DECEMBER 18th – 20th
Multi-Generational, Multi-Media Extravaganza of Dancing, Music and Light Celebrates the Joy of the Season in One of NYC’s Most Spectacular Landmarks (11/28/2014 – New York, New York) Seven-time Grammy® Award-winning saxophonist, composer and bandleader Paul Winter returns with one of NYC’s most beloved, family friendly holiday events Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration, December 18th – 20th in the world’s largest cathedral, St. John the Divine located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street. This year’s event features the vibrant and exciting sounds of Puerto Rico with special guest vocalist Danny Rivera. Now in its 35th celebrated year, Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration is an immersive holiday spectacular featuring the 10-person Paul Winter Consort, dynamic gospel singer Theresa Thomason, along with Puerto Rican bomba drummers and singers, as well as the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Theatre who will perform new choreography inspired by the rhythms and percussion of Puerto Rico.
The Consort Includes Paul Winter, soprano sax; Paul McCandless, oboe, English horn and bass clarinet; Eugene Friesen, cello; Paul Sullivan, piano; Eliot Wadopian, bass; Jamey Haddad, drums; Tim Brumfield, organ; and Scott Sloan, sun-gong. Puerto Rican players include Pachito Vega, cuatro (the 10-string mandolin of Puerto Rico); Ricky Martin, guitar and accordion; and Nicky Laboy, bomba drums.
Paul Winter says: “The Puerto Rican bomba music has been a revelation to me. I've long been fascinated with how the convergence of European and African cultures that took place throughout the New World has produced such unique musical genres in the different countries – as jazz in North America and samba in Brazil. Puerto Rico has it's own genre, known as bomba, which is distinctive for it's dialogues between the drummers and dancers, as if the drummer is challenging the dancer to a rhythmic duel. We'll be interweaving this bomba music with the African dancing and drumming of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre.”
Revered as the “national voice of Puerto Rico), Danny Rivera’s lyrical, passionate singing is known and loved throughout the Spanish-speaking world. In Latin America, he’s been a familiar face on television since 1968. Over the course of a career that reaches its fiftieth year in 2015, he’s recorded over seventy albums and is the only Puerto Rican to star at Carnegie Hall in four different decades.
The Paul Winter Consort’s 35th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration also features extraordinary theatrical effects including a 28-foot revolving “tree of sounds,” and the giant ”sun gong” which ascends with its player 100 feet to the vault of the Cathedral to sound the return of the Sun on this longest night of the year.” A dazzling extravaganza of music and dance, this glorious, multi-media event celebrates the diversity of the Earth community, and the spirit of the holidays, in one of the city’s most spectacular architectural and historical landmarks.
“Thirty years ago, the Consort and I were invited to be artists-in-residence at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. We aspired to create music appropriate to this extraordinary acoustic space—two football fields long and tall enough to accommodate the Statue of Liberty,” said Winter. “I dreamed of presenting a musical celebration that could resonate with all people regardless of background or age. It occurred to me that the most universal milestone we could celebrate would be the winter solstice.”
The Paul Winter Consort will premiere a new suite entitled, “Song of the Phoenix,” inspired by the extraordinary sculpture entitled “Phoenix,” by Chinese sculptor Xu Bing that is currently on exhibit in the Cathedral. “Phoenix” consists of two giant birds, each 100-feet long, suspended from the vault of the Cathedral’s nave and is comprised of construction detritus from the building of the World Financial Center in Beijing.
Venue: The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine Address: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025 Dates & Times: Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, 8:00pm; Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, 8:00pm; Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, 2:00pm and 7:30pm Web: SolsticeConcert.com Phone: 866-811-4111 Ticket price: $35.00 & $55.00 (General Admission); $90.00 (Reserved Seating)
Press contact: Elizabeth Lang, MUSO Entertainment, firstname.lastname@example.org, 323.243.4959