Music on the Mountain
September 4 - 10, 2023
Usher the mountaintop summer to a close with week filled of musical concerts that captivates attention.
Music on the Mountain celebrates the best of the Hudson Valley and beyond; featuring a broad array of unexpected musical genres including NOLA, Hungarian, klezmer, and ukulele rap. Presented at the Boat Dock, Sky Top Tower, and historic Parlor, concerts are paired with the natural beauty of Mohonk to create a one-of-a-kind experience with the artists and guests.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .
PAST SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Monday, September 5
Lindsey Webster & Keith Slattery
We open our festival with a refreshing take on R&B with a soulful presence. Lindsey Webster’s vocals compare to the likes of R&B queens Sade, Mariah Carey, and Anita Baker; complimented this evening by the talents of pianist Keith Slattery.
Performing a comedic genre she dubs “ukulele rap”, Evie Joy infuses lyrics, music, and comedy into a captivating show. This Manhattan multi-instrumentalist uses her ukulele Ed, a keyboard, a bass, multiple percussive instruments, and a loop pedal to build vocal/instrumental arrangements in live performances.
Tuesday, September 6
Ernie Sites Trio
Bringing the songs of the West to the Hudson Valley, Ernie Sites has performed with such luminaries as Riders in the Sky, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Gene Autry, and the Sons of the Pioneers. Among his many talents, he is a western performer, songwriter, cowboy poet, trick roper, bull rider, rodeo clown, team roper and a calf roper. He has traveled the world over, using his gifts to teach people about cowboys and the west. Western author, Corinne J. Brown, has dubbed Ernie “the urban cowboy troubadour.”
Swingin’ Broadway Jam Nicole Zuraitis
Grammy nominated jazz vocalist pianist and songwriter brings some of the most in-demand, swingin’ players on today’s music scene, celebrating Broadway and the great standards those shows have added to the American Songbook, from No, No Nanette‘s “Tea for Two,” to Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies and more! It’s an evening to “forget your troubles, come on get happy!” with high-energy rhythmic pizzazz. You’ll be tapping your toes to the groove.
Wednesday, September 7
Sue Anderson and Cris Groenendaal
On Broadway, Sue conducted PIRATES OF PENZANCE and CATS among others. Cris is known for playing principle roles on Broadway in such shows as SWEENEY TODD, FORUM, and includes the title character in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Share an afternoon with one of Broadway’s super couples.
Mara Kaye is a Blues singer, both old school and new school with her heart always in her voice. “Mara Kaye is that rare cross-species phenomenon, a Blues Amphibian. When others “sing the blues” as if offering an unusual small plate at the tapas bar, Mara has so immersed herself in the idiom that she goes down to the bottom and doesn’t need air until the show is over. She’s a modernist rather than a museum piece: her creations can be darkly mournful, savagely vengeful, or gleefully erotic, but they are always leavened with Brooklyn spice.” – Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives
Thursday, September 8
Saxophone Arias, Vocalises, and Song Cycles
Saxophonist Josh Dingman and composer/pianist Aleks Pilmanis present an evening of Arias, Vocalises, and other vocal music set for saxophone and piano. The program will feature popular works by Maurice Ravel, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein, as well as compositions by Aleks Pilmanis, including Two Scenes at Riverfront Park (For Josh Dingman), and selections from his new song cycle, Reminiscence.
Wayne Tucker and The Bad Mothas
Led by trumpeter Wayne Tucker, he and The Bad Mothas bring a collaboration of Miles Davis meeting Stevie Wonder in this evening’s show. Featuring beautiful songwriting with a spontaneous adventure, their unique selection of jazz numbers will round out this delectable performance.
Friday, September 9
Boisterous and driving, lilting and elegiac, Mamaliga melds the klezmer melodies of old country Yiddishland with new era sensibilities, crafting intricate arrangements of original and traditional tunes to make you dance, laugh and cry – perhaps all at once! The quartet includes fiddlists Rebecca Mac and Rachel Leader, cellist Raffi Boden, and accordionist Mattias Kaufmann.
Ocean Avenue Stompers
Lead by trombonist Ian Gray, the Ocean Avenue Stompers are a NOLA influenced brass band of Asbury Park, NJ. Since its establishment in 2016, they have brought a unique set of Jersey Rock ‘n’ Roll, Philly Soul, and NYC’s finest music to beach-goers – which now finds its way to our mountain top.
Saturday, September 10
The Tarogato from Sky Top Tower
Scott Robinson, returns to Sky Top Tower and will present a solo performance on the tarogato. Scott will share his experiences with this ancient Hungarian instrument and play from different places in and around the Tower. This is an experience you won’t want to miss!
Sheryl Staples and Yalin Chi
Luscious violin and vibrant piano fill the Parlor, featuring works by Johannes Brahms, Edvard Grieg and Prokofiev. This afternoon’s performance brings together Principal Associate Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic Sheryl Staples and pianist Yalin Chi.
