Rite of Summer Music Festival Summer 2022
Artistic Directors Pam Goldberg & Blair McMillen present the 11th Season of the Rite of Summer Music Festival Summer 2022 on Governors Island, NYC featuring Grand Band, Curtis Stewart, The Westerlies, & Sybarite5!
New York, NY April 21, 2022
Pam Goldberg and Blair McMillen are thrilled to present the 11th Season of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, taking place Summer 2022 on Governors Island, New York City. Rite of Summer will present four free outdoor concerts from May through September. In a locale The New York Times has called a “Playground for the Arts,” the aim of the Festival is simple: to present the highest quality live performances, and to bring free contemporary classical music to as many people as possible in a relaxed, fun, outdoor setting.
This season’s spectacular line-up kicks off on Saturday, May 21st with piano sextet Grand Band performing New York Keys featuring works of four New York composers, including a world premiere by Grand Band member Erika Dohi, and, for his 85th birthday celebration, an original arrangement of Philip Glass’s Part 9 from his groundbreaking Music in Twelve Parts, Julius Eastman’s Gay Guerilla and Paul Kerekes’s bloom.
Next up on Saturday, July 16th, violinist Curtis Stewart performs of Love: a follow up to his GRAMMY Nominated album OF POWER – a set of works to cherish all the time we live through. of Love features music of Alice Coltrane, Johannes Brahms, Greek Folk Tunes, Duke Ellington, Henry Purcell, The Killers: Brightside, Bill Withers, JS Bach, Kendrick Lamar / Thundercat, and Curtis Stewart.
On Saturday, August 20th ROS presents The Westerlies performing Brass Roots: American Folk Traditions, featuring music of Woody Guthrie, the Golden Gate Quartet, John Prine, and Judee Sill heard anew, alongside works by composers whose use of folk melodies transcended their time, from the sophistication of Duke Ellington to the bold imagination of Charles Ives.
Season 11 closes with Sybarite5 on Saturday, September 10th performing The Revolve Tour. Centered around Andy Akiho’s epic work Revolve from Sybarite5’s recent album that debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Charts, The Revolve Tour explores how new perspectives can change perceptions. New works written exclusively for the group by Kamala Sankaram, Jackson Greenberg, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Pedro Giraudo, Jessica Meyer, Shawn Conley, and Jobina Tinnemans will be featured alongside music of the Punch Brothers, Komitas, Radiohead, and Andy Akiho’s Revolve, which brilliantly captures the upbeat excitement and motion of his New York neighborhood in music.
Rite of Summer shows will be presented twice the same day, at 1pm and 3pm, for each respective date at Nolan Park. Audiences should feel free to walk by, stop and listen, lay down a picnic blanket and relax, eat lunch, mingle, and take in these engaging live performances.
Past seasons have presented such artists as: The Knights; Alarm Will Sound; Pamela Z; JACK Quartet; Dawn of Midi; Imani Winds; Bang on a Can All-Stars; ETHEL; Ensemble Connect; Pam Goldberg; Miranda Cuckson; Blair McMillen; Nurit Pacht; Esther Noh; Caitlin Sullivan; Allison Charney; John Brancy; Peter Dugan; Kara Sainz; Theo Bleckmann; The Parker Quartet; New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers with ETHEL and Iktus Percussion; Jeffrey Zeigler; Ian David Rosenbaum; Todd Reynolds; Jonny Rogers; Jordan Tice; Mathias Kunzli; TIGUE; Grand Band; Talujon Percussion; Phyllis Chen; Anthony De Mare; Fireworks Ensemble; Classical Jam; House of Waters; Sirius Quartet; Sandbox Percussion; Contemporaneous; Don Byron New Gospel Quintet; Iktus Percussion; Brooklyn Raga Massive; DITHER; Collaborative Arts Ensemble; Ljova and the Kontraband; a Jed Distler-led extravaganza of Terry Riley’s In C featuring over 40 of New York’s top freelance musicians including members of American Modern Ensemble, Newspeak, Momenta Quartet, and more; John Luther Adams’s Inuksuit with over 60 percussionists from Mantra Percussion, Ensemble et al, Loop 2.4.3, Palladium Percussion, Iktus Percussion, Sandbox Percussion, Contemporaneous, and students from Stony Brook, Queens College, NYU, and Mantra Youth Percussion.
