Welcome to the
Huntington Summer Arts Festival 2018 Season.
2018 marks the 53rd Huntington Summer Arts Festival! Once again, the Chapin Rainbow Stage in Heckscher Park will be lit up 6 nights per week with touring artists and ensembles from the U.S. and around the globe, as well as the very best local performing arts ensembles. The Wizard of Oz, a Plaza Theatrical production, kicks things off with the first “It’s Showtime!” Family Series presentation on Tuesday, June 26. Come early on Tuesdays and join us for a fun, easy FREE craft for the children. The craft table opens at 6:00pm before each Family Show and features a new craft each week.
A spectacular Opening Weekend brings Melissa Errico (June 29), Tony Award-nominated singer, actress & writer who will dazzle with a special concert SONDHEIM & MORE to mark her debut in Huntington, Long Island, not far from Manhasset where she grew up. Classic Rock rules on (June 30) with The Lords of 52nd Street, Billy Joel’s backing band on many of his most popular hits. Band mates Doug Stegmeyer, Liberty DeVitto, Russell Javors and Richie Cannata went on to tour and record with Joel for more than ten years, helping Joel establish a popular music career.
World Music is represented by a quintet of talented ensembles. First up Orquesta El Macabeo (July 6) updates traditional Puerto Rican Salsa with a fusion of modern punk rock, ska and reggae rhythms. Based in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, the band is active in relief efforts following the devastating hurricane that leveled so much of their native Island. Yael Deckelbaum & The Prayer of the Mothers grace our stage the following evening (July 7). Ms. Deckelbaum is a Canadian/Israel folk singer & songwriter whose efforts with “Women Wage Peace” are inspiring and witness to the rising power of women. Her rousing “Prayer of the Mothers” has become an anthem for hope and a call for peace in a fractured world. Las Cafeteras hails from East L.A., but their music is a vibrant fusion of Afro-Mexican beats, rhythms and rhymes delivered on traditional Son Jarocho instruments. Performing in Spanish & English, their music is a refreshing bridge between cultures. Kaia Kater (July 15), was born of African-Caribbean descent in Quebec, Canada. A talented banjo player and deft singer & songwriter whose smokey, jazzy vocals and exceptional backing band will enthrall. Skerryvore (August 10) is an electrifying band from Scotland whose unique fusion of folk, trad, rock and Americana has propelled them on a meteoric journey up the charts and earned them international acclaim. Edmar Castaneda is an amazing jazz harp virtuoso from Colombia, South America. He’ll perform in Quartet configuration with percussion, trombone, and his equally amazing vocalist & wife Andrea Tierra, for a unique evening you’ll never forget.
Huntington Jazz Week will again explore the art of jazz for an entire week, beginning with David Gonzalez’ Cuentos: Tales of the Latin World (July 17) – stories & jazz for kids and families; big band swing from HCB (July 18); sizzling contemporary jazz from the Grace Kelly Quartet (July 19)on sax & vocals; Lao Tizer Band (July 20) taking smooth world fusion in a new direction with “Songs from the Swing House;” Coltrane Day returns with afternoon workshops, performances & jams, prior to an evening with legendary sax innovator Joe Lovano Classic Quartet (July 21); and winding up with a memorable evening with the Swingtime Big Band (July 22) and classic tunes from the Great American Songbook plus new versions of modern favorites.
Americana Folk gets its attention grabbing weekend with L. I.’s own Gathering Time sharing the bill with Kirsten Maxwell (July 27); fiddler/violinist extraordinaire Jeremy Kittel (July 28) brings his Trio to town for an exciting evening of folk, roots & Americana tunes; the 13th Annual Huntington Folk Festival (July 29) co-presented with Folk Music Society of Huntington hosting afternoon showcases and song swaps, followed by an evening with legendary folk-singer & songwriter Tom Rush, accompanied by Matt Nakoa.
We welcome back David Stewart Wiley and the newly reorganized Long Island Orchestra (August 4), for “Bernstein’s America,” a celebration of the iconic Lenny’s 100th Birthday. Maestro Wiley and the Orchestra (all L.I. Philharmonic alumni) will serve up a delicious evening of Bernstein favorites plus well-known pieces by other important American composers who influenced Bernstein, including Gershwin (Jeffrey Biegel on piano for Rhapsody in Blue), Aaron Copland, Richard Rogers and Irving Berlin!
The Festival’s eclectic tradition continues with a delicious sampling of superb artistry and a mix of genres. Fei Fei (July 26) is a gloriously talented classical pianist who plays with a passionate and immersive touch. Incendio (August 2) was nearly rained out when here on their first East Tour. This fiery ensemble plays an inspiring fusion of classical, to jazz, to rock, to flamenco, to Celtic, and even bluegrass in whirlwind of acoustic and electric guitars. The Danny Green Trio (August 3) incorporates a local string quartet, compliments of USDAN Summer Camp for the Arts, in an inventive blend of original works that cross boundaries between jazz & classical and back again. Duke Robillard (August 10) returns to the Chapin Rainbow Stage with vocalist Sunny Crownover & Billy Novick on clarinet in support of the Duke’s latest CD, Duke Robillard and his Dames of Rhythm. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet (August 12) will entertain and get everyone up and dancin’ for a festive finale with their delicious gumbo of Cajun & Creole flavored blues rock, folk, swamp pop, Zydeco, country and bluegrass!
Dance continues to dazzle with Sol y Sombra (July 13) delivering a passionate evening of Spanish dance with NYC-based guest artists Tango For All! (come early for FREE pre-concert Samba lessons on the Chapin Stage!) The L.I. Dance Consortium returns with two fabulous concerts by superb local dance companies on July 5 and August 1.
The Huntington Community Band will again provide wonderfully entertaining programs under Music Director Tom Gellert’s baton on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning June 27. The Huntington Men’s Chorus takes the stage on June 28. The Island Hills Chorus and Twin Shores Chorus share the bill for their annual Barbershop and Sweet Adeline songfest on August 9. The Symphonic Pops of L.I. (formerly Senior Pops Orchestra of L.I.) on July 1, and the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra on July 8 will provide delightful music on consecutive Sunday evenings. And don’t miss out on longtime festival favorite Northport Community Band’s fabulous Thursday evening performances at the Robert W. Krueger Bandstand in Northport Village Park.
And last but certainly not least, BROADWAY comes to Huntington compliments of Plaza Theatrical Productions’ “Sister Act” ( July 14) and “Funny Girl” (August 5).