The winter solstice draws a lot of meanings and rituals for different people. For Upper West Siders, Paul Winter’s Solstice Celebration Concert will mark the upcoming winter solstice as a celebration of the holiday spirit at New York’s largest cathedral, St. John the Divine.
The event website calls the annual concert “New York’s favorite holiday alternative to The Nutcracker and Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular.”
This particular winter solstice is especially significant because this year marks the 40th year of the winter solstice celebration as well as the 50th anniversary for the Paul Winter Consort. The Saturday evening performance will also coincide with the actual winter solstice.
“Making music at Solstice is one way to celebrate our amazing journey,” the Paul Winter Solstice page describes. “If, in our listening, we are carried by the music, then perhaps the experience of that moment can be a hologram of the entire journey. In reality, the journey is right now, wherever we are. And when we are listening, each moment is the beginning.”
This year’s list of exciting performers include:
Paul Winter: the seven-time Grammy winner, saxophonist, and composer will be the performance band leader
The Paul Winter Consort: this 10-member group of talented musicians is also the artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The consort’s winter and summer solstice celebrations are just one of the hundreds of events they produce, including Carnival of the Rainforest and Misa Gaia/Earth Mass. They have toured all over the world and performed in over 3,000 concerts in 52 countries
Noel Paul Stookey: the special guest vocalist is also a singer, songwriter, and activist. He is famously known as the “Paul” in the Peter, Paul, and Mary group. Most recently, his musical political commentary, Impeachable, (set to the melody of Unforgettable) has become a viral sensation
Theresa Thompson: this extraordinary Gospel singer is back as a featured artist. She has performed in over 150 European cities and the United Nations
Forces of Nature: The 25-member dance and drum ensemble has produced ballet shows, dance classes, concerts, and education programs, not just in New York City but around the world for over 32 years. Audiences will be thrilled by the group’s unique blend of modern dance, traditional West African dance, ballet, and house and hip-hop forms, to name a few.
Performances will take place on December 19th, 20th and 21st. Ticket prices start at $38 and offer a special student discount for evening performances. Check out the website to get your tickets.