Caramoor Celebrates 70th Anniversary Season with Seven Weeks of Music and More on Picturesque Westchester Estate This Summer (June 20–Aug 2)
Now celebrating its 70th anniversary season, Caramoor offers a cornucopia of music and more this summer, with seven weeks of orchestral, chamber, jazz, American roots, and family concerts, as well as opera, multiethnic dance, young artist showcases, and sound art, all presented on the historic Caramoor estate: 90 acres of picturesque Italianate architecture and gardens in Katonah, Westchester, just one hour’s drive from Manhattan (June 20–Aug 2). The festival demonstrates its forward-thinking approach with a number of world premieres, including a work by Christopher Theofanidis, and string quartets by Patrick Harlin and Aaron Jay Kernis. It welcomes back some of the best-known names from various music genres, including Wynton Marsalis (who last visited in 2008), Peter Oundjian (former Artistic Director) and Gabriel Kahane (who was last at Caramoor in 2012). It also brings back some of the young players whose careers have flourished through the support of the Caramoor family, including the Ariel, Dover and Jasper quartets, and from the roots world Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan, who join together for their “I’m With Her Tour.” Collaboration with alumni artists and the community is integral to Caramoor’s mission, and this season the festival continues its partnership off-site with the Katonah Museum of Art, as [email protected].
As in previous seasons, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s is in residence, led by a trio of first-rate conductors, Pablo Heras-Casado, Peter Oundjian, and Nicholas McGegan, as well as anchoring semi-staged performances of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and Donizetti’s La Favorite under the baton of Director of Opera Will Crutchfield. The resident Calidore String Quartet and former incumbents the Ariel, Dover, and Jasper Quartets highlight a rich program of chamber offerings. Incomparable French pianist Hélène Grimaud serves as this season’s Artist-in-Residence; Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant headline the annual Caramoor Jazz Festival; and folk rocker Lucinda Williams headlines the annual American Roots Music Festival. Caramoor’s hit “In the Garden of Sonic Delights” returns for a second season of site-specific sound art, exhibited al fresco all summer long. From world premieres and genre-bending mash-ups to classical masterworks, from Middle-Eastern belly-dancing to Independence Day fireworks, and from today’s legends to tomorrow’s stars, Caramoor represents an oasis of musical and artistic diversity, offering day-trippers the perfect pastoral escape from the city. As conductor and former artistic director Peter Oundjian put it, “Caramoor, its gardens, and its aspirations are symbols of dedication to and respect for the highest values. Its beauty unites us all in our passion for creativity.”
In residence: Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Hélène Grimaud
The resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s has enjoyed an intimate and enduring partnership with Caramoor since forming there in the summer of 1979. Under the baton of Peter Oundjian, the orchestra launches the 2015 summer season in style, with an Anniversary Celebration (June 20) that presents the world premiere of a new commission from American composer Christopher Theofanidis (b. 1967), whose honors include the International Masterprize and six ASCAP awards. Paired with the new work is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, its rousing final movement featuring the Collegiate Chorale and a stellar quartet of vocal soloists: Jennifer Check, Jennifer Feinstein, Noah Baetge, and Jeffrey Beruan. Before the performance, Caramoor will hold is Opening Night Gala, which includes a celebratory pre-performance cocktail reception and dinner and post-concert dessert in the tent. Indeed, arriving early and staying late is an integral part of the Caramoor experience, offering the opportunity to picnic and explore the idyllic gardens and to enjoy the fine and decorative arts collection of the historic Rosen House.
Under the direction of Nicholas McGegan, the Orchestra of St Luke’s performs symphonies by Mozart and Schubert, and supports violinist Jennifer Koh – “a risk-taking, high-octane player … who grabs listeners by the ears and refuses to let go” (Strad magazine) – in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (July 19). And it is the orchestra that draws the summer season to a climactic close, joining OSL’s principal conductor Pablo Heras-Casado for a Festival Finale that pairs Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony, “Winter Dreams,” with Brahms’s First Piano Concerto (Aug 2). Piano soloist, Artist-in-Residence Hélène Grimaud, is an ardent Brahms interpreter, of whose recent live recording Classic FM reported: “Grimaud turns her thrilling, deeply personal brand of music-making to Brahms’s first and second Piano Concertos. Throughout, her playing is sensitive, graceful, and commanding.” Known for performances marked by passionate intensity and what the New York Times characterizes as “coiled energy eventuating in unbridled excitement,” the French pianist also gives a solo recital, showcasing her full range in works by composers from Albéniz, Brahms, and Debussy to Janácek, Berio, and Takemitsu (July 31). Grimaud performed a similar program recently at New York City’s Armory, as part of a groundbreaking collaboration with artist Douglas Gordon exploring the theme of water, of which 122,000 gallons flowed during the performance. Bachtrack wrote: “Grimaud displayed masterful fluency with each composer’s musical language. Her program was no mere wash of undulating arpeggios and waves of glissandi – each piece sounded utterly individual.”
