Bobby Keyes Trio returns to Maudslay Arts Center on Saturday evening

Jazz singer Donna Byrne on Sunday afternoon

Maudslay Arts Center Summer Concert Series has something for every musical taste from Big Band to jazz, from opera to bluegrass, from country to the Great American Songbook, and it’s all right here in your own backyard – Maudslay State Park.

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. If the weather is wet, the concert barn adjacent to the patio provides a cozy setting with great acoustics.

The Bobby Keyes Trio will be on hand Saturday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m. Bobby Keyes is a guitarist whose career spans from American Roots to Pop Music, writing and performing with roots artist like Jerry Lee Lewis to pop artist Robin Thicke. Some of the songs he covers from other artists are “Caravan,” “Brazil,” “Smile,” “Nightingale,” and “Yellowbird.”

But, it is with his Trio that Keyes composes and performs the music, which he is most passionate about; and where he defines our American musical heritage by blending rhythm and blues, country, jazz, rock, pop and swing. Keyes’ guitar playing is inspired and his sound is clean and refreshing. Along with Drummer Marty Richards and Bassist Jesse Williams, the Bobby Keyes Trio will be surely delight audiences.

Come back on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. for jazz singer Donna Byrne. Byrne can take her listeners on a journey down new musical avenues by using a wide range of deep, soulful vocal talents and a true artist’s feel for interpretation and improvisation.

Experimenting with her emotions and playing her versatile voice like an instrument, Byrne’s performances are always an example of a true seasoned professional.

Her powerful voice, energetic personality, and life experiences give her music an almost spiritual feel, a soft and subtle charge, which has brought admiration from the most novices of jazz fans to Tony Bennett.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” Tony Bennett said, “one of the best young jazz singers in the country today. She’s the Real McCoy.”

“Donna Byrne (is) one of the best singers currently on the scene,” Jazz Times wrote, “one who approaches her lyrics with both intelligence and swinging time, and without distorting syllabic emphasis or resorting to stagy histrionics to get her meaning across.”

“An American singer with class and commitment,” Jazz Journal International, London, wrote, “a very good example of the genre.”

MAC is a popular cultural and entertainment destination that has served tens of thousands of patrons since its founding 26 years ago in 1992. Situated in a picturesque corner of the 442-acre Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MAC is best known for its outstanding summer concert series. However, from mid-May through mid-October, it is also a popular setting for special events such as weddings, corporate functions, educational activities, reunions, and more.

Since its beginning, MAC continues to operate through the effort of volunteers. All costs are offset by gate receipts, rentals for special occasions, and donations from patrons and businesses. No tax dollars are involved. As you enjoy this beautiful mini-Tanglewood, become part of our vision. MAC welcomes your financial support, your gift of time or expertise to maintain the buildings.

            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. DCR ParksPass parking passes are available for most Massachusetts state parks, including Maudslay State Park. For further information, go to www.mass.gov/how-to/get-a-parking-pass-for-massachusetts-state-parks. Seniors who are Massachusetts residents can buy a lifetime pass for just $10. 

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, and cold beverages 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. Patio seating (tables and chairs) is $30. Groups of four or more are $25 each. Lawn seating (bring your own chairs or blankets) also is $25. Children 12 and under are free.

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 by calling 978-499-0050.Children 12 and under are free.

For the complete summer schedule, to purchase tickets online, or for further information about the performers, visit the MAC website www.maudslayartscenter.org. Tickets also may be purchased at the gate (cash or check only) or by calling (978) 499-0050. There is no reserved seating. 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 funded in part by The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.

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