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It’s become a New Rochelle tradition: Hundreds of picnickers on the grass, enjoying the cooling breezes off Long Island Sound as they listen to live music at the Hudson Park band shell every Wednesday night in July and August. The Emil Paolucci Summer Sounds Concert Series, created by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, is in its 8th season and this year’s concerts will feature an eclectic menu of musicians performing free concert of everything from mellow jazz to opera to bluegrass, Motown and hip-hop. This year Showtime Dance Band will kick off the season performing Motown, R & B, Disco and Swing favorites at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, July 6th.
Adding extra flavor NRCA has scheduled area food trucks to set up every Wednesday night: Concert goers can bring their own picnics or buy from Walter’s Hot Dogs, Melt Mobile, The Cookery Dough Nation, Pow Burger, Tecas Tacos, and Uncle Louie G’s Italian Ices and Ice Creams.
Plus, new this year, NRCA has added four Fridays to its lineup: Friday Night Live @Hudson Park. (For these concerts the food truck will be Walter’s Hot Dogs.)
July 8th: Pirates of Penzance Sing-AlongBe part of one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most popular comic operas: The Sound Shore Chorale will perform to live accompaniment, with the audience invited to sing along with the chorus parts
July 22nd: Word! Salute to Hip-Hop & the Spoken WordPerformances by members of the New Rochelle Arts Collective
August 5th : Rejoice! Gospel CelebrationPerformances by the Kay Boyd Ensemble, Voices of Praise and Praise Dancers
August 19th: ‘Sup? Emerging Bands Take the StagePerformances by emerging bands including the Jacob Harelick Groove, Pronoia and more
The Summer Sounds concert series is presented by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts,in partnership with the New Rochelle Dept. of Parks and Recreation, and co-sponsored by Webster Bank and People’s United Bank. This year’s concerts will feature an upgraded sound system, improved lighting and state-of-the-art restroom facilities, thanks to a $100,000 NRCA received from an anonymous donor. In addition, NRCA has reached out to local food trucks to guarantee that there will be interesting snacks and meals available on site for hungry concert-goers.
Bill Zimmerman, Commissioner of New Rochelle’s Dept. of Parks & Recreation, says the city is proud to continue the summer concert tradition. “The support of Webster Bank and People’s United Bank has made it possible for us to continue to bring free concerts to the community.” Theresa Kump Leghorn, President of the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, adds “Our sponsors are generous supporters of the arts with a true commitment to the community they serve.” For more information visit the NRCA website at www.newrochellearts.org or telephone the Dept. of Parks and Recreation at 654-2087.
The full Summer Sounds Concert Series schedule includes:
• July 6th: Showtime Dance BandDance band playing rock, R & B, Motown, disco and swing guaranteed to make the crowd move
• July 13th: Feinberg BrothersAuthentic bluegrass band performing traditional music with sophistication, the way Bill Monroe would have liked it!
• July 20th: New Rochelle OperaFavorite selections from opera, operetta and Broadway performed by New Rochelle Opera, which has been thrilling audiences with imaginative and sensitive stagings of full opera productions since its inception.
• July 27th: Wali Ali and the Tambourine BandWali Ali is known for his intensely soulful and inventive guitar playing; the band features fellow New Rochelleans bassist David Merrill and drummer Steve Brown playing folk, jazz and r & b.
• August 3rd: Benson-Scott Big Band (Emil Paolucci Memorial Concert)Big band music featuring the sounds of the New York Jazz and Latin/Jazz scene, including the music of Maynard Ferguson, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie
• August 10th : Glenda Davenport QuartetGlenda Davenport, discovered at the World Famous Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night, is known as a mature, skillful singer with depth, emotion and swing, performing jazz favorites and standards with her quartet.
• August 17th: Ben Clark and the Long ShadowsSinger-songwriter Ben Clark plays rock, jazz and hip-hop; an Indiana native, he won the Kennedy Center Award for Outstanding Muscial Composition for his debut musical The Circus in Winter. He appears regularly at Brooklyn’s Way Station as well as venues like Joe’s Pub, Shrine, LIC Bar and Leftfield.
• August 24th: Firey String SistasA chamber Jazz ensemble that has performed its brand of world music and jazz at cutting edge venues; frontwoman and cellist Nioka Workman has played with everyone from Kanye West and Jay-Z to Alvin Ailey American Dance Company and the Joffrey Ballet. Other group members include Mala Waldron (piano, vocal), Marlene Rice (violin), Melissa Slocum (bass), and Karina Colis (drums).
• August 31st: The Kootz BandPop rock of the ‘60s through ‘80s
The New Rochelle Council on the Arts (NRCA) was created by the New Rochelle City Council in 1975 to stimulate and encourage the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts. For four decades NRCA has worked to fulfill that mission by sponsoring art exhibitions, theatrical productions, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, and concert series. In addition, NRCA has sponsored public art -- like the popular Fleur-de-Lis sculptures downtown -- and created ArtsFest, while helping to build relationships between the arts, the business community and city government. The NRCA website www.newrochellearts.org is the “go-to” place for information about the arts. Membership in NRCA is open to artists and non-artists alike, with members receiving invitations to networking events and studio tours. For more information visit NRCA on the web at www.newrochellearts.org. NRCA’s programs are made possible, in part, by ArtsWestchester with funds from Westchester County Government, the City of New Rochelle, and the support and participation of NRCA’s membership.
PRESS CONTACT: Theresa Kump Leghorn (914) 654-8356