The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts


Throughout the season, look for the Pavilion’s RiverSwing:  A series of entirely free evenings on which a pre-concert dance lesson, led by professional instructors, is offered in the style of music about to be performed.  And yes – there is a dancefloor!  It’s a great way to learn some new moves – or to show off yours!  2012 RiverSwing spans bhangra, swing, jump jive, ballroom, forró, tango, two-step, Irish set, and belly dancing!

We are exceedingly grateful for the generosity of our RiverSwing Sponsors: Weston Capital Management, LLC and CrispRoot, and Lead Season Sponsor: Poland Spring.

2012 RiverSwing
Dance Lessons begin approximately 45 minutes before concert start-time. 

Saturday, June 30 @ 8pm : DJ REKHA
Bhangra Lesson @ 7:15 pm. Instructor: Gobind Singh

“One of the ten women of downtown music” – New York Times Magazine
International sensation DJ Rekha merges the traditional Bhangra music of South Asia and the Hip-Hop beats of today, and takes audiences on a journey into the infectious expanding South Asian dance music genre known as Bhangra.  Onstage, DJ Rekha is joined by exceptional dance artist Gobind Singh and acclaimed percussionist Dave Sharma.  Experience some of the music and moves from her internationally known event “Basement Bhangra”, the monthly New York dance party at S.O.B.'s.  DJ Rekha has spun at events from P.S. 1’s Warm Up and Central Park Summerstage to the White House Easter Egg Hunt.  She arranged the music for the Tony Award-winning Off-Broadway play Bridge and Tunnel, and Newsweek recognized her as one of the most influential South Asians in the U.S.  Replete with dancers and drums, DJ Rekha’s massive dance party at the Pavilion is not to be missed.
Sponsors: CrispRoot & Weston Capital Management LLC

Sunday, July 1 @ 7pm: Duchess Di & The Distractions
Swing & Jump Jive Lesson @ 6:15. Instructor: Michael Stavola, Ballroom Dance Sport

Red hot and real gone Blues, Jump and Swing performed by an 8-piece band with a classic horn section.  Duchess Di and the Distractions capture a bygone era and bring back the fabulous 40s and 50s, incorporating  rockabilly and early rock and roll as well.  Covers include Ruth Brown, Dinah Washington, Louis Jordan, and Louis Prima; these guys are Dillinger.  Duchess Di and the Distractions were a featured act in the Peekskill Jazz and blues Festival.
Sponsor: Weston Capital Management LLC

Sunday, July 15 @ 7pm: STEVE D’AGOSTINO
Ballroom Lesson @ 6:15. Instructor: Michael Stavola, Ballroom Dance Sport

Steve D'Agostino and his band transform the Pavilion into a Starlight Ballroom as they honor the tradition of the Great American Songbook with the timeless music and lyrics of Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn.  

His journey to a commitment of "expression" through the music and lyrics made popular in the United States and around the world by vocalist such as Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash took root a long time ago.  Today, Steve's 30 years of experience are evident with every performance. His vocal artistry has taken him from coast to coast; he has become "the standard" of this genre of music on the local scene.  In addition to regular engagements at some of the finest restaurants and night clubs in Connecticut, Steve's performing credits include appearances in Las Vegas at The Paris Casino Hotel, Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT, The Pequot Room at Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, CT and the MGM Grand Theatre.
Sponsor: Weston Capital Management, LLC

Tuesday, July 17 @ 8pm: QUARTETO OLINDA
Forró Lesson @ 7:15 pm. Instructor: Marizete Browne, Sambazina

As part of their U.S. debut tour including legendary venues like Lincoln Center & Kennedy Center, Quarteto Olinda makes their Connecticut debut at Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts!   

