Beatles to Bach, Jazz to Rock, Summer Means Music in Litchfield HIlls and Fairfield County Connecticut.

In concert halls, outdoor plazas and on the beach, music is in the air this summer in Western Connecticut. From classical to classic rock, there’s something for everyone on the rich agenda that includes string quartets, jazz all-stars and big bands in settings from the sandy Long Island shore to the leafy Litchfield Hills.

LITCHFIELD HILLS LUMINARIES

Two of the nation’s oldest and best known chamber music festivals take place each summer in Norfolk and Falls Village in the Litchfield Hills, along with a long-established jazz festival in Goshen. Rounding out the season are a new all-day Folk Music Jamboree in Falls Village and the second Beatles Festival in Danbury, this year a benefit concert for Sandy Hook relief.

Music Shed at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Music Shed at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

Music Mountain in Falls Village, Connecticut, now in its 84th season, is the nation’s oldest chamber music festival. Concerts take place in Gordon Hall, dating to 1930 and noted for its legendary acoustics. Chamber music is only part of the lure of Music Mountain. The Saturday 6:30 p.m. Twilight series features jazz, Big Band and Country bands through August 17—with dancing on a festive outdoor dance floor. This year will include the first all-day Folk Music Jamboree from 12 noon to 9 p.m. on August 24. www.musicmountain.org

The Yale School of Music on its sylvan summer campus in Norfolk presents the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. The festival celebrates its 72nd season this year through August 17 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays by six internationally esteemed string quartets, playing alongside promising students and young professionals from around the world. Norfolk’s notable roster will include the Brentano Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet. http://music.yale.edu/norfolk

The 18th annual Litchfield Jazz Festival August 9 to 11 at the Goshen Fairgrounds will continue its tradition of showcasing jazz legends along with up-and-coming talent on its tented big stage. One of the biggest names is two-time Tony winner Christine Ebersole, who will sing with the Aaron Weinstein trio on Friday, August 9 at 9:15 p.m. See the complete line-up at www.litchfieldjazzfest.com

Jazz Fest
Jazz Fest

Danbury Fields Forever, the Beatles Music Festival takes place on Saturday, August 3, at the Ives Concert Park in Danbury from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This second edition of the festival will present 10 bands in 10 hours, featuring tribute bands representing different eras of Beatles music. The festival will pay special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s final performance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool on Aug. 3, 1963. Proceeds for this concert go to Sandy Hook relief. For other performances visit www.ivesconcertpark.com.

Ives Concert Park
Ives Concert Park

FAIRFIELD COUNTY FESTIVITIES
The parks and beaches of Fairfield County will be offering many big names on big outdoor stages in Stamford and Norwalk and a notable Rock Concert will return to Bridgeport.

Stamford’s Jazz Up series in Columbus Park will take place at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday from July 10 to August 7. Featured performers include Yankee baseball star- turned-musician, Bernie Williams, Diane Reeves, Chick Corea, and the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, a group formed by two son of the late jazz great Dave Brubeck. In case of rain, concerts will move to the Palace Theater. www.stamford-downtown.com/events

Alive at Five
Alive at Five

The Alive@Five series featuring rock and pop music takes the stage in Columbus Park at 5 p.m. on Thursdays July 11 to August 15. www.stamfordaliveatfive.com

Concerts are scheduled every Wednesday through September 4 at Norwalk’s scenic Calf Pasture Beach. The 2013 theme is Tribute Bands, with music saluting Neil Diamond, Fleetwood Mac, Sounds of the Sixties, A Salute to the 70’s, and Woodstock. Many concerts are preceded by a classic car show. Admission is free, but non-residents pay a $5 parking fee. www.norwalkct.org

calf pasture beach island lighthouser (1 of 1)

Rock fans will gather from near and far (many with tents and campers) for the 18th, Gathering of the Vibes set for July 25 to 28 in Bridgeport’s Seaside Park. The festival began as a memorial party saluting the Grateful Dead and the good vibes and non-stop music on two stages goes on. www.gatheringofthevibes.com

For more information on summer events and restaurants and lodging in the area, contact the Western Connecticut Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, (860) 567-4506, or visit their web site at www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com or www.litchfieldhills.com. Ask for a free copy of Unwind, a full-color, 152-page booklet detailing what to do and see, and where to stay shop and dine in western Connecticut.

