Paul Winter's Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

Paul Winter's 30th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

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Dec 16, 2010 08:00 PM
Dec 18, 2010 09:30 PM


New York, New York

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Paul Winter's Winter Solstice Celebration, which celebrates its 31st Anniversary this December 2010, began as a holiday alternative and still remains true to its world-embracing roots.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine's most popular annual secular event, it now firmly take its place among the great, durable holiday traditions of New York and National Public Radio.

The story of the Paul Winter Consort and its predecessor, the Paul Winter sextet, has evolved during a forty-year saga of adventure-through-music. Milestones include:

  • the sextet’s horizon-expanding tour through twenty-three Latin American countries in 1962
  • the sextet’s seven initial albums for Columbia Records under producer John Hammond
  • Paul Winter’s meeting with Pete Seeger in 1966, who encouraged him towards more participatory music
  • Paul Winter hearing for the first time the songs of humpback whales. Their haunting voices affected him in the same way as had those of the great jazz players and singers, and planted the seeds of creative ideas that blossomed on a number of his and the Consort’s later albums.

Infused with the rhythms and melodies of so many of the world’s cultures, Winter decided in 1968 to form the Consort as a forum for combining elements from various African, Asian, and South American cultures with jazz. “I borrowed the name ‘consort’ from the ensembles of Shakespeare’s time, the house bands of the Elizabethan Theater, which adventurously blended woodwinds, strings and percussion, the same families of instruments I wanted to combine in our ‘contemporary’ consort,” Paul Winter says.

Musicians such as David Darling, Paul McCandless, Ralph Towner, Glen Moore, Collin Wolcott, Nancy Rumbel, Jim Scott, Rhonda Larson, Russ Landau, Glen Velez, Paul Halley, Dorothy Papadakos, Eugene Friesen, Susan Osborn, Paul Sullivan, Mickey Hart, Oscar Castro-Neves, Nóirín Ní Riain, Jordan Rudess, Davy Spillane and many others have performed in or with the Consort.

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