For the second year in a row, WQXR, New York City’s classical music station, and Caramoor will collaborate to bring audiences live broadcasts of several concerts, including opening night on June 20 and the festival finale on August 2. Concerts will air on WQXR 105.9 FM; its sister station, WQXW 90.3 FM, serving Central and Northern Westchester; and online at www.wqxr.org – reaching online audiences across the region and around the globe. Additional broadcasts will be announced at a later date.
Opera and Bel Canto Young Artists program
Opera has long been central to Caramoor’s success, thanks in large part to the scholarship and expertise of Director of Opera Will Crutchfield, whose conducting style is distinguished by “a fine balance of bravado, intensity, sensitivity and scholarly savoir-faire” (Financial Times). Continuing the celebrated Bel Canto at Caramoor series, the first of this summer’s semi-staged operatic offerings is Donizetti’s La Favorite, sung, unusually, in the original French, and starring French mezzo Clémentine Margaine in her New York debut as Léonor, with Santiago Ballerini and Stephen Powell (July 11). Caramoor also presents Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, staged by Victoria Crutchfield. This opera features such festival favorites as Jennifer Check, Jennifer Larmore, Hei-Kyung Hong, Deborah Polaski, Noah Baetge, and Daniel Mobbs (July 25). Both productions feature the resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s, with Crutchfield himself on the podium. Last summer, Caramoor mounted semi-staged productions of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Verdi’s Rigoletto, of which the New York Times observed: “Mr. Crutchfield led the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in a bristling performance that increased in urgency throughout, reaching a fiery climax at the work’s chilling conclusion.”
Caramoor is justly celebrated for nurturing young talent and offering sterling follow-up support, through young artist programs that include the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, Evnin Rising Stars, Schwab Vocal Rising Stars, and Bel Canto Young Artists. Each year, approximately twelve Bel Canto Young Artists receive training in vocal technique and interpretation, before demonstrating how they have developed in a pair of summer performances. This season’s offerings are Anonymous in Love, a program of unattributed love songs from the Italian repertory (June 25), and The Amazing Scarlattis (July 16). Students also have the opportunity to take part in the season’s two opera productions.
Chamber and vocal recitals
This year’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, in a year-long Caramoor residency, is the Calidore String Quartet. Since forming in 2010 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, the Calidore has already gone on to win prizes, embark on important collaborations, and make prestigious debuts. Arnold Steinhardt, former leader of the Guarneri String Quartet, has said: “[The Calidores] are individually terrific players; they’re hard working – and they have a personality when they play. They have a musical point of view. What more could you ask?” As part of their residency, the quartet performs regularly at Caramoor and takes part in the Student Strings educational outreach program. Each year, Caramoor commissions a new work for the resident group, and this season the Calidore String Quartet gives the world premiere of a new composition by Patrick Harlin, recipient of a 2013 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A young composer with an interest in ecology, Harlin’s work often represents the natural world (July 17).
Testifying to the long-term loyalties Caramoor inspires, three previous resident ensembles return this season. The Ariel Quartet, the 2008-09 Stiefel Quartet, and the Dover Quartet, whose residency was in 2013-14, return to play Schubert and Schumann and join forces for Mendelssohn’s Octet and Two Pieces by Shostakovich (July 5). Similarly, the Jasper String Quartet, resident in 2009-10, returns to give the world premiere of String Quartet No. 3 by Aaron Jay Kernis, whose String Quartet No. 2 was awarded the 1998 Pulitzer Prize (June 28). All three ensembles have made their mark on the chamber scene since their tenures at Caramoor, the Jasper and Ariel Quartets both winning the Cleveland Quartet Award, and the Dover Quartet sweeping the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Illustrating the spirit of collaboration between distinguished and emerging performers that is so characteristic of Caramoor, cellist and leader Edward Arron takes part in an intimate evening of Hummel, Strauss, and Beethoven alongside violinists Arnaud Sussmann and Tessa Lark, violist Nicholas Cords, and pianist Jeewon Park, all of them including Arron alumni of Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program, which offers intensive chamber music mentorship (June 26). For those able to escape the city early for the weekend, the concert is preceded by an Afternoon Tea or A Summer Evening at the Rosens, at which cocktails and dinner are served. A month later the Grammy-nominated Eroica Trio undertakes a wide-ranging program of Bach, Suk, Schoenfeld, and Brahms (July 26). According to the New York Times, “Eroica’s musicians … have the muscle to be purely dramatic and emotional, but … stand out for subtler reasons: all three players are soloists who have a lot to say, and every note, no matter how light, has some significance.”