Over her 40-year career, Natalie Merchant has earned a distinguished place among America’s most respected recording artists, acclaimed for being a prolific songwriter with a compelling artistic vision and a captivating performance style. Mohonk audiences have enjoyed this annual intimate concert for seven seasons and counting!
Sunday, September 11
Jazz Vespers – Pete Malinverni Trio
Peter Malinverni, head of Jazz Studies at SUNY Purchase, believes that music is most worthwhile when it addresses things that matter to people. This soul-stirring program features songs that reflect and inspire the human spirit.
PAST PROGRAM PERFORMERS
Lindsey Webster & Keith Slattery
As a Soul R&B artist, Lindsey Webster combines an admirable natural talent with a genuine, accessible stage presence. Webster considers herself “very, very lucky” to have grown up in Woodstock, NY. With a heavy emphasis on arts and music, her grade school had a progressive music program where Lindsey cultivated a deep love of music by learning the cello. In 2009, Lindsey met her partner, Keith Slattery, and started performing professionally. Together, with a band of world-class musicians, they’ve performed over 600 shows in venues including Yoshi’s Oakland, The Iridium, North Sea Jazz Club and, Daryl’s House.
Evie Joy has played over 50 Sofar Sounds shows, has opened for Sheryl Crow, Ava Max, and Social House, and her music was recently used in Season 2 of the television show, “Temptation Island.” A recent recipient of the 2020 New York Women’s Fund Grant and the 2021 NY City Artist Corps Grant, Joy was recognized by PopDust for writing “a canticle of female empowerment” and one of her passions is inspiring women to feel powerful and unburdened by social norms. Joy gets the crowd laughing alongside her by adding funny one-liners in between verses. “There is a sadness in everything,” she says in regard to her comedy in her music, “but that’s where we should find humor.” Joy is newly represented by G.G. Greg Agency for the college circuit, Steinberg Talent for comedic pursuits, and is managed by Robert Oborne. Joy credits her foundation in Operatic vocal training and jazz performance experience and was a recipient of the Johnny Mercer Fellowship.
Ernie Sites is a western entertainer and an experienced cowboy. Among his many talents, he is a western performer, songwriter, cowboy poet, trick roper, bull rider, rodeo clown, team roper and a calf roper. He has traveled the world over, using his gifts to teach people about cowboys and the west. Western author, Corinne J. Brown, has dubbed Ernie “the urban cowboy troubadour.” Along the trail, Ernie Sites has performed with such luminaries as Riders in the Sky, Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, Gene Autry, and the Sons of the Pioneers. He has been a guest on CBS, PBS, TNN, the BBC, and Good Morning, America. Along with these accomplishments, he is also a playwright and has created a fun filled songbook for kids. Hailing from Southern Idaho, Ernie Sites has spent his life travelling from coast to coast performing for audiences, but now calls the Hudson Valley his home.
Grammy® nominated Nicole Zuraitis is a New York-based vocalist, pianist, and songwriter who took home the Gold Medal and Ben Tucker Jazz Award in the 2021 American Traditions Competition. The musical chameleon brings her signature warmth and outstanding vocals to various genres and styles, as demonstrated on her newest multi-hyphenate album, All Wandering Hearts (DotTime Records). As a bandleader, a recording artist, and the premiere vocalist of the world-famous Birdland Big Band and Dan Pugach Nonet, Nicole has established herself as a staple on the New York City jazz scene and has made a significant mark on the global modern jazz landscape.
Sue’s career has been full and varied, ranging from Broadway productions to films to recordings. As a conductor and musical director, Ms. Anderson has worked with the Broadway and national touring companies of PIRATES OF PENZANCE, ME AND MY GIRL, and CATS. She played in the orchestra pits of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and WOMAN IN WHITE and is currently playing in SPAMALOT. She has conducted Pops concerts with the Milwaukee, Detroit, Phoenix, Portland and Shreveport orchestras and most recently conducted the London Philharmonic at Abbey Road Studios. Some of the fun and unusual things Ms. Anderson has done were coaching Rex Harrison in the revival of MY FAIR LADY, teaching Peter O’Toole to play the piano, enjoying the finest chocolates with Katherine Hepburn, and being repeatedly kissed by Kevin Kline.
After originating the role of Andre in the Broadway production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Cris went on to play the Phantom some 860 performances with three major companies: New York, Toronto, and the Canadian National Tour. Other Broadway credits include Anthony Hope in SWEENEY TODD, the roles of George, the Soldier, and Louis the Baker in SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (both shows recreated for PBS), Major Rizzolli in PASSION, and Miles Gloriosus in the 1996 revival of A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. He originated the role of Father in the National Tour of RAGTIME, and he played Jules in the Kennedy Center revival of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. With the New York City, Cleveland, Portland, Tulsa, and Syracuse Opera companies he has played such roles as Danilo in THE MERRY WIDOW, the title role in CANDIDE, Captain Corcoran in HMS PINAFORE, the Caliph in KISMET, and Ravenal in SHOW BOAT.
