The J3 Band, a local group known for its broad mix of classic rock and roll, blues, and swing, will kick off the Pittsburg Virtual Festival of the Arts with a streamed concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 1, across multiple channels.


The festival is a collaboration of The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, the Pittsburg State University Department of Music, and local performers in an attempt to provide a concert-like experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Using social distancing and safety measures, staff at the Bicknell Center have been recording performances by a range of individuals and small groups on stage in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall.


Audiences may view the virtual festival as one-hour concerts are streamed each Wednesday evening through mid-August on the Bicknell Center Facebook page, on CAPS 13 TV, on pittstate.tv, and at www.vimeo.com/pittstate. The concerts then will be archived and viewable on YouTube and Vimeo.


In Wednesday's concert by The J3 Band, audiences will hear tunes such as "The Thrill is Gone," made famous by B.B. King in 1970, the 1972 hit "Your Momma Don’t Dance" by Loggins and Messina, "Caldonia," first recorded in 1945 by Louis Jordan, "Like a Hurricane" written by Neil Young in 1975, "Eye in the Sky" released by The Alan Parsons Project in 1982, and R.E.M.’s 1991 hit "Losing my Religion."


The group includes Jon Bartlow on saxophone and vocals, John Gobetz on lead guitar and vocals, Chris Harris on bass guitar, Jamie Ortolani on acoustic guitar, harmonica, and vocals, Andrew Ortolani on keyboard and vocals, and Larry Douglas on drums.