GARDINER — Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center, in partnership with the city of Gardiner and Gardiner Main Street, will present

from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, July 17, in Waterfront Park. This is a free event, open to the public.

Guided by an ethos of lyrical depth and an accessible, folk sensibility, singer/songwriter Allen of South Portland, got her start playing small-time gigs in local pubs at the ripe age of 11. Now a New England music mainstay, she released her debut EP, Honey, in 2010 to great acclaim, taking home Portland Phoenix’s “Best New Act” and “Best Female Vocalist” awards.

In 2011 her second EP, Neptune, drew apt comparisons to powerhouse female vocalists such as Norah Jones and Taylor Swift. Since then, Allen has appeared on the second season of NBC’s The Voice, received the prestigious SESAC’s Young Artist Award for the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and recently released a cover of Robin Thicke’s summer smash hit, “Blurred Lines” complete with music video, which has received over 13,000 YouTube hits and great enthusiasm from the public, spinning on radio stations across the country.

In an effort to continue her growth and education as a well-rounded artist, Allen currently studies music and songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston under the tutelage of industry greats such as Kara DioGuardi. Her third EP, Other Side of Somewhere, was recorded in Nashville with producer John Painter, dropping this past June to to rave reviews, drumming up further public excitement.

Opening for acts the likes of Sugar Ray, Lifehouse, Ben Taylor, Jonathan Edwards and Chris Young, the effervescent Allen seeks inspiration in the everyday, whether it be in the classroom, on the stage, or involvement in her community, pursuing growth and creativity at each turn, offering relatable music that is both impactful and uplifting.

Bring your lawn chair, your picnic and your friends. If it rains, the event will be relocated to Johnson Hall.

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