Mara Kaye is a Brooklyn Blues queen. In addition to performing regularly in venues from NYC to Moscow, everywhere from Joe’s Pub to Brooklyn dives, she also teaches classes and workshops on singing and interpreting the blues. She has previously performed in Mohonk’s Music on the Mountain festival and has become a guest favorite. Visit www.marakaye.com for more information.
Wayne Tucker is a trumpeter, composer, arranger, violinist and vocalist based in New York City. He has released 4 albums under his name and performs regularly with his band, The Bad Mothas in New York City. Wayne continues to maintain a dedicated presence in the small clubs of New York City alongside a career which makes occasional forays into venues including Madison Square Garden, The Hollywood Bowl, and The Tonight Show. Tucker wrote the soundtrack and co-stars in the short film Hotel Bleu.
Mamaliga initially began as the Mamaliga duo in 2018, drawing influences from Klezmer music and the folk masters they studied with in Eastern Europe. They always had the dream of becoming a bigger band and during the COVID-19 pandemic, that dream came to fruition: Mamaliga turned into a four-piece ensemble. Mamaliga is committed to sharing the joy of Klezmer music with the community. The band hosts a twice-a-month klezmer jam, hosted by the Boston Synagogue. In June 2021, Mamaliga recorded their debut full-length album. The album consists of nine original klezmer tracks, composed by each of the band members.
A rhythmic, assertive, and dynamic soloist, Ian Gray carries his trombone wherever he goes with the Ocean Avenue Stompers. Over the last decade, his musicianship has allowed him to work alongside artists including George Clinton and P Funk, Vulfpeck, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, and Darlene Love. As a band leader, Gray strives to bring only the most talented network of saxophonists, sousaphonists, trumpeters, and drummers to the beach boardwalk and beyond.
Scott is one of today’s most wide-ranging instrumentalists and has been heard on tenor saxophone with Buck Clayton’s band, on trumpet with Lionel Hampton’s quintet, on alto clarinet with Paquito D’Rivera’s clarinet quartet, and on bass saxophone with the New York City Opera. His discography now includes more than 190 recordings. Scott has performed in some thirty nations, in such diverse venues as Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, the Library of Congress, and the Vienna Opera House. Scott’s group was selected to be the closing act at the Knitting Factory’s Sun Ra Festival in New York City. Scott has also written magazine articles and liner notes, and was an invited speaker at the Congressional Black Caucus Jazz Forum in Washington, D.C.
Violinist Sheryl Staples joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Associate Concertmaster, The Elizabeth G. Beinecke Chair, in 1998 and made her solo debut with the orchestra in 1999 performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto led by Kurt Masur. Since that time she has been featured in concertos of Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Bach and Vivaldi with conductors including Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Alan Gilbert, Kent Nagano, Jeffrey Kahane and Jaap van Zweden. She has also appeared as soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony and San Diego Symphony among many others. She is a member of the violin faculty at Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard Pre-College. She also teaches at The Juilliard School in orchestral studies.
Originally from Beijing, China, Yalin Chi made her début with the Central Opera Orchestra before moving to the United States to study at Interlochen Arts Academy. Yalin has performed at venues including Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Korea, and ZhongShan Music Hall in Beijing China. Yalin has worked with musicians around the world, including principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic Joseph Alessi, principal trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra Philip Cobb, clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, and concertmaster of the Seoul Symphony Orchestra Wayne Lin. As an orchestral musician, she regularly performs with Albany Symphony, New Jersey Festival Orchestra, and has held the principal keyboard position at the Hudson Valley Philharmonic since 2014.
Natalie Merchant has toured extensively and collaborated with a diverse array of artists on stage and in the studio including: Billy Bragg, Philip Glass, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Tracy Chapman, Mavis Staples and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Throughout her entire career Merchant has been dedicated to supporting a variety of non-profit organizations by lending both financial support and raising public awareness. Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, Association to Benefit Children, The Fresh Air Fund, and The Center for Constitutional Rights, Doctors Without Borders, Tibet House, Greenpeace, and Planned Parenthood are among the social justice groups to which she has been devoted. In 2007, Merchant served a five-year term on New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). In 2013, she spearheaded an effort to stop the advance of hydraulic fracturing in New York State with a concert-protest film, Dear Governor Cuomo. Merchant used the same format to address the domestic violence crisis in the Hudson Valley with Shelter (2014). She is currently artist-in-residence with Head Start, developing a music and movement curriculum for pre-school aged children in The Hudson Valley.
Pete Malinverni has a career with many facets: he’s led fifteen well-received recordings, including in solo, violin/piano duo, trio, quartet, quintet, choir and big band formats. For eighteen years he served as Minister of Music at the predominantly African-American Devoe Street Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY and currently serves in that capacity at the Pound Ridge, NY Community Church and as Pianist/Conductor at the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY. He enjoys teaching, too, and is Chair of Jazz Studies at Purchase College (SUNY). Pete’s newest recording, “On the Town – Pete Malinverni Plays Leonard Bernstein”, featuring Ugonna Okegwo and Jeff Hamilton, will be out this month! Copies will be available at the shows.
Availability is limited. For reservations, please call .