I love you like the pink in a rose
From your halo to the rings on your toes
Baby, let me take you out dancing tonight
—From “Cherry Bop” by Johnnie Lee Jordan
Pop Punk, Rock, Jazz/Pop Fusion: Whatever you’re hungry for, it’s on Sound Buffet’s menu. And it’s gratis. Presented by SPARKBOOM (an affiliate of Huntington Arts Council), Sound Buffet gives young, creative LI-bred musicians some exposure. The four acts performing on July 20 from 6:30-10pm on the Chapin Rainbow Stage–rocker Johnnie Lee Jordan & The Boys, violinist David Wong and the pop-punk bands This Is All Now and BlameShift—have developed their own followings and deserve to play on the big stage in Heckscher Park.
I last checked in with Johnnie Lee Jordan in Pulse’s December issue when he discussed his upcoming record Run, his appearance on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and his Back to Blue Gap ad. In the meantime, while the Patchogue native finds the funds to release his full-length, Jordan has been both inspired and motivated. He recorded a 4-song EP called Sol/Hum (which signifies an exasperated feeling akin to ‘holy shit’). “I say it to myself a few times when I know I’m about to react poorly,” noted Jordan, who is influenced by the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and the films of David Lynch.
While the music on Run has an indie folk rock feel,Sol/Hum has a more mellow sound overall, allowing Jordan to expand his vocal range. He channels Prince on parts of “Cherry Bop” and raps on “The Surprise Party,” which was inspired, in part, by a church organ. “I make all types of music,” said Jordan. “It just seems rock and roll is the easiest way to peoples’ ears. But hip hop owns a lot of real estate in my subconscious mind. It’s hard to see that in the music I make with guitars and my band. I recorded ‘The Surprise Party’ when I was alone in my apartment. A church on the corner was throwing out one of those big organs with the drum beats built in. I put it on my skateboard and lugged it back to my place. When I’m around those kinds of instruments the hip hop comes through more.”
Follow up that rock appetizer with the jazz/pop fusion sounds of violinist and educator David Wong. The Huntington Station native first picked up the violin at age four. You may have seen him perform last year in the backing band for the finalists on “America’s Got Talent.” “I only played backing but it was fun to perform at a packed Radio City Music Hall,” noted Wong. “I also enjoyed auditioning for The Producers last year. It was a cool experience.” Influenced by artists like bluegrass fiddler Casey Driessen, string trio Time for Three and Muse, Wong plays an assortment of pop tunes, classics and covers, including Pharrell’s “Happy.” He’s working on some originals and hopes to release an album in the near future. Wong, who also plays solo shows, will be accompanied by guitar, bass, drums and cello on July 20.
Support the art of music and head to the free concert on the Chapin Rainbow Stage in Heckscher Park early Sunday evening to catch Johnnie Lee Jordan & The Boys, followed by Wong, This Is All Now and Blameshift. Feel free to bring blankets, chairs and food.