Riverdale plans busy summer at new arts center

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Kathy Jefcoats


From competing lobsters to old-school R&B concerts, Riverdale plans a summer filled with public events, either free or cheap.

The Afterwork Cool Down Music Series started Thursday at the Amphitheater of Riverdale Town Center with Alex Lattimore and Chandra Currelley. The Thursday evening series continues June 23 with Dawn McClain, followed by Gritz and Jelly Butter July 14; 911 Band July 28; Sol Factor Aug. 11; Chinua Hawk and Hudson on Bass Aug. 25; The Heit Band Sept. 8 and ending with Infinity Show Band Sept. 22.

The Thursday concerts, 6 p.m., to 9 p.m., feature local bands and are free. Patrons should bring a lawn chair, but no coolers or carry-ins.

The South City Concert Series starts June 18 with A'ngela Winbush and Keith Washington. All the concerts will be performed in the Amphitheater and will last from 8 p.m., to 11 p.m. General admission tickets are $8 in advance or $10 the day of the show. VIP tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show. Tables for eight are $200. No coolers or carry-ins.

Tickets can be bought at the Riverdale Centre for the Arts, Business and Leisure Services at 7210 Church St., or online at www.ticketalternative.com.

Singer-songwriter-keyboardist-producer Winbush kicks off the series. Her credentials include her No. 1 R&B hit "Angel" and hits as half the singing duo Rene & A'ngela, including "Save Your Love (for #1)" and "Your Smile." Winbush's professional experience dates back to Stevie Wonder's 1970s group, Wonderlove.

Keith Washington got started in the 1990s in urban contemporary music with his album "Make Time for Love," featuring the title track and "Kissing You." His background music has been heard on an NBC soap opera. He is host of Kisses after Dark on 105.9 Kiss in Detroit.

The series continues July 18 with Vesta Williams and the SOS Band. Williams released a number of singles and albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She had an R&B top 10 single, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy," from her debut album, "Vesta." She followed that up with two top five hits, "Sweet Sweet Love" and "Congratulations."

The SOS Band sold 2 million copies of their first single, "Take Your Time (Do It Right)." The Atlanta band was formed in 1977 and is considered by some to be one of the most successful funk-soul bands of the 1980s. Other hit singles include "High Hopes," "Just Be Good To Me," "Just the Way You Like It," "Finest" and "Tell me if You Still Care."

Howard Hewett and Angie Stone take the stage Aug. 20. Hewett danced on "Soul Train" and was one-third of Shalamar with Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley in 1979. Hewett's hit singles include "I'm for Real," "Stay," "Say Amen," "Show Me," "Jesus," and "How Fast Forever Goes."

Stone was in the R&B trio Vertical Hold in the early 1990s before singing with Devox in 1996. Her solo debut album, "Black Diamond" came out in 1999. Her top singles include "Wish I Didn't Miss Ya, Brotha," "No More Rain," and "More than a Woman."

Rounding out the summer will be a Seafood and Beer Fest Sept. 3 at the Riverdale Town Center. The festival will include live performances, kids' activities, Riverdale's first Lobster Derby and plenty of seafood to buy and eat. Admission to the event is free, but food and drinks will be available for purchase.