Greenwich Town Party adds zydeco band, local musicians to lineup
GREENWICH — C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will perform on the main stage for the May 28 Greenwich Town Party, part of a lineup featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Daryl Hall and John Oates, former Creedence Clearwater Revival lead singer John Fogerty and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Chenier is a Grammy nominee and highly regarded zydeco musician known for blending blues and R&B together for a distinctive sound.
The son of Clifton Chenier, who has been called “the king of zydeco” he is set to perform with the Red Hot Louisiana Band for a set that is promised to be a crowd pleaser.
“You’re going to break a smile and stomp your foot before too long,” Chenier said. “This is happy music, and it makes you dance.”
In addition to the new headliners, party organizers announced the lineup for the afternoon acts, most of whom have Greenwich roots.
Party organizers said they were happy “to celebrate the diverse and abundant talent within the Greenwich community.”
“The town stage offers the opportunity for Greenwich residents of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels to have the once in a lifetime chance to open for world-renowned artists,” party organizers said in a Friday press release.
Ken Hayes, booking and production manager for the town party, said more than 50 local bands applied to appear at the event.
“It was incredibly challenging for us to get that list down to the final lineup this year,” Hays said. “We had to make some very difficult decisions in choosing which bands to have perform. This lineup, though, does have a great deal of musical diversity. It covers such a wide spectrum of genres and that really intrigued us.”
Following Kuhn will be the contemporary jazz band Echos, featuring Greenwich High School graduate Chase Kuesel on drums.
Cos Cob’s Anitra Brooks, a singer and songwriter who has performed internationally, will follow with a fusion of rock and soul along with country, Caribbean and R&B. After beginning her career as an actress,Brooks put out her first album earlier in the year.
“This is such a leap for me and I can’t wait,” Brooks said. “The energy and the vibe of being up there on stage with a band and not solo behind a keyboard is electric. People have been so supportive of my album here in town and they keep asking me when they can see me perform. Now I can tell them that they can see me at the Greenwich Town Party.”
Lions on the Moon, which includes Greenwich’s Nick Winegardner on rhythm guitar and lead drums, will return to the town stage; new this year is Connecticut band Kalimur, which features GHS graduate Brett Steinberg in its lineup.
The all-day festival will also feature The Blue Avenue Group with Elsie Teston, a band founded by Greenwich native Will Kencel in 2015. Kencel plays bass in the group. A local regular at JHouse and Polpo, Kencel said he’ll mark his first time on the Town Party stage by having his father, Ken Kencel of the Greenwich band Suburban Chaos, come and play with him.
“This is pretty exciting,” Kencel said. “I’ve been involved with music my whole life and I’ve been to the Greenwich Town Party as part of the audience and this is my first time performing there. It’s going to be great.”
The Charlie King Band, created by lifelong Greenwich resident Charlie King, will perform music ranging from bluesy rock to electric funk ballads. The final band on the town stage will be Rang-a-Boom, led by Brunswick School teacher Shane Kirsch, a saxophonist. The band played the town party two years ago.
“Being able to come back to an event like this is really a validation of everything we do,” Kirsch said “As an artist, if you don’t use it, then you start to get edgy. You have to tap into it. To be able to get in front of a crowd like this is a great adrenaline rush.”
General admission and neighbor tickets are sold out, but sponsor tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.greenwichtiwnparty.org . To purchase a ticket, one must be a Greenwich resident, Greenwich student, Greenwich business owner or the employee of the town or a Greenwich business.
“Its a blast to have a great town party together. Its all about celebrating our community — from the pulling the party together, to face-painting the kids, to supporting our local charities and of course to dancing to great music together,” said Ray Dalio, founder of the Greenwich Town Party. “This year’s will be the best ever.”