City Councilor Matt O’Malley knows that he might lose a few votes after he steps up to the microphone and belts out a tune at this year’s Jamaica Plain PorchFest.
But he’s hoping people will respect the effort.
“I wouldn’t characterize myself as a singer, except in the shower occasionally. But what I lack in talent, I hope to make up for in passion,” he said.
O’Malley is one of several people set to appear on the “Politicians Porch,” a space designated for elected officials to show off their musical talents during the July 11 neighborhood-wide music festival.
Mindy Fried, co-organizer of the second annual PorchFest, said the concept for the Politicans Porch came after elected officials last year voiced interest in standing before a crowd in a less political environment.
“That really got us going,” said Fried. “This is an event in which everyone has something to share artistically, so why not the politicians?”
PorchFest, inspired by similar events held in Somerville and other cities across the country each year, will feature more than 120 bands on 70 porches Saturday. The Politicians Porch will be located at the First Baptist Church on Centre Street. Other performers will be scattered throughout the neighborhood.
Organizers said politicians were given carte blanche. They’re welcome to play music, tell stories, read poems, or put on a short play.
“They’re extroverts, and this is an opportunity for them to really play with that and have fun with it, just like everyone is,” Fried said.
O’Malley will be the lead singer of “Matt O’Malley and the Green Street Band,” which pays homage to Bruce Springsteen, as the group does a rendition of Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
Councilor Ayanna Pressley will have a different take, offering the audience an a capella gospel performance, said Jessica Taubner, her chief of staff.
“She’s looking forward to it,” Taubner said.
Councilor Tito Jackson will also be there, but his plans are still under wraps.
State Representative Liz Malia, whose district includes Jamaica Plain, will skip the musical stylings of her colleagues, and opt for storytelling instead.
“PorchFest is a testament to our community’s strengths and talents and illustrates our uniqueness, attracting local and out-of-state visitors,” she said in a statement. “I look forward to participating.”