Photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The Music Haven Concert Series is celebrating 25 years in Schenectady’s Central Park, and they’re doing it up big-time with a silver anniversary season that sparkles with captivating sounds from around the globe – Africa, Louisiana, Chicago, Cuba, Harlem, Ireland…
“It’s been a thrill to bring such incredible concerts to Schenectady for all these years,” says Music Haven’s Producing Artistic Director Mona Golub. “And I am continually gratified by our diverse, multi-generational audiences, who open their ears, hearts and minds to the music. The magic that results is as much a product of the artistic energy on stage as it is the audience’s respect and enthusiasm for the cultural experience. This season will definitely be one of our strongest ever.”
The concerts will all take place at the Music Haven in Schenectady’s Central Park at 7pm on Sunday evenings. In case of inclement weather, Proctors in Schenectady will serve as the concert series rain site. And, yes, admission is FREE.
Here’s the schedule for the 2014 Music Haven Concert Series:
June 29: MOKOOMBA
With Famoro Dioubate
Hailing from the remote, rural village of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Mokoomba makes its very first appearance on American soil at Music Haven! Dance to the electrifying mix of traditional Tongan rhythms and modern Afro-fusion beats, which has been thrilling audiences abroad for years.
July 13: EILEEN IVERS
She’s played with Sting, Hall & Oates, the Chieftains and Patti Smith. She’s the original star of “Riverdance” and a nine-time All Ireland Fiddle Champion. She’s been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin” and “the future of the Celtic fiddle.” Billboard says, “Nobody does it better than Eileen Ivers.”
July 20: CONJUNTO CHAPPOTIN Y SUSESTRELLAS
With Maria Zemantauski
With roots stretching back to the 1940s, Conjunto Chappottin y susEstrellas is one of the most renowned ‘Son’ bands in all of Cuba. This classic and classy big band — on its first tour of America — features horns, vocals, congas and bongos in a vibrant dance explosion of Afro-Cuban grooves.
July 27: JAMES COTTON
With Matt Mirabile
Tunica, Mississippi’s “Superharp” is celebrating 70 years in showbiz. He’s a living link to blues greats like Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters, and a legend in his own right. From his first 15-cent harmonica to superstar status, Cotton is the heart of the blues.
August 3: JEFFERY BROUSSARD & THE CREOLE COWBOYS
As a founding member of Opelousas, Louisiana’s legendary Zydeco Force, Jeffery Broussard’s accordion and fiddle drove the influential nouveau zydeco movement. With his Creole Cowboys, Broussard returns to his roots, making R&B-inflected dance music that honors the past while charting zydeco’s bright future.
August 10: GHOST TRAIN ORCHESTRA
With Colleen Pratt & Friends
Brian Carpenter’s GTO echoes the “Hothouse Stomp” of 1920s Harlem and Chicago, as well as the exquisite, romping “chamber jazz” of the 1930s. They’ve been called “a joyous vaudevillian ride,” and “a delightful trip through a retro aural funhouse,” conjuring up what NPR refers to as “old music, which somehow sounds new.”
ADDITIONAL UPCOMING REAL GOOD FOR FREE EVENTS FOR 2014:
Music in the Park @ Schodack Town Park, Schodack, 6pm on Tuesdays
At the Plaza @ Empire State Plaza, Albany, 5pm Wednesdays
Jazz On Jay @ Jay Street, Schenectady, 12noon on Thursdays
Alive at Five @ Jennings Landing, Albany, 5pm on Thursdays
Concerts in the Park @ Wiswall Park, Ballston Spa, 6pm on Thursdays
UpBeat On the Roof @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, 7pm on Fridays