Rounding out the summer’s chamber and vocal lineup are a pair of boundary-defying performances. The members of PROJECT Trio, which has been described as “a glorious celebration of the music of our time” (Jazz Review), are as comfortable in the music of Bach, Beethoven, and Rossini as in that of Charles Mingus and Jethro Tull, and improvise freely upon it all, in an exhilarating mix of jazz, rock, hip-hop, and salsa styles (July 2). And composer, singer-songwriter and festival favorite from 2012 Gabriel Kahane teams up with Bon Iver’s Rob Moose to perform The Ambassador, Kahane’s song cycle exploring the atmosphere and soul of Los Angeles, on a similarly diverse program that also includes songs by Schubert, Britten, Jerome Kern, and John Adams (July 30). As a recording, The Ambassador was pronounced “one of the year’s very best albums” (Rolling Stone), and when the cycle premiered at BAM last year, the New York Times declared, “Mr. Kahane’s City of Angels is a harsh and hazy pipe dream in which legendary places vanish overnight but somehow never disappear, not as long as artists like Mr. Kahane … can reclaim them from the repository of memories that has been given such resonant life here.”
“In the Garden of Sonic Delights” and more
All areas of the historic Katonah estate, once home to Caramoor founders Walter and Lucie Bigelow Rosen, come into play this summer. Last season’s al fresco art exhibition “In the Garden of Sonic Delights,” returns due to popular demand, featuring eight site-specific, locally-inspired sound art installations. As curator and sound artist Stephan Moore told the New York Times last season, “If … the laptop has become the 21st-century folk instrument, then Caramoor … has propelled itself to the forefront of that development, commissioning and bringing to its 90-acre campus an exhibition of sound art.” Negotiating the intricate interface between nature, acoustics, history, and architecture, the soundscape will be open to visitors all summer long.
Also taking advantage of Caramoor’s bucolic setting is chamber ensemble Music from Copland House, resident at the late composer’s Westchester home and specializing in American repertory, which joins German theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck to perform a concert titled Out of Thin Air, including works for theremin and chamber ensemble by Miklós Rósza and Bohuslav Martinu. The collaboration has particular resonance for Caramoor, as founder Lucie Bigelow Rosen was a student and patron of Leon Theremin, the inventor of this unique, ethereal-sounding instrument. Rosen would doubtless have been charmed to hear this performance in the superb acoustics of the beautiful outdoor Venetian Theater (July 12).
Similarly, in the Guitar in the Garden series, guitarists Ana Vidovic and Lukasz Kuropaczewski each give solo recitals in the magical outdoor setting of Caramoor’s Sunken Garden (June 21 & July 23 respectively). And in the intimate, atmospheric Spanish Courtyard, violinist and Evnin Rising Stars alum Alexi Kenney joins pianist Renana Gutman for a program of Westhoff, Bach, Poulenc, and Enescu, which will be preceded by a full tour of Caramoor’s magnificent house and gardens (July 9).
Caramoor’s annual Jazz Festival returns, headlined by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant under the direction of Wynton Marsalis, winner of multiple Grammy Awards and still the only musician to score Grammys in both the jazz and classical categories in the same year (July 18). Additionally, New Orleans jazzer Jon Batiste and his quartet are scheduled to perform (July 24), and further details of the Jazz Festival will follow shortly, in a dedicated news release. As the Jazz Times has written, “Caramoor is a perfect day trip for city slickers who want to hear some of the most prominent jazz artists of the day without going very far.”
American Roots Music Festival
Caramoor’s annual American Roots Music Festival returns, headlined by country, blues, and rock singer Lucinda Williams – “America’s best songwriter” (Time magazine) – and featuring appearances from Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, the Kristin Andreassen Band, Mason Porter, Jessy Carolina & The Hot Mess, Spuyten Duyvil, Matt Turk and more. With folk, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, and traditional and contemporary roots performances at different locations around the estate throughout the day, the festival offers the ideal opportunity to explore Caramoor with picnics packed and ears open. There will be free activities for children, including an all-ages sing-along, play-along session, the Caramoor Scavenger Hunt, and I-Spy tours of Rosen House (June 27). Two ticketing options allow visitors either to experience the entire range of activities throughout the day including the evening headline performance, or to only enjoy the daytime activities and performances.
