Tag Archive | "american music festival"

HarborFrost Announced for 2012

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By Claire Walla

Riding the coattails of last year’s well-attended event, this year’s HarborFrost celebration was officially launched this week. And according to Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce member Robert Evjen, it will up the ante over last year’s inaugural fest.

In addition to fireworks over Long Wharf and ice sculptures on Main Street — both events are returning in keeping with the event’s “Fire and Ice” theme — Evjen said this year the event will also incorporate a three-and-a-half-hour set of live music, which he referred to as “Musical Brunch.”

“The bottom line is we wanted to extend the day over last year’s half-day event,” Evjen explained. The music will begin around 11:30 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. when the rest of the day’s activities will begin, starting with the first ice sculpture carved on Long Wharf. “We wanted to make it a full day this year and entice people to come down to the village early for brunch.”

And, of course, live music.

The musical portion of the day is being organized by Kelly Connaughton, head of the Sag Harbor American Music Festival (which, like HarborFrost, also made its debut in 2011). Though the details are still being hashed out, Connaughton said the morning will include performances by at least five artists (most likely local), who will play music in the various shops and businesses on Main Street.

The businesses will pay to host the artists and, Connaughton added, that fee will be partially supplemented by the Chamber of Commerce, which Connaughton said she hopes will give the businesses further incentive to pay for a show. In addition to providing live entertainment and bringing shoppers to Main Street, Connaughton added, “It will be great for us to get musicians earning some money in the lean winter months.”

So far, she said she’s received verbal commitments to host music from Page at 63 Main, Phao, Lifes’tyle and BookHampton.

As for the main attractions, Evjen said the fire dancers will be back this year, whipping strings of fire for a crowd at the foot of Long Wharf. Evjen said the Grucci family is already committed to doing the evening’s fireworks show and Fear No Ice will be here again this year (chain saws and all) to create two new ice sculptures on Main Street. The sculpting — to take place at 3 p.m. on Long Wharf and 4 p.m. behind the Civil War monument on the southern end of Main Street at the Madison Street split — will bookend HarborFrost’s fundraising Frosty Plunge, at 3:30 p.m.

In addition to making a mass of bodies shiver and teeth chatter, the event will raise money to benefit the Sag Harbor Ambulance Corps. Last year’s event attracted a crowd of more than 50 participants and more than 100 spectators, according to Evjen. While TV personality Matt Lauer (a Noyac resident) and Southampton Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato (a Sag Harbor native) wowed crowds by bracing the cold at last year’s plunge, to shake things up this year, rumor has it the Sag Harbor Village Trustees will challenge Southampton Town officials in a race to raise funds for the plunge. (That’s just what we heard.)

As of yet, the 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. slot has not officially been filled with an event, but Evjen said this will most likely include some sort of race along Main Street. Whether this includes dog sleds or bed sleds — both ideas have been floated (the Chamber is currently looking for volunteers willing to conceptualize and organize the event)—the hypothetical race will in some way spotlight the HarborFrost King and Queen.

New to HarborFrost this year, the Sag Harbor Express will be organizing a contest for which those so inclined are encouraged to submit the names of individuals they believe should be crowned HarborFrost royalty. Details will be provided at a later date. (Check back in on our Facebook page for more.) Also, yoga instructor Hailey Schmitz will be hosting a candlelit yoga session at the Sag Harbor Gym Corp. and Dodds and Eder will organize an evening art show.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday, February 11, with a rain date slated for Sunday the 12. Don’t worry, the weekend is sandwiched right between the Super Bowl and President’s Day weekend.

“Last year we planned HarborFrost during Super Bowl weekend, and we didn’t contemplate a snow date or a rain date,” Evjen explained.

When inclement weather threatened to rain on last year’s parade, Chamber members were caught in a pickle. (Fortunately, the rain that came down didn’t deter festival goers from enjoying the day.) This year, Evjen said they’re prepared.

