Review by DON FOWLER It has been a long, hot summer for the arts community as they do everything possible to resurrect live entertainment after nearly two years of COVID. Bravo to all the artists who have found innovative ways to bring arts, culture and
It has been a long, hot summer for the arts community as they do everything possible to resurrect live entertainment after nearly two years of COVID.
Bravo to all the artists who have found innovative ways to bring arts, culture and live entertainment to Rhode Island.
Classical music lovers were able and willing to don their masks to return to indoor concerts at locations in East Greenwich, Cranston and Westerly, thanks to the Warwick-based Music on the Hill.
We were fortunate to enjoy three of the concerts at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Greenwich and the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cranston, both beautiful settings with excellent acoustics.
Artistic director John M. Pellegrino, carrying on the memory of his late father, assembled a talented array of artists, including two-time Grammy winner, versatile violinist and composer Evan Price, best known for his work with two notable jazz string ensembles, The Turtle Island Quartet and the Hot Club of San Francisco.
Price led the orchestra in a rousing rendition of Mozart’s “Concerto No. 3 for Violin and Strings in G major, K 216” last Monday evening, following up with his own “Concerto for Jazz Violin, Strings, and Piano.”
The concerts were limited to an hour with no intermission, followed by lively discussions with the musicians.
Bravo to the Pellegrino family and the MOTH Board of Directors for continuing this fine tradition under difficult circumstances.
Chuck Wentworth knows how to put on a show, even during trying times.
The devastation in New Orleans caused the cancellation of at least one group, but most of the scheduled artists from around the country made it to Ninigret Park in Charleston to continue the tradition.
Sold-out crowds brought thousands of unmasked fans. Careful checks of vaccination cards slowed entry at peak times, but it was worth the wait to hear the beloved music we missed last year.
I admit to being an avid fan, never missing a festival.
Cajun super star Steve Riley was in tears when he came on the Roots stage Saturday afternoon to perform with his Mamou Playboys Quartet, which included his young son, longtime fiddle player David Greely and his guitarist.
“This is my first time playing before a live audience in 18 months,” he said. “And I am filled with emotion. I want to hug every one of you.”
Riley continued to play his heart out over the weekend on the main stage, the Roots stage, and the dance tent.
Every year promises a pleasant surprise, one that brings the laid-back audience out of their lawn chairs headed for the dance area in front of the stage.
This year it was Ranky Tanky, a Grammy-winning group from South Carolina that played spiritual, uplifting songs from the small town of Gulla, an area famous for its music.
You didn’t have to go to the Newport Folk Festival to hear two of the best traditional folk singers in the world. Wentworth brought John Hiatt and Englishman Richard Thompson to the festival, where they delighted their loyal fans.
Chili Brothers provided the traditional jambalaya and red beans and rice. A great addition to the food court was Rhode Island’s Kenyon’s, who make the best corn fritters in the world.
Cloudy skies didn’t stop folks from coming on Sunday, where the rain held off right through the final late evening dance featuring festival favorite The Pine Leaf Boys.