FIRST NIGHT SARANAC LAKE PERFORMERS, DECEMBER 31, 2019
First Night Saranac Lake is an all-volunteer organization with a mission to create a family-centered, public celebration that marks the passage of time through music, art, and ritual each December 31st.
Marking the end of one year and the beginning of the next, in a special way, is a human need. First Night offers a shared cultural celebration to mark the passing of 2019 and welcoming of 2020.
First Night Saranac Lake headquarters are located at the Harrietstown Town Hall, Saranac Lake Welcome Center at 39 Main St., Saranac Lake, NY. On New Year's Eve, it will be open 10 a.m. - midnight.
Formed in October 1980 in Amsterdam, New York, this 12-piece orchestra is led by the Bronx-born bassist Alex Torres. They have been presented by hundreds of festivals, performing arts centers and events annually to perform their original blend of Afro-Caribbean rhythms such as Salsa, Merengue, Cha-cha, Bomba, Plena and Latin jazz.
Harrietstown Town Hall, 10-10:45 and 11-11:45 p.m.
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This Catskills-based folk-rock group's concerts are meant to be healing and inspirational. It's not only their combined voices — Ruth Ungar's soulful grace and Mike Merenda's hushed and intimate ease — it's also the lyrics that strike deep and spark smiles. Nominated for Song of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards, the title track of their 2018 album "Sunshiner" is a full-room sing-along with a chorus that honors the past while envisioning a bright future of green energy and good, positive human collaboration.
Harrietstown Town Hall, 8-8:45 and 9-9:45 p.m. View Map Location
This Northwest-based, internationally touring songwriter is forever drawn to the quiet stories of ordinary life. With four full-length albums out, she has been likened to a short story writer and praised by NPR, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and others for her keen observations of the human condition. Her most recent album, "The Question," was called "one of the most ambitious folk records of 2019" by NPR, and she was selected as the winner of both the Telluride Troubadour songwriting award and the Kerrville New Folk award.
Pendragon Theatre, 10-10:45 and 11-11:45 p.m. View Map Location
By the age of 42, he had graduated with high honors from Harvard University, been elected the youngest member of the New York General Assembly, became a cattle rancher in the Dakota Territory, run unsuccessfully for the New York mayorship and served as a U.S. Civil Service commissioner, president of the Police Commission of New York City, assistant secretary of the United States Navy, colonel of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, governor of New York, vice president and president of the United States. He was the father of six children and the author of over 30 books. He was a big-game hunter and ornithologist, and during his presidency he declared some 230 million acres of national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges and national monuments. Joe Weigand brings the 26th president back to life.
St. Bernard's Church, 7-7:45, 8-8:45 and 9-9:45 p.m. View Map Location
This Boston musician's discography ranges from early recordings of instrumental folk guitar to more recent lyrically centered efforts, including 2018's "Neon," which has been acclaimed by NPR and The Boston Globe. Since 2014 he has been regularly on tour, performing in all manner of venues: pubs, galleries, abandoned silos, living rooms and the Newport Folk Festival.
St. Luke's Church, 9-9:45 and 10-10:45 p.m. View Map Location
Jeff Boyer been excited about bubbles and physics since he was a kid, and has been amusing and educating family audiences since 1993, including four previous appearances at First Night Saranac Lake. A trained actor, he started Jeff Boyer Productions in 1999 and began creating bubble shows in 2005, soon raising audience participation to a new level.
www.jeffboyer.com First United Methodist Church, 8-8:45 and 9-9:45 p.m. View Map Location
This stand-up comic has performed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Conan," the Letterman show, "America's Got Talent" and "Last Comic Standing," but people care more about his episode of HGTV's "House Hunters." His material is described as original but universal, and smart without being trite. Moody grew up in a big Irish family in Syracuse and lives in New York City with his wife and two wee lasses.
www.moodymccarthy.com Elks Lodge, 7-7:45, 8-8:45 and 9-9:45 p.m. View Map Location
Plattsburgh's premiere improv comedy troupe performs in the style of the hit television show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" creating on-the-spot characters and situations from the wacky, unpredictable suggestions of the audience. Playing games such as "Party Quirks," "Film, Theatre and TV Styles," and "Sound Effects," Completely Stranded will deliver an evening of side-splitting laughs without a script.
www.facebook.com/nyimprov First Presbyterian Church, 7-7:45, 8-8:45 and 9-9:45 p.m. View Map Location
This couple from Red Creek combines original and traditional folk songs and tunes with masterful harmonies and inventive arrangements. On stage, their enthusiasm and humor charm audiences. Their gift of insight is matched with dynamic songwriting, plus Peggy's vocal versatility and Dan's instrumental virtuosity on hammered dulcimer and guitar.
www.quercusmusic.com Saranac Village at Will Rogers, 7-7:45 and 8-8:45 p.m. View Map Location
Separately, guitarist/mandolinist Isachsen and guitarist/composer Zemantauski have delighted audiences around the globe for decades. Together, this dynamic string duo celebrates eclectic musical tastes — fiery flamenco, classical, Latin, roots and bluegrass — to create a vibrant, rich and refreshing sound. Their rhythmically driven repertoire takes the listener on a journey of traditional classics, innovative arrangements and original compositions.
mariazemantauski.com and stenisachsen.com Pendragon Theatre, 6-6:45 and 7-7:45 p.m. View Map Location
Hailing from the Adirondack foothills in Utica, this group has drawn favorable comparisons to the Avett Brothers, the Band and Dawes. Yet they've developed a voice all their own through their high-energy live performances and the raw acoustic sound created through their use of acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, upright bass, drums, and ringing vocal harmonies.
www.theoldmainmusic.com Pendragon Theatre, 8-8:45 and 9-9:45 p.m. View Map Location
This Irish music trio from Maine consists of flautist, whistle player and singer Hanz Araki; vocalist Colleen Raney, who is dedicated to performing and preserving the vibrant song tradition of Ireland; and guitarist Bethany Waickman, who was born and raised in the Adirondacks and now makes her living accompanying some of Maine's finest musicians.
St. Luke's Church, 7-7:45 and 8-8:45 p.m. View Map Location
This group will lead the crowd in old-time contra dancing. Fiddle, flute, tenor banjo and guitar weave their way through smooth waltzes, foot-tapping reels and lively jigs. Traditional Celtic, early American, old-time, French-Canadian and international tunes — melodies handed down through the years — are mixed with original creations.
www.homespun.biz Harrietstown Town Hall, 6-6:45 and 7-7:45 p.m. View Map Location
This group from Potsdam plays music for children from ages 2 through 102. Songs that will be familiar to parents and grandparents are introduced the younger generation in hopes all will dance and sing along.
First United Methodist Church, 6-6:45 and 7-7:45 p.m. View Map Location
This family entertainment group always enjoys returning home to Saranac Lake, where Scott Eichholz formed the group with Matt Paul and Maria DeAngelo in the late 1980s to create wholesome entertainment for families through magic, clowning, puppetry, storytelling and balloon art. Today, LoonWorks brings its brand of WOW all over New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont.
Saranac Lake Free Library, 6-6:45 and 7-7:45 p.m. View Map Location
This an award-winning filmmaker was born in Saranac Lake, but his long career has taken him around the world: He co-founded and owned Heliotrope Studios Ltd. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 1980 he worked on the feature film "Cold River" in Saranac Lake. While Jim continues to travel to work, he and his wife Carol have returned to Saranac Lake to live. Along with his many community involvements, Jim works as a volunteer in the William Chapman White Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library on the restoration of the Kollecker Film Archive.
Saranac Lake Free Library, 8-8:45 and 9-9:45 p.m. View Map Location