By Marianne A. Campolongo
Stormy weather did nothing to hamper the opening night of the Armonk Summer Concert Series. Although they had to postpone their plans for a picnic under the stars at Wampus Brook Park’s gazebo until the following weekend, a near-capacity crowd turned out at Whippoorwill Hall Theatre to see The Swingaroos, a spirited young band who cover jazz, blues, and pop standards from 1930 to 1945, as well as performing original tunes penned by the band’s vocalist Kimberly Hawkey and pianist Assaf Gleizner. The other band members are Dan Glaude on the saxophone and clarinet, Nat Ranson on trombone, Ray Cetta on bass and Uri Zelig on drums.
Hawkey said she and the band actually preferred the indoor space. “It felt like an old 1940’s theatre and the sound was great. The audience was really receptive. Some of them were grooving in their seats. You need inspiration, especially when you’re playing jazz because much of it is improvised. It was a fun group to play for, a great audience.”
The free Summer Concert Series, held twice a month in July and August, is produced by Sam Morell, a semi-retired chemical engineer, who volunteers for many town activities, under the aegis of The Small Town Theatre Company.
“We have very gracious sponsors,” said Morell. The Town of North Castle and several local businesses lent financial support, and raffles were held during intermission. The summer’s line-up included Charlie Lagond (jazz), the New Rochelle Opera, and Hager, Ibarra, Schulman, Spielman, and Johnson singing Broadway show tunes.
“The best social media are people getting together not virtually but bringing a picnic basket, a lawn chair and sharing some food together with friends and listening to a concert,” said Morell. “Saturday evening under the stars and the moon.”
Marianne Campolongo is a professional photographer and writer from Chappaqua. Visit www.campyphotos.com.