Summer Concerts at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk

Summer nights in Norwalk mean music by the Sound, and there is no better place to enjoy a concert as the sunsets than at Calf Pasture Beach. In addition to music, four concert evenings begin with a classic car show organized by The Coachmen for several hundred-car buffs from throughout the tri-state area.

Billy Genuario
Billy Genuario

On July 3, Norwalk will celebrate its annual Independance Day Celebration (rain date July 5). Dance to the Music with DJ Nuxxo opens Shady Beach entertainment at 6 p.m. and family fun at Calf Pasture Beach starts at 5:30 p.m. with The Amazing Andy Show. Bill Genuario, one of the most popular vocalists in the tri-state area, headlines at 8:00 p.m. at Shady Beach. He will be joined by his band, Destiny, which includes Tommy Hartlett (keyboard and vocals), Linda Fakundiny (guitar/vocals), Johnny Mennonna (bass guitar) and Ron Nihoff (drums). Parking will be available at Calf Pasture Beach only.

On July 10 at 6:30 p.m. concertgoers will enjoy Curious Creatures, a hands on exhibit of exotic animals followed by Scarborough Fair. With voices that blend effortlessly into that Simon & Garfunkel signature sound, brothers Jeb and Jock Guthrie pay tribute to the famous musical duo.

A Classic Car Show beginning at 6:00 p.m. on July 17 is followed by the music of The Royal Kings. This musical ensemble features vocalists Joey Bennett, Douglas Dorsey, Timmy Hayes, Tommy Talercio and Richard “Cookie” Thomas. These performers have opened for headlining acts from the 50s, 60s and 70s that include Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Little Anthony, AWB and the Flamingos. They continue to perform on the Oldies Rock and Roll circuit, as well as concerts and special events, and have two CDs, “Dreamin’ Through the Years” and “Dreamin’ at Christmas.”

Fleetwood Macked
Fleetwood Macked

The final July concert on July 24 headlines Fleetwood Macked at 7 p.m. This tribute band recreates the musical experience of Fleetwood Mac’s most popular line-up — Mick Fleetwood (Frank Saitta), John and Christine McVie (Bobby Trombley and Sue Rowe), Stevie Nicks (Hillary Epstein) and Lindsey Buckingham (Mike Epstein).

The Facts
Each Wednesday night throughout the summer, area residents look forward to packing a picnic and a blanket and heading to the beach to enjoy a relaxing evening of music beside Long Island Sound. A $5.00 parking fee is charged for cars without a Norwalk beach sticker. For updates and additional information call the Norwalk Recreation and Parks Office at 203-854-7807. All concerts have a rain date of the following day. For cancellation information call 203-854-7938. A $20.00 parking fee is charged for cars without a Norwalk beach sticker.

Concerts at Keeler Tavern

The Louise McKeon Chamber Music Concerts will return to the Keeler Tavern Museum, (http://keelertavernmuseum.org) located at 132 Main Street in Ridgefield on Sunday April, 14th at 3 PM . The first concert of the season will feature Threeds, an oboe trio based in New York City. The trio includes oboists Kathy Halvorson, Katie Schele and Mark Snyder. Formed in 2008, the trio enjoys creating new paths for the oboe and English horn.

keeler tavern

The ensemble plays their own arrangements of pop, rock, jazz, folk and world music while using improvisational techniques. A special guest of Threeds at this concert will be Christof Knoche who plays the bass clarinet. Threeds has also arranged music to accompany local singer-song writers and has recorded at Avatar Studios and Daytone Records.

