Arlington, VA

This column is written and sponsored by Arlington Arts/Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced a return to ‘The Basics’ and the simple pleasures of some ‘retro’ technologies.

Thanks to the old-school medium of radio, Arlington Arts is able to forge ahead with Lubber Run Live on WERA 96.7 FM –LIVE performances and discussions broadcast weekly with host Ken Avis (The Antidote), Saturdays at 5 p.m., July 11 through August 8 (live streaming on wera.fm ).

Lubber Run Amphitheater is a summertime tradition for Arlington residents. But during the pandemic, the shoulder-to-shoulder audiences that we’re accustomed to at this sylvan venue located just off of Route 50 in the Arlington Forrest neighborhood, just aren’t possible. Through the magic of radio, audiences can still enjoy a range of music, with no threat of ‘rain-outs’: Jazz and Go Go, Roots Rock, Soul and Blues are all part of the mix.

This partnership between Arlington Arts and WERA was a natural. Arlington’s only radio station, WERA’s mission is to enlighten, enrich and entertain Arlington’s diverse community by promoting and facilitating independent radio. A project of Arlington Independent Media, WERA’s programming is produced by and for the community.

The lineup for Lubber Run LIVE is brimming with a mixture of toe-tapping Amphitheater favorites, and a splash of new talent, including:

July 11: The Jogo Project

The JoGo Project is a fusion ensemble with Jazz and Go-Go at the core. Founded in 2014 by D.C. native Elijah Jamal Balbed, the band is dedicated to keeping Go-Go music alive while also exploring new sounds.

July 18: Nkula

Ethiopian-born “Ras Abel” Mekonnen’s band Nkula features a unique blend of foundational reggae with infusions of African influence (e.g. zouk and soukous riddims). Their high-energy groove exposes audiences to musical styles that broaden horizons.

July 25: Caz Gardiner

A 2019 Wammie (Washington DC Area Music Association) nominee for best Soul Artist/Group, Caz Gardiner is a high energy performer who writes songs of overcoming struggles and celebrating life with a Soul Rock and Reggae sound that is as diverse and driving as she is.

August 1: Justin Jones

A native Virginian, Jones started playing open mic nights in Charlottesville in his early teens, and has appeared at the Virgin Mobile Festival and the Floyd Festival. At the 2012 Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL), Speakers in Code named his one of the Event’s top-ten performances, and Bob Boilen of NPR’s All Songs Considered lists Justin Jones “as one of the top performances of the year.”

August 8: Lauren Calve

Washington, D.C. area singer-songwriter, guitar and lap steel player Lauren Calve has brought a vital new energy to the Americana scene. On her latest EP, Wildfire, Calve delves into complex issues ranging from the increased polarization and divisiveness prevalent in the U.S. and around the world, corporate greed and their role in both the climate crisis and gun violence, women’s’ stories that are dominating public consciousness, and even the precarity of online dating.

So tune-in for Lubber Run LIVE on WERA 96.7. Bookmark their website to listen to the live-stream. Create your own Live Listening Experience when you fire up the car radio or pull the speakers onto the porch! Listeners are encouraged to recreate their own Lubber Run picnic experience and order take-out and beverages from local restaurants.

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