Two musical fundraisers will serve as a homecoming for an Orono native.
Blueswoman Leah Tysse will leave her San Francisco base to journey home and perform at “An Evening of Extraordinary Music” on Wednesday, July 30, and the Winterport Music Festival on Saturday, Aug. 2.
It has been a promising year for Tysse, 32. She released her debut album, “Real Good Fire,” last September. Her song “You Don’ t Scare Me” was named the “Best R&B-Blues Song of 2007” by the Billboard World Song Contest. She and her band, The O.G.s, finished in the top 20 in the International Blues Challenge held in January in Memphis.
But all that pales compared to playing in front of family and friends.
“The people I grew up with, my hometown people, can see what I do, so I’ m really excited,” Tysse said by phone from San Francisco.
Tysse, who is now working on her second album, was recruited for both events by Charley Earley of Oak Artists, who helps musicians find gigs. Since it would have been prohibitive to bring Tysse’ s usual band, Earley hooked up with Brian Catell and the Jump City Blues.
“An Evening of Extraordinary Music,” to be held at Wellman Commons on Union Street in Bangor, will benefit the Maine Institute for Human Genetics and Health.
“We are so grateful to Leah Tysse for her support of the new Maine Institute for Human Genetics and Health at this early stage of the development of its translational research programs,” said Janet Hock, director of the institute. “The institute is working with scientific leaders in cancer, neurosciences and human genetics to find affordable solutions to reduce the high rates of cancer that may be linked to environmental risks.”
Catell and Jump City Blues will be opening the evening. Also on the bill is Stevie Coyle, a finger-style guitarist and singer-songwriter who is embarking on a solo career after seven years with the Waybacks.
Tickets for the 7 p.m. artist reception are $50 (with sets by Jump City Jazz and Stevie Coyle and hors d’ oeuvres) or $30 (for the 9 p.m. concert featuring Tysse and backed by Jump City Jazz), and can be purchased at the Grasshopper Shop (945-3132). For information, call Ann Marie’ s Kitchen at 947-5885.
Tysse and Coyle also will perform at the third annual Winterport Music Festival, to be held from noon to 8 p.m. at Abbott Park off Route 69 in Winterport. The festival is headlined by the Kings of Strings, featuring Jay Geils and Gerry Beaudoin. Proceeds go to a scholarship fund to benefit a graduating Winterport student who will be studying in the performing arts or music.
The lineup is as follows: noon, acoustic band NVR2LATE 12:55 p.m., African drummers and vocalists Inanna 1:55, Highball Jazz Trio 2:55, Americana band Zevulon 3:55, Stevie Coyle 4:55, contemporary country singer Jess Tardy 5:55, Leah Tysse with Jump City Blues 7, the Kings of String.
The admission fee of $5 covers the whole day. There will be food vendors and a beer and wine garden, run by Sea Dog Brewery and featuring wines from Winterport Winery.