Forró music, and its earlier style called baião, originated in the northeastern province of Brazil called Pernambuco. The music is lively, accordion-driven, danceable – “music for all the people” – and it is danced at the Feast of St. João every year in June.   Campina, Melo, Silva, and Claudio Rabeca (of Quarteto Olinda) are four of the finest forró musicians from the region. Presented as part of the RiverSwing Series, evenings throughout the season on which a free pre-concert dance lesson, led by professional instructors, is offered in the style of music about to be performed.
Sponsors: CrispRoot & Weston Capital Management LLC

Tango Lesson @ 7:15 pm. Instructors: Annatina Luck & Diego Blanco

One of the great Argentine tango pianists of our time leads a tango ensemble that thrills both dancers and listeners with its passionate, melodic, gorgeous sounds.  Octavio has played with many of Argentina’s most important tango musicians and singers, such as Alberto Castillo, Eladia Blazquez, Ruben Juarez, Domingo Federico, Rodolfo Mederos, Osvaldo Piro, and shared the stage with Horacio Salgan-De Lio, and Atilio Stampone.   In 2002 he was named conductor of the Provincial Orchestra of Popular Music in Cordoba, Argentina.  He has won first prizes in New York’s International Tango Competition: Best Solo Pianist and Best Duo. 

He now tours with his own band, the Octavio Brunetti Quintet, and is one of the most sought after tango pianists of our times.   Recordings include “Saludos” with Domingo Federico; “Tierra y Asfalto” by Brunetti-Carballo; “Inquietudes”; with the Omar Torres Quintet; Soledad by Astor Piazzolla with world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma (“Appassionato” by Sony BMG-Classical), and  Grammy Award Winning CD “Te amo Tango” with Raul Jaurena.  Most recently Octavio has performed with Yo-Yo Ma at the international Tango Conference at Harvard, Cambridge.
Sponsor: Weston Capital Management LLC

Friday, August 3 @  8 pm : GUNSMOKE
Two Step & Country Western Lesson @ 7:15 pm. Instructor: Michael Stavola, Ballroom Dance Sport

The ever-popular Southern Rock Tribute Band hails from the Jersey Shore and delivers some of the best music from groups such as The Allman Brothers, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, ZZ Top and others.  GUNSMOKE has been entertaining audiences throughout the Northeast at fairs, festivals, clubs, and concerts, with true Country and Western Music for over 20 years. They have performed with musical legends such as, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Ray Price, Hank Thompson, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Carl Perkins, and countless other country legends. They have performed for two sitting Presidents of the United States, and been voted six years in a row, Band of The Year by The New York Metropolitan Country Music Association, This Premier Country Band always brings a refreshing entertaining show for all ages to enjoy.
Sponsor: Weston Capital Management, LLC

Tuesday, August 14 @  8 pm : BROCK MCGUIRE BAND
Irish Set Dancing Lesson @ 7:15 pm

“The Best Instrumental Band in the Business” Irish American News
“The Brock McGuire Band was stunning, spreading their magic blend of virtuosity and old style traditional charm across the stage and into our hearts. An outstanding performance as always” – Southwest Celtic Music Association
Straight from County Clare, Brock McGuire Band is fronted by button accordionist and melodeonist Paul Brock and fiddler Manus McGuire, two of Ireland’s most celebrated traditional musicians who have been at the forefront of Irish music for many years.  They are joined by Dublin based Garry O’ Meara, an outstanding banjo, mandolin player & vocalist; and Denis Carey, an acclaimed pianist, composer and arranger from Newport, County Tipperary. 

While the Irish tradition is the centrepiece of their performance, Brock McGuire Band draw on other Celtic traditions as well as French-Canadian and American roots music contributing to a diverse and authentic repertoire, delivered with passion and respect. The band’s passion and precision, authenticity and diversity are apparent in every note.
Sponsor: Weston Capital Management, LLC

Thursday, August 23 @  8 pm : HUDOST
Belly Dancing Lesson @ 7:15 pm

“Complex… a journey of music and spirit” – Chronogram Magazine
An enchanting and eclectic blend of Sufi, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian and Balkan folk music, Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, Folk, Pop and Rock, the music of HuDost, the Neo Folk World Rock Ensemble from Montreal and NY, weaves a seamless tapestry of sound that renders tears and laughter in listeners, cultivating that nameless longing that abides somewhere in all our hearts.   Their sound crosses all borders and barriers, taking the listener on a journey they will never forget. 

