Vince Gill, Chris Isaak, Bebe Neuwirth and Brian Wilson among superstars taking stage at Belleayre this summer
By Brian Sweeney
Vince Gill, Chris Isaak, Bebe Neuwirth and Brian Wilson are among the superstars who will take the stage during the 2008 Belleayre Music Festival summer season.
Belleayre‚Äôs lineup is filled with big names from start to finish as an eclectic mix of country, pop, jazz, Broadway, rock and opera will be featured.
The season gets underway on Saturday, July 5 at 8 p.m. when special guest Irish tenor Ronan Tynan teams up with the Belleayre Festival Orchestra, under the direction of John Covelli, for a festive evening.
Introduced to international audiences as a member of the Three Irish Tenors, Ronan quickly became known for his unique voice and irresistible appeal.
As part of Belleayre‚Äôs annual Orchestral Independence Day Celebration, Ronan will solo with the Belleayre Festival Orchestra in a memorable program of traditional vocal classics, Irish melodies and Broadway and pop favorites.
The musical focus stays in the Americana mode on Saturday, July 12 at 8 p.m. when legendary Beach Boy Brian Wilson brings his ‚ÄúHits Tour‚Äù to Highmount.
During his illustrious career with The Beach Boys, he penned hits such as ‚ÄúSurfin‚Äô,‚Äù ‚ÄúI Get Around,‚Äù ‚ÄúFun, Fun Fun,‚Äù and his frequently hailed best single of all time, "Good Vibrations." In 1965, Wilson stepped out on his own releasing the legendary ‚ÄúPet Sounds‚Äù album. This disc is widely hailed as one of the most influential recordings in the history of rock-n-roll.
Played to perfection by a top-notch 10-piece band, Brian Wilson‚Äôs music remains a vital part of the American music landscape.
‚ÄúJohn Covelli Unplugged, The Maestro plays Beethoven to the Blues,‚Äù is the theme for a show in the intimate setting of the Belleayre Music Club on Friday, July 18 at 8 p.m.
From the podium to the piano, Belleayre's favorite Maestro, John Covelli, exchanges the baton for 88 keys to perform an exciting solo concert.
The Bacon Brothers Band, featuring Kevin Bacon, performs on Saturday July 19 at 8 p.m.
Kevin Bacon is well-known in the acting world, but he is equally dedicated to his musical craft. What most people don‚Äôt realize is that guitarist/vocalist Kevin and his older brother Michael are lifelong musicians.
Long before Kevin became a household name with such hit films as ‚ÄúMystic River,‚Äù ‚ÄúFootloose‚Äù and ‚ÄúA Few Good Men,‚Äù he was writing songs on his own, and playing percussion in Philadelphia coffeehouses with his brother and other groups.
The Post-Neo Trio is comprised of Catskill Mountain favorite Justin Kolb with Abby Newton and Mikhail Horowitz. The group will play in the Belleayre Music Club on Friday, July 25 at 8 p.m.
Kolb is acclaimed internationally as a piano virtuoso; Horowitz, an audience favorite, is a provocative poet and performance artist; and Newton enjoys a stellar career as a Celtic and symphonic cellist.
The focus turns to Broadway ‚Äî with a dash of television ‚Äî when Bebe Neuwirth showcases her award-winning singing skills on Saturday, July 26 at 8 p.m.
Bebe Neuwirth is among a handful of actors/singers who has achieved smashing success on the Broadway stage and on television. She made her Broadway debut in the role of Sheila in ‚ÄúA Chorus Line‚Äù in 1980 and has been featured in revivals of ‚ÄúSweet Charity‚Äù (1986), for which she received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and Damn Yankees (1994). In 2006 she returned to the still-running Broadway production of ‚ÄúChicago.‚Äù
However, she may be best known for her recurring role as Dr. Lilith Sternin, the conservatively dressed and emotionally repressed psychiatrist who married Dr. Frasier Crane on the hit comedy series ‚ÄúCheers.‚Äù She won two Emmy Awards for the role.
