Coffee House in the Blackbox
The Aiken Community Playhouse’s Bechtel Experimental Theatre (blackbox) Coffee House, built upon the beatnik style coffeehouses of the 1960s, comes alive three times a year with open-mic sessions, musical entertainment and special guests. Tickets are $12 per person. Advance reservation needed. Doors open at 6:30 pm, show starts at 7 pm. Desserts and non-alcoholic beverages included in ticket price. Cash bar.
Preston and Weston ft. Sandra Simmons
It's not just a performance, it's a party when Wayne Preston and David Weston make music together with the Lady in Red, Sandra Simmons. The three have been entertaining audiences at local venues such as The Big Easy (since closed), Hotel Aiken, West Side Bowery, The Wine Cellar, Pat's Martini Bar, and Rose Hill Estate for several years with spirited renditions of R&B classics, shag, beach and pop music. Their mix also includes jazz standards, reggae, blues and even some country. Preston and Weston have lots of vocals, lots of laughs, and lots of fun.
Preston and Weston go together like hand in glove, and we're not just talking about their names. One of them has been a member of a Grammy Award winning group, the other was in the original Blues Brothers movie, and both have toured with James Brown. Each has roots in religious music and a strong devotion to his Christian faith.
They may be a trio but thanks to generous talent and instrumental versatility, combined with a little musical technology, they put out a band-size sound. At any moment, Wayne may be performing lead or background vocals with his phenomenal range, or playing various instrumental parts including a range of saxophones, flute, bell, tambourine, shaker egg, wood box, or whatever else he can pull out of his hat. At the same time, David is playing two keyboards, a different part for each hand, with percussion and drum programs controlled by his left foot while singing backup vocals. Add in the sultry and entertaining style of Sandra Simmons and their sound is phenomenal!
Spirit Fiddle, featuring Champion Fiddler Robin Warren and Guitarist Brian Clancey, performs a wide variety of energetic music, ranging from bouncy Southern and Texas swing tunes to sweet waltzes, old popular songs, bluegrass numbers, French Canadian and Celtic jigs and reels, and Parisian musette.
From The Boston Museum of Fine Arts to the renowned Fiddler's Grove Festival in Union Grove, North Carolina, from the syrup festival in Henderson, Texas, to the oldest bluegrass festival in Canada, from sidewalk cafes to coffee houses and formal concerts, audiences delight in the eclectic mix of music Spirit Fiddle performs, and in their natural sense of humor on stage. Since its first appearance over 15 years ago, Spirit Fiddle has given 1000s of performances and recorded 7 full-length albums.
Eugene enrolled for his academic training at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. While pursuing his Associate degree at Berklee, Eugene traveled back home on weekends to perform at shows around local towns, with his brothers. They performed in Broadway theaters throughout New York City. During the 1980’s his father eventually became manager of the group and they traveled to New Zealand and Canada in pursuit of emulating their career, as performers. During life in New York, Eugene met the owner of Clarence Music who recognized Eugene for his extraordinary talents, which then enveloped into recording sessions. Clarence Music prompted Eugene to embark on a solo career and he accepted under contract, a series of songs that would move him to the next level. Within a short period Eugene then released his first solo ‘Cruising with You’ that rose to the top ten in 2006, and sustained a period of 10 weeks on the international charts. In 2004 Eugene embarked and was awarded a contract with both Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland Cruise Lines, as an entertainer. It was Eugene’s first global travel experience to see countries and locations that he earlier dreamed of visiting. Over 10 years, he went to countries such as; Canada, The Bahamas, Australia and New Zealand.