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Skaneateles Festival continues 2022 season with orchestras, jazz greats

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Skan Fest

Christian McBride & Inside Straight

The Skaneateles Festival’s third week kicks off Aug. 11 with Knights at the Movies at 8 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church with Brooklyn orchestra The Knights, “an adventurous young orchestra that has established a strong reputation for polished performances and imaginative programming,” The New York Times said. The concert features favorites by film composers, including John Williams, Philip Glass and Leonard Bernstein. Continuing on Aug. 12, The Knights are sure to dazzle with a program of concertos — well-known, little-known and new.

The festival’s concert Saturday, Aug. 13, at Anyela’s Vineyards features renowned soloist and Grammy-winning violinist Gil Shaham performing with the Knights orchestra for its final night in Skaneateles. The program features Beethoven’s grand "Violin Concerto" and music related to, or inspired by, Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata.

The last SkanFest kids’ event scheduled for this year will be Morning at the Movies with the Knights orchestra in Dobson Hall at First Presbyterian Church. Join members of Brooklyn’s famed ensemble for an interactive program that features cinematic music by John Williams and Leonard Bernstein, as well as famous movie themes like “Over the Rainbow.” Kids will use their imaginations to create their own musical stories, and get to know the sounds of several orchestra instruments along the way. Kids are admitted free and adults are $5 at the door.

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Eric Allyn and Meg O’Connell’s beautiful lakeside house, the Skaneateles Festival will host Summer Suite, an annual fundraiser that supports the festival’s 2022 Season. After a two-year hiatus, Summer Suite’s grand return will feature food and drinks from 27 different sponsors, including the Sherwood Inn, the Skaneateles Bakery, 1911/Beak & Skiff, Gilda's, the Bluewater Grill, Café 108, Elephant and the Dove, Skaneateles Brewery, Last Shot Distillery, the Krebs and more. Tickets can be purchased on the Skaneateles Festival’s website at

The Grammy-winning Catalyst Quartet debuts at the festival on Thursday, Aug. 18, in First Presbyterian Church, performing music by Haydn and brand new short works for the quartet by Andy Akiho (heard at the festival in 2018), Kevin Puts and Jessie Montgomery, among others. Sharing the program is a rising star soprano from the Metropolitan Opera, Karen Slack (“feisty, rich voiced,” according to The New York Times), who offers songs by Richard Strauss. Festival Artistic Directors Julia Bruskin and Aaron Wunsch will also perform Rachmaninoff’s passionate "Cello Sonata."

On Aug. 19, the Catalyst Quartet returns with soprano Karen Slack, recently featured at the Met in Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess," for an all-American program that probes the nature of freedom. The concert, "Freedom’s Voice," will feature works by Gershwin, African-American spirituals and Florence B. Price’s intense "Piano Quintet in E Minor." Limited tickets will be available at the door each night. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for performances at the First Presbyterian Church.

The festival completes its 2022 season on Saturday, Aug. 20, at Anyela’s Vineyards with jazz giant and seven-time Grammy winner Christian McBride & Inside Straight, his quintet of astonishing jazz virtuosos, on saxophone, vibraphone, piano, drums and bass. McBride is both one of the great bassists of all time and a true ambassador for the art form, as the host of NPR’s popular "Jazz Night in America." He recently performed for a Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee tribute concert at the Hollywood Bowl with stars such as The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Dianne Reeves Music, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bettye LaVette, Debbie Harry, Gretchen Parlato, John Beasley, Seth MacFarlane and Billie Eilish. Spanning jazz, R&B, pop, rock, hip-hop, neo-soul and classical, McBride is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship. Prepare for an unforgettable, high-energy evening of jazz magic under the stars at the Robinson Pavilion.

For concerts at the vineyard, audiences are welcome to arrive as early as 6 p.m. and bring picnic dinners to enjoy on the lawn overlooking the incredible view of the lake. The concerts start at 8 p.m. Wine and beer will be available for purchase; outside alcohol is not permitted. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to Skaneateles High School. Venue changes will be made aware to all affected ticket holders in advance.

All tickets are on sale now and available for purchase through the Skaneateles Festival’s website,, or by calling the box office at (315) 685-7418.

Ellen Sorber is digital communications and social media manager with the Skaneateles Festival, an annual series of performances of chamber and other styles of music by international talent in the Skaneateles area. For more information, visit or call (315) 685-7418.


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