ATL Live on the Park readying launch of sixth season

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI

Sometimes, R. Kelly shows up. Other times, it might be an unknown singer trying to gain visibility, like Miguel circa 2010.

That’s a big attraction for ATL Live on the Park, which launches its sixth season at Park Tavern in Midtown on Tuesday.

The monthly — minus the chillier ones — music series was created by veteran music executive Shanti Das and event promoter Marlon Nichols as a supper club-style evening for adults.

Through the years, acts ranging from Luke James to Jagged Edge to Big Gipp to Avery Sunshine to Johnny Gill have taken the stage erected in the back of Park Tavern. So have plenty of up-and-comers — as well as those who were neophytes at the time and, like Miguel, have since rocketed to fame.

This year, Das said, the goal is to bring in more new talent, along with names that don’t always pepper the local music landscape.

“In the Atlanta nightlife scene, we start regurgitating talent. We have some promising folks set to do showcases,” she said. “I want to diversify the talent a little more and get some pop acts in there as well.”

The creative artists in Janelle Monae’s Wondaland Records stable have piqued Das’ interest, as well as some of the burgeoning hip-hop stars from Fox’s juicy music drama, “Empire.”

(Olivia Escuyos)

For Tuesday’s season opener, Australian singer Olivia Escuyos, who is in town recording an album, and Atlanta transplants Rock City, the production wizards behind hits for Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Usher currently working on their own new album, will be featured.

Regular patrons of ATL Live on the Park might also notice the inclusion of video screens this year. Das said the series is partnering with some TV and film companies to premiere trailers during the event, which runs from 8-11 p.m.

For next month’s installment, ATL Live on the Park will collaborate with the Atlanta Jazz Festival and its “31 Days of Jazz” campaign. Acts for the May 12 performance won’t be announced until closer to the date, but Das said the artists will reflect the amalgamation of soul, jazz and R&B that the larger festival now represents.

But one thing ATL Live on the Park will always retain is its distinctive approach of mixing upstarts with veterans — with the surprise drop-in of a big name or two.

“I want ATL Live to be known as one of those unique platforms when you really don’t know who you might see,” Das said. “If Darius Rucker showed up and wanted to come on stage, we’d welcome him.”

ATL Live on the Park

With Olivia Escuyos and Rock City. 8 p.m. April 14. $15-$70. Park Tavern, 500 10th St. N.E., Atlanta. Upcoming performances on May 12, June 9, July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 22, Oct. 13 and Nov. 10. www.atlliveonthepark.com.

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