Governors Island is open daily year-round from 7am to 6pm. Ferries operated by the Trust for Governors Island run daily from the Battery Maritime Building, located at 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan. Trust-operated ferries are always free for kids 12 and under, seniors 65 and up, IDNYC holders, residents of NYCHA housing, current and former military servicemembers, Governors Island members, and for everyone on weekends before noon. Round-trip ferry tickets for adults are $3 at all other times. Visit govisland.org/ferry for schedules and ticket information. NYC Ferry provides additional daily service to Governors Island—for NYC Ferry schedules, pricing and more information, visit ferry.nyc.
For more information, visit www.riteofsummer.com. Digital Photos are available upon request.
Grand Band – May 21, 2022 1pm & 3pm
Curtis Stewart – July 16, 2022 1pm & 3pm
The Westerlies – August 20, 2022 1pm & 3pm
Sybarite5 – September 10, 2022 1pm & 3pm
Saturday, May 21 – Grand Band (Rain date: May 22)
GRAND BAND is the only professional piano sextet in the United States. It features six of New York City’s top pianists – Erika Dohi, David Friend, Paul Kerekes, Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore, and Isabelle O’Connell. The ensemble has been described by The New York Times as “a kind of new-music supergroup” and “the Traveling Wilburys of the city’s new-music piano scene”. This stunning collection of performers creates a powerful sonic force. A modern and unconventional troupe, Grand Band champions new music and living composers, as well as orchestral arrangements that bring the unique power of the six-piano instrumentation to the fore. Their recent commissions include new works by composers Michael Gordon, Paul Kerekes, Missy Mazzoli, Harriet Steinke, and Ben Wallace.
Grand Band repertoire also includes original piano sextet works by David Lang, Philip Glass, John Metcalf, Kate Moore, Steve Reich, Kevin Volans, Julia Wolfe, and emerging UK composers Nathan Dearden, William Marsey, Lucy McPhee, and David Roche. For sold out shows in 2017 Grand Band added arrangements of popular classics to their repertoire – works by Modeste Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition), Gustav Holst (The Planets) and Leonard Bernstein (West-Side Story Symphonic Dance Suite). Broadcast regularly on New York’s WQXR’s Q2 radio, Grand Band has performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon, (le) poisson rouge, Liquid Music Festival, Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Lansdale Community Concerts (PA), Rite of Summer Festival (NY), Sheffield University, Cornerstone Festival Liverpool England as well as the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Cardiff, Wales.
Grand Band is supported by Steinway New York.
New York Keys
The New York City piano sextet Grand Band returns to the stage – presenting works by four New York composers, including a world premiere by Grand Band member Erika Dohi, and, for his 85th birthday celebration, an original arrangement of Philip Glass’s Part 9 from his groundbreaking Music in Twelve Parts. Repertoire classics by Julius Eastman (Gay Guerilla) and Paul Kerekes (bloom) round out this audacious, powerhouse program. Don’t miss Grand Band, an ensemble The New York Times calls “a kind of supergroup.”
Gay Guerilla (1979) – Julius Eastman
bloom (2016) – Paul Kerekes
(world premiere) – Erika Dohi
Music in 12 Parts, Part 9 (1971-74) Philip Glass (arr. Paul Kerekes)
Saturday, July 16 – Curtis Stewart, violinist (Rain date: July 17)
Multi-GRAMMY nominated violinist CURTIS STEWART enjoys an eclectic career bouncing between various realms of music: from MTV specials with Wyclef Jean and sold out shows at Madison Square Garden with Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, and Seal, to stints at the Kennedy center with the Jimmy Heath Big Band and performance installations at the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Curtis has performed as a classical soloist at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, as a special guest soloist/curator with the New York Philharmonic “Bandwagon,” solo violin at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards, held chamber music residencies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, and appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival. His ensembles PUBLIQuartet and The Mighty Third Rail realize a vision to find personal and powerful connections between styles, cultures and musics. Curtis has worked with today’s forward thinking musicians including Henry Threadgill, Jessie Montgomery, Alicia Hall-Moran and Jason Moran, Mark O’Connor, members of International Contemporary Ensemble, Billy Childs, Diane Monroe, the JACK quartet, members of Snarky Puppy, Don Byron, Linda Oh, Ari Hoenig, Matt Wilson, among many others.
