Welcome to Season 2 of Uncommon Concerts and Conversations! The Genesis Collective is partnering with Uncommon Concerts to bring you six acts over three Saturdays, complete with food trucks, activities for kids, and of course, stellar and diverse musical offerings. All events are free and open to the public. Bring your friends!

This series is a love letter to our communities, and you are invited! All concerts begin at 7 with conversations following, except for Billy the Kid, who starts with a children's workshop at 6.

Billy the Kid and the Regulators

Billy the Kid and The Regulators are a high powered, guitar driven, rhythm and blues band based in Pittsburgh. Lead singer Billy Evanochko is widely-known across the Steel City for his impassioned lyrics, seductive vocals, and stinging guitar riffs. He and his band, The Regulators, deliver a well-balanced dose of funky rhythm and blues, with heart and soul being the main ingredient, playing countless clubs and festivals throughout the country. The band attracts fans with their fresh mix and interpretation of the iconic R&B experience. They are placeholders in the International Blues Challenge (2014), finalists in the International Blues Challenge category of Best Self-Produced CD (2013), and winners of the Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania (2013) and the West Virginia Blues Society (2007).

Yoko Suzuki Trio

Described as a musical chameleon with wide-ranging talents, James Johnson III adapts comfortably to a variety of genres. He began his musical journey playing drums at five years old. His father, Dr. James Johnson Jr., a nationally known pianist and educator, sparked his passion for music. Precursory to his worldwide career, he attended Pittsburgh's high school for the creative and performing arts (CAPA) where he was mentored by jazz great Roger Humphries. This laid the foundation for a stellar career that has included performing as a regular member with legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal. His musical adventures have led him to play prestigious venues around the world such as North America, Europe, Africa and Japan. As a part of his portfolio, he has performed with jazz masters George Coleman, James Moody, Geri Allen, Bob James, Kenny Garrett, Benny Golson, Mulgrew Miller, Bob Mintzer and Kenny Werner.

From a young age, Cliff Barnes demonstrated a fascination with instruments and a gift to play. It became his young dream to play and perform. After years of commitment, study, and practice, Cliff achieved his dream and became a professional musician, who has played for packed audiences. These performances have gained him a name in his hometown of Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and beyond. His unique sound, what he does on the keys, and his laidback style is known among the musicians and artists in this area. To this day, he is still fascinated with the amazing way that performing can touch each and every person. Cliff has performed with a number of renowned musicians including Pieces of a Dream, Marcus Miller, and Chris Potter. He can be heard on Marcus Miller's albums, Afrodeezia (2015) and Laid Black (2018).

Yoko Suzuki is an alto saxophonist working in Pittsburgh and New York City. She started to play the alto saxophone upon joining a jazz ensemble at Osaka University in Japan, teaching herself jazz theory, improvisation and repertoire. After working as a musician in Osaka, Japan and New York City, she moved to Pittsburgh in 2006. Completing a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and a Ph.D. certificate in women's studies at the University of Pittsburgh, she currently teaches a variety of courses such as jazz history and jazz ensemble there. As a trio, they started to play in 2015, playing at major venues and events in Pittsburgh, including Con Alma, Alphabet City, and the Monroeville Jazz Festival.

Voces Solis

Voces Solis, a premier chamber choir, performs a diverse repertoire of challenging and innovative choral works. Composed of professional musicians, music educators, and experienced choristers, we are committed to providing an educational experience for our members and our audiences. In addition to public performances, private events, recordings, and symposiums, Voces Solis also collaborates with other arts organizations to bring the highest quality choral chamber music to the Pittsburgh area. Recent collaborators have included the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and The Chieftains.

Kassia Ensemble

The dynamic group of women that form Kassia Ensemble strives for more inclusive gender and racial representation in the world of chamber music. The Ensemble achieves this by promoting women's entrepreneurship and leadership in the arts, collaborating with artists of all genres and performing music by composers of all genders as well as diverse ethnicities.

Based in the Pittsburgh area, its members hold positions in the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet orchestras, the West Virginia Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony, and the Erie Philharmonic. The seven member ensemble is composed of the traditional string quartet, double bass, clarinet, and harp. This unique instrumentation allows for quite a bit of variety in programming. Concerts range from charming duos such as Andrea Clearfield's Three Songs for Violin and Double Bass and Shulamit Ran's Private Games for Clarinet and Cello to larger scale works like Andre Caplet's Conte Fantastique.

Shelf Life String Band

The Shelf LIfe String Band is a runaway train in complete control! Their mix of originals, traditionals, and covers makes for a high-energy musical journey that is entirely unique in the growing world of American Roots Music.

Kenny Sharp

Kenny Sharp is an emerging singer/songwriter/producer from the Washington D.C. area. Discovered and developed by Lunchmoney Lewis, Kenny has worked the past several years between Los Angeles, Miami, and Nashville.

A natural born storyteller, he combines his writing style with a raw and powerful vocal delivery to draw out the emotions behind the words.

This fall, Kenny will release his debut EP entitled Brown Liquor Music. While his artist project is rooted in soul and R&B, Kenny actually began his career as a rapper focused on lyrical skill, and as such, he works as a writer with artists across many genres, including hip-hop, pop, and country.

Kenny has opened for notable artists and acts such as Citizen Cope, Wale, the Chuck Brown Band, and WPGC 95.5 'For Sisters Only.' He most recently scored a sync placement on Grey's Anatomy as well as writing credit on the lead single for Durand Jones & The Indications.