One of the founding principles of Threeds is to make the oboe an instrument more accessible to the general public by bringing their music out of the concert hall to bars, galleries and other public places that include sites from Joe’s Pub to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Recently, the trio was invited (by audition) to participate in MTA’s Music under NY where they will play in the New York subway.

Over the last few years Threeds have performed in Los Angeles, Providence, Philadelphia, Cape May as well as at the New York and Arizona Summer Music Festivals. The trio is composed of accomplished musicians that have performed with many prestigious orchestras, including Broadway Shows and Emmy nominated independent film tracks. In addition to the trio, the artists of the trio have taught at WestConn University, C. W. Post, Rudolph Steiner School, and the Brooklyn Conservatory among others.

Tickets at the door are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $10 children under 12 years. Members of the audience are invited to enjoy conversation with the musicians following the concert. Light refreshments will be provided

The final performance of the 2012-2013 season on Sunday May 19th at 3 PM will feature the Devonshire Players, a string quarter.

For area information www.visitwesternct.com or www.litchfieldhills.com

Sultans of String Perform at Infinity Hall Dec. 20

Fiery world-jazz string super-group, Sultans of String, whose new revved up CD, MOVE, just garnered the group the prestigious CFMA World Group of the Year, returns to headline Infinity Hall December 20th, after their wildly successful debut opening there for Livingston Taylor!

sultansofstring-trio3-high_res

The band’s 3rd CD can only be thought of as a perfect hat-trick, presenting, once again, an exhilarating celebration of world music styles. “North America is a real meeting place of musical influences from around the world” says bandleader/violinist Chris McKhool. “At the same time, as a band we try to tell uniquely North American stories, putting forth our vision of the world as one family.”

From the east coast’s Sable Island with its breathtaking wild horses, to the west coast calls of Luna the Whale, or from the silk road through Spain & the Middle East to the Gypsy-jazz cafés of Eastern Europe, Sultans of String take audiences on a spell-binding sonic journey.

Seamlessly traversing diverse themes of heart, place and tradition, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound.

Since their formation only 5 years ago, Sultans of String have been riding a wave of success, from their debut CD, “Luna”, and 2nd offering, “Yalla Yalla!”, both hitting # 1 on world/international music charts in Canada, to “Yalla Yalla’s!” triple CFMA nomination, winning Instrumental Group of the Year in 2009.

In the past 2 years alone, they’ve acquired a JUNO nomination, 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition, placed as finalists for two 2011 International Independent Music Awards and won this year’s Festivals & Events Ontario-Entertainer of The Year Award and the CFMA’s World Group of the Year.

The latest good news is that The Chieftains have invited the Sultans to open for them this coming spring in Connecticut—exciting times for this hardworking indie band!
For more information about this band visit http://www.sultansofstring.com. For ticket information visit http://www.infinityhall.com. For area information www.litchfieldhills.com

About Infinity Hall

Located in beautiful Norfolk Connecticut,on Rte. 44 Infinity Hall was built in 1883 and offers an intimate venue for music, dining and entertainment. Newly renovated, the historic building features its original proscenium stage and wood, as well as many other notable details.

The music hall seats 300, ensuring each and every seat provides front row entertainment. The hall hosts more than 200 music and entertainment shows by quality national and regional artists annually. Infinity Bistro, the music-themed restaurant and bar, serves gourmet delights and spirits.

Holiday Concert Dec. 14 at Silvermine Arts Center

A special evening of holiday music is coming to the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, Connecticut on Friday, December 14th. The Turtle Island Quartet returns to Silvermine, bringing their signature fusion of jazz and classical music to celebrate the holiday season.

The Turtle Island Quartet has been the very definition of American chamber music for over 25 years. From stages across the globe to international airwaves, this group is the most acclaimed ensemble of its kind. Their holiday concert, “A Solstice Celebration,” will take you through the joyous voyage of world holiday music, commemorating the quartet members’ ancestral roots, featuring music associated with what is referred to in both the Jewish and Hindu traditions as the Festival of Lights. From the songs of Chanukah, to the music of India’s Diwali, to the old English carols and Scottish reels of the 16th century, Turtle Island Quartet explores the timeless music that has been an integral part of winter holiday celebrations for centuries. The holiday program will also include music from Vince Guaraldi’s beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas, as well as famous classical gems that have become indelibly tied to the holiday season.