Their most recent EP, ‘Waking the Skeleton contains remixes of tracks from their last album ‘Trapeze’, produced by Grammy Winner Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel). The EP was mixed by Grammy Winner Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Bill Laswell, Primus).  Performances include Bonnaroo, Alex Grey’s CoSM in NYC, the Salvador Dali Museum, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, FloydFest, The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, headlining SE NPR’s World Fusion Fest, WoodSongs at the Kentucky Theater (on PBS), and more.  HuDost has also opened for Joan Osborne, Snatam Kaur, California Guitar Trio, and Bell Orchestre and has worked with Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Neko Case, Jim Lauderdale, and Mercan Dede.
Sponsor: Weston Capital Management, LLC

Follow up with our acclaimed instructors and dance life’s black diamond dancefloors!
Marizete Browne  |
Annatina Luck
Gobind Singh
Michael Stavola / Ballroom Dance Sport:
(List current as of July 20)

LAWN SEATING: Bring blanket and /or lawn chairs (applies to all free events and Bindlestiff Family Cirkus)

FOR FREE EVENTS: The park opens for pre-show picnicking approximately 60 minutes before showtime.  There is also an on-site concession with snacks and ice cream.  If you are bringing refreshments, plastic is preferred since this is a barefoot-in-the-grass zone.  

FOR TICKETED BENEFIT EVENTS: Food and refreshments are sold on-site at the Pavilion.  There will be refreshment concessions at the Circus (July 25) and the Gala (August 24).

REMEMBER: There is no smoking anywhere in the Park or entrance area.  Pets must remain leashed. 

SUMMER LIVES HERE: The Pavilion is located at 40 Jesup Road in Downtown Westport.

RAIN LOCATION: The Auditorium at Saugatuck School, 170 Riverside Avenue.  Call the Concert Hotline at 203-221-2153 at or after 4PM on the day of the show for location status.  Note, no food or drink – other than water – is allowed inside the school.  The auditorium is air-conditioned and has built-in seating.  The dance lesson takes place even if the event is moved indoors.

###Schedule subject to change###

The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts
The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts is dedicated to providing FREE and abundant access to the performing arts, presenting a dynamic and diverse constellation of established and emerging artists – all of whom are paid, and preserving a beautiful outdoor community destination where people of all ages and backgrounds are always welcome to enjoy the arts, enjoy nature, and enjoy each other.

Established in 1973, The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts produces a unique open-air Summer festival located along the banks of the Saugatuck River in downtown Westport.  The Summer Season runs over the course of 10 weeks, from late June through early September, lighting up Fairfield County with almost 60 nights of FREE entertainment.  Each summer, the Pavilion welcomes over 50,000 patrons from Fairfield County, over 30 neighboring communities and the Tri-State area.  To date, the Pavilion has welcomed more than 1.5 million people – and counting. 

The Pavilion presents a vibrant range of music, featuring established and award-winning artists as well as emerging ones, from local bands to national and international acts, plus a mix of other performing arts including dance, comedy and more.  Every summer also includes the acclaimed Children’s Series on Wednesdays; and for movers and shakers, there’s RiverSwing – an annual series of six or more evenings sprinkled throughout the season on which the Pavilion offers free pre-concert dance lessons led by professionals in the style of the music about to be enjoyed.  During the course of the year, the Levitt Pavilion produces a handful of ticketed events to help underwrite the cost of the free programming. 

The Pavilion has been an anchor institution in the community since 1973 and is supported through the generosity of corporate, foundation, and individual donations as well as services and support from the Town of Westport, Westport Parks & Recreation, and the State, including the Connecticut Office of the Arts.  The Friends of the Levitt Pavilion, Inc., d/b/a The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. For a list of our sponsors, click here: | | FOLLOW US @LevittWestport


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