With the mellifluous sounds of local music lingering in the warm twilight and cool breezes floating off the Long Island Sound, there are certainly worse ways to spend a weekend.
sponsored by the Village of Mamaroneck Council of the Arts, are free concerts at every Sunday in July and one in August at 7 p.m.
According to Council member Lee Stringer, over 200 people have attended each concert in past years, with 2012’s roster ushering in an even larger group.
“With the excellent lineup we have, the first night drew over 300 people, and we are expecting it to grow further,” he said about the inaugural concert on July 8 with the Bookends Band, who are led by Mamaroneck resident Chris Brown.
Additionally, many of the bands chosen to play at the series are selected because of their affiliation with the village.
“Each year we seek new acts for the summer concerts. Our preference in every case is that the bands include local Mamaroneck musicians and offer a variety of musical styles. Sometimes, as in the case of the Zydeco Hogs, a band that was rained out previously, will be asked back,” said Stringer.
Bands are paid by the Council utilizing funds that are allocated by the Village of Mamaroneck, said Stringer, as well as an annual donation from the Derosa family.
The remaining schedule is as follows (excerpted from a press release sent out by the Council.):
On Sunday, July 15, the "Bon Temps" will "roulez" with the Louisiana sound of River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs. Hailing from Hartford, CT, the band first came together in "the cold New England winter of 1999," according to their website.
The Hogs first appeared at the Folk Next Door concert at the University of Hartford in May of 1999, and have since performed at music festivals up and down the East Coast, including a performance at the 9th Annual Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. They are: Bandleader and drummer River City Slim (also host of “The Pine Grove Blues” on WWUH), Andy Karlok (bass/vocals), Mark Thompson (accordion), Chris "Otis" Cross (guitar) and Robin Bean (washboard/fiddle/vocals). Slim has played with a host of Gulf Coast stars, including Willis Prudhomme, Corey Ledet, Jeffrey Broussard, Dexter Ardoin and Andre Thierry.
On Sunday, July 22, the Pocket Change rhythm and blues band and the Soundettes female a cappella group will share the bill.
Pocket Change loves to play "authentic party music," according to their website and features vocalists Benita Charles, Ed Holley and Christi Gehrisch. Backing them up are Harris Punyon (keyboards/vocals), Rob Goldmark (drums), Jason Punyon (bass) and Joe Paldino (guitar). This summer, they are also performing in Rye, Mount Vernon and Oradell, NJ, among other locations
Based in Larchmont, the Soundettes feature a dozen or so women "over the age of 21," as they put it, who love to showcase their vocal harmonies on a wide range of music, including pop, doo-wop, blues, oldies and show tunes. This all-volunteer group often performs at senior centers as well as concerts.
Sunday, July 29 is Family Fun Night, sponsored by the Village of Mamaroneck Recreation Department, featuring live music, kayak rides, beach volleyball, a firepit with an opportunity to make delicious s'mores and the Chef Johnson food truck serving Louisiana cuisine.
The series wraps up on Sunday, August 5 with the Bensen Scott Band recreating the swinging dance tunes of the big-band era of the 1940s. Leaders Gene Bensen and Regent Scott (both trumpeters) and their players love the sounds of the New York jazz and Latin/jazz scene, including the music of Maynard Ferguson, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.
Bensen has played with the Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey Bands, Tito Rodriguez, Machito and Lionel Hampton, among others. Scott has performed in numerous big bands in the New York area. The 20 musicians in the Bensen Scott Band hail from Westchester, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey and currently feature one of Mamaroneck's own: drummer Nadav Snir-Zelniker.
Rain dates for Summer Nights on the Sound are Aug. 12 and 17.
The Village of Mamaroneck Council of the Arts strives to engage the community in the creative arts by sponsoring concerts and other arts related events within Mamaroneck.