Paul Winter’s 21st Annual Summer Solstice Sunrise Celebration



Seven-Time Grammy® Winner Paul Winter’s
21st Annual Summer Solstice Sunrise Concert

Saturday, June 18, 2016 at 4:30am

Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th Street
New York, NY 10025

Welcome the Dawning of Summer
In an Acoustic Adventure under the 150-foot
Dome of the World’s Largest Cathedral

Seven-time Grammy®-winning saxophonist Paul Winter's 21st Annual Summer Solstice Sunrise Celebration will take place at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 18 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th St., New York, NY.

A one-of-a-kind sunrise concert, presenting the premiere of new music by the Paul Winter Consort, along with traditional pieces from the Consort’s repertoire, featuring the soprano sax of Paul Winter, renowned cellist Eugene Friesen, double-reed wizard Paul McCandless on English horn and oboe, rising-star organist Ray Nagem on the Cathedral’s majestic Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, drummer Abdel Salaam with his set of seven West African dun-dun drums, and percussionists Mathias Kunzli and Keita Ogawa, with an array of instruments including a set of giant Balinese gamelan gongs.

Paul Winter speaks of the uniqueness of this event:

“Summer Solstice is one of the great turning points of the year, when the sun is at its peak and the days abound with the promise of life’s fullness. It is a serenely powerful time in which the beauty of the natural world can infuse our spirit, bring us alive to the present, and perhaps awaken a deeper sense of relatedness to the greater community of life, and to the Earth, and perhaps, to the cosmos. In the same way that these longest days of the year in June are the polar opposite of December’s longest nights of the year, the simplicity of this all-acoustic Summer Solstice concert is in total contrast to the more theatrical Winter Solstice Celebrations we have presented for many years.”

Why 4.30a.m.?

“When I’m awake in the darkness before dawn – as the birds begin to sing, and the Earth prepares for the Sun – I feel as if life is beginning anew. There’s something magical about that virginal time, when we’re free of our habitual patterns and obligations. My dream of evoking this feeling in music was the original inspiration for Summer Solstice. We begin playing in total darkness at 4:30 a.m. within the awesome space and acoustics of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. We embark on a continuous musical journey, with players stationed in distant corners or moving among the audience. Somewhere near the halfway point, listeners gradually realize that the Cathedral’s great stained-glass windows are beginning to illuminate. The light joins the sound to carry us into the first dawning of summer.”

All are invited to a tea and coffee reception in the Nave of the Cathedral following the concert.

Free download:
“Morning Sun” – a Summer Solstice improv by the Paul Winter Consort, with Paul Winter, soprano sax; Paul McCandless, oboe; Eugene Friesen, cello; and Don Grusin, keyboard