Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chatter is all about the pride

February 16. 2013 2:46PM

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Chatter is usually defined as rapid speaking of an often foolish nature, but for some local musicians it's the perfect way to describe their just-plain-fun group.

The Chatter consists of folks of all ages who play a mix of dance music and will headline this weekend's NEPA Pridefest in Kirby Park on Sunday.

The Chatter consists of Michele Luongo of Scranton on guitar, Maura Hennigan of Dunmore on keyboards, John Lewis of Scranton on lead guitar, Dave Norcross of Forty Fort on keys, Stevie Camasso of White Haven on drums and Philip Luongo of Scranton as sound technician. There's also a bassist from Scranton who goes solely by "Scooter."

All the instrument-playing members sing.

"We want to get out there and have as much fun as we can with the crowd," Michele Luongo said, explaining The Chatter's typical crowd ranges from 21 to 60 years old.

"We have six lead vocalists in the band, and we're all very different from the next, giving us very strong vocal harmonies," she said. "We can cover everything from Adele, Pink and Lady Gaga to Johnny Cash, AC/DC and Bon Jovi."

All of the musicians have performed for many years on many projects, from original to cover, playing in statewide venues.

"This mix just fits well together," Luongo said. "We all have a lot of experience, which is great, but we're also very close-knit personally, and that makes things really work for us."

The Chatter coves tunes from the '80s to now but specializes in twisting up the sounds.

"We love to do mash-ups and dance medleys," Luongo said. "We put together modern music like LMFAO with the likes of Salt-n-Pepa and Marky Mark. We do Whitney Houston and Rihanna, Blondie and The Doors."

Other acts at Pridefest will include Kristy Kay, Ed Randazzo, Sherry Marchefsky, and Maria Dubiel.

Luongo said The Chatter is honored to headline the event.

"We couldn't imagine not being a part of an event that advocates for acceptance and equality," she said.

Folk artist Suzanne Vega will bring her eclectic sound to Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe tonight.

The singer released her self-titled debut album in 1985 and has been a force on the music scene since. Vega is noted as a leading figure of the folk-music revival in the 1980s. She has since released 10 other albums, the last four a series titled "Close-Up," re-recordings of previous tracks.

Vega's most notable songs are "Luke" and "Tom's Diner." She will appear with guitarist Gerry Leonard.

if you go

What: NEPA Pridefest with The Chatter, Kristy Kay, Ed Randazzo, Sherry Marchefsky and Maria Dubiel.

When: 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Kirby Park, Wilkes-Barre

$5 general admission, $3 for students with ID.

What: Suzanne Vega

When: Doors at 7:30 tonight, show at 8:30

Where: Mauch Chunk Opera House, 14 West Broadway, Jim Thorpe

Tickets: $30 via

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