Post-Porchfest Dance Party with Live Music from the Bittersweet Band and School of HONK!
Saturday, June 8, 6 to 8 pm
[rain date June 9]
Arlington Global Service Station, 334 Mass Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474
Free and open to all!
GARAGE BAND is a pop-up dance party, a celebration of community, and a gathering in an unusual venue, the Arlington Global Service Station, a classic auto service station that has become, thanks to input from neighborhood artist Johnny Lapham, a public art landmark in the heart of Arlington’s Cultural District.
As described in the ArtsArlington/ACMI program “What’s Up with All Those Dots,” the service station’s owner Abe Salhi was inspired to bring art to his establishment when he heard about his neighborhood’s designation as Arlington’s first Cultural District. He cooked up a design with Lapham, an artist and long-time client who lived just down the street, and now the station’s canopy and upper walls are embellished with colorful circles and stripes out of a Dr. Seuss story.
Now the vibrant service station will also serve as host to a celebratory dance free-for-all, sponsored by the newly established Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture along with Porchfest promoters, the Arlington Center for the Arts. GARAGE BAND is the musical culmination of all the tonalities generated by the participants in this year’s Porchfest.
Bringing the party to the Arlington Global Service Station will be the highly acclaimed old school funk and R&B Bittersweet Band, along with the 100-member community street band School of HONK.
School of HONK has been exciting audiences since its creation as an inclusive community street band, welcoming people of all ages and abilities to play music and have fun. The diverse musicians of this ensemble bring joy and outrageous energy to the streets every time they appear in their distinctive thrifted polka dotted costuming.
The Bittersweet Band plays an irresistible blend of funk, soul, and classic R&B guaranteed to get people up on their dancing feet. With members drawn from Philadelphia, Virginia, New York and elsewhere, these talented players know how to lock in the groove. Drummer and leader Greg “PoPPa’G” Baker built up his chops backing up the Village People, touring with them during the height of their popularity. Bittersweet’s singer Tracy Howerton consistently knocks it out of the park with his outstanding lead vocals.
GARAGE BAND is organized with assistance from the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture’s Programs and Festivals Committee, an activist group of local arts leaders.
“We launched Live Arts Arlington as a new program to bring music, dance and visual arts to public spaces in Arlington this year,” explains chair Tom Davison. “Garage Band will be our signature event.”
“Believe me, on Saturday, June 8, this dance party will be THE place to be in Arlington,” added committee member Lidia Kenig-Scher.
Arlington’s arts scene has been gaining momentum in the last 3 years, bringing a cultural renaissance to the town. A newly reformed and energized Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture is working to bring artists and cultural organizations together to share goals, coordinate programs, and achieve synergy. www.artsarlington.org/, www.facebook.com/artsarlingtonMA/
GARAGE BAND is a perfect example of the Commission’s mission. It represents the culmination of the Arlington Center for the Arts’ Porchfest experience, which unfolds in neighborhoods throughout the town earlier that day. Arlington Global Service Station serves as a perfect venue for the GARAGE BAND celebration. The station’s owner Abe Salhi was awarded “Business of the Year” by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce in recognition of this innovative practice of privately sponsoring public art, in this case, engaging artist Johnny Lapham into transforming his establishment into a colorful array of polka dots and stripes. www.artsarlington.org/livearts/, www.facebook.com/events/365515420757357/