The St. Augustine Music Festival returns to the Basilica
Music is ubiquitous in St. Augustine. Stroll St. George Street in the afternoons and evenings and the sound of live music is as thick as the scent of summer jasmine. Live entertainment is a given in the bars, restaurants, cafes and clubs. Street performers stake out prime spots to take advantage of maximum pedestrian exposure. On any given night it’s possible to see and hear just about anything on or off the street. On a recent visit I happened by a trio of dreadlocked surf punks playing an old Clash tune on lute, bongos and the didgeridoo. Seriously, the didgeridoo. It was a uniquely twisted interpretation of Train In Vain I’m sure Joe Strummer would have appreciated.
On First Friday Art Walks dozens of galleries open their doors late into the evening. Many feature live musicians to go with the complimentary wine and cheese. West on King Street near the bridge the rooftop patio of the San Sebastian Winery is the place for live jazz and panoramic sunset views. During the summer season the city sponsors free Concerts in the Plaza beneath the famous bell tower of the Cathedral Basilica.
This June the Basilica will host the landmark fifth season of the St. Augustine Music Festival over the course of two weekends. This free celebration of the best in classical music features musicians from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as well as nationally renowned artists. Among the featured performers this season are violist Roberto Diaz and violinist Elissa Le Koljonen in Mozart’s Sinfonia Conertante. The Cathedral serves as a stunning backdrop – both visually and acoustically – for a wide range of compositions. Organizers promise to spotlight the Cathedral’s magnificent pipe organ this season with works by Handel.
The six-concert series runs June 16th – 18th and again June 23 – 25th. All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and are free to the public with absolutely no risk of hearing anything played on a didgeridoo – as far as we know. Get more information online at http://staugustinemusicfestival.org and find the festival on Facebook.