Three’s a Charm at Music Haven in 2021

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y.— Mona Golub, producing artistic director of Schenectady’s Music Haven is thrilled to announce an abbreviated, but dynamic three show season of national, international and regional talent after a year hiatus, due to the global pandemic. Artists from here and abroad will make their mark on Schenectady’s Central Park on August 15, 22 and 29, despite lingering limits to the international travel that traditionally fuels the venue’s signature Sunday evening global series.

The shows set to take the stage the final three Sundays in August feature: blues guitarist, Albert Cummings with special guests Wyld Blue (August 15); Israeli/Iranian pop singer Liraz, with special guest Kanun virtuoso Firas Zreik (August 22) and a pops concert by the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Glen Cortese, with special guest vocalists Mia Scirocco and Casey Grey (August 29). All concerts are free and begin at 7:00 pm.

“I’m thrilled to keep Music Haven on the map this summer and welcome friends and neighbors back to the heart of the park,” said Golub, who has dedicated herself to producing concerts and events that gather the community in Central Park since 1990. “As international travel and world tours begin to resume, I am already at work curating a full season of spectacularly diverse global artistry – not to mention a few new special events – for the summer of 2022.”

Music Haven 2021 launches with some classic Americana, featuring blues guitar virtuoso Albert Cummings, touring in celebration of his new album, Believe, on Provogue Records. Cummings, who hails from the Northeast and cut his chops in the Capital Region, is now counted amongst the genre’s elite. He’s earned praise from the King of Blues, B.B. King, and drawn comparisons to legends like Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose band Double Trouble was so smitten that they volunteered to play on and produce Albert’s first album. Cummings has since enjoyed a recording career that spans 20 years and earned a stellar reputation for his live performances. Kicking off the evening will be Wyld Blu, 2019 Eddies Award winner in the Blues Band of the Year category.
Here is a sample from Believe:

The second concert of the season will invoke the series’ international mission in a journey to the Middle East with Israeli/Iranian pop singer, Liraz, who will be accompanied by several members of NYC’s celebrated retro Ethiopian jazz collective, Anbessa Orchestra: Meitar Forkosh (violin), Dor Heled (keyboard), Ran Livneh (bass), Eran Fink (drums) and Navdad Livneh (guitar). Liraz, who is of Sephardic Jewish descent, worked on her latest album, Zan (Glitterbeat Records), under challenging conditions. To produce it, she was in covert correspondence with Iranian musicians whose recordings were smuggled out of the country and then added to her vocals, which were recorded in the Persian language of Farsi. Zan is Persian for women, and this album pays tribute to the women of Iran. All of the collaborators had to remain anonymous, according to Liraz, “These musicians are my brothers and sisters, but our countries are enemies. If they were caught, they would be jailed,” she explained to Songlines Magazine, the world’s premier global music publication, which bestowed its coveted Best Artist Award on Liraz in 2021.

Liraz initially found fame as an actress, but in Los Angeles rediscovered her Iranian roots, immersed herself in the music and decided she would sing in Farsi.

Here’s a taste of Liraz:

Firas Zreik:

The final show of the 2021 season celebrates the return of the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Glen Cortese. The program to be performed is inspired by “The American Songbook” and contains classic music from the Tin Pan Alley era by Gershwin, Porter and Berlin, some Copland, traditional American folk tunes and great American film music by John Williams including “The Cowboys Overture” and a “Star Wars” medley. Special guest vocalists, Mia Scirocco and Casey Grey will be featured throughout the evening.

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