Saturday, October 13th - 5-7 PM
Harvest Festival, Bethlehem at Sun Inn Courtyard

Don Cunningham - guitar and vocals

Photo by Bridget CunninghamFor Don Cunningham, before there was politics, there was music. During his days at Bethlehem’s Freedom High School in the early 1980s and throughout college, Cunningham played in rock n’ roll bands.

Photo by Sheri Bayne

After his first election as mayor of Bethlehem in 1997, Cunningham revived his musical career, forming The Mayor and His Cabinet, which quickly became a favorite at charity fundraisers, festivals and special events throughout the Lehigh Valley. For a 14 year span, during which Don was re-elected as Bethlehem’s mayor, was appointed by Governor Rendell to serve as a Pennsylvania cabinet secretary, and was twice elected as Lehigh County executive, Don played under names varying from the Mayor, the Ex-Mayor or just Don Cunningham and The Cabinet, featuring many of the same musicians from his early band days at Freedom High School. The Cabinet retired in August 2011 after a Musikfest performance in front of the old blast furnaces of Bethlehem Steel Corp.

Photo by Mike LawsIn addition to his work with The Cabinet, Don has enjoyed playing with some of the Lehigh Valley’s best musicians and bands, including Steve Brosky and The Big Little Band, the Craig Thatcher Band, Dina Hall and Mike Fritz, Bev Conklin and the Blues Crew, Sarah Ayers, guitarist Jimmy Meyers, Mike Krisukas of Zen for Primates, Dave Evans and the Trophy Husbands and The Blues Brotherhood.

Photo by CtE* PhotographyDon has been a featured performer for the last eight years at the annual Lehigh Valley Christmas Concert and three times recorded tracks with The Cabinet for the accompanying CD to the concert. One of Don’s musical highlights was joining the Craig Thatcher Band on stage for an outdoor performance in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, during a cultural exchange trip with the band during his days as Bethlehem’s mayor.

Don formed Cunningham and Associates as a rhythm and blues rock n’ roll band with a touch of soul to “bring the music we grew up on” to the Lehigh Valley.