A 10th Anniversary Gala of the Belleayre Festival Opera will feature a performance of ‚ÄúPagliacci,‚Äù preceded by famous opera choruses on Saturday, Aug. 2 at 8 p.m.
A free Children‚Äôs Opera Theater performance of ‚ÄúGoldilocks and the Three Bears‚Äù will be held on Sunday, August 3 at 1 p.m.
The renowned Catskill Mountain Jazz Series kicks off on Friday, Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. when urban jazz songstress KJ Denhart lights up the Belleayre Jazz Club.
KJ Denhert is a unique jazz artist. Her eclectic yet unified performances reach out to many different types of audiences.
The series kicks into high gear on Saturday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. when legendary jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis leads his trio at Belleayre.
Composer, pianist, and jazz giant Ramsey Lewis has been referred to as ‚Äúthe great performer,‚Äù a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms.
Top-rated jazz clarinetist Ken Peplowski takes the stage at the Belleayre Jazz Club on Friday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m.
Multi-instrumentalist Ken Peplowski first gained acclaim when he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He has recorded more than 20 albums, played at all the great international Jazz Festivals and at every important jazz venue in the United States.
A very special event is set for Saturday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. when Belleayre hosts ‚ÄúTwo Jazz Diamonds‚Äù ‚Äì A 75th Birthday Celebration for David "Fathead" Newman and Curtis Fuller. Joining the all-star party will be jazz greats Cedar Walton, Rufus Reid and Jimmy Cobb.
Saxophonist David ‚ÄúFathead‚Äù Newman started his illustrious jazz career when he began a long relationship with Ray Charles. Those stormy times were recalled in the academy award winning film ‚ÄúRay.‚Äù His most recent album, ‚ÄúI Remember Brother Ray,‚Äù was released in January 2005 and became the #1 Most Played Jazz Album nationwide.
Curtis Fuller, a legend in his own right, began playing the trombone at age 16 in his hometown of Detroit. His career skyrocketed when he moved to New York City in the early 1950s. There, he played with Cannonball Adderley and later joined the Jazztet. He later joined the Jazz Messengers, one of the most exciting and distinctive bands in the history of hard bop.
The music shifts direction again during ‚ÄúAn Evening with Country Music Superstar Vince Gill‚Äù on Saturday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m.
County music giant Vince Gill has enjoyed a brilliant career that has generated several platinum albums, a record 18 Country Music Awards, 19 Grammys including 2008 Country Album of the Year, and an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
‚ÄúKaleidoscope,‚Äù a free children's classical music experience performed by The Teaching Artists Ensemble of the New York Philharmonic, is set for Sunday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m.
The 2008 season winds up in California cool style when singer songwriter, film and TV star Chris Isaak takes the stage on Saturday, August 30 at 8 p.m.
Chris Isaak has released nine extraordinary albums, charted 12 hit singles, and has been nominated for two Grammy awards.
His legendary hits include ‚ÄúDancin',‚Äù ‚ÄúBaby Did A Bad, Bad Thing,‚Äù ‚ÄúSpeak Of The Devil‚Äù the broken hearted crooner‚Äôs ‚ÄúWicked Game,‚Äù ‚ÄúSomebody's Crying‚Äù and the breezy acoustic storytelling in ‚ÄúSan Francisco Days‚Äù and ‚ÄúTwo Hearts.‚Äù
He has acted in numerous films including ‚ÄúLittle Buddha,‚Äù ‚ÄúSilence of the Lambs‚Äù and ‚ÄúA Dirty Shame.‚Äù He also starred in his own critically acclaimed television series ‚ÄúThe Chris Isaak Show.‚Äù It will be all music when Chris and his longtime band Silvertone hit the stage for this holiday weekend show.
Tickets for all shows in the 2008 summer concert season at the Belleayre Music Festival, will go on sale April 15 via Ticketmaster. For additional information, please call 800 942-6904, ext. 344 or visit: www.belleayremusic.org. The festival‚Äôs e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concerts are held on the grounds of Belleayre Mountain in Highmount.