Fundraiser Kicks Off Summer Arts Series


Westbury Arts (formerly Greater Westbury Council for the Arts) kicked off their summer concert series last week in style, with a wine and cheese tasting fundraiser at The Bristal.

Ben Pardo

Nearly 70 attendees enjoyed a range of wines that were paired with crositini and cheese. They were led through the tasting by Ben Pardo, a member of Westbury Arts and a wine connoisseur.

Proceeds from the event benefited the upcoming summer arts and concert series, which has taken place in the Piazza Ernesto Strada since 2013. The series is put on through the collaboration of the Westbury Arts and Village of Westbury.

“Every year we have a slightly bigger audience,” said Westbury Arts president Julie Lyon. “I think we have a really good year [ahead].”

Popular attractions such as the North Shore Pops Orchestra and Short Film Festival are set to return. This year’s program also includes more interactive elements, with each week having a theme.

“We noticed people gravitated towards the events where there was something they could do, like a paint night or dance lessons. We decided to make all our concerts interactive,” said Lyon.

Thursday, June 29
Mardi Gras Night

The HooDoo Loungers, a nine- piece band, will bring the rhythms, sounds, history and spirit of New Orleans to the Piazza. The band’s sound encompasses traditional New Orleans jazz, brass band, classic R&B and funk, a blend of original music and re-arranged New Orleans classics. The HooDoo Loungers perform a high energy and entertaining show.
This event will feature a paint night. Artists are invited to bring their own supplies or purchase their own at the Piazza and paint to the music. There is a fee for supplies for anyone who wants to paint using Westbury Arts supplies ($20 for nonmembers, $15 for members).

Thursday, July 6
Tango Night

Canta Libre Chamber Ensemble

Canta Libre Chamber Ensemble will share musical mainstays that will bring back memories, warm your heart and awaken your spirit. Pieces on the program include a movie theme by romantic Argentinian Ástor Piazzolla, a French operatic interlude by Jules Massenet, highlights from Saint-Saens’ festive Carnival of the Animals, a charming waltz by German composer Carl Maria von Weber and sweet, enduring lullabies by American legends Stephen Foster and George Gershwin.
Attendees at this event will also enjoy tango lessons.

Thursday, July 13
Reggae/Soul Night

Fevah Reign is reggae soul at its finest. Mixing reggae and soul has made this duo one of the most sort after groups in the reggae genre.
This night will also feature collaborative painting.

Thursday, July 20
Opera Night

The Gilbert and Sullivan Light Opera Company bring a night of popular operas to the Piazza. The art activity is to be decided.

Thursday, July 27
North Shore Pops

North Shore Pops

Come and hear the beautiful music of George Gershwin, the snappy tunes of Cole Porter and the elegant jazz of Duke Ellington. Tap your toes to exciting Sousa marches and sing along proudly with American patriotic selections. The North Shore Pops perform contemporary hits by Stevie Wonder, Carol King and many of today’s composers. Come hear arrangements of Broadway’s best music, Hollywood themes and light classical music as well.
There will be collaborative painting at this event. Rain date is July 28.

Thursday, Aug. 3
Jazz and Blues Night

Sympatico is a group of four like-minded musicians whose members have been playing music in the tri-state area for four decades. Their repertoire is a mixture of popular jazz and blues both nostalgic and current, from Nina Simone to Etta James, and Sergio Mendes to Diana Krall. Versatility best describes their varied musical experiences from society and club dates, to dance clubs and shows in rock arenas. Sympatico is Ruth Ansell piano, Robert Sole bass, Brad Singer drums and vocalist Toni Washington-Bolt.
This event will also feature T-shirt decorating.

Thursday, Aug. 10
Rock and Roll Night

X-Session is one of Long Island’s premier cover bands, taking on The Eagles, Crosby Stills and Nash, the Beatles and more. This quartet plays each of their song selections with their own style of abundant vocal harmonies supported by colorful instrumentation.
This event will also be a paint night. Artists are invited to bring their own supplies, or purchase their own at the Piazza and paint to the music. There is a fee for supplies for anyone who wants to paint using Westbury Arts supplies ($20 for nonmembers, $15 for members).

Friday, Aug. 18
Movie Night

Asbury Shorts, which got its start on Asbury Avenue in Westbury, returns to bring award-winning and nominated short-films to the Piazza. The Out Of The Box Big Band, a swing/jazz group with vocalist Julie Lyon, will also perform. Rain date is Aug. 19.

Thursday, Aug. 24
Salsa Night

Enjoy the sounds of El Son de la Loma, a Latin band specializing in songs from Puerto Rico, salsa, boleros and other Spanish music, as you take salsa dance lessons from Rhythmology.

Thursday, Aug. 31
Family Fun Night

Nu Mo Swing, headed by Napolean Revels-Bey, will perform a mix of Caribbean jazz and history, with a touch of salsa. This event also features maraca making and face painting.

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Betsy Abraham is the former senior managing editor at Anton Media Group and editor of The Westbury Times and Massapequa Observer. She also wrote for Long Island Weekly.

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