Music Under the Stars returns July 24 with VJC Big Band

BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Music Center and Retreat Farm kick off their “Music Under the Stars” summer concert series on Saturday, July 24, with a performance by the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band.

The concert will be held at Retreat Farm, 45 Farmhouse Square, and admission is free. Gates open 5:30 p.m.; the concert begins at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to bring lawn chairs and a picnic, and to enjoy food truck fare, maple creemees, and craft beers at The Thirsty Goat bar.

The 17-piece band, under the direction of Rob Freeberg, will honor one of the greatest vocalists and pianists in jazz history: Grammy Hall of Famer Nat King Cole.

Nat King Cole recorded over 150 Billboard singles, selling more than 50 million copies during his lifetime.

He was the first African American person to host his own radio program (1946) and TV show (1956) in the U.S., but his greatest legacy is his recordings: “Mona Lisa,” “Unforgettable,” “L-O-V-E,” “The Christmas Song,” “Route 66,” “Nature Boy,” “Sweet Loraine,” and many others.

Expressing Cole's music and using many of the big band arrangements prepared for Cole himself will be vocalist Peter Eldridge, who has performed in some of the world's most preeminent venues and festivals, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Kennedy Center.

As a member of New York Voices, Eldridge is a two-time Grammy-Award winner, and his original music has been covered by artists such as Nancy Wilson, Paquito D'Rivera, and Jane Monheit.

The Music Under the Stars series continues Saturday, Aug. 14, with Becky Tracy and Keith Murphy, and Saturday, Aug. 21 with the Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra.

For more information about Music Under the Stars, contact the BMC at 802-257-4523 or email [email protected].

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