An avid teacher, he has taught Chamber Music and “Cultural Equity and Performance Practice” at the Juilliard School, Directed the Contemporary Chamber Music program at the Perlman Music Program, served on the Board of Concert Artist Guild, Directed several orchestras and all levels of music theory at the Laguardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts for ten years, and is currently the Chamber Music and New Juilliard Ensemble Manager at the Juilliard School, in New York City. Curtis graduated magna cum laude from the Eastman School of Music with a BA of Mathematics from the University of Rochester.
A follow up to his GRAMMY Nominated album OF POWER – a set of works to cherish all the time we live through. If the push and pull of social and financial responsibility structure life, the aesthetic loves, personal passions, familial cares and social worries keep us tethered to it – These works tap into the visceral sensation of holding and loss – the loss of a mother, the gain of a partner, the search for love in urban settings and all the ways we grasp onto this life of ours.
These works celebrate the sense of holding on and perseverance.
Featuring music of Alice Coltrane, Johannes Brahms, Greek Folk Tunes, Duke Ellington, Henry Purcell, The Killers: Brightside, Bill Withers, JS Bach, Kendrick Lamar / Thundercat, and Curtis Stewart.
Stevie Wonder Isn’t She Lovely https://youtu.be/M9Gd0T1hPBU
Duke Ellington City’s Son https://www.instagram.com/p/CM3HCO2AUof/
Henry Purcell Dido’s Lament https://youtu.be/cvykNHX_rkc
The Killer’s Brightside https://youtu.be/prcPZESnmIQ
Bach iii. Loure – From Partita #3 in E major for solo violin BWV 1006 https://youtu.be/1zWKoOaB5Es
Kendrick Lamar Thundercat https://youtu.be/zyHVXT79C54
Saturday, August 20 – The Westerlies (Rain date: August 21)
THE WESTERLIES, “an arty quartet…mixing ideas from jazz, new classical, and Appalachian folk” (New York Times) are a New York-based brass quartet comprised of childhood friends from Seattle: Riley Mulherkar and Chloe Rowlands on trumpet, and Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch on trombone. Equally at home in concert halls and living rooms, The Westerlies navigate a wide array of venues and projects with the precision of a string quartet, the audacity of a rock band, and the charm of a family sing-along. Formed in 2011, the self-described “accidental brass quartet” takes its name from the prevailing winds that travel from the West to the East. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies create music that is both “folk-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous” (NPR Music).The ensemble has produced three critically acclaimed albums of genre defying chamber music: its 2014 debut, Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines), a 2016 double-CD of primarily original compositions, The Westerlies (Songlines), and a recent 2020 release, Wherein Lies the Good (Westerlies Records). Sought-after collaborators, The Westerlies are also featured on recordings by Fleet Foxes (Nonesuch), Vieux Farka Touré (Six Degrees Records), Common (Lakeshore) and Dave Douglas (Greenleaf). As a 501(c)(3) organization, The Westerlies are on a mission to amplify unheard voices, paint new sonic landscapes, and cultivate a global community. The Westerlies are committed to dismantling racism, sexism, and economic inequality in their field, and aim to reflect their values of diversity and inclusion in the music they make and the spaces they occupy. The ensemble engages students of all ages and abilities around the country with their innovative educational assemblies and masterclasses, promoting the values of cooperation and inclusion through music.
