If you see a cell phone in the air recording your favorite local band at a venue, it might be Chris Leya of Liveburghmusic, a youtube channel created 5 years ago to help promote the Pittsburgh music scene. Leya also runs Liveburghstudio, which serves multiple purposes, including a recording and practice space, live music venue, and even a place for bands to crash while on tour. “It (Livburghstudio) has morphed into a music/art oasis that consists of like minded people, musicians, friends, and new faces who gather to enjoy the art of music and help expand the scene,” says Chris.
Chris is leaving the studio for a large scale 2 floor concert to benefit Arts for Autism of Pittsburgh and the Joey Travolta Film Camp. This is the 2nd year for the event, but the first at James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, a 3 floor historic establishment on the Northside, that is quickly becoming a music hot spot. 2015 saw a similar benefit concert at Leya’s home studio. The acoustic event featured Greg Joseph of the Clarks, Josh Verbanets of Meeting of Important People, Morgan Erina, and his son Jake Leya. The latter three are also on board for this event too.
Though Jake Leya and his brother Zack, performing as a duo, laid the seeds for this event as grade school students. “They formed their first band and we recorded six original songs in our basement and they sold CDs at lunch and recess. They raised over $600 and donated it to Autism Speaks in honor of their cousin Tony who has autism,” explains Chris.
While in high school the pair raised money again, this time from an actual album that they recorded with studio time won from battle of the band competitions. They eventually raised enough money to fund a scholarship to the Joey Travolta Film Camp for those with autism.
“Zack and I grew up with a cousin who has Autism, so we’ve known from a young age how serious it is and how important it is to let someone with that disability express their creativity. Because of that, we have donated significant portions of the money we’ve made over the years as musicians to Autism research foundations including the Joey Travolta Film Camp,” says Jake Leya a journalism major at Duquesne University.
Along with Erina, Verbanets and the Leya Brothers performing acoustic sets, Bad Custer, Wreck Loose and Andre Costello and the Cool Minors will be performing in the ballroom. The benefit starts at 7pm on April 16th benefitting the Arts for Autism Foundation of Pittsburgh and the Joey Travolta Film Camp. Magic Hat is also on board with drink specials and will be featuring their new IPA called “Low Key,” and will also be raffling off a Magic Hat bass guitar for anyone that walks through door. Tickets are only $15 and can be purchased at ShowClix.