This spring, six artists from around the greater Lehigh Valley will again join forces in Bethlehem in an effort to promote tolerance through the power of music.
The third annual “Come Together” concert on April 5 will feature a stellar evening of dynamic music performances from singer Bev Conklin,, multi-instrumentalist John Huie, renowned bassist Bakithi Kumalo, singer Alyssa Allen, singer-songwriter Michael Duck (a.k.a. Not for Coltrane), and folk musician Dave Fry.
“Come Together” is set for 7 p.m. at Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem. There will be a $10 suggested donation at the door. Admission is free for students.
Proceeds from the April show will benefit the Anti-Defamation League’s Philadelphia office to support its “No Place for Hate” program in participating Pennsylvania schools. “No Place for Hate” is a 20-year-old anti-bullying initiative of the Anti-Defamation League that's used in more than 1,600 schools across the United States.
The evening will include a discussion led by Jack Silva, Bethlehem Area School District's assistant superintendent and chief academic officer, about how area district schools use the “No Place for Hate” program.
“The format of the show really is the message,” Duck said. “We're all different people from different backgrounds and different experiences, but we all get on that stage together and we make something amazing.”
Kumalo, best known for his work with Paul Simon — the South African musician recorded bass on SImon’s album Graceland, including the hit single “You Can Call Me Al” — has carved out an illustrious career as one of music’s most sought-after session musicians and sidemen. He has recorded and/or toured with such notable pop and rock legends as Gloria Estefan, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Randy Brecker, Josh Groban, Jon Secada, Chris Botti, and Grover Washington Jr. On March 3, Kumalo will receive a special recognition award during the Lehigh Valley Music Awards ceremony at Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem. (Kumalo is also scheduled to perform during the ceremony.)
Fry, a veteran of the Lehigh Valley music scene and favorite among his singer-songwriter peers, is a multiple Lehigh Valley Music Award winner and founder of Godfrey Daniels. His latest studio effort is Troubadour. Fry has performed at each of the “Come Together” concerts since its inception in 2017.
Conklin, also known as the Valley’s “Queen of the Blues,” has been dazzling audiences for more than two decades as the award-winning front woman for BC & the Blues Crew and BC Combo. Her various philanthropic endeavors include Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank, among others. Additionally, Conklin is the founder of the Lehigh River Blues Jam.
While many Valley fans may recognize Allen for her powerful vocal chops as part fo the former Soul Folks group, she currently lends her voice and mandolin skills to local music ensemble Jakopa’s Punch. Allen is currently an apprentice and teaching artist at Touchstone Theatre in Bethlehem.
Huie, a musician, teacher, and director of the World Percussion Ensemble at Northeast Middle School, was influenced by the influential, and iconic, grooves of Stevie Wonder and horn lines of Kool and the Gang. The multi-instrumentalist has brought his funk influence to his work with the group Soul Kitchen and playing music at his local church group.
Duck is a talented singer-songwriter, whose acoustic folk rock has made him a staple of the Valley’s music scene. In addition to his performances under his Not for Coltrane moniker (the name of which was inspired by his dog, whom Duck joked “thought he could sing but wasn’t part of the act”), Duck hosts the weekly Facebook live series, “#ColtraneTuesdays,” featuring his “Stump the Band” game.
Those who will not be able to attend can show their support by donating to the event’s GoFundMe campaign.
“Come Together” is presented as part of the SouthSide Arts District “First Friday” concert series, and is supported by additional community sponsors.