Sag Harbor American Music Festival - a musician's guide!

There are many different festivals all over the East End this time of year, but for me, the Sag harbor American Music Festival, with nearly FORTY acts, is at the top of the list. Co-directors Kelly Dodds and Kerry Farrell do a terrific job mixing genres, types of performances and venues, using both local and national acts.

The action starts at 8:00 pm Thursday with tribute to Aretha Franklin - the Queen of Soul! at Bay Street Theatre. Arranged and directed by Daniel Koontz, the show will feature performances by Daniel Fulton, Dawnette Darden and Marvin Joshua, accompanied by the Hoodoo Loungers and a full Gospel choir - Byron Preston & the Life Singers. Get your tickets early for that one!

Friday go and catch Grammy nominated vocal stylist Jane Monheit at the Old Whalers Church at 8:00 pm. Her storytelling, phrasing and interpretations of classics have established her as a cabaret and jazz favorite. We saw her last year with pianist David Benoit at the Blue Note and she was just great!

Saturday. Where to begin? The whole schedule is great, and there are THREE acts at 11;30 that I’d like to get to: singer-songwriter Ari Selinger, singer-songwriter Cassandra House and Joe Delia and the Thieves. At 12:30 I’d head to People’s United Bank to rock out with Black and Sparrow, 1:30 to Geekhampton for Points East and then catch Nancy Atlas at 2:30. One of my favorite rockabilly bands, the Buzzards, will be at LT Burger at 3:00, and right across the street at the American Hotel you’ll hear jazz with Jane Hastay, Peter Weiss and Bob Stern. Go right up the street to Sen for the latin-pop of Ludmilla and Marcello.

At 4:00 I would go and hear the Unsung Heroes at Provisions, were it not for the fact that our own band will be playing at Sanctuary Home (the former Dodds and Eder). This is our first year and are just thrilled that we are playing amongst such great company! Thanks to Sanctuary Home for hosting the Tom&Lisa Band and to D.J. Hart for sponsoring us!

Singer-songwriter Angie Pastor will be at Faherty at 5:00, Gene Casey at the Sag Harbor Express Stage at 5:30, and back at Sanctuary Home at 6:00 it will be the Bodega Tallboys. Don’t miss the Dan Bailey Tribe at 7:00, and Hopefully Forgiven at KPASA at 8:00. And THEN there’s a dance party at 9:00 back at Bay Street Theater with the Scofflaws (paid event).

Whew! What a day! But wait, Sunday will wrap the festival with an act per hour from 12-6! The Jam session offers Afro/Jazz at noon, our friends Mammalee Rose at 1:00, the Underground horns at 2:00, the Slocan Ramblers, (who kicked off the Sylvester Manor 2019 concert series) at 3:00, bluesman Jake Lear at 4:00 and finally Inda Eaton at 5:00! Man, what a lineup!

The weather looks great, so wear some “boots that are made for walkin’ “ and have a terrific weekend!

Thomas Hashagen