Oct 19, 2013
05:54 AM
Arts & Entertainment

Terrific Concert Series at Library in New Hartford Opens Season 7 Saturday Night

Terrific Concert Series at Library in New Hartford Opens Season 7 Saturday Night

Antje Duvekot.

When you’re searching for a place to listen to acoustic music on a Saturday night, New Hartford is not likely to be on the top of your list. Certainly a library in that sleepy suburb wouldn’t be your first thought, but it should be.

Nights at the Beekley Music Series, a concert series at the Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library in the center of New Hartford, has spent the last six years building a reputation as a music venue that specializes in singer/songwriters you probably haven’t heard of but should be checking out.

The series will open its seventh season this Saturday with Antje Duvekot, a renowned songwriter born in Germany and most recently from Boston. She has won the grand prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, the Kerrville “New Folk Award,” and the Boston Music Award for “Outstanding Folk Act,” according to her biography on the Beekley website.

The show will take place on Saturday, Oct. 19. The reception will open at 7 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 at the door.

The rest of the concert series includes The Jammin’ Divas on Nov. 16, Krista Detor & Trio on Jan. 18, Darlingside & Caitlin Canty on Feb. 15, Barnaby Bright on March 8 and Ellis Paul on April 26.

This year the Beekley will host its first Holiday Show on Dec. 13 with The Sweetback Sisters and The Country Singalong Christmas Spectacular.

The concert series is the brainchild of David Sessions, a New Hartford resident, Farmington Valley business owner and former chairman of the steering committee when the library was constructed at it’s current location, at 10 Central Ave.

“When we designed the room we had the idea of creating a hall where you could do some music,” said Sessions. “Years went by after we finished the library and I revisited that idea.”

The Great Hall where the concerts take place is uniquely designed with Gothic columns flanking the stage. There is an intimacy between the performer and the audience, and high quality acoustics fill the room with pure sound.

Since the inception, it has been Sessions’ goal to book talent that’s not only enjoyable but also challenges the listener and exposes them to a wider range of music.

“Music expands your horizons,” said Sessions, who has always been a music lover.

He is responsible for booking all of the artists. After hosting the series for a number of years, the venue has gained a reputation and people who are interested in performing contact him, but there’s still a selection process.

“I’m pretty careful to bring genres and styles that stay within singer/songwriter but I try to open them up,” said Sessions. “It’s about finding that mix of music that is interesting and challenging.”

Like Duvekot, Sessions likes to book artists who have been recognized for their talent. He also likes to vary genres, like The Jammin’ Divas, who will bring Celtic music to the Beekley for the first time.

Sessions said there is a certain temptation to bring back artists who were big hits in previous seasons, but he tries to avoid that at all costs.

“In my view there’s so many talented people, I’ve been less inclined to bring people back...What I enjoy is bringing fresh new music to people and seeing how it goes. That makes it a little risky part of the process,” said Sessions. “They aren’t there to see someone [they’ve heard on the radio]. They want something new that will challenge them.”

That commitment to quality artists outside of popular music draws a particular type of audience to the Beekley. Sessions called them a, “community,” with many people returning year after year for the new slate of performers.

Just as the library isn’t a typical venue and it doesn’t book typical artists, it doesn’t have a typical payment strategy either. People can purchase tickets at the door for each show, but they can also buy concert packages and gain access to multiple shows throughout the season.

See the full story at the Register Citizen online.

 

Terrific Concert Series at Library in New Hartford Opens Season 7 Saturday Night

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