Cathy Nowosielski and Jeff Lutz are partially underwriting the Postmodern Jukebox concert at 8:15 p.m. Friday, June 28 in the Amphitheater. Nowosielski and Lutz are excited for the event and believe that Chautauquans of all ages will enjoy the show.
“I really think that it will appeal to all ages and demographics at Chautauqua because they use current songs and then put an old twist on them,” Nowosielski said. “So it appeals to both generations.”
Nowosielski and Lutz were introduced to Postmodern Jukebox’s music through close friends whose daughter was dating the then-part-time drummer of the group.
“Our friends told me to turn on a YouTube video and we saw Chip (Thomas) in the background of a living room playing with this very cool band,” Nowosielski said. “Our older son then saw them in concert in Atlanta, and we’ve been working with the Institution for three to four years to try to get Postmodern Jukebox to Chautauqua.”
Now engaged to their friends’ daughter, Chip Thomas will play drums for Postmodern Jukebox tonight, as the group’s membership is characterized by a set of rotating musicians and vocalists.
Nowosielski and Lutz were glad to supply some of the funds to sponsor this event. Aside from their personal connection to PMJ, they are longtime Chautauquans and have been very involved in the community.
“One of the things that appealed to me was that in sponsoring this concert, our funds count towards the 2019 annual fund,” Nowosielski said. “You can have dedicated gifts that actually count towards the annual fund.”
Through their contributions to the annual fund, they are also members of the Bestor Society and were co-chairs of the Chautauqua Fund for three years.
Additionally, both Lutz and Nowosielski have held multiple volunteer positions in the community.
“We were chairs of the Chautauqua Fund already for a year when I retired,” Lutz said. “Cathy was active at the Catholic House. I then became the treasurer of the Chautauqua Property Owners Association, then the Catholic House needed a treasurer, so I volunteered for that and also joined that board. Then last year, the Women’s Club needed a house manager so Cathy jumped in. We just are very involved in a whole lot of places around here.”
Nowosielski first arrived at Chautauqua 23 years ago. A close friend frequently told her about the Chautauqua experience and encouraged her to visit. Lutz missed that first visit, but has now attended 21 seasons. After setting foot on the grounds, Nowosielski never looked back.
“Chautauqua felt like home the moment I came here,” Nowosielski said. “It combines education, which was important to me even after retirement, with faith-based activities which are also very important to me. But also the opportunity to feel like you’re in a small town community with real relationships being built over the course of years was totally different than any neighborhood I had previously known.”
Lutz also enjoys Chautauqua’s close-knit community. Other places just cannot compare.
“For me, it’s one word: community,” Lutz said. “It’s just something you don’t get anymore in other places. There are all kinds of different communities here.”
In preparation for the concert, Lutz and Nowosielski are throwing a themed pre-party. The attire is “vintage clothing optional” because of Postmodern Jukebox’s old-style twists on modern music.
Postmodern Jukebox will make its way to Chautauqua during the group’s Welcome to the Twenties 2.0 Tour. The group was started in 2009 and has gained over 1.2 billion YouTube views and 4 million subscribers. Their music has topped Billboard and iTunes charts and has grabbed the attention of NPR Music and NBC News. The band currently has a Las Vegas residency and will be touring in the United States, Russia, Canada, Australia and Europe.