Music Haven Concert Series Showcases Diverse Cultural Talent

Schenectady’s 28th annual Music Haven Concert Series in Central Park will cap off Sunday summer nights in the Electric City from July 9-Aug. 13 at 7:00 pm with live music performances on the Agnes McDonald Music Haven Stage. Proctors Theater in downtown Schenectady will serve as the rain location if inclement weather should persist. All shows are free to the public.

Several area sponsors have contributed to help make the concert series possible. Sponsors include Bast Hatfield, Freihofer’s, Rivers Casino and Resort, M & T Bank, Ben & Jerry’s, Head To Tail, GOYA, Snapple, Lia Auto Group, Benchmark Printing, MVP Healthcare, CDTA, Galesi Group, Polar, The Schenectady Foundation, Mohawk Honda, FAM Funds, and Spectrum Reach.

July 9, Sharon Shannon, the traditional Irish superstar accordionist and fiddler, will kick off the concert series with a rare U.S. appearance, right here in the Capital District. Her 1991 debut self titled album still ranks as the top-selling Irish album of all time. She has just released her African-inspired sixteenth studio album Sacred Earth. Special Guest John Doyle will also appear.

July 16, original Afropop pioneers, Amadou and Mariam, will have everybody moving with their Malian mix of danceable rhythms and infectious vocals. The legally blind married couple met as children at Mali’s Institute for the Young Blind. From there, they joined the institute’s Eclipse Orchestra. They have released eight full length albums, and were nominated for a Grammy award in 2008. Special Guest Jojo Abot will also appear.

July 23, Septeto Santiaguero, are considered the international ambassadors of Cuban music. They won a Latin Grammy award for Best Traditional Tropical Album in 2015. Special Guest Radio Jarocho will also appear.

July 30, Beausoleil Avec Michael Doucet, will bring their Louisiana style of Cajun music to the area. The band was the first of its genre to win the “Best Traditional Folk Album” at the 1998 Grammy awards. They won a second Grammy in 2010, and have been nominated twelve times. Special Guest Vishten will also appear.

August 6, Amir Elsaffar and Two Rivers Ensemble, showcase their mix of Western jazz, and traditional Middle Eastern instruments. The sextet’s piece titled Crisis was commissioned by the Newport Jazz Festival. Special Guest Cliff Bruckner & Full Circle, will also appear.

August 13, Yemen Blues with Ravid Kahalani, will close out the 2017 concert series. The Yemeni-born, Israeli raised Kahalani and his band bring liturgical chant, Arabic melodies, jazz, funk, soul, and North African grooves to Schenectady. Special Guest Ahmed Al Shaiba, will also appear.

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