A new season of the arts at Longwood Gardens
● By J. Chambless
Longwood Gardens is a spectacular setting for live music, both indoors and outdoors.
Longwood Gardens has announced its
2017-2018 performance series concert lineup, which includes notable
names from the worlds of jazz, classical and world music. New this
year is the first Winter Blues Festival, featuring the best of blues
in both music and horticulture. The popular Wine & Jazz Festival
returns on June 2. Tickets go on sale Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. For tickets,
Winter Blues Festival
March 2, March 16, and March 29
Longwood presents legendary blues artists against the backdrop of the Main Conservatory, adorned with blue-flowering plants such as hydrangeas, blue poppies, and blue coleus. In addition to the lineup of blues performances, each Saturday in March will also feature free blues music among the flowers. The free blues performance schedule will be posted on www.longwoodgardens.org.
Wine & Jazz
Saturday, June 4
2 to 9 p.m.
Enjoy the sounds of live jazz in performance locations throughout the gardens as you savor the region’s finest wines.
Saturday, Oct. 14
From the Palace of Versailles, Jean-Baptiste Robin – known around the world for his interpretations of French organ repertoire – presents an evening of organ music.
Terell Stafford Quintet
Friday, Oct. 20
Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well-defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.
Kenny Barron Trio
Friday, Nov. 10
NEA Jazz Master and Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Kenny Barron is widely regarded as one of the best jazz pianists in the world. Barron has an unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms.
Cristina Pato Quartet
Friday, Nov. 17
Cristina Pato, known for her work with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, brings her new album “Latina” to the gardens. With the help of her quartet, Pato explores what it means to be a Latina and a Galician bagpipe player. Audience-goers will delight in Pato’s blend of bagpipe, Galician, and Spanish influences.
“The Acoustic Living Room” songs and stories with Kathy Mattea, featuring Bill Cooley
Saturday, Nov. 18
Grammy Award-winning singer Kathy Mattea and her longtime collaborator, guitarist Bill Cooley, welcome you into “The Acoustic Living Room” to share songs and stories near and dear to their hearts. Her most recent album, “Calling Me Home,” is a collection of songs that celebrates the Appalachian culture of her native West Virginia.
The DePue Brothers Band: A Magical Grassical Christmas
Tuesday, Nov. 28
Celebrate the sounds of the Christmas season with The DePue Brothers Band. These four violinist brothers encompass a vivid blend of genres resulting in a style they refer to as “Grassical” -- a combination of bluegrass and classical music, with elements of jazz, blues, and rock mixed in.
Cherish the Ladies: Celtic Christmas
The Emmy award-winning Irish group Cherish the Ladies returns to celebrate the holiday season. As an engaging and successful ensemble, Cherish the Ladies has shared Irish traditions with audiences for more than 30 years.
Songbook: Steven Page and the Art of Time Ensemble
Tuesday, Feb. 6
Steven Page, a founder and former lead of the iconic band Barenaked Ladies, joins Toronto’s highly inventive Art of Time Ensemble in an evening of songs by Randy Newman, Radiohead, Elvis Costello, Barenaked Ladies, and others. These gems are reinvented by some of the greatest minds in classical, pop, and jazz, and delivered by a defining voice in contemporary rock.
globalFEST on the Road — The New Golden Age of Latin Music
Thursday, Feb. 8
globalFEST is North America’s most important world music festival, and this season they are taking Orkesta Mendoza and Las Cafeteras on the road. Orkesta Mendoza and Las Cafeteras are two of today’s most exciting bands and are redefining Latin music. Indie mambo band Orkesta Mendoza, and alternative Chicano band Las Cafeteras, will share the stage.
Sérgio & Odair Assad with Avi Avital
Wednesday, Feb. 14
Brazilian brothers and classical guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad perform with Israeli mandolin player Avi Avital. The trio explore both classical repertoire reimagined for guitar and mandolin, as well as traditional choro music, a popular genre in Brazil known for its upbeat rhythms and bravura virtuosity.
Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet
Friday, Feb. 16
The Berlin Philharmonic Piano Quartet is committed to performing undiscovered masterpieces as well as the standards of classical repertoire. Comprised of three members of the Berlin Philharmonic and pianist Markus Groh, the quartet will present a program by composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Josef Suk, and Robert Schumann.
Saturday, March 17
Acknowledged as one of the best traditional Irish bands in recent times, Lúnasa modernizes traditional Irish music and brings it to life like never before.
Sunday, March 18
Neil Harmon is director of music and organist at Grace United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Del., where he directs a semi-professional choir, a youth choir, and two bell choirs.
Thursday, March 29
Heralded as “one of the greatest living blues artists” by Blues Revenue, Rory Block is committed to preserving Delta blues and bringing it to life. Known for her unique slide guitar style, Block is an award-winning blues artist whose performance marks the end of the Winter Blues Festival.
René Marie: Experiment in Truth
Friday, March 30
Grammy–nominated jazz vocalist René Marie’s unique blend of jazz, blues, folk and gospel combines with her deeply personal style to create an unforgettable celebration of the human spirit.
Max Raabe & Palast Orchester
Friday, April 13
The ever-elegant, debonair Raabe and his 12-piece orchestra embody the halcyon days of 1920s and 1930s Weimar Berlin in all its high style and musical glory.
The Kennett Symphony
Sunday, April 15
The Kennett Symphony, with music director Michael Hall, returns with a program devoted to “Romance & Revelry,” featuring their concert master Eliezer Gutman as a soloist in Dvořák’s Romance and Saint-Saën’s Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. The evening concludes with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.
Saturday, April 21
Alan Morrison is head of the organ department at The Curtis Institute of Music, organ faculty member at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, college organist at Ursinus College, and organist in residence at Spivey Hall. Renowned for introducing new works to audiences around the world, Morrison presents a program that includes Bach’s Passacaglia BVW 582 and transcriptions from Debussy and Rachmaninoff.
Tuesday, May 1
Pianist Michael Brown, violinist Elena Urioste, and cellist Nicholas Canellakis make their debut at Longwood with a chamber piece inspired by the gardens. Michael Brown has composed a three-movement chamber work with each movement devoted to one of the gardens.
Tickets for these performances are sold
through www.longwoodgardens.org. Tickets include admission to the
gardens. Longwood is open daily (including holidays).