Jazz up your summer with live concerts at beautiful outdoor venues
Hudson Valley, N.Y.
- Music can transport you anywhere with eyes closed, but keep your eyes and ears wide open to take in lots of great concerts at beautiful outdoor Orange County venues in August. Come mix it up with top-notch performers from all genres in the ambiance of the Hudson Valley. Check out the extensive events calendar at www.orangetourism.org, and then follow the music to vibrant villages, scenic parks and world-class attractions for sounds and scenery that create great experiences.
Get jazzed! Head to Warwick for the 3rd season of the Hudson Valley Jazz Festival, August 16th through 19th. See for yourself why it's been recognized as "the best music event" by Hudson Valley Magazine. Talented jazz musicians including Grammy-nominees play at fabulous sites throughout historic Warwick, a Mecca of eateries, wineries, shops and quaint B&B's. The first notes sound off at 3:30 pm on Thursday at the Courtyard in the center of the village. Snap your fingers all weekend long at more than a dozen unique performances in charming restaurants and special locations, some of which require a ticket or reservation. Complete your visit with a spectacular 6:30 pm show on Sunday at the Lycian Centre in Sugar Loaf, just a few minutes drive from downtown Warwick.
If music makes plants grow, the specimens at the Orange County Arboretum will thrive to the great live jazz played there every Wednesday and Thursday night in August from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, rain or shine. An ideal concert venue, this 35-acre oasis of trees and gardens located within Thomas Bull Memorial Park is the new home to the free concert series which started six years ago at the Newburgh Waterfront. It's still called the Newburgh Jazz Series, but don't be fooled by the name, head to Montgomery with your chair or blanket to relax and enjoy all varieties of jazz sounds. The free concert series attracts an exciting line-up of jazz artists year after year.
Rejoice rock and rollers! On Tuesdays in August the Orange County Arboretum rivals American Bandstand. Catch the free Pop/Rock/Doo Wop Series at 6:30 pm each week as a new group takes the stage. The eclectic roster of outstanding performers has something for everyone. Show the youngsters the meaning of Doo Wop. Remember the "Lindy?" Jump and jive all your cares away at the Sock Hop 50's & 60's Dance Party on August 28th. Don't forget your picnic baskets!
Mellow out with weekend concerts in the country. Find some of the area's best blues, folk and rock performers scheduled for the Concerts in the Barn Music Series. This is not just any barn. It's the historic barn at Hill-Hold, a farm that belonged to one of Orange County's original families. Enjoy the free concerts on Saturdays from August 11th to August 25th. Work up an appetite for the final performance Sunday, September 9th, so you can enjoy the delicious chicken barbecue. The concerts start at 4pm, but arrive as early as 3pm for the best seats. Allow enough time to tour the 1769 stone farmhouse and one-room schoolhouse before the show and discover what early farm life was like in the Hudson Valley. The site opens at 10am.
How do you define oldies? You might change your mind after hearing the harpsichord, violin, sackbut, recorder, fife, and drum played during "Music in New York at the Time of the Revolution" presentation at 7pm on Saturday, August 18th at the Fort Montgomery State Historic site. Explore exhibits at the Visitor's Center and stroll the scenic grounds overlooking the Hudson River just north of Bear Mountain State Park before the show.
Quick step, hop! Hear the reigning "King of Polka" play for his hometown at the annual Florida Family Funfest on Sunday, August 12th. Morning 5 & 10K races start the day in downtown Florida. At 1 pm, more festivities follow including craft and food vendors, children's rides and free entertainment. The accomplished country western band River's Edge takes the stage from 2 to 5:30pm, then Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra stir things up from 6:30 to 8 pm. Not only do they grow great onions in this Black Dirt Region community, they know how to dance and have fun!
The fabulous Trophy Point Amphitheater overlooking the Hudson River at West Point is one of the most beautiful music venues in the Hudson Valley. Pack a picnic dinner and dine while you listen to the Sunday night "Music under the Series" series offered free throughout the summer by the United States Military Academy Band. At 7pm on August 5th, get a free dance lesson before the Jazz Knights present "A Night at the Movies," with music from major motion pictures. This popular music series goes out with a bang at 8 pm on September 2nd when the "1812 Overture Concert" is accompanied by fireworks and a cannon salute. It's spectacular!
For something completely different, listen to the sounds of sunlight at Storm King Art Center's "Light and Landscape" 2012 exhibition. Peter Coffin, an artist who contributed to the imaginative display, created "a soundtrack to the sunshine." Hear the jazzy notes of sunlight floating through the air as you view fascinating exhibits that explore the impact natural light has on our daily lives and ecosystem. With the special sound exhibition running through November 11th, and live weekend concerts on their regular events calendar, this world-famous 500-acre outdoor sculpture park in Mountainville, always a feast for the eyes, is now a feast for your ears, too.
Jazz up your summer! Free concerts are offered 7 days a week in communities throughout the county. Find a complete list of attractions, lodging, and events at http://www.orangetourism.org/
. For a free copy of the Orange County Travel Guide call 800-762-8687, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Orange County Tourism is headquarters for tourism in the county and is part of the I LOVE NEW YORK program.
Mary Ann McCarthy