Riley Mulherkar, Trumpet
Chloe Rowlands, Trumpet
Andy Clausen, Trombone
Willem de Koch, Trombone
Brass Roots: American Folk Traditions
The Westerlies dig deep into the traditions and lineage of American Folk music, finding common ground between Shape Note hymns, folk anthems, and timeless spirituals. The voices of Woody Guthrie, the Golden Gate Quartet, John Prine, and Judee Sill are heard anew, alongside works by composers whose use of folk melodies transcended their time, from the sophistication of Duke Ellington to the bold imagination of Charles Ives.
Selections to include:
Echoes of Harlem by Duke Ellington
Where’s the Music by Duke Ellington
In The Mornin’ by Charles Ives
Louisiana by William Walker
Two Good Men by Woody Guthrie
Way Back Then by John Prine
The Kiss by Judie Sill
Robert Henry by Andy Clausen
Do Unto Others (Traditional, Arr. Golden Gate Quartet)
Saro (Traditional, Arr. Sam Amidon)
Saturday, September 10 – Sybarite5 (Rain date: September 11)
“HYPER-ACCURATE YET FIERCELY VIVACIOUS” (i care if you listen), ”Smart as a fox” (Limelight Magazine), and more fascinating than a jar of lightning, SYBARITE5 is dazzling audiences around the world with their luxurious sound and unexpected programming.
Equal parts passion, grit, and musical ecstasy, Sybarite5 is an intoxicating cocktail of post genre musical goodness expressed through the virtuosity of five accomplished musicians. This exciting quintet is constantly evolving, defying categorization, and has been keeping audiences on their toes for 10 years.
Always searching for new sounds and projects to bring to life, nothing is off limits. Their most recent album, OUTLIERS, consists entirely of new music written for them and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart. Expect to see Sybarite5 collaborating with Iranian santoor player Ehsan Matoori, world percussionist and Silkroad co-artistic director Shane Shanahan, Hacked Theremins creator & composer Jakub Ciupinski, a troupe of burlesque dancers, or vocal chameleons Clarice Assad and Blythe Gaissert.
The group has performed in 44 states and counting, from the Library of Congress, (Washington DC) to Anchorage Concert Association, (Alaska) as well as concerts in Sybarite5’s home of New York City at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, the Apple Store and a decade long residency at Nancy Manocherian’s Cell Theatre. In addition to its own groundbreaking, portable music festival, Forward Festival, Sybarite5 has appeared at festivals including Ravinia, Caramoor, Wolf Trap, Grand Teton, Aspen, Interlochen, Chautauqua, and many others International appearances include Canada’s Tuckamore Music Festival, the New Docta International Music Festival in Cordoba, Argentina, and the Osaka Festa in Osaka, Japan.
Committed to community engagement and educational activities, Sybarite5 works with over 5000 students annually and is known for its engaging corporate presentations in entrepreneurship and communication.
Recently dubbed “the millennial Kronos” (Theater Jones), Sybarite5 is chamber music’s most dynamic ensemble taking listeners on a musical journey of staggering breadth and depth with new works by living composers, as well as the group’s favorite selections from Radiohead, Coltrane, Komitas, Piazzolla, and Pete Seeger… but as Strings Magazine says, “that doesn’t even begin to describe the range of their eclecticism or the depth of their repertoire.”
Sami Merdinian & Suliman Tekalli, violins
Caeli Smith, viola
Cicely Parnas, cello
Louis Levitt, double bass
The Revolve Tour
Centered around Andy Akiho’s epic work Revolve from Sybarite5’s recent album that debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Charts, the Revolve Tour explores how new perspectives can change perceptions. Expect to hear new works written exclusively for Sybarite5 by Kamala Sankaram, Jackson Greenberg, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Pedro Giraudo, Jessica Meyer, Shawn Conley, and Jobina Tinnemans alongside the music of the Punch Brothers, Komitas, Radiohead, and of course Andy Akiho’s Revolve, which brilliantly captures the upbeat excitement and motion of his New York neighborhood in music.
Punch Brothers’ Movement and Location bit.ly/syb5mvt
Alanna Maharajh Stone