Every December since 1980, seven-time Grammy Award-winner Paul Winter and his colleagues have celebrated the Winter Solstice at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine with music from cultures around the world. This December, with their cathedral closed for renovation, the 42nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration will be a comprehensive video retrospective available to a worldwide audience.
Entitled Solstice Saga, Paul Winter’s 42nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration will feature performances from the event’s last four decades. This video will premiere as a livestream via Stellar at 7:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 17; 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 18; and 2:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 19.
These concerts have always featured guest performers from different cultures of the world and Solstice Saga will include performances by 12 special guests, including Brazil’s Ivan Lins and Fabiana Cozza; Russia’s Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble; Gary Brooker, lead singer of Procol Harum; Ireland’s Davy Spillane and Nóirín Ní Riain; Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary; and Abdoulaye Diabaté of Mali, along with the African drumming and dancing of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre.
Paul Winter Consort players include Paul Winter on soprano sax, cellist Eugene Friesen, double-reed master Paul McCandless, keyboardists Paul Halley and Paul Sullivan; flutist Rhonda Larson; drummers Jamey Haddad and Ted Moore; bassist Eliot Wadopian and gospel singer Theresa Thomason.
The three-hour video will present highlights from the 40-year saga of the Winter Solstice Celebration within the world’s largest cathedral.
Paul Winter explains:
“This event has been a resounding manifestation of the multiculturalism that is one of the great hallmarks of our country. America has long been a sanctuary that has welcomed and embraced peoples from everywhere, and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that it will continue to be. These celebrations have come to be the most memorable events of the year for us, summing up the music adventures of our journeys, and bringing ‘home’ new friends we’ve met along the way. It is a blessing, I feel, that the marking of the Winter Solstice which was so integral to the lives of Northern peoples for millennia, has now re-emerged in our times.
Central to all the traditions of Solstice is the renewal of spirit, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun. Winter Solstice is a time for healing and for hope. It is a time to celebrate community and relatedness and a time to honor the diversity and the unity of this great cornucopia of life on Earth. In remembering the Solstice, we resonate once again with the rhythm of the cosmos and allow our hearts to embrace the optimism of our ancient knowledge that the light will overcome the darkness.”