Thursday Music Series

From Mayor Finch:

Downtown Thursdays Returns with Eclectic Lineup of Local Artists. City’s Downtown After-Work Concert Series Now in its Second Year; WTNH’s Kristen Cusato to Serve as Emcee

Downtown Thursdays (, the popular summer after-work concert series, returns to McLevy Green on July 7 and continues through September 1, with a break for Gathering of the Vibes. The concert series is organized by the City of Bridgeport Mayor’s Office and local businesswoman Dr. Jennifer Lynne, owner of The Backstroke, and is sponsored by several local businesses and companies.

“Arts and culture have played a significant role in the revitalization of Bridgeport’s Downtown,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “This concert series is an excellent opportunity to listen to great musicians while showcasing our beautiful downtown area home to many wonderful restaurants and shops. I urge everyone to come downtown and take advantage of all that Bridgeport has to offer.”

The concert series runs every Thursday evening from July 7 to September 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free; Tiago’s Restaurant will once again be providing drink specials and refreshments from their portable drink tent on the Green.

“A vibrant street culture is an absolutely key part of the comeback of all the successful urban communities” stated Donald Eversley Director of Planning & Economic Development. “Newcomers to the City look for it right away. The great traction we have gained with the growth in new downtown stores and apartments in the last few years must be supported with key initiatives like Downtown Thursdays, the Bridgeport ArtsFest and the Farmers Market.”

Following the successful first series last summer, Ben Henson, a planner in the City’s Office of Planning and Economic Development, and Dr. Lynne worked together to organize another summer of musical offerings on the City’s historic McLevy Green.

This year, Kristen Cusato, morning anchor on WTNH-Ch 8 will serve as emcee for the entire concert series. “We’re thrilled to have Kristen join us as our emcee; she has a real passion for music and is a supporter of live music throughout the area,” said Henson.

A local nonprofit organization will be featured on the Green each week to help raise awareness for its cause, including Habitat for Humanity, Bridgeport Rescue Mission and the Alzheimer’s Association, to name a few.

Downtown Thursdays is sponsored by the City of Bridgeport, The Backstroke, United Staging & Rigging, Downtown Special Services District, Holiday Inn Bridgeport & Blue Martini Lounge, City Trust/Arcade/Golden Hill Apartments, Kuchma Corporation, People’s United Bank, Aquarion Water Company, Pullman & Comley, Guy’s Automotive Specialties and the Bridgeport Police Union Local 1159.

For more information and updates, visit, and “Like” downtownthursdays on Facebook.

Downtown Thursdays Lineup

July 7 – Mystic Bowie

July 14 – Orquesta Afinke

July 28 – What Up Funk Band

August 4 – DooWop Night with Yesteryear and The Chords

August 11 – Caravan of Thieves

August 18 – Jennifer Hill & Company

August 25 – Bliss and The Zambonis

September 1 – Special O Band

The concert series opens on July 7 with Mystic Bowie, a reggae artist who was once a member of Stanley and the Turbines, and has been a featured solo artist for Reggae Sunsplash. He has opened for a heavy-hitting lineup of reggae greats including Toots & the Maytals, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff as well as for Latin pop diva Gloria Estefan. Mystic’s work has crossed over both into film and advertising.

July 14 – Orquesta Afinke

On July 14, Orquesta Afinke, a 9-piece Latin band comprised of musical veterans will share their diverse repertoire which includes styles typical to many Latin American countries including: Salsa, Meringue, Cumbia, Boleros, Plena and Latin jazz, among others. Orquesta Afinke is led by Tito Planas and Samuel Diaz Jr., two Bridgeport educators who have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many well-known Latin musicians.

July 28 – What Up Funk Band

The Soulful and always funky What Up Funk Band takes the stage on July 28 to share its special brand of high energy “dance addictive” repertoire with the downtown audience. The seven-piece ensemble has played with R&B legends such as the Average White Band, Tower of Power, and Little Anthony and the Imperials.

August 4 – DooWop Night with Yesteryear and The Chords


Yesteryear is one of Connecticut’s premier oldies groups, formed in 1961 and is still performing today. Yesteryear has performed with such groups as: Brooklyn Bridge, The Dubs, The Five Satins, The Drifters, The Del Vikings, The Temptations, Leslie Gore, Little Anthony & The Imperials, The Impalas, The Platters, The Shirelles, The Shangri Las and many more.

The Chords

Although many may have performed as The Chords, only this group led by Tito Rivera has been able to continue the authentic sounds of the original Chords of the 1950s: Carl and Clause Fester, Jimmy Kyes, Floyd Buddy McRae and Ricky Edwards. Current members Tito Rivera (Bass), Al Mae Jr. (1st Tenor), Jim Malloy (Lead) and Richard Rivera (2nd Tenor) carry on the famous “Sh-Boom” harmonies of The Chords.

August 11 – Caravan of Thieves

Caravan of Thieves create fun yet elegant compositions that embody the spirit and swing of early gypsy jazz but with plenty of witty, inventive lyrics and vocal harmonies to serenade the listener. Fiery violin arrangements, thumping upright bass and rhythmic acoustic guitar spanking counteract the sweet, melodic, harmonious male/female vocals of Fuzz and Carrie. Within their first year together, Caravan of Thieves have managed to win immediate praise for their new and unique brand of alt gypsy acoustic.

August 18 – Jennifer Hill & Company

Often described as a “piano soul collective,” Jennifer Hill & Company’s sound is a musical martini of pop, rock, soul, and funk shaken together with a fat piano pounding beat. The band’s influences range from The Beatles, Massive Attack, Bjork, Ben Folds, Pink Floyd, Fiona Apple, Blondie, Madonna, Sarah Vaughn, Esthero, Led Zeppplin to … everything you can possibly think of. Although the music is all original, Jennifer Hill & Company is known to bring down the house with obscure covers from Pearl Jam’s “Release” to Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus.”

August 25 – Bliss & The Zambonis


Bliss covers pop, dance, funk, rock hits from the ’70s to the present while tailoring their sets to suit the vibe of the party and audience they are playing for. Their high energy performances are sure to keep any audience having a great time dancing and singing along all night.

The Zambonis

Few rock bands have been featured in both Sports Illustrated and Billboard. Few have played both punk-rock clubs and Harlem’s Apollo Theatre. Few have appealed to fans young and old. But the quirky 100% hockey-rock Zambonis have somehow prevailed—impressing music snobs, sports freaks and critics simultaneously.



  1. *** Entertainment seems a bit unknown & politically connected on some of these acts, no? (yesteryear & chords) Bring back Joe Celli to run the concerts for the summer, he was good at it and brought some class acts! *** SOS ***


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