Since they began in 1985, the Turtle Island Quartet has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings. Winner of the 2006 and 2008 Grammy Awards for Best Classical Crossover category, the group fuses the classical quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles. The group is made up of original founding members, violinist, David Balakrishnan, and cellist Mark Summer, joined by jazz violinist Mateusz Smoczynski and violist Benjamin Von Gutzeit. Each member of the quartet is an accomplished improviser, composer and arranger, as well as having extensive conservatory training. As the group continues to refine their skills through performances and recordings with major symphonic ensembles, and through a determined educational commitment, the Turtle Island Quartet stakes its claim as the quintessential American string quartet of this century.

A unique holiday experience not to be missed. Seating is limited and advance reservations are suggested. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. To reserve tickets in advance or for more information, call 203-966-9700 ext. 22 or visit our website at www.silvermineart.org.

About Silvermine Arts Center

Silvermine Arts Center located in New Canaan, Connecticut is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. Located on a four acre campus, the center is comprised of a nationally renowned artist guild, award winning school of art offering multi-disciplinary art classes for ages 2 to 102, an art and fine crafts shop and galleries, offering over twenty contemporary and historic exhibitions annually. The center also provides innovative arts education in Norwalk and Stamford schools through its outreach program, Art Partners, and hosts a lecture series and special programs throughout the year. Silvermine Arts Center is a nonprofit organization.

Silvermine Arts Center Mission

Grounded in the belief that art is vital to the spirit, creativity and wholeness of human beings, the mission of Silvermine Arts Center is to cultivate, promote and encourage growth through the arts; to showcase and serve artists; and to foster arts education and appreciation opportunities for the greater community.

Gallery Hours: Silvermine Galleries are open Wednesday through Saturday, 12p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1pm to 5 p.m. For more information, call (203) 966-9700 ext. 20 or visit the website: www.silvermineart.org.

20 Years of Chamber Music At Keeler Tavern Museum April 22 and May 20

Keeler Tavern A Colonial Gem

The Mid-Hudson Saxophone Quarter will perform in the Garden House of the Keeler Tavern Museum located on 132 Main Street in Ridgefield Connecticut on Sunday, April 22 at 3:00 PM. This is the first of two spring concerts scheduled as part of the Louise McKeon Chamber Music Concert Series held at the Museum for over 20 years.

The saxophone musicians are Steven Kieley, soprano and alto, Deborah Tice, soprano and alto, Daniel Teare, tenor, and Charles W. Gray, baritone. They will perform a variety of musical selections suited to this special instrument. All are performing or teaching in the Hudson Valley area schools and colleges and perform at a variety of conventions and with groups in the Hudson Valley and other areas along the Eastern Seaboard.

Admission at the door is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $10 for children under 12. All guests are invited to meet with the musicians after the concert and enjoy light refreshments.

The final concert of the season will take place Sunday, May 20th with members of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestras performing in the Garden House at 3 PM For further information call 203-438-5484 or visit www.keelertavernmuseum.org.

About Keeler Tavern

The Keeler Tavern Preservation Society, Inc. founded the Keeler Tavern Museum in 1966 as a living museum of colonial history within the town of Ridgefield, Connecticut.

It is the Society’s mission to preserve and protect the Keeler Tavern, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982, that embodies the life of the community from the early 19th century through the mid 20th century.

The Society is committed to promoting Ridgefield’s history and heritage by providing educational and cultural programs that interpret the past for present and future generations.

The history of the Tavern and the Town of Ridgefield is reflected in the stories of the families who lived here. The archives of the Museum include extensive documentation and records from the Keeler, Resseguie and Gilbert families.