Summer Concerts return to Sherman’s – Teen Piano Sensation Coming to Caroga – Meet Our New Board Members

Summer Concerts return to Sherman’s!

Sherman’s on the Lake: what a beautiful, dreamy place to hear live music! Melodies floating through the air as you sip your glass of wine, friends and family at your side, knowing that every single note helps to restore a special piece of Caroga history, and moves toward a new vision of the future.

Summer 2017: Live music on Caroga Lake at Sherman’s Amusement Park

With all that in mind, we’re happy to announce that Sherman’s is already reserved for six concert dates.

Young Jazz Keyboard Sensation Coming to Caroga!
Matthew Whitaker
Matthew Whitaker

On Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4, New York City teen piano/Hammond organ powerhouse Matthew Whitaker will bring his unique gift to the stages of Nick Stoner Inn and Sherman’s Amusement Park.

“If you thought God was good to grant us one Stevie Wonder, what would you say to two? Hackensack’s Matthew Whitaker happens to be blind – that’s the least of the resemblance – but he’s also a 15-year-old piano powerhouse who has rocked Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and festivals in France, Italy, Morocco and Japan.” – 17 People to Watch in 2017, North Jersey News, December 29, 2016.

Born prematurely at 23 weeks, Matthew survived and was given a small keyboard at age three. He taught himself to play piano, then the Hammond organ. Now 17, Matthew studies classical piano and drums at The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School of the Lighthouse Guild in New York City. It is the only community music school for the blind and visually impaired in the US. He also attends the Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-college Jazz Program.

Matthew has received the “Outstanding Soloist Award” from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Charles Mingus High School Competition & Festival and the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Read his full biography.

At Caroga Lake Music Festival, the Matthew Whitaker Trio will perform selections from his first album, “Outta the Box,” and other electrifying jazz charts, in addition to performing with the CLMF Orchestra.

  • Encore! Jazz Sessions: Friday, August 3 at 10pm at Nick Stoner Inn with the Matthew Whitaker Trio
  • Sherman’s Revival Series: Saturday, August 4 at 7pm with the Matthew Whitaker Trio and the CLMF Orchestra

Matthew’s father, interviewed on the Today Show, had this to say about this son: ” Matthew just assumes that everyone he meets, they’re smiling at him. And that is the reason why he’s so full of love.”

Stay tuned for more updates on our upcoming 7th season of Caroga Lake Music Festival, July 16 to Aug 19, 2018. Full season announcement: April 15!

Welcoming Two New Board Members

Mary Peck, a resident of Caroga (Green Lake), has attended performances of the Caroga Lake Music Festival since its inaugural year in 2012.  Mary has graciously volunteered to donate housing and meals for the past four years and helped to coordinate housing for the past two years. As a previous member of the Advisory Council, Mary acted as the Advisory Council Co-Liaison to the board. We are thrilled to welcome Mary as a new board member.

Nancy Purcell, a resident of Caroga (East Caroga Lake), is the lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist for the well-known Durey Creek Bluegrass Band. Nancy has attended Caroga Lake Music Festival concerts for the past four seasons and has been active as a volunteer for the organization, providing housing and meals to our musicians. We welcome Nancy Purcell to our board and look forward to gaining her insight on multiple facets of our arts organization through her experiences as a performer and community member.

On that note…

Stephen Smith, CEO of L.L. Bean and Caroga Arts’ founding Board member, will deliver Dickinson College’s Commencement address on Sunday, May 20. He also will receive a Doctor of Business Management honorary degree. Congratulations, Steve! Read more here.

Our Condolences to the Abdella Family

We were very saddened to hear about the passing of a friend and supporter of our organization, Ruth Abdella, just over two weeks ago. Ruth was a teacher, educator and lover of music. She attended Caroga Lake Music Festival concerts including the Sherman’s Revival Series last season with her husband, George. We will miss her and extend our condolences to the Abdella family. In lieu of flowers, George and Ruth have decided to invite those to commemorate Ruth by donation to the Caroga Arts Collective, for which we are extremely humbled and grateful for. Please see her obituary here at this link.

An Inside Look at Caroga Lake Music Festival

In the summer of 2016, videographer Evan Daniels documented the story of Caroga Lake Music Festival. We’re extremely thankful for his hard work and excited to introduce to you our first short documentary.