Cape May Music Festival Celebrates 28 Years of Music by the Seaside with Classical, Brass Band, Celtic, Jazz and World Music May 28-June 15

CAPE MAY — Come to Cape May and experience sweet sounds by the seaside during the 28th annual Cape May Music Festival, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), from Sunday, May 28 through Thursday, June 15.

The award-winning Cape May Music Festival offers something for a variety of musical tastes. In addition to Celtic, world music and brass band music, classical music lovers will delight in 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 moving 6th annual George Mesterhazy Tribute concert and an exciting eclectic concert by singer/songwriter Avi Wisnia, along with the ever-popular Bach’s Lunches and a Champagne Jazz Brunch with The Herb Moore Duo.

Opening the 28th Annual Cape May Music Festival on Sunday, May 28 at 7 p.m. is a long time Cape May favorite, the 35-piece Atlantic Brass Band, fresh from winning the North American Brass Band Association Championship in March. The Atlantic Brass Band returns as National Champions to the beautifully renovated Rotary Bandstand under the baton of Salvatore Scarpa, to present a rousing concert of American music, perfect for a Memorial Day weekend celebration. Admission to this concert is free. Co-sponsored by MAC and the City of Cape May.

On Tuesday, May 30 at 8 p.m., New Jersey’s premier chamber ensemble, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players, returns for another program from the classical repertoire for string quartets, performing “Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, Op. 44 No. 1 (1838)” and “Brahms’ String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51 No. 2 (1873).” At the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. General admission $20, seniors $15, students $5.

On Thursday, June 1 at 8 p.m., The New York Chamber Ensemble presents “What’s This?” with special guest Paul Woodiel, a chamber performance featuring rarely heard instruments in the classical repertoire. Woodiel plays hardanger fiddle, hurdy-gurdy and other fascinating instruments in performances of Hersant’s “Héliades for Flute and strings in three movements”; Kvandal’s “Quintet for Hardanger Fiddle and String Quartet op. 50 in two movements”; Vivaldi’s “Le Printemps (Spring)”; and Mendelssohn’s “String Quintet No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 87.” At the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. General admission $20, seniors $15, students $5.

On Sunday, June 4 at 10 a.m., join fellow jazz lovers at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St., for a Champagne Jazz Brunch at Aleathea’s. Enjoy live jazz from The Great American Songbook, featuring The Herb Moore Duo. Admission is $35.

On Sunday, June 4 at 8 p.m., hear award-winning singer/songwriter Avi Wisnia present an eclectic mix of refreshingly original songs and inventive covers, finding inspiration in Brazilian bossa nova, acoustic American folk, 1950s West Coast jazz, and contemporary pop. Avi’s clever lyrics give a knowing nod to his contemporaries, while his smooth vocals and deft piano skills assure you that this is truly something new. At the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St. Adults $25, seniors $20, students $10.

On Tuesday, June 6 at 8 p.m., The New York Chamber Ensemble presents “All American Chamber Music” with the return of Alan R. Kay, clarinet, in performances of Bolcom’s “Rags for Clarinet, Violin and Piano”; Foss’s “Three American Pieces for flute and piano”; Muscyinski’s “Fantasy Trio, Op. 26, for Clarinet, Cello and Piano”; Reynolds’ “‘Share’ for alto flute and piano”; Copland’s “Four Blues for Piano solo”; Gershwin’s “Preludes for Violin and Piano”; and Beach’s “Piano Trio Op. 150.” At the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin Streets. General admission $20, seniors $15, students $5.

On Thursday, June 8 at 8 p.m., the Bay Atlantic Symphony led by Conductor Jed Gaylin presents The Royal Wave, with soloist Felix Hell, organ. The organ is often known as the royal instrument. This splendid program of Baroque and retro-Baroque features Felix Hell, one of the most internationally sought-after organists today. Come catch the Royal Wave in performances of Handel’s “Overture to Theodora, HWV 68”; Handel’s “Organ Concerto HWV 306 in B flat major”; Handel’s “Organ Concerto HWV 295 in F major (“Cuckoo & the Nightingale”) 12’”; and Respighi’s “Suite for Strings, P. 41”. At the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St. General admission $25, seniors $20, students $10.

On Sunday, June 11 at 8 p.m., come to Cape May Convention Hall to celebrate with friends and fans for the ever-popular 6th Annual George Mesterhazy Tribute concert “Jammin For George” under the direction of Barry Miles. George’s musical collaborators join in on a joyous and spontaneous “grooveable” feast! At Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place. General admission $25, seniors $20, students $10.

On Tuesday, June 13 at 8 p.m. hear The New York Chamber Ensemble perform “Mostly Italia,” with soloist Eddie Barbash, saxophone, featuring Italian favorites and more. Formerly of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Barbash is a true virtuoso on saxophone and will be accompanied by string quartet, guitar, bass and drums in performances of “Casta Diva”; “Carnival of Venice”; “Violino Tzigano”; “That’s Amore”; “La Vie En Rose”; “The Mariachi Song”; Boccherini’s “Quintet”; and Verdi’s “String Quartet.” At the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. General admission $20, seniors $15, students $5.

On Thursday, June 15, at 8 p.m., at Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place, hear Charlie Zahm & Friends, in a free Celtic music concert. Zahm is one of the most popular soloists at Celtic music festivals anywhere east of the Mississippi. With a baritone voice some have described as “coming along once in a generation,” he weaves magical moments of Scottish and Irish history with passion for the performance and a repertoire pleasing to all members of the family. 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.

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 a delicious Tea Luncheon. Bach’s Lunches offer an intimate, al fresco musical experience, under the tent. Admission is $30 per person. Bach’s Lunches are Wednesdays, May 31, June 7 and 14 at 12:30 p.m.

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.

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