Jonathan Edwards performs at Maudslay Arts Center this Saturday

Maudslay Arts Center (MAC) favorite Jonathan Edwards returns this Saturday headlining the 2019 Summer Concert Series, which features something for every musical taste from Big Band to jazz, from opera to bluegrass, from country to the Great American Songbook. It’s a gala year.

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.

An artist who measures his success by his ability to attract and take good care of an audience for four decades, Edwards maintains that it is the feedback he receives after his shows that keeps him going.

“It is really gratifying to hear (someone say),” Edwards said, “‘your stuff has meant a lot to me over the years.’”

The “stuff” he’s referring to is a highly respected repertoire that includes such classics as “Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy,” “Sometimes,” “One Day Closer,” “Don’t Cry Blue,” and, of course, “Sunshine (Go Away Today),” that fierce proclamation of protest and independence that resonated with thousands and thousands of frustrated and angry young men and women when it was first released in 1971. Almost 40 years later, at show after show, the song continues to be embraced by faithful followers and new fans alike.

Since 1971, Edwards has released 15 albums, including Blue Ridge, his standard-setting collaboration with bluegrass favorites the Seldom Scene, and Little Hands, his collection of children’s songs, which was honored with a National Library Association award.

Also returning to Maudslay Arts Center this season will be the legendary New Black Eagle Jazz Band. For over 40 years, from Symphony Hall to Singapore, the New Black Eagle Jazz Band has delighted audiences worldwide with its infectious, soulful and uplifting style of traditional New Orleans jazz. Maudslay Arts Center is proud to welcome them both back in Newburyport.

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.

Saturday concerts begin at 7 p.m. and include: Jonathan Edwards on July 27, The New Black Eagle Jazz Band on August 10, and Amanda Carr with sax-man Elan Trotman on Aug. 17.

Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2 p.m. with The Hal McIntyre Big Band on Aug. 11.

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, and cold beverages may be purchased during intermission, all served by dedicated MAC volunteers, who continue to make this non-profit series happen.

While you’re there, buy a $10 raffle ticket for a chance to win a beautiful Les Paul Epiphone guitar, personally autographed by many of the 2019 Summer Concert Series musicians.

On Oct. 28, 2018 a large maple tree cracked during a coastal windstorm and fell right through the roof of the Maudslay Arts Center (MAC) Concert Barn causing extensive damage, which was not covered by insurance. Although many loyal supporters sent checks to assist in the repairs, there remains much to do.

“We have been repairing the damage caused by the October storm,” MAC vice president Cynthia Costello said, “while at the same time working on necessary capital improvements, including painting, replacing exterior shingles, updating the sound and lighting systems, and building a small indoor stage for performers. Your purchase of one raffle ticket – or more – will assist us in this important endeavor.”

Raffle tickets may be purchased at the concerts or at Coastal Connections, 35 Water St., Amesbury, or mail a check payable to “MAC” to MAC Raffle/Costello, 182 Whitehall Road Amesbury MA 01913. Be sure to include your name, address, and telephone number. The winning ticket will be announced at the Amanda Carr concert on Aug. 17. This fundraiser supported by Coastal Connections, Inc.

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, while lawn seating (bring your own chairs or blankets) 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 an up-to-date summer schedule, to purchase tickets online, or for further information about the performers, visit the MAC website at Tickets also may be purchased at the gate (check or cash only) or by calling 978-499-0050. There is no reserved seating. Gift certificates also are available.

Amanda Carr at MaudslayThe series is supported by The Newburyport Bank, dedicated MAC volunteers and patrons, and the staff of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Saturday evening performances are sponsored by The Newburyport Bank.

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