Music Haven expands beyond music

"Hamilton" singalong, theater and more surround seven world music performances
Brazilian band Casuarina brings its Samba sound on July 14.
Brazilian band Casuarina brings its Samba sound on July 14.

Musicians from near and far are slated to take the stage this summer at Music Haven. 

In its 30th year, the concert series will add theatrical events as well as film to the schedule. 

“It’s more than a music series. It’s a great venue that will host many different types of art,” said Mona Golub, the founder/producing artistic director of Music Haven during a press conference on Wednesday. 

On top of the seven world music performances, throughout the summer there will be eight other events that run the gamut from a Woodstock documentary to a “Hamilton” singalong. While the global performances will mainly be held on Sunday, some of the additional programming will be held on weeknights. 

“Hamiltunes: An American Singalong,” combines karaoke with one of the most popular musicals on stage today. It’s the first and only official “Hamilton” singalong and it will be held on Thursday, July 18, a few weeks before the touring production heads to Proctors. The day before, on July 17, the series welcomes The Turbans, a band that combines Balkan beats, North African drones and Flamenco fire.

Music Haven welcomes another famous theatrical production on July 26-July 27 with Will Kempe’s Players: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The Troy-based company will bring all the mirth, combat and magic of the play to the stage. 

The series will also highlight perhaps the most celebrated music festival with “Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation.” The documentary, directed by Barak Goodman, looks at Woodstock from the vantage of the audience members. It will be shown on Friday, August 2. 

Students of The School of the Performing Arts at Proctors will present “A Broadway Cabaret” on Friday, August 9, followed by a pops performance by the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, August 10. 

Beyond the world music productions, the series also welcomes Huntertones, a horn-driven band from Brooklyn on Thursday, July 25. Shortly after, on Wednesday, July 31, there will be a tribute to Nick Brignola, a jazz musician who performed during the series when it first started. The tribute will feature drummer David Calarco, saxophonist Gary Smuylan, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, pianist Tim Ray and bassist John Lockwood. 

“We’ve got a really rich musical landscape here in Schenectady county these days,” Golub said. 

Adding to that landscape will be bands from around the world, like Raghu Dixit, an Indian folk musician who kicks off the series on Sunday, July 7.

Here’s a look at the others in the line-up:

Sunday, July 14: Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Casuarina, brings a sultry Samba sound to the stage. Eduardo de Carvahlo e Forro de Bom will open. 

Sunday, July 21: The Garifuna Collective preserves traditional Caribbean rhythms, performing with turtle shells, jawbones, guitars and bass. Bodoma Garifuna Culture Band will be a special guest. 

Sunday, July 28: The Music Haven series will revisit music from Ireland with the Seamus Egan Project. Egan, the founder of Solas, brings traditional Irish flute, mandolin and guitar to the stage. 

Sunday, August 4: Thornetta Davis, “Detroit’s Queen of the Blues,” is slated to perform, along with special guest Tas Cru. Davis has sung alongside Bonnie Raitt, Kid Rock, Bob Seeger and many others. 

Sunday, August 11: Cimarrón brings Colombian Joropo from the plains of the Orinoco River. The band will perform with Sten & Maria Z. 

Sunday, August 18: Jupiter & Okwess combines American funk with Congolese Rumba. Nkumu Katalay will open.

The rain location for most of the performances is Proctors, however, on August 10, 11 and 18, the rain location will be the Niskayuna High School Auditorium. 

Categories: Entertainment

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