Singer-songwriter Jonathan Edwards debuts at Maudslay Arts Center on Saturday, Aug. 19 Shirim Klezmer Orchestra on Sunday, Aug. 20

This year Maudslay Arts Center (MAC) celebrates its Silver Jubilee 25th Anniversary season with a wonderful line-up of concerts featuring something for every musical taste from classical to jazz, from opera to bluegrass, from country to the Great American Songbook.

On Saturday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m., singer-songwriter and musician Jonathan Edwards, best known for his 1971 hit single “Sunshine,” makes his MAC debut. Warm as summer sunshine, real as the truth, intimate as a long overdue visit between old friends … such is a Jonathan Edwards concert.

Four decades into a stellar career of uncompromising musical integrity, the man simply delivers, night after night – songs of passion, songs of insight, songs of humor, all rendered in that pure and powerful tenor which, like fine wine, has only grown sweeter with age. This is one veteran performer who is neither grizzled nor nostalgic. These days Edwards is likely to be found on the road.

“I’ve been…doing what I do best, which is playing live in front of people. I’ve been concentrating on that and loving it,” he said.

Come back on Sunday, Aug. 20, at 2 p.m. for Shirim Klezmer Orchestra. “Klezmer” is the contraction of two Hebrew words meaning “instrument of song.” It stands for both the music and the musician.

A little bit Polish, a little Russian, and a little Near Eastern, the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra is celebrating its 25th anniversary playing the music of the Eastern European Jews. It shimmers with all of the chutzpah, glorious joy, and soulful crying of the itinerant Yiddish troubadours who performed throughout Europe for 400 years.

These wandering musicians traveled, often on foot, between the shtetls of Eastern Europe, playing at wedding and concerts, bringing the latest news and gossip from the surrounding towns.

The Silver Jubilee celebration concludes on Sunday, Aug. 27, with A Salute to Veterans with singer-songwriter Don Campbell.

MAC is a popular cultural and entertainment destination that has served tens of thousands of patrons since its founding 25 years ago in 1992. Whether you’re sitting under the stars on a moonlit evening, or lounging on a blanket on a Sunday afternoon, the Maudslay Arts Center Summer Concert Series provides the perfect setting for your entertainment pleasure.

            Maudslay Arts Center is located at 95 Curzon Mill Road, Maudslay State Park, Newburyport MA 01950. The concerts are held rain or shine, moving to the indoor performance hall adjacent to the patio when weather dictates.

Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner, which can be casual or as elaborate as a gourmet meal with tablecloth and flowers and whatever suits the patron’s fancy. Delicious desserts such as seasonal cobblers, brownies, and Hodgie’s ice cream, cold beverages, and Peet’s House Blend Coffee may be purchased during intermission, all served by dedicated MAC volunteers, who continue to make this non-profit series happen.

Saturday performances start at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. The ticket prices for the special Jonathan Edwards concert on Saturday, Aug. 19, are $30 for patio and $25 for lawn. The “four patio tickets for $100” deal is not available for this concert.
Sunday performances start at 2 p.m. with gates opening at 1 p.m. General admission is $20 with open seating on the patio and lawn. Tables and chairs are provided on the patio. Special group rates may be arranged. Children 12 and under are free.

Tickets also may be purchased at the gate (cash or check) or by calling (978) 499-0050. Reserved seating is available for parties of four or more. Gift certificates also are available.

The series is supported by The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, dedicated MAC volunteers and patrons, and the staff of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Saturday evening performances are entirely underwritten by The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.

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