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Tom Tom Announces First Round of Bands for Founders Festival

Tom Tom Announces First Round of Bands for Founders Festival

Diverse Groups Play Free Concerts in Downtown Charlottesville, April 13-19

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (February 21, 2015) – Tom Tom returns to Charlottesville this April for a downtown music festival with dozens of free, outdoor concerts in genres ranging from hip hop to bluegrass, gospel to funk, indierock, afropop, soul, and everything in between.

Interviews available with Festival Director Paul Beyer and select performers. Please contact Carolyn Zelikow for more information.

Opportunities to Participate

Three slots are still open for bands. Deadline is 2/28

  1. Friday at Lee Park

  2. Midnight at JazzFest

  3. Belmont Block Party, Sunday

Songwriter Competition. Deadline is 3/15


Lee Park, 5-11pm, April 17th

Tom Tom’s signature Friday Block Party, which drew over 6,000 attendees in fall of 2014, moves to Lee Park this April, kicking off a weekend of celebrations in the heart of Downtown. This free, outdoor bash will feature funk, afrobeat, rock, and hip hop, as well as dance performances, a craft beer garden with exclusive Wild Wolf and New Belgium drafts, and children’s activities. Inside the neighboring Jefferson Public Library, poets and authors will deliver literary readings.

  1. The Funk Ark is a Funk/Afrobeat ensemble founded by Will Rast (Antibalas, Thievery Corporation, Ocote Soul Sounds) and comprised of the best jazz musicians from the Washington, D.C. area. Drawing from a love of the Latin Funk/Dance music scenes of the 1960s and 70s, The Funk Ark creates music that is gritty, soulful, and invigorating.

  2. Bosley. Named #1 on Baltimore Magazine’s Hip List, Bosley and his band channel eclectic influences from 40′s Swing to 60′s R&B to 80′s Hip Hop in blazing, high energy live performances.

  3. Lord Nelson, one of Charlottesville’s most raucous bands, starts off the night with Southern indie infused with unexpected trombone.

  4. Damani Harrison, Charlottesville hip hop’s guiding light leads a live set of unscripted beats and inspired collaborations.


Lee Park, 12-6pm, April 18th

The Third Annual Picnic Day Block Party is a free, daytime throwdown in Lee Park with activities that extend along Charlottesville’s pedestrian mall, and throughout the Farmers Market. It is a day of live music, dance, local food competitions, business showcases, pitch competitions, art performances, and more. Venues include 2nd Street Gallery, Old Metropolitan Hall, and The Haven, and the Main Street Arena. Bluegrass, barn-burning americana, reggae, psychedelic rock and brass play in Lee Park, while performance groups like Richmond Ballet’s Minds in Motion gets kids and families up and moving.

  1. The Southern Belles are a psychedelic, American, rock & roll band from Richmond, VA, and have toured the East Coast from Georgia to Vermont, sharing the stage with the likes of Anders Osborne, Moon Taxi, Keller Williams, Toubab Krewe, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Zach Deputy, and more.

  2. Elby Brass is Fredericksburg’s homegrown street brass band specializing in heavy horn funk. Trumpets, trombones, saxophones, sousaphones, and drums ignite on stage, authentic purple and gold uniforms tie it all together. Don’t expect anything but brash raw party grooves and definitely don’t expect to stand still.

  3. Chamomile and Whiskey formed in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia in the late winter of 2011 with an emphasis on high energy and passionate performance and shades of rock, americana, irish, gypsy, and old-time sounds… all played with a punk rock ferocity.

  4. Bourbon Barrel Congress conjure a sound that blurs the lines between bluegrass, old-time, folk and country music.

  5. The Sally Rose Band is “the most spirited mother/daughter fronted group you will ever encounter”, said Adam Gripp of Magazine 33.


Fellini’s #9, 5pm – 2am, April 18th

The 4th Annual New Orleans flavored street festival takes over the street and parking lot in front of the Charlottesville institution, Fellinis #9 for a night of jazz, rock, soul, and blues.


Champion Brewery, 7-11pm, April 18th

Tom Tom’s first heavy metal showcase. Presented by Champion Brewery with Iron Reagan, Ramming Speed, The Glorious Gone, and featuring the debut of Champion’s Black IPA.


Main Street Annex, 10pm – 2am, April 18th

Tom Tom teams up with the Student Hip Hop Organization for a night of MCs and DJs.


Downtown Belmont, 12 – 6pm, April 19th

Join friends and neighbors for street painting, live music, and top notch food. Tom Tom’s final block party turns the intersection of Monticello and Hinton into the unofficial front porch of Belmont, one of Charlottesville’s most vibrant communities. Bands are drawn from Belmont’s own native talent.

  1. Gallatin Canyon with masterful instrumentation, air-tight bluegrass arrangements and soaring vocal harmonics. The band has played throughout the region on many stages, including at the Charlottesville Intelos Wireless Pavilion opening for Bruce Springsteen and President Obama in 2012.

  2. Will Overman Trio, an up-and-coming group selected through Tom Tom’s open submission process.

  3. Matt Horn and his salsa-infused brass band


Various Locations, 6 – 8pm, April 19th

After the main party, Tom Tom will spread out into acoustic concerts on the porches of Goodman Street, Monticello Road, and Graves Street. Afterparty until 10pm at Mas, Charlottesville’s favorite tapas spot.


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