New Jersey Stage

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cape May Music Festival's Second Week to Feature Lea, Mesterhazy and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- Afro-Cuban and jazz music as well as a classic chamber performance take the stage for the 22nd annual Cape May Music Festival's second week of concerts, Thursday, June 2 through Wednesday, June 8, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), with funding provided in part by a PNC Arts Alive grant. The three week concert series includes world-class orchestral and chamber music performances, a world traditions series and Bach's Lunches through Wednesday, June 15.

After their highly acclaimed performance in 2010, the Babatunde Lea Quartet brings the much anticipated return of Afro-Cuban Jazz to the Cape May Music Festival on Thursday, June 2 at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, Hughes and Decatur streets. "The Babatunde Lea Quintet took us on a compelling musical trip through the African Diaspora, hunkering into the rich shores of jazz right here in Southern California," declared Dee Dee McNeil of Babatunde Lea is a distinguished drummer/percussionist whose music is steeped in the rhythms of the African diaspora. Lea's recordings are innovative and deeply in touch with spiritual essences. Lea's tremendous showmanship behind the trap drumkit that he plays simultaneously with a surrounding arsenal of congas and percussion (an innovative set up which he calls a ‘Traponga') thrills audiences and routinely inspires standing ovations at his live shows. The music of Babatunde Lea will open you up to its spiritual quest in a way you will find both stimulating to the body and "educultural" for the mind. General admission is $25, seniors $20, and students $10.

Cape May's favorite jazz pianist and Grammy nominee, George Mesterhazy, takes the stage on Sunday, June 5 at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, Hughes and Decatur streets. Mesterhazy performed nationally and abroad with jazz legend Shirley Horn until her death in 2005. His performing and arranging credits include the two Grammy-nominated Shirley Horn recordings "Loving You" and "May the Music Never End." The George Mesterhazy Trio with Paula Johns will perform familiar treasures from the Great American Songbook, many of which were originally hits in foreign countries. They will be celebrating the music from Brazil, Spain and France that influenced many of our favorites. General admission is $25, seniors $20, and students $10.

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) Chamber Players present a program of classic chamber repertoire with two mini-concerts on Tuesday, June 7 at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. Although it was officially founded in 1922, the NJSO, traces its beginnings to 1846, when the Eintracht Orchestra and Singing Society of Newark was founded. The NJSO has grown into one of the premier American orchestras comprised of some of the country's finest musicians playing a fabulous collection of "Golden Age" string instruments. Their Cape May Music Festival concert will feature Brennan Sweet on violin, Fatima Aaziza on violin, Brett Deubner on viola, and Stephen Fang on cello. Delight in the sounds of Haydn's String Quartet Op. 76, No. 4 "Sunrise" and Bartok's String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17 Sz. 67 during the first mini-concert and Ravel's String Quartet in F major during the second mini-concert. General admission is $10 per mini-concert or $20 for both, seniors $7.50 per mini-concert or $15 for both and students $2.50 per mini-concert or $5 for both.

Symphony and scones combine! The 22nd annual Cape May Music Festival presents a Bach's Lunch featuring members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony performing a mini-concert on Wednesday, June 8 at 12:30 p.m. First enjoy a Chef's Choice Tea Luncheon at the Carriage House Tearoom and Café located on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Indulge in this Victorian tradition of freshly baked tea breads and scones, selection of tea sandwiches and delicious desserts while overlooking the lovely garden. Afterwards, members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony present an intimate concert featuring favorites from the classical repertoire. Tickets are $30 per person and reservations are limited to 50 people. Bach's Lunches sponsored by the Priester Family Foundation (Sue Priester) and John and Sylvia Baer (in memory of Fred and Sarita Kuhner).

The Cape May Music Festival is funded in part by PNC Arts Alive, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State. PNC Arts Alive is a five-year, $5 million investment from The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding through The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC), that supports visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement. For more information on PNC Arts Alive and the grant recipients visit The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey promotes health, well-being, and quality of life in New Jersey's communities.

The 22nd annual Cape May Music Festival is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC's year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC's Web site at For information about restaurants, accommodations and shopping, call the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May at 609-884-5508.