Music lovers rejoice! This weekend, the Sag Harbor American Music Festival (SHAMF) returns for its 11th season and, from September 22-25, will offer dozens of free musical performances in public parks and village storefronts.
Kelly Dodds, President and Co-Artistic Director of SHAMF, explains that while in recent years the festival has traditionally offered paid indoor concerts on Thursday and Friday nights at the Bay Street Theater and Old Whalers Church to complement the free outdoor music , last year, with the uncertainties of COVID-19, the decision was made to keep music completely free and everything outdoors.
“We received a grant from the federal government last year to cover ticket costs,” Dodds explained. “When the Board of Directors met to find out how the past year has gone, we had feedback that everyone loved the format and the new Steinbeck Park stage. Part of our mission is to ‘to be accessible to everyone, to be a completely free festival and to be in the open air is ideal for us. We have tried to obtain subsidies to compensate for the entire amount raised through paid concerts, but we have not obtained, so we stepped up fundraising.
With the successful fundraiser, this weekend the music is completely free and outdoors, with top artists performing in a tent at Marine Park on Bay Street and on the Steinbeck Park Stage near the bridge, while that smaller bands and solo acts will perform in front of various retail businesses and cultural institutions spread throughout the village.
“What has made the festival so successful is that we grow with the community,” Dodds said. “How the community experiences it is important to us. We want to make sure that we communicate with people in the best possible way. We could go back to indoor gigs, there are plenty of venues – Bay Street Theatre, the Sag Harbor Cinema and the Whalers Church – but maybe we’ll do something in the early spring before things get crazy.
One of this year’s new highlights that music fans won’t want to miss is the SHAMF Launch Parade taking place on Thursday night and coming down Main Street.
“For years, people who know us have always known that we start with Samba Boom, a 30-piece percussion ensemble known for percussion sessions on the beach. For anyone who hasn’t seen them, they’re a great reason to show up. They usually played on Saturday mornings and I feel like they needed a bigger audience. As the festival grew to add Sunday and now Thursday, we felt we needed more of a Thursday night kick-off – a call to action and to attract community members who might leave for the weekend they can attend.
So on Thursday night at 6 p.m., parade participants will congregate at Main and Madison streets where Samba Boom will play for about 20 minutes, then the band will dance in the street. At 7 p.m., Soul Inscrit will take the stage at Marine Park.
“All of our events are family-friendly — kids in strollers are fine, and if the kids take action, the parents can walk away,” Dodds said. “We present live music for the younger generation, especially teenagers and children who are discovering music digitally for the first time. We have such a variety, the energy of a live performance where they can enjoy it is really an opportunity for them to grow and expand their emotional depth.
“Live music touches you emotionally, in a different way than YouTube. When you’re surrounded by people dancing and singing spontaneously, it has the potential to broaden horizons,” she said.
Expect this year’s festival to feature a wide range of talented musical acts from across the East End and the greater New York and New England area, but one of the acts that excites the More Dodds is Brooklyn-based Red Baraat.
“I think Red Baraat will be the most sensational act of this year – audibly, visibly, the level of energy and performance is unlike anyone I’ve seen in the East End,” she said. declared. “They’ve been together for 20 years – they’re from Brooklyn, but they’ve played the Dubai World Expo and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. They’re well known around the world, but they happen to be pretty relatives.
“I am intrigued and blown away by their talent and their sound,” added Dodds, noting that Red Baraat’s concert will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday at Marine Park in partnership with WLIW 88.3, and the music will be streamed live with the station. Ed German as guest host.
“The festival has grown so much, and it’s organic growth, but it’s growing,” Dodds said. “There are 35 to 40 acts, it’s an insane number of acts. The production has become more involved, but it’s a labor of love. If companies weren’t so supportive, we wouldn’t be able to do this. We had a big increase in individual supporters after last season, and those things allow us to do what we do.
The Sag Harbor American Music Festival (SHAMF) is back for its 11th season and, September 22-25, features music throughout Sag Harbor. From the giant sailcloth tent in the Marine Park to the new all-weather stage in Steinbeck Park, dozens of acts will be presented. Other venues include cultural district icons like the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, as well as storefronts and restaurants. These performances are free and open to the public, with costs covered by sponsorships and donations.
