Real Good for Free: Schenectady’s Central Park

Update: One new show and several new opening acts have just been announced. The concert series kicks off this Sunday, June 28.

The Agnes Macdonald Music Haven hosted its inaugural season of multi-cultural concerts in Schenectady’s Central Park a decade ago, and artistic director Mona Golub has stood by her battlecry, “Travel the world, one concert at a time,” ever since. And the 2009 summer season is certainly no exception, featuring a very intriguing line-up that stretches geographically from the Louisiana Cajun sounds of the Pine Leaf Boys to the Latin dance party of the 11-piece Scottish band
Salsa Celtica.

Hawaiian ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro will simply amaze you with the sounds he can coax from his tiny four-string instrument And local favorites – polka kings the Rymanowski Brothers Orchestra, old-timey combo Red Hen and the beloved Ruth “Miss Music Mobile” Pelham – will have their moments as headliners as well.

But the highlight of the season is likely to be African legend and juju music master King Sunny Ade.

All shows at the Music Haven will take place on Sundays as in the past, but there will be an earlier start time this year, with performances beginning at 4pm.

Here’s the rundown so far:

June 28: Jake Shimabukuro with Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned
July 5: Sandra St. Victor with the Michael Louis Smith Trio
July 12: King Sunny Ade and His African Beats with the Umoja Drummers & Dancers
July 19: The Pine Leaf Boys
July 26: Salsa Celtica
August 2: The Jazzmobile featuring Jimmy Owens with the Erica Lindsay-Francesca Tanksley Quartet
August 9: Red Hen, the Whippersnappers, the Stillhouse Rounders and John Kirk & Trish Miller
August 16: The Rymanowski Brothers Orchestra
August 23: Ruth Pelham and Ramblin Jug Stompers
Ruth Pelham and the Music Mobile will also offer a special kids’ session at the Music Haven at 10am on Thursday, August 20.

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