Three mainstays of the acoustic, folk, and roots world, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan, come together in a powerhouse trio they call the “I’m With Her Tour,” which they have already toured internationally this year. Playing as a band, the three musicians cover each other’s songs and more. Jarosz explains: “I’m really excited about this trio because we each do our own thing and we each do it differently, so I’m looking forward to discovering all of the unique possibilities that come with combining our individual voices.” Their concert takes place in the intimate outdoor space of the Spanish Courtyard (July 10). This performance marks the group’s only New York City area appearance this summer.
The festival is also taking its spirit of collaboration off-site, partnering with the Katonah Museum of Art, which hosts [email protected] performances by Spuyten Duyvil (June 24) and The SwingAroos (July 15).
Dancing at Dusk
A beloved and family-friendly summer tradition, Caramoor’s Dancing at Dusk takes place on the spacious lawn of Friends Field, where guests are treated to various music forms from around the globe and invited to watch and learn the variety of distinctive dance traditions that go with them. Danny Pollock and Tavche Gravche bring the joy and exuberance of Israeli Folk Dancing to Katonah, with a range of circle, partner, and line dances in the Chassidic, Yemenite, Turkish, and Hora styles (July 1). Alessandra Belloni and I Giullari di Piazza introduce Italian Folk Dancing, with the help of stilt dancer Mark Mindek, who plays a range of masked characters. Together they offer a fiery journey through southern Italy, by way of love songs, lullabies, processional chants, ritual drumming, and the tarantella used to cure the mythical bite of the tarantula (July 8). New York City-based Carmine and Friends play songs from Turkey and Egypt on traditional middle-eastern instruments for Middle Eastern Belly Dancing, which features the belly-dancing artistry of Kaeshi Chai (July 22). And the band Ethos along with Kostas Psarros present Greek Dance to a range of musical styles including rebetiko, or Greek blues, with dance instruction from Maria Sopasis (July 29).
Continuing Caramoor’s tradition of celebrating July 4 in style, this summer Curt Ebersole leads the Westchester Symphonic Winds, featuring Christian Carbone as tuba soloist, in such patriotic favorites as the Star Spangled Banner, and Stars and Stripes Forever, as well as Ives’s Variations on “America” and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” Broadway star baritone Ryan Silverman returns by popular demand after last summer’s knockout success to join the band in songs by George M. Cohan, Richard Rodgers, and Irving Berlin. Culminating in fireworks, this family-friendly event falls on a Saturday, offering the perfect excuse to arrive early and explore the house and grounds at leisure for the full Caramoor experience. In the event of inclement weather, fireworks will be rescheduled for July 5.
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Caramoor is a performing arts center located on a unique 90-acre setting of Italianate architecture and gardens in Westchester County, NY. It enriches the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality. Its mission also includes mentoring young professional musicians and providing educational programs for young children centered around music. Audiences are invited to come early to explore the beautiful grounds, tour the historic Rosen House and on special Sundays enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea or unwind with a pre-concert picnic, and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and the magnificent gardens. Summer concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the 1,508-seat, acoustically superb Venetian Theater and the more intimate, romantic 470-seat Spanish Courtyard. In the fall and winter all concerts are presented in the magnificent Music Room in the Rosen House. Caramoor’s gardens, also used for concerts and the Garden of Sonic Delights, are well worth the visit and include nine unique perennial gardens. Among them are a Sense Circle for the visually impaired, the Sunken Garden, a Butterfly Garden, the Tapestry Hedge, and the Iris and Peony Garden.
Getting to Caramoor
By car from the West Side of Manhattan and New Jersey, take the Saw Mill River Parkway north to Katonah. Exit at Route 35/Cross River. Turn right and, at the first traffic light, make a right turn onto Route 22 south. Travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road. Follow the signs to Caramoor. (For detailed directions call 914-232-5035 and press 4, or visit www.caramoor.org.) Parking at Caramoor is free.
By train, take the Harlem Division of the Metro-North Railroad to Katonah, New York. Taxi service from the station to Caramoor (just five minutes away) is available.
