said joining Jakopa's Punch presented her with musical challenges she was never classically trained for. "But it's great to play music I love, with some pretty awesome people," she said. "What I love most about this experience is bringing the bassoon to a new level of playing. I'm open to play any style now!"
Hedrington added, "I guess you could say Jakopa's Punch is a roundhouse to your soul. It's all the feels and nothing you've experienced before, unless you're used to hearing theremin, flute, and clarinet cover Madonna, Peter Gabriel, and ABBA in the same set."