Annual Cape May Music Festival Celebrates 27 Years of Music by the Sea with Brass Band, Irish, Classical and Jazz

Atlantic Brass Band

CAPE MAY — Come to Cape May and experience sweet sounds by the seaside during the 27th annual Cape May Music Festival, chosen “Favorite Music Festival” in the 2016 annual People’s Choice Awards administered by the Discover Jersey Arts program of ArtPride New Jersey. The Cape May Music Festival is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), from Sunday, May 29 through Thursday, June 16.

The award-winning Cape May Music Festival offers something for every musical taste. In addition to Irish and brass band music, classical music lovers will delight with the return of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, the New York Chamber Ensemble, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players. Enjoy the thrill of live jazz during the ever-popular and meaningful 5th annual George Mesterhazy Tribute concert, a new jazz/rock fusion concert featuring The Jōst Project, the ever-popular Bach’s Lunches, and a new Champagne Jazz Brunch.

Opening the 27th Annual Cape May Music Festival on Sunday, May 29 at 8 p.m. is the 35-piece Atlantic Brass Band, a long time Cape May favorite, under the baton of Salvatore Scarpa. The Atlantic Brass Band returns to present a rousing concert of American music, perfect for a Memorial Day weekend celebration. This year, the concert is indoors, at Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Ave. Admission is free. The concert is co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) and the City of Cape May.

On Tuesday, May 31 at 8 p.m., The New York Chamber Ensemble presents The Virtuoso Harp in the Music of France, featuring soloist Stacy Shames. At the heart of French chamber music you will find some of the most beautiful pieces written for the harp in combinations with strings and flute. Ravel, Debussy and Faure will be highlighted in this magical concert of French chamber music masterpieces: Ibert’s Trio for violin and flute and harp; Jongen’s Deux Pieces en Trio, for flute, cello and harp; Faure’s Morceau de Concours; Saint-Saens’s The Swan; and Debussy’s String Quartet. At the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin Streets. General admission $20, Seniors $15, Students $5.

On Thursday, June 2, at 8 p.m., at Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place, hear Dierdre Reilly in a free, traditional Irish music concert. Deirdre Reilly’s warm, engaging style, powerful voice and dynamic stage presence have made her one of the top entertainers in Irish music today. With fans from Los Angeles to Dublin, Deirdre is a hit with audiences of all ages no matter where she goes. At Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place. This concert is co-sponsored by MAC and the City of Cape May. Admission is free.

On Sunday, June 5 at 10 a.m., linger over a Sunday morning champagne brunch buffet at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., during a Champagne Jazz Brunch at Aleathea’s. Enjoy live jazz from The Great American Songbook, featuring Mary Lou Newnam, saxophone, clarinet and flute, and Sonny Troy, guitar. Admission is $35.

On Sunday evening, June 5, at 8 p.m., hear how jazz and rock music fuse with The Jōst Project. The four members of The Jōst Project have long histories in jazz but the driving force behind them is the rock and folk music they were weaned on. Their declared aim is to draw baby boomer rock fans into the orbit of jazz. The Jōst Project is a jazz quartet that applies the physics of swing and bebop to rock and pop tunes. At Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place on Sunday, June 5 at 8 p.m. Admission is $25 adults, $20 seniors, $10 students.

On Tuesday, June 7, at 8 p.m., The New York Chamber Ensemble presents a chamber concert “Jewish Roots from Klezmer to Mendelssohn.” The many facets of Jewish music — from Klezmer to Mendelssohn — will be explored in this dynamic concert featuring the virtuosi of the New York Chamber Ensemble performing a selection of Klezmer music, White’s String Trio; Mendelssohn’s Song Without Words; and Dvorak’s Quintet Op. 77 in G Major at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin Streets. General admission $20, Seniors $15, Students $5.

On Thursday, June 9 at 8 p.m., the Bay-Atlantic Symphony performs “The Brandenburgs are Coming” at the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., with Conductor Jed Gaylin. The Bay-Atlantic Symphony will present Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos 2, 3, 4, and 5, featuring numerous Bay-Atlantic soloists. The Brandenburg concertos sat in a desk drawer for years and were only discovered 99 years after Bach’s death. Today they are some of the most popular works ever written and something of an auditory signature for Bach — loved by performers and audiences for their richness, power, beauty and brilliance. General admission is $25, seniors $20, and students $10.

On Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m. come to Cape May Convention Hall to celebrate with friends and fans for the 5th Annual George Mesterhazy Tribute concert “May the Music Never End,” under the direction of Barry Miles. Singers and instrumentalists look back with love on their musical partnerships with George Mesterhazy as they perform many of his arrangements, and look ahead to maintaining George’s and MAC’s tradition of bringing world class jazz to the wonderful community of Cape May music lovers. General admission is $25, Seniors $20, Students $10. Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place.

On Tuesday, June 14 at 8 p.m., New Jersey’s premier wind quintet, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players, returns for another program from the classical repertoire. Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. General admission $20, Seniors $15, Students $5.

On Thursday, June 16 at 8 p.m. The New York Chamber Ensemble presents “Italian Favorites” featuring soloist Wonjung Kim, a program presenting the richness of the Italian repertoire. Hear selected arias for baritone and mezzo-soprano from La Boheme, coupled with treasures from the chamber repertoire for flute, violin and cello, by Vivaldi, Albinoni and Respighi: Vivaldi’s Sonata in E Minor F. XIV, No. 1 for cello and piano; Von Weber’s Trio for flute, cello and piano; Albinoni’s Adagio for cello and piano; and Respighi’s Violin Sonata in B minor. At the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin Streets. General admission $20, Seniors $15, Students $5.

In addition to these evening concerts, music lovers are invited to the Carriage House Café & Tearoom, on the beautiful grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. for Bach’s Lunches, mini-concerts by members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony that accompany an elegant Tea Luncheon. Bach’s Lunches offer an intimate, afternoon al fresco musical experience, under the tent. Admission is $30 per person. Bach’s Lunches are Wednesdays, June 1, 8 and 15 at 12:30 p.m.

The People’s Choice Awards take place annually to honor the work of New Jersey’s vital, vibrant and diverse arts community. More than 21,000 ballots were cast statewide in 2016 – the greatest number of votes since the program’s inception in 2008. The Cape May Music Festival was among more than 110 arts organizations and downtown districts nominated for the awards in 16 categories. The Festival garnered 2,631 votes, the most among seven nominees, in the “Favorite Music Festival” category. It was honored at the New Jersey Conference on Tourism at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City March 4.

The Cape May Music Festival is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) with funding by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For further information or to purchase tickets, call 609-884-5404 or order online at www.capemaymac.org. To purchase tickets for the June 5 (The Jōst Project) and June 12 (5th Annual George Mesterhazy Tribute Concert) Cape May Convention Hall concerts, call 609-884-9565 or go online at www.discovercapemaynj.com.

The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at www.capemaymac.org. For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508. For information about historic accommodations, contact Cape May Historic Accommodations at www.capemaylodging.com.

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