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North Hills Monthly

Monongahela Duck Club Band to play Saxonburg Arts Festival

Aug 29, 2014 08:59PM ● By Vanessa Orr
Back in the 1990s, A&M Records recording artist Frankie Cappelli was performing at the Greenbrier Resort when they asked him to put together a band to help entertain families who were visiting the luxury property. He called on a group of friends to help him, and they had so much fun that they all wanted more—and the Monongahela Duck Club Band was born.

“It’s called the Duck Club Band, because anyone I’ve ever known qualifies as a member,” laughed Cappelli, who is best known in Pittsburgh as the host of Cappelli and Company, a children’s television show that aired on Nickelodeon. “The feeling that we get when we play together goes back to what I first loved about music—there’s so much excitement and passion; it’s not just about the ability to play. We really enjoy being up there, and we’re having fun—and that makes the audience have fun, too.”

The band’s style, which has been labeled as avant-garde folk rock, showcases the many talents of his friends, culminating in what has been described as “tribesmen playing all of your favorite songs.”

“I guess that’s pretty close to how we sound,” mused Cappelli of a set list that can include anything from original songs by Cappelli, to songs by Stephen Foster, The Beatles, James Taylor and more. He and the band also encourage the audience to participate in the show. “It’s just neater when people sing along,” he said.

On Sunday, Sept. 7, the Monongahela Duck Club Band will be performing at the Saxonburg Arts Festival in Roebling Park from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Club members will include Cappelli, Joe Lege, Dr. Colleen Gray and Jeff Mangone. “Joe is from Saxonburg and has been playing the accordion since he was a little kid—he’s relentless!” said Cappelli. “Colleen is a professor at Slippery Rock who is a fantastic soprano, and Jeff is an incredibly gifted bass player.”

The two-day festival will also feature a number of other bands, as well as a 5K run and community walk, craft and food booths, an artists’ co-op, Rodfathers car cruise, a quilt show, Civil War re-enactors and more. For a schedule of festival events, visit To learn more about Cappelli and the Monongahela Duck Club Band, visit