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The Paul Winter Consort and friends will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary at the solstice at St. John the Divine

The Paul Winter Consort will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary at annual solstice concert at St. John the Divine

Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St.
December 20-22, $58-$148

The Paul Winter Consort will once again pay tribute to the shortest day of the year at the thirty-ninth annual Winter Solstice concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine for four shows December 20-22, as part of the group’s fiftieth anniversary celebration. The seven-time Grammy-winning soprano saxophonist will be joined by Paul McCandless on English horn and bass clarinet, Jeff Holmes on keyboards (replacing the retiring Paul Sullivan), Eugene Friesen on cello, Eliot Wadopian on bass, Jamey Haddad on percussion, Scott Sloan on sun gong, Tim Brumfield on St. John’s pipe organ, gospel singer Theresa Thomason (for her twenty-fifth solstice concert), and the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. Winter will be focusing on sounds from what he calls “the greater family of life,” including the indri of Madagascar, the pied butcher-bird of Australia, the Caspian snowcock of Turkey, the forest elephant of the Congo Basin/West Africa, the uirapuru of the Amazon, the loon and the woodthrush of New England, and the humpback whale and dolphin of the oceans, along with the traditional North American timber wolf. “For me,” Winter has said, “this solstice celebration is an ever-renewing thrill — whether watching the sun gong ascend twelve stories with its player to the vault of the cathedral or hearing the ‘tree of sounds’ as it slowly turns, reflecting a myriad of lights from its hundreds of bells, gongs, and chimes.” He has also noted, “Of all the places I’ve played in the world, only two could host an event on this scale: the cathedral and the Grand Canyon.” You can get a free download of last year’s performance, which featured such songs as “Tomorrow Is My Dancing Day,” “Song for the World,” and “The Rain Is Over and Gone,” here.

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