Chatham's Eden Hall campus hosting summer music series - PineCreek Journal

Chatham’s Eden Hall campus hosting summer music series

Thursday, May 23, 2019 | 1:30 AM

From Game of Thrones-inspired dining to the sounds of an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band, there’s a lot planned for the public at Chatham University’s Eden Hall campus this summer.

The Eden Hall Summer Series of live music returns for the sixth year with a series of free, family-friendly outdoor concerts held at the Hilda M. Willis Amphitheater.

They’ll kick things off with a jazz night to be held June 1 featuring the Funky Fly Project, Cross Currents and Stacia Abbott.

“Last year was the first year we tried to do the jazz night, and we got an incredible turnout across all different demographics,” said Jessica Bartko, coordinator of campus and residence life at Eden Hall. “We had folks across age ranges, a lot of people from the local communities and neighborhoods, and people from the city, so we decided to go with that again.”

The Funky Fly Project played last year and is a Pittsburgh-based quartet whose members are all under the age of 19 and play a style of classic jazz fused with contemporary funk. Cross Currents is also from Pittsburgh, the name a nod to the wide variety of styles they’re able to perform, including smooth jazz, fusion and R&B. Abbott is a vocalist from Liverpool, Ohio, whose style is described as a combination of classic R&B, neo-soul and jazz infused with her gospel roots.

On July 13, the series will feature Maria Sargent and Let’s Groove Tonight, a tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire.

Bartko said she was looking for acts for a pop night when she came upon the group online.

“Their online presence is really good,” she said. “You can pull them up on YouTube and they do a really good show so I’m excited for them. I heard they’ve been selling out locations they’ve been performing, so I think that’ll be a really good night.”

The music series closes out with the always popular bluegrass night, featuring The Shameless Hex and Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers on Aug. 3.

“Last year, over 600 people showed up for bluegrass night, which was phenomenal, and so we’re excited to do that one again,” Bartko said. “Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers performed a couple years ago, so we’re going with them again, and Shameless Hex is a bunch of good guys who put on a fun show. That’s what we’re trying to get at this year is just to have really fun shows where people can come on a Saturday night, bring their kids, bring their families and have a good evening, and I think our lineup really sets us up for that.”

To coincide with the music series, the dining hall will be offering a jazz-themed dinner, ’70s-themed dinner and bluegrass-themed dinner where patrons can either eat in the hall or grab compostable to-go containers and fill up for outdoor dining during the show. The charge is $10.50; $5.25 for ages 4 to 12 and free for kids under 4. Those interested are requested to register and prepay to ensure availability and help the campus mission of minimizing food waste. A limited number of at-the-door meals will be available.

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Also on tap for this summer is a Game of Thrones-themed farm-to-table dinner June 8. Fans of the show are invited to enjoy food inspired by Westeros, from Beyond the Wall to King’s Landing, featuring local purveyors and cocktails. The fee is $100 plus a cash bar for alcohol. Registration is required.