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Levitt's lineup: Japanese culture, lots of free music

Westport News
Published 7:24 am, Thursday, August 15, 2013
  • Vince Giordano and his band bring a variety of ballroom music -- including jazz, swing and Latin sounds --- to Jesup Green Sunday evening, Aug. 18. A free dance lesson precedes the show. Photo: Contributed Photo / Westport News
    Vince Giordano and his band bring a variety of ballroom music -- including jazz, swing and Latin sounds --- to Jesup Green Sunday evening, Aug. 18. A free dance lesson precedes the show. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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A festival of Japanese culture will bring traditions, music, art and games of the Far East to the Jesup Green on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 17.

The 20th Bon Odori Festival is planned from 2 to 4:30 p.m., and is free.

The festival is cosponsored by the Japan Society of Fairfield and the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. It kicks off six free entertainment programs on Jesup Green over the next week offered by the Levitt, including four concerts and a popular film comedy.

The festival will feature a Taiko wide-drum, Okinawa music by Junko Fisher, Bon Odori dancing, origami, bamboo-stalk decorating, the Levitt said.

Children activities planned include water yo-yo, robot games and Pokemon dance. Sponsors encouraged attendees to wear summer kimonos or other traditional Japanese attire.

P.J. Pacifico and Band

A few hours after the festival ends, P.J. Pacifico and his band will take over the green's stage for a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Reviewers have compared the Connecticut-based performer to Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Matthew Sweet, the Levitt said, adding that he has been praised by M Music & Musicians Magazine and iTunes Editorial.

Vince Giordano

On Sunday, Aug. 18, Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks will put on a free show at 7 p.m. featuring ballroom sounds of jazz, swing, rumba and cha-cha. A free dance lessons is scheduled before the concert at 6:30 p.m.

A Grammy winner, Giordano's music is featured on soundtracks of the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" and Woody Allen's 1999 film "Sweet and Lowdown."

"Happy Gilmore" screening

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, Adam Sandler's professional-golf spoof "Happy Gilmore" will be screened at 8:30 p.m. as part of the Teenflix free screening series.

The 1996 film stars Sandler as a failed hockey player who discovers a talent for golf that's good enough for the pro circuit. But his sometimes hooligan behavior shatters the staid, "quiet please" decorum of tournament golf.

A pizza truck will be on site, the Levitt said.

Family rock concert

On Wednesday, Aug. 21, the Bari Koral Family Rock Band will perform in a free concert at 7 p.m.

The Levitt said Koral and her band play "catchy, pop friendly tunes" and invite interaction with their audiences. Their latest album, "Rock and Roll Garden," won the Nappa Gold and Parents' Choice awards and was picked as top 10 kids album of the year by Time Out Kids.

Before the concert, free face painting and free snack will be available at 6:30 p.m., the Levitt said.

Broadway and opera tunes

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, soprano Jodi Keogan and Mark Watson will perform in a free concert of Broadway show tunes and opera favorites. A Levitt news release offered no further details.

All shows are scheduled on Jesup Green, Jesup Road off Post Road downtown. Each show has a rain location. For a show's status, call 203-221-2153 after 4 p.m. the day of the show.