The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) has planned a summer filled with exciting performances guaranteed to thrill East End audiences. With new Executive Director James Burke at the helm, summer 2014 is looking to be a fantastic season for the organization.
Two-time Grammy winner Rickie Lee Jones comes to WHBPAC on Saturday, May 24. Jones, who has been a pop icon for more than 30 years, has had a storied career, gracing the cover of Rolling Stone twice in two years and appearing on shows like Saturday Night Live. Her new album is expected later this year. Americana country-rock band Delta Rae brings their Chasing Twisters Tour to the East End on June 14. The sextet has been compared to Fleetwood Mac. You won’t have to walk “A Thousand Miles” to see singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton on June 15. This talented musician is known for her beautiful piano/pop music; WHBPAC calls her a “soulful pop songstress.” Known for his “Montauk” ballad (and countless other hits), East Ender Rufus Wainwright, who WHBPAC calls a “poperatic diva,” will entrance audiences on June 20. Wainwright recently performed a medley of Billy Joel hits at the Kennedy Center Honors and has a new album, Vibrate. Three-time Grammy winner Lucinda Williams performs on June 21. Williams is known for her unique blend of country, folk, rock and blues. Bela Fleck teams up with Brooklyn Rider on June 29, combining Fleck’s bluegrass/jazz beat with Brooklyn Rider’s string quartet.
On July 6, the Commodores, featuring founding member/lead guitarist Thomas McClary, rock the house with Motown favorites. Pop icon Matthew Sweet is up next on July 12, when he’ll no doubt perform hits like “Girlfriend” and songs from his new album, Modern Art. On the heels of their new album, Inside/Outside, Procul Harum rocks the WHBPAC stage on July 13. On July 20, singer/songwriter and former 10,000 Maniacs member Natalie Merchant will perform her first collection of entirely original songs in 13 years. Tribute band Fab Faux will take audiences on a nostalgic ride through the Beatles’ legendary music on July 26. Closing out July is Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam on July 27.
August is just as full, with Pat Metheny Unity Group on August 3; Michael Feinstein on August 9; Cecile McLorin Salvant on August 10; JJ Grey & Mofro on August 17; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on August 23; Lyle Lovett on August 24; Chris Isaak on August 30; and Demetri Martin on August 31.
WHBPAC will be balancing music with comedy. On May 31 is Gabriel Iglesias, known for his hilarious life stories and Hawaiian shirt. Iglesias was also on Nickelodeon’s Saturday Night Live(SNL)-style show All That, where he was clearly too old. On June 27, Jim “Modern Day Bill Cosby Wearing a Metallica T-shirt” Breuer hits the stage. Breuer is well known for his run on SNL and his role in the classic comedy Half Baked. Breuer is also known for his family friendly humor, so you won’t have to hire a babysitter (although we won’t judge if you do). Speaking of the kiddies, the Zoppe Italian Family Circus comes to WHBPAC from July 31–August 3, featuring clowns, acrobatics, audience participation and more.
WHBPAC is located at 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, 631-288-1500.For tickets and more information on the WHBPAC, go to whbpac.org.