PHOTO: Peter Gourniak 2015

The music scene is back in Downtown Allentown, baby!

The music scene is back and alive in Downtown Allentown. Below are some photos from the past 12 months of performances by a wide variety of local, national and international acts that kicked it out in our fair city.

Don’t you love discovering new music, and seeing it live?

Lucky me, I got to shoot Allentown JazzFest and see almost every act. Being a little bit of a musician and producer back in the day, I was completely blown away by most of the bands. I bought the Dirk Quinn Band CD (and t-shirt) and listened to it for a month every day in the car. And I got to have a drink with world-renowned drummer JoJo Meyer at The Dime after his show. That guy played with the greats, including Nina Simone. And I had drinks with him!

But wait…there are more post-JazzFest discoveries!

A few weeks ago, after seeing my first indoor football game (Go Steelhawks!), a haunting melody pulled me over to The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar. Remember this name: Michelle Karmin. She was playing piano, singing and working a kick drum with her right foot. Mesmerizing is one of the words that almost describes the depth of coolness of this gifted writer/performer. Not even kidding, I bought her CD and I know almost all the lyrics to every song—I simply love it. Oh, and she was a top 10 finalist in Maxim’s hottest girl in the country two years back, too.

It’s a real treat to see all the entertainment that Allentown has now. It reminds me of the early days of the Austin, Texas, music scene. It’s great to see more and more venues popping up all the time, including the little grass amphitheater on the ArtsWalk  that is just about completed, right by the front door of  STRATA.  And more people are coming out to support the music scene here all the time.

Seeing and listening to great live performances is not only exciting, but it can be so inspirational, too. Music is the universal language of the world and synonymous with so many wonderful things. And it’s alive and well in Downtown Allentown at PPL Center, The Dime, ROAR, The Hamilton, Miller Symphony Hall, the ArtsPark and Shula’s Steak House, with other new venues coming that will keep Downtown Allentown a favorite place to enjoy music for years to come.


City Center Photographer Peter Gourniak has been a part of the Downtown Allentown arts and media industry for over three decades.

'The music scene is back in Downtown Allentown, baby!' have 2 comments

  1. July 29, 2015 @ 5:09 pm Jonathan

    I truly hope you are correct Peter. I am originally from Austin, and while I love all the advancements the LV, specifically Allentown, has made, a true music scene has been sorely missed. I cannot wait for the day when people start to compare their up and coming music scenes to Allentown’s early days.


    • July 29, 2015 @ 9:30 pm peter gourniak

      There are many forces at work here, and the response is just great. Any support and word of mouth promotion helps. Hope to see you out at one of the shows…..and thanks for commenting!


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