Paul Winter Celebrates Summer Solstice 2008 with Jazz and World Music at the World’s Largest Gothic Cathedral

Paul Winter


Paul Winter Consort & Friends will welcome the dawning of summer in an acoustic feast in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Renowned young Tibetan singer Yangjin Lamu will be featured in Paul Winter’s 13th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration, on June 21, 2008, at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Yangjin grew up in the nomadic and farming region in the far north of Tibet. Her singing has led her to wide acclaim. Paul Winter met her in his recent travels, and invited her to New York for the Summer Solstice Celebration. This will be Yangjin’s first performance in the United States.

Other musicians will include: Paul Winter/soprano sax; Eugene Friesen/cello; Steve Gorn/bansuri (India); Jerry O’Sullivan/Uilleann pipes (Ireland); Café/percussion (Brazil); Peter May/conch shells; and Tim Brumfield/pipe organ.

The Summer Solstice Celebration will take place at 4:30 am on Saturday morning, June 21, 2008. There will be one performance only.

Paul Winter has long regarded the time of summer solstice as an auspicious opportunity for music-making. From the lineage of this event, over the past decade, has come a body of acclaimed live recordings, including Winter’s 1999 Grammy-winning album Celtic Solstice, with Davy Spillane, Karan Casey, Joanie Madden, and Eileen Ivers; and his Grammy-nominated album Journey with the Sun, in 2001, featuring Mickey Hart, Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Niamh Parsons, and Spillane.

Winter explains his affinity for this milestone, along with his aspiration for the event: “Summer solstice is one of the great turning points of the year, when the sun is at its peak and the days abound with the promise of life’s fullness. It is a serenely powerful time in which the beauty of the natural world can infuse our spirit, bring us alive to the present, and perhaps awaken a deeper sense of relatedness to the community of life, to the Earth, and to the cosmos.”

My dream, with this sunrise celebration, is to offer an experience of this resonance, through a deep-listening journey in the mystical ambience of these early morning hours within the awesome space and acoustics of this largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Our music begins in total darkness, and proceeds in a continuum, emanating from different places in the Cathedral. Gradually, as the great stained-glass windows slowly illuminate, the light joins the sound to carry us into the full dawning of the summer,” says Winter.

In the same way that these longest days of the year in June are the polar opposite to December’s longest nights of the year, the simplicity of this all-acoustic Summer Solstice Sunrise Celebration is in total contrast to the highly theatrical Winter Solstice Celebrations that the Consort has presented at the Cathedral over the past 27 years. Winter welcomes this opportunity to present a more intimate and reflective musical journey, in which players and listeners alike can revel in the extraordinary acoustics of the 150-foot dome of the Cathedral. Winter calls it, “our most profound event of the year.”

The Cathedral is located at Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street, Manhattan.

Tickets are $35 general admission for the sunrise concert. Please visit OvationTix at For more information visit

Author: World Music Central News Department

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