“Our main concern is the fireworks,” he said. Evjen estimated the cost of the fireworks display would be about 60 percent of the event’s overall budget, which is currently estimated at around $10,000. (Last year’s HarborFrost cost about $7,000 to put on.) He added that this year’s fireworks display is expected to be even longer than last year’s.

“Although last year there was inclement weather,” Evjen continued, “The general atmosphere was great. The idea is to build upon that this year.”

American Music Festival Announced for This Fall

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Concert Lady

By Kathryn G. Menu

Sag Harbor over the last two years has evolved into a village where live music is embraced, from the jazz jam sessions at Bay Burger and Bay Street Theatre to open mic nights at the former Blue Sky and evenings of jazz at LT Burger and Phao.

This weekend, a group of residents unveiled plans to take this resurgence of live music to the next level, announcing the inaugural Sag Harbor American Music Festival, to be held this fall. The weekend-long event is aimed at celebrating American music, while also supporting local business and providing another reason for people to visit Sag Harbor during a quieter time of the year.

Slated for Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, the festival will feature a main stage performance at Bay Street Theatre by double Grammy Awards nominee Monica Mancini, a recording artist and concert performer who has appeared with the Chicago Symphony, the London Metropolitan Orchestra, the New York Pops and the Boston Pops.

While that Friday performance will have a ticket price meant to cover the cost of the production, organizers say the remainder of the music festival will entail free performances by various artists at local restaurants and gallery spaces on Saturday.

The festival aims to feature specifically American music, including all forms of jazz, blues, folk, rhythm and blues and Americana. Board member and co-artistic director Kelly Connaughton said she hopes the festival helps make Sag Harbor “a musical destination.”

Before moving to Sag Harbor, Connaughton carved out a career in the music industry, directing the Henry Mancini Music Festival in Los Angeles for seven years and at the Grammy Awards for two years.

Connaughton is one of several local organizers of the festival, including co-artist director Kerry Farrell, Grenning Gallery owner Laura Grenning and Bay Burger co-owner John Landes, who last year helped the village draft a new law that legalized live music in restaurants in Sag Harbor.

On Tuesday, Connaughton said board members hope to host the festival annually, and strive to make it an event that connects professional musicians with local businesses, educators, community organizations and media outlets across the East End.

Connaughton said Sag Harbor Village is already a place known across the East End for its live music scene, with venues like Bay Street Theatre that rival similar clubs in New York City.

“We have free, accessible music for everyone in Sag Harbor,” she said. “The festival is meant to shine a light on that and ultimately, we hope that the donations we collect will support free, year-round music in the village.”

In order to support the event, the Sag Harbor American Music Festival has drafted a range of sponsorship opportunities from $50 to $10,000. Depending on the level of sponsorship, businesses will be given listings and advertisements in the festival program, tickets to the main stage show, as well as being listed as sponsors in advertising campaigns.

Just three days after the Sag Harbor American Music Festival board announced its plans on Sunday, it has already picked up a few sponsors.

One of the festivals’ founding sponsors is Rich Decker’s Studio 89, which has pledged $5,000. Devlin McNiff Real Estate has also sponsored the festival with a $1,000 donation, and Bates + Masi Architects designed the festival logo for free.

The size of the festival this year, said Connaughton, will depend on the level of support it receives.

“It is all pending, but as of now, on Saturday, we should have at least four locations for live music, which will be spread throughout the day to encourage people to walk around the village and visit our local stores,” she said.

While the full musical lineup has yet to be booked, Connaughton promised a mix of American music, although she said various forms of jazz will be a priority, given its popularity in the village.

“Frankly, jazz is the personality of Sag Harbor, and one of the truest forms of American music,” she said.

Landes added that the board would also love to book the Sag Harbor Community Band, a musical mainstay in the village, and with village approval would love to see music on the sidewalks, and possibly even a New Orleans style, Dixieland band lead a parade down Main Street.

“This will be another Sag Harbor event that will bring people to the village in the off-season,” said Landes. “We want this to be a benefit for everyone in Sag Harbor.”