Summer Hoot Music and Nature Festival Returns To Ashokan Center

The Ashokan Center, located in Olivebridge, NY, announced the lineup for the twelfth rendition of their Summer Hoot Music and Nature Festival. From August 23 through the 25, attendees can enjoy an array of activities, including parades, music workshops, nature walks and hikes, petting zoos, and more.

The festival will also feature live performances from local, regional, and nationwide musicians, comedians, and other performers.

hoot music and nature festival

Nestled deep within the Catskill Mountains, The Ashokan Center has dedicated more than five decades to the conservation, protection, and preservation of New York’s forests. As a non-profit retreat center, they host a variety of programs and community engagement activities. Most notable are their Music & Dance camps, an opportunity for people of all ages to engage in their favorite activities and collaborate with one another. The Ashokan Center’s unique educational offerings explore natural science, history, environmental issues, arts and music, and writing through programming for children and adults.

In February 2013, Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar planned a festival to raise awareness for the Center. The plan was to create a fun, engaging space for all ages to enjoy the culture and nature of the Catskills. Over 400 people attended the first Winter Hoot, but that was only the beginning.

During the summer of that year, the team built two outdoor stages on “Hoot Hill,” giving the festival its name. This launched the Summer Hoot Music and Nature Festival we know today, which has brought in crowds of over 1,200 attendees year after year.

In addition to raising money for the Ashokan Center, the Hoot aims to invite locals and visitors alike to gather in the mountains for a friendly, upbeat celebration of the unique culture, community, and beauty of the Hudson Valley and Catskills region.

“The Hoot is a way to share the joy and freedom I was privileged to experience in my own childhood at Ashokan, and keep the party going for generations to come.”

Ruth Ungar Merenda

In addition to live music on two stages on Ashokan’s Hoot Hill, the Hoot Music and Nature Festival offers a wide range of programming for the entire family. All-day activities for children in the Kids Zone, including daily kids’ parades, will be hosted all weekend long. Music workshops, blacksmithing demonstrations, morning gong baths with Love Waves, yoga classes, guided hikes to Ashokan’s historic Cathedral Falls, and an all-hours Jubilee Jam Tent are merely just a few examples of the exciting weekend planned.

hoot music and nature festival

The full lineup and information for the Summer Hoot Music and Nature Festival are listed below. For more information, visit here.

Summer Hoot 2024 Lineup

THE MAMMALS are Indie folk ambassadors and songwriting ninjas featuring Hoot producers,
Ruth Ungar & Mike Merenda. The band is known for its high-energy shows, original
repertoire, and Americana sound. Their music blends old-timey, vintage pop, and contemporary

TUBA SKINNY is a New Orleans-based traditional jazz street band. Known for their
interpretations of early jazz, ragtime, and blues music from the 1920s and 1930s, they have recently branched into other genres such as traditional New Orleans soul and R&B. Their instrumentation includes cornet, clarinet, trombone, tuba, tenor banjo, guitar, frottoir, and vocals.

STEVE POLTZ is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is a founding
member of the indie-rock band the Rugburns and collaborated on several songs with singer
Jewel, including the 1996 single “You Were Meant for Me”, which reached number 2 in the US.

BRIDGET KEARNEY is a Brooklyn-based musician and songwriter. She is a founding member of the band Lake Street Dive and winner of the 2005 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Jazz category.

JAY UNGAR & MOLLY MASON have contributed immense vision and hard work to preserving
the Ashokan Center and its music and nature programs. From organizing big-picture
development to playing “Home Grown Tomatoes” and “Ashokan Farewell” for visiting 5th
graders nearly every week, their leadership and love of Ashokan helped to preserve the
land and a “safe place to try new things” for thousands of adults and children to experience yearly.

THE BIG TAKEOVER is a seven-piece band from New York’s Hudson Valley known for their original music that blends Jamaican pop genres like reggae, ska, and rocksteady. The band blends their own unique sounds with those of Motown, retro soul, and R&B. Jamaican-born singer and songwriter Nee Nee Rushie leads the band.

NAIIKA SINGS is a Brooklyn-based Hoot favorite known for soulful performances and creative, dynamic performances that engage any audience. A variety of genres, including R&B, folk rock, pop, world music, and jazz influences her music. Naika Sings surely stands out in a crowd. Join them for their performance at the Summer Hoot and Music Nature Festival.

JEFFERY BROUSSARD & THE CREOLE COWBOYS is a Creole & Zydeco group from Louisiana. One of the most influential accordionists and vocalists in modern Zydeco music, Jeffery Broussard continues to be one of the genre’s most dynamic performers. Join them for an unforgettable night of Zydeco music.

SETH BERNARD & JORDEN HAMILTON are a beloved singer/songwriter and hip/hop-influenced duo from Michigan. They perform original music on electric guitar and cello, combining classical music with a hip-hop influence to create a unique, fun, and original sound.

GUACHINANGOS is an energetic Latin-American ensemble from NYC fusing Mexican son jarocho with Colombian cumbia and other rhythms.

LAURAL MASSÉ & VINNUE MARTUCCI are a Hudson Valley-based vocal and piano jazz duo. As the founder of the band Manhattan Transfer, Massé toured worldwide and appeared on TV. Vinnue Martucci teaches jazz history part-time at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He accompanies Massé on a monthly live show on WAMC in Albany.

THE CITY STOMPERS are a percussive Appalachian dance troupe from New York City that will
bring their dance performance to the Toshi stage and invite attendees to join in the evening
square dance in the Pavilion.

ARM-OF-THE-SEA THEATER is an inventive, larger-than-life, storytelling troup focused on eco-educational stories and themes. Through visual storytelling and great live music in original works of mask and puppet theater, Arm of the Sea Theater has dedicated nearly 3 decades to family-friendly, creative environmental storytelling.

hoot music and nature festival

CAROLINA MAMA is an Argentinean songwriter. A graduate of prestigious arts programs at Buenos Aires’ Universidad Nacional del Arte and NYC’s New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Carolina also records and tours with Samir LanGus and the GRAMMY-nominated vocal group ROSA.

hoot music and nature festival

DAVID & JACOB BERNZ are a son-father duo from Beacon who have been performing
throughout the Hudson Valley for many years. David is known for his tribute to The Weavers (Work O the Weavers) and as a two-time Grammy award-winning producer for Pete Seeger albums, Pete Seeger at 89 (2008) and Pete Seeger and the Rivertowns Kids (2010). Together David and his son Jacob sing
original material and new versions of older tunes blending modern and traditional sounds.

hoot music and nature festival

GASLIGHT TINKERS is a band from Brattleboro, Vermont, known for their high-energy,
danceable shows that blend traditional New England fiddle music with global rhythms. Their sound is a joyful, exciting journey with unexpected textures and turns. The band draws inspiration from their musical backgrounds in traditional folk, Caribbean, Celtic, and rock, creating a delightful blend of genres that are simply unforgettable.

hoot music and nature festival

BRENDAN DANIEL is a founding member of Town Meeting from New England. As a harmonica prodigy, Brendan Daniel is surely a performance you will never forget. His rich voice and skilled harmonica playing are a sight unlike any you have seen before.

hoot music and nature festival

NATE THE GREAT is a master juggler, musician, and comedian who is hilariously fun for the
entire family. Join him at the Summer Hoot for a fun-filled magic and comedy show!

hoot music and nature festival

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