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Maudslay Arts Center Summer Concert Series mourns Boston’s “First Lady of Jazz” Rebecca Parris

Due to the unexpected death of jazz vocalist Rebecca Parris, Maudslay Arts Center (MAC) will “go dark” on the evening of July 14, which would have marked her 26th consecutive year performing in the MAC Summer Concert Series.

“She was the very first person I ever booked,” MAC Executive Director Nicholas C. Costello said. “So many of the performers we have on our schedule is the direct result of her support of our program. Every single year for 25 years she performed at Maudslay and she was a fan favorite for all 25 of those years.

“Out of deepest respect for her, Maudslay will go dark that night and I hope we all take a moment to think about Rebecca.”

Known as Boston’s “First Lady of Jazz,” Parris was 66 when she died in Cape Cod Hospital Sunday, June 17. Earlier in the day, at the Jazz Jam in South Yarmouth, she sang two songs. The last was “There Will Never Be Another You.”

“She could sing beautifully,” Costello said, “and her live performances were some of the best performances I ever saw. Few people have touched me the way she did.

“She was a truly good friend, a fabulous, beautiful person. I will truly miss her. She was the real deal.”

Maudslay Arts Center’s 26th Anniversary season will open on Sunday, July 15, with the Paul Broadnax Trio.

“It’s fitting that we should start off the season with Paul,” Costello said. “He’s also been with Maudslay since the early days.”

The new season will continue with returning MAC favorites Mystix Unplugged, The Hal McIntyre Big Band, Amanda Carr, Hillyer Festival Orchestra, Liz Frame & the Kickers, Don Campbell Band, Bobby Keyes Trio, and Donna Byrne.

New this year is Danielle Miraglia. Miraglia comes armed with a strong steady thumb on an old Gibson, an infectious stomp-box rhythm, harmonica, and tunes ranging from heart-felt to socially conscious that will move both your heart and hips. On July 21, Miraglia will perform solo opening for The Mystix Unplugged and on Aug. 19, she will perform with her band Danielle M and The Glory Junkies.

Whether you’re sitting under the stars on a moonlit evening, or lounging on a blanket on a Sunday afternoon, the Maudslay Arts Center Summer Concert Series provides the perfect setting for your entertainment pleasure.

Saturday concerts begin at 7 p.m. and include: The Mystix Unplugged with opening act Danielle Miraglia on July 21, Amanda Carr on July 28, Hillyer Festival Orchestra on Aug. 11, Don Campbell Band on Aug. 18, and Bobby Keyes Trio on Aug. 25.

Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2 p.m. and include: Paul Broadnax Trio on July 15, The Hal McIntyre Big Band on July 22, Liz Frame & the Kickers on Aug. 12, Danielle M and The Glory Junkies on Aug. 19, and jazz vocalist Donna Byrne on Aug. 26.

Maudslay Arts Center is located at 95 Curzon Mill Road, Maudslay State Park, Newburyport MA 01950. The concerts are held rain or shine, moving to the indoor performance hall adjacent to the patio when weather dictates.

            Saturday performances start at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. Patio seating (tables and chairs) is $30. Groups of four or more are $25 each, while lawn seating (bring your own chairs or blankets) is $25. Children 12 and under are free.

Sunday performances start at 2 p.m. with gates opening at 1 p.m. General admission is $20 with open seating on the patio and lawn. Tables and chairs are provided on the patio. Special group rates may be arranged by calling 978-499-0050. Children 12 and under are free.

For the complete summer schedule, to purchase tickets online, or for further information about the performers, visit the MAC website at Tickets also may be purchased at the gate (cash or check) or by calling (978) 499-0050. There is no reserved seating. Gift certificates also are available.

The series is supported by The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, dedicated MAC volunteers and patrons, and the staff of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). The Saturday evening performances are funded in  part by The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.

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