Tribute to Mesterhazy featured in second week of Cape May Music Festival

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“A Special Tribute to George Mesterhazy,” in the new Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton, on Sunday, June 3 at 8 p.m., is a highlight of the second week of the 23rd Annual Cape May Music Festival.
“A Special Tribute to George Mesterhazy,” in the new Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton, on Sunday, June 3 at 8 p.m., is a highlight of the second week of the 23rd Annual Cape May Music Festival.

CAPE MAY – The Cape May Music Festival's 23rd season, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) with funding provided in part through the PNC Foundation, returns to the nation's first seaside resort with three weeks of world-class orchestral and chamber music performances and a world traditions series beginning on Monday, May 28 and continuing through Thursday, June 14.

Highlights of the festival's second week of concerts include the following:

“A Special Tribute to George Mesterhazy,” under the direction of Barry Miles, assisted by Tim Lekan, and featuring Paula Johns, Joe Barrett, Paul Jost and Bob Shomo, with special guest, Afro-Cuban percussionist Babatunde Lea, promises to be an exciting and stirring tribute to Cape May's favorite jazz pianist and Grammy nominee.

Originally scheduled as the headliner, Mesterhazy, who passed away April 12, will continue to inspire with this concert featuring his musician friends, long-time trio mates and Rowan University music students.

Mesterhazy performed nationally and abroad with jazz legend Shirley Horn until her death in 2005 and his performing and arranging credits include the two Grammy-nominated Shirley Horn recordings “Loving You” and “May the Music Never End.” Not only was he a regular headliner in the Cape May Music Festival, many in Cape May know him from his regular performances on the piano at The Merion Inn with trio mates Bob Shomo and Tim Lekan. Jazz musicians and singers from New York, Philadelphia and beyond regularly traveled to Cape May just to sit in with him.

"George was well-loved for his outstanding generosity as both a musician and a friend," said Mary Stewart, MAC's Chief Outreach Officer. "This concert promises to be a thrilling tribute to him."

Lea is a distinguished drummer/percussionist whose music is steeped in the rhythms of the African diaspora. Lea's tremendous showmanship behind the trap drum kit that he plays simultaneously with a surrounding arsenal of congas and percussion - an innovative setup which he calls a "Traponga" - thrills audiences and inspires standing ovations at his live shows.

Experience this historic performance Sunday, June 3 at 8 p.m. at the new Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue and Stockton. General admission is $25, seniors are $20, and students are $10. ). Tickets must be ordered through the Convention Hall box office. Go online to www.capemayconventionhall.org, call 884-9563 or 855-708-9699 (toll free), or stop by the box office in Cape May Convention Hall.

On Tuesday, June 5, at 8 p.m., hear The New York Chamber Ensemble perform a program entitled "M&M," featuring the music of two young geniuses, Mozart and Mendelssohn, at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets. The New York Chamber Ensemble performs Mozart's “Duo for Violin” and “Viola No. 1 in G Major,” Mozart's “Flute Quartet in D Major, K. 285,” Mendelssohn's “Two Songs Without Words,” and Mendelssohn's “Quartet in E Minor, Op. 44 #2.” General admission is $20, seniors are $15 and students are $5.

The Bay-Atlantic Symphony returns under the baton of Principal Conductor Jed Gaylin on Thursday, June 7 at 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, Hughes and Decatur Streets. Since 1997, Gaylin has been music director of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, where he is credited with forging a formidable ensemble. A dynamic conductor, he is praised for his keen ear, magnetic interpretations, clear baton work and intense but friendly rehearsal technique. General admission is $25, seniors are $20, and students are $10.

To order tickets and for more information call 884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or go online at www.capemaymac.org.


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