[ Back to BID News ]
July 14, 2008
By Roberta Hersenshon
Published: July 13, 2008
LONG-RUNNING music series must change or grow stale, says Rob J. Seitz Jr., who helps produce Jazz on Library Green in New Rochelle every summer.
The New Rochelle Business Improvement District, which has presented the concerts since 2001, continues its tradition of big name performers on July 17, when the Latin trumpeter and percussionist Ray Vega opens the three-concert series (all beginning at 6:30 p.m.). So what’s the twist this year? Mr. Seitz said the district decided to reach out to “local talent” for the second concert, inviting participation by performers whose day jobs don’t involve music.
The new angle may seem timeworn, but don’t expect amateur night on July 24, when the three featured artists, who live or work in New Rochelle, take the stage.
Brian Carter, a mortgage broker and drummer who performed last summer in New Rochelle’s sister city of La Rochelle, France, will open with his quartet.
Next, the Clarissa Sinceno Quartet will feature Ms. Sinceno, a professional singer who studied classical music and wound up specializing in gospel and jazz. Her group does evening gigs when her two children, ages 10 and 7, are in bed; she also sings with the choirs of Marble Collegiate Church and Riverside Church in Manhattan. The rest of the time, she said, she is a homemaker. “Singing where you live is a little nerve-racking,” she said, anticipating the New Rochelle concert, “but I think it will be great.”
Eric Jennings, a former opera singer who is now a minister, will join Ms. Sinceno. He will sing Gershwin songs and also give the premiere of a song written by a Westchester songwriting team, Dr. Chris DiGiorgio and Dr. Byoung Woo Yang (Dr. Yang recently moved to New England).
The series concludes on July 31 at 6:30 p.m. with the vocalist Amy London and her Little Big Band. Ms. London released her first solo CD, “When I Look in Your Eyes,” in December, and was a member of the Tony Award-winning cast of “City of Angels.”
The concerts will take place on the front lawn of the New Rochelle Public Library, where “there isn’t a bad seat in the house,” Mr. Seitz said. In case of rain, the music will move inside to the library’s Ozzie Davis Theater. Sheila Anderson, the host of “Jazz After Hours” on jazz radio station WBGO (88.3 FM) in Newark, will be the series’ mistress of ceremonies. Information: www.newrochelledowntown.com.