Caramoor: 70th anniversary summer line-up
Opening Night – Anniversary Celebration
Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Peter Oundjian
The Collegiate Chorale
Jennifer Check, soprano; Jennifer Feinstein, mezzo-soprano; Noah Baetge, tenor; Jeffrey Beruan, bass
Christopher Theofanidis: new work (world premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Opening Night Gala
Pre-concert dinner and reception
Post concert dessert and “After Dark” reception
Ana Vidovic, guitar
Guitar in the Garden
Ana Vidovic, guitar
Sor: Introduction and Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 9
Mangore: Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios
Albeniz: Granada, Asturias
Bach (arr. for guitar by Frank Koonce): Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998
Takemitsu: “Yesterday,” from 12 Songs for Guitar
Mangore: La Catedral
Lauro: El Marabino, Vals Venezolano No. 2, Vals Venezolano No. 3
Roots: Spuyten Duyvil
Anonymous in Love
Bel Canto Young Artists
Edward Arron & Friends
Edward Arron, Artistic Director, cello
With Jeewon Park, piano; Arnaud Sussmann & Tessa Lark, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola
Hummel: Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 87
Strauss: Metamorphosen (version for String Septet)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 “Eroica,” arranged for Piano Quartet by Ferdinand Ries
American Roots Music Festival
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
Kristin Andreassen Band
Jessy Carolina & the Hot Mess
Matt Turk & more
Beethoven: Quartet Op. 18, No. 2
Kernis: String Quartet No. 3 (world premiere)
Debussy: String Quartet
Dancing At Dusk: Israeli Folk Dancing with Danny Pollock and Tavche Gravche
Rossini: William Tell
Mingus: Fables of Faubus
J.S. Bach / Jethro Tull: Bouree
Beethoven (arr. PROJECT Trio): Fifth Symphony Jam
Prokofiev (arr. PROJECT Trio): Peter and the Wolf … now set in Brooklyn!
Also originals, encompassing classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop, salsa, and everything in between
Pops, Patriots and Fireworks
Westchester Symphonic Winds / Curt Ebersole
Ryan Silverman, baritone
Christian Carbone, tuba
Ariel Quartet and Dover Quartet
Shostakovich: Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11
Schumann: Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 41, No. 1
Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20
Dancing at Dusk: Italian Folk Dancing with Alessandra Belloni and I Giullari di Piazza
Alexi Kenney, violin
Renana Gutman, piano
Westhoff: Suite No. 2 in A major for solo violin
Bach: Sonata for violin and keyboard No. 3 in E major, BWV 1016
Poulenc: “C” (transcribed for violin and piano by Alexi Kenney)
Enescu: Sonata No. 3, Op. 25
Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan
“I’m With Her Tour”
Donizetti: La Favorite
Bel Canto at Caramoor
Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Will Crutchfield
Clémentine Margaine, mezzo-soprano; Santiago Ballerini, tenor; Stephen Powell, baritone; Daniel Mobbs, bass-baritone
“Out of Thin Air”
Music from Copland House with Carolina Eyck, theremin
The Amazing Scarlattis
Bel Canto Young Artists
Calidore String Quartet
(2014–15 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence)
Mozart: Divertimento in F major, K. 138/125c
Harlin: World Premiere Commission
Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80
Jazz at Lincoln Center Festival
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra / Wynton Marsalis
Featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant
Jennifer Koh, Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Nicholas McGegan
Mozart: Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183
Schubert: Symphony in B minor, D. 759 “Unfinished”
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61 (with Jennifer Koh, violin)
Dancing at Dusk: Middle Eastern Belly Dancing
With Carmine and Friends and Kaeshi Chai
Guitar in the Garden
- S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 1
- Tansman: Prelude et Interlude
- Penderecki: Aria and Cadenza
- Meyer: Sonata (dedicated to L. Kuropaczewski)
Jon Batiste and Quartet
Poulenc: Dialogues des Carmélites
Bel Canto at Caramoor
Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Will Crutchfield
Jennifer Check, soprano; Hei-Kyung Hong, soprano; Alisa Jordheim, soprano; Jennifer Larmore, mezzo soprano; Noah Baetge, tenor; Daniel Mobbs, bass-baritone
Bach (arr. for Eroica Trio by Anne Dudley): Chaconne
Schoenfield: Café Music
Brahms: Trio in C, Op. 87
Dancing at Dusk: Greek Dancing
With Ethos and Kostas Psarros
Gabriel Kahane + Rob Moose: The Ambassador and more
Gabriel Kahane, piano, guitars, banjo, and vocals
Rob Moose, violin and guitars
Songs by Gabriel Kahane, Schubert, Britten, Kern, and John Adams
Hélène Grimaud (2015 Artist-in-Residence)
Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch II
Fauré: Barcarolle 5
Ravel: Jeux d’eau
Liszt: Les jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este
Janácek: In the mists I
Debussy: La cathédrale engloutie
Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 2
Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Pablo Heras-Casado
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 (with Hélène Grimaud, 2015 Artist-in-Residence, piano)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13 (“Winter Dreams”)
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All concerts made possible, in part, by ArtsWestchester with funds from the Westchester County Government.
All concerts made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
© 21C Media Group, March 2015