The SHAMF program
Thursday September 22
Escola de Samba Boom Parade — 6 p.m. Civil War Monument, Main and Madison. Celebrate the opening of the festival with this 30-piece drum set while dancing down Main Street. Special guests to be announced. A real treat for people of all ages.
Soul Registered – 7 p.m. at Marine Park Tent, Bay Street. Free. The hip hop soul collective from New York offers an eclectic new take on jazz, dub and funk. Composed of Baba Israel (host/production), Grace Galu (vocals), Duv (vocals), Sean Nowell (saxophone, flute, FX), Osei (bass), Robert Knowles (keyboards) and Juan Carlos Polo (drums). The band have toured the world as cultural ambassadors to the US State Department. They are the resident band of “Cannabis: A Viper Vaudeville”, which received critical acclaim off Broadway. The collective is currently working on a national tour.
Post-Concert Bands – 9 p.m. Black & Sparrow performs at Sen (23 Main Street) and Jettykoon performs at K Pasa (2 Main Street).
friday september 23
Drum Lesson with Dan Bailey — 5:30 p.m. at Marine Park, Bay Street. Hailing from the Hamptons, Bailey’s South African roots and mastery of the West African djembe carry a celebratory vibe. Certified by Chris Berry as a Bana Kuma Drum & Dance teacher, he leads classes teaching rhythms representing the sacred elements of air, fire, water and earth. BYO hand drum.
Red Baraat — 7:00 p.m. at the Marine Park Tent. Live broadcast on WLIW-FM. Red Baraat is a pioneer band from Brooklyn. Conceived by dhol player Sunny Jain, the group has garnered worldwide acclaim for their singular sound, a fusion of harsh North Indian bhangra with elements of hip-hop, jazz and raw punk energy. Created with nothing less than a determined goal to manifest joy and unity for all, the spirit of Red Baraat is worn brightly on its sweaty, hard-working sleeve. Special guest Ed German (WLIW) will open live with his “Friday Night Soul” show before the main event.
Saturday September 24
10:00 a.m. – Goat puppet musical show on a boat at the marine park tent
11:00 am – Hopefully Forgiven at Steinbeck Park Stage
11:30 a.m. — Born and raised in the shops of Long Wharf
Noon — Mambo Loco at the Marine Park Tent
12:30 p.m. — Angie Pastor at Matriark
12:30 p.m. – The Kingdom at Sag Harbor Inn
1:30 p.m. — Nancy Atlas at the Steinbeck Park stage
2:00 p.m. — Cold Chocolate at Baron’s Cove
2:00 p.m. — East Points at Ryland’s Green (Main and Madison streets)
3:00 p.m. — Pete Mancini at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum
3:00 p.m. — Evan Francis Quintet at the Marine Park Tent
3pm — Dante Mazzetti at LT Burger
3:00 p.m. — Lynn Blue Band at Sag Pizza
4 p.m. — Chloe Halpin at Provisions
4:00 p.m. — The Resilient at Steinbeck Park Stage
4:00 p.m. — The Sheriff of Good Times at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum
5:00 p.m. — Inda Eaton at the Marine Park Tent
5:00 p.m. — Sara Hartman at Baron’s Cove
6:30 p.m. — Winston Irie on the Steinbeck Park stage
8:00 p.m. – Jake Lear at Kidd Squid Brewing Co.
Sunday September 25
11 a.m. — Caroline Doctorow at the Marine Park tent
Noon — Hoodoo Loungers at Steinbeck Park Stage
1:00 p.m. — Rachel and Keve at the marine park tent
2 p.m. — The Montauk Project on the Steinbeck Park Stage
3:00 PM – Dan Bailey Tribe at Marine Park Tent
4pm — Gene Casey & The Lonesharks at Steinbeck Park Stage
5 p.m. — Alfredo Merat at K Pasa
5:00 p.m. – Foster Europe Band at the Marine Park Tent
6:00 p.m. — Joe Delia & Thieves at Steinbeck Park Stage
For the latest updates, visit sagharbormusic.org. SHAMF is rain or shine.