In The News

Tuck & Patti shared the love on so many levels at the SKARTS benefit fundraiser on July 27th.  They have been married more than 33 years and have performed together for 35!  It was so sweet watching the eye contact and the musical connection which obviously runs so very deep.

Everyone at the show felt privileged to be a part of such a magical and loved-filled experience.  Tuck lived up to his knock-your-socks-off virtuoso status and Patti’s voice was like a warm summer breeze.

It was another unforgettable show from SKARTS.

Special credit goes to Fouad Dietz, who chaired the event, which would not have been possible without Joe Strodel’s incredible fundraising effort.  The entire SKARTS Board was at the top of their game this year.

Thanks to everyone who attended and special thanks to our amazing sponsors!

Can’t wait until next year!

You can still contribute the event by sending a tax-deductible donation to Skaneateles Arts Council, PO Box 422 , Skaneateles, NY  13152.

Dave Hanlon’s Cookbook to Perform Concert by the Lake in Skaneateles
July 4th, 2013, 8:00 PM, Clift Park (Across from the Sherwood Inn)

Dave Hanlon is a recording artist and SAMMY Award-winning drummer who has worked with some of the best musicians in the world.  His band COOKBOOK is one of Central New York’s premier funk and dance bands.

This annual SKARTS concert is becoming a tradition in Central New York and for good reason!  Don’t miss it!

Over 1,000 Attend the Mere Mortals concert by the lake in Skaneateles
July 3, 2012

The Mere Mortals cuts a wide swath through Central New York, appealing to a variety of music lovers, age groups and venues.  While the seven-member band, including female vocalist Maureen Henesy, penetrates crowds at Coleman’s on Tipperary Hill, the floodgates of their talent opened up, when they performed July 1 at a free concert on Skaneateles Lake to over 1,000. Presented by the Skaneateles Area Arts Council, the concert was held at Clift Park on Skaneateles Lake.

While the group plays several original songs such as “Blue Skies,” they often respond to the vibes of the crowd with a diverse array of cover songs such as “Solsbury Hill,” “Mexico,” “Carnival,” “Drive My Car,” and “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” With over 150 songs in their repertoire, the group’s wide ranging musical talent enables them to cover tunes from Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder to the Rolling Stones and Janes Addiction.  The band plays over 30 performances a year at clubs, festivals, weddings and private parties.

What makes the band so unique is their vocal diversity. Six of the seven members have either been lead singers or co/lead singers in previous bands. Before forming The Mere Mortals in 2002, the members of the band played in such local groups as: The Eileens, Soulmates, Descendant and Good Question. The members of the group are: Skaneateles native Dave Allyn, rhythm guitar and vocals; Paul Becerra,  guitar and vocals, Dan Finn, drums and vocals; Maureen Henesey, vocals and percussion; Mark “Kernal” Kearns, bass; Kristin Peenstra, percussion, horn and vocals; and Skaneateles native Win Price, keyboard and vocals.

This was the 4th edition of “SKARTS ‘N the Park” – a free summer concert presented by the Skaneateles Area Arts Council (SKARTS) in Clift Park, and was sponsored by Cowleyweb, Sherwood Inn and Skaneateles Press.

Over 1,200 attend the free “SKARTS ‘N The Park” concert with the Dean Brothers
July 5, 2011

An estimated crowd of 1,200 people sang, danced and enjoyed the sounds of the Dean Brothers at the 3rd edition of “SKARTS ‘N the Park” on July 2nd at the gazebo in Clift Park by the lake in Skaneatles. Muliple generations enjoyed picture-perfect weather, outstanding musicianship from the Dean Brothers, and surprise performances on the piano by George Rossi and Caroline Manring on the fiddle.

The concert was a free special event for the Skaneateles community, as part of the Council’s “SKARTS ‘N the Park” concert series. Look for photos of this summer celebration on our gallery page, very soon.

Saturday’s Best Bet: The Dean Brothers Band in concert
June 30, 2011
By Mark Bialczak/The Post-Standard The Post-Standard

The Dean Brothers Band is back in Skaneateles.

The foursome started playing its rootsy combination of rock, folk and pop in the early 1970s. John Dean, Peter Dean, Bob Dean and Holly Gregg have won the Syracuse Area Music Awards’ lifetime achievement award for their work, which includes Central New York favorite song “Sell My Misery.”

The spirit burns brightly, as the band showed with two sold-out shows at the Red House Arts Center in Armory Square.There’s bound to be a big crowd under the stars on Saturday night of this holiday weekend for the free concert. Special guests will include George Rossi, leader of legendary Syracuse R&B band Little Georgie and the Shufflin’ Hungarians. If it rains, the show will move inside the Presbyterian Church in Skaneateles.

Musician breathes life into Arts Gala

By Nathan Baker, Skaneateles Journal
July 29, 2010

The attending art lovers partook in cocktails, a gourmet buffet meal and the smooth sounds of Pizzarelli and his band in an immense tent set up on the back lawn of the Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center. Pizzarelli, a crooner at heart, expertly stroked the classics from his seven-string hollowbody guitar, uncannily channeling the Gershwins, Duke Ellington and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.

During breaks in the finely crafted music, Pizzarelli recalled humorous anecdotes for the audience and engaged in witty banter with his backing band, made up of his brother and bassist, Martin Pizzarelli, pianist Larry Fuller and drummer Tony Tedesco.To the delight of the jazz-loving audience, the quartet pulled out old favorites, such as “Witchcraft” and “Ring a Ding Ding,” and gave them a new type of flavor that only a masterful musician could.

As John and his boys spun out a mega-mashup of most of the crooners from the golden age, a number of attendees felt the need to grab their loved ones and break out into a close, slow dance.Doug and Cathy Powell, who were particularly struck by the mood during “It Had to Be You,” sneaked to the back of the tent for a few steps.“I thought he was just great,” Doug said after the band finished its two-hour set.“This was better than going to the Blue Note in Manhattan,” Cathy said as the two walked arm-in-arm into the night.

Read more at:

Glowing reports on SKARTS Gala guitarist
July 28, 2010
John Herr, Skaneateles Press

An exuberant crowd of 260 attendees gathered on the lakeside lawn of the Stella Maris Retreat House Sunday night July 25 for a fundraising party to benefit the Skaneateles Area Arts Council (SKARTS). SKARTS raises funds to provide grants for local artists and arts organizations.

On a gorgeous summer evening, celebrants enjoyed cocktails, dinner and a concert by the nationally renowned John Pizzarelli Quartet, all under a spacious tent decorated with iridescent peacock feathers. Council President Joe Strodel welcomed the attendees and emcees Tim Green and Julie Abbott thanked sponsors and introduced the band. Afterward, Dr Robert Kiltz, a longtime supporter of the event, presented gifts to Pizzarelli and Strodel. Singer-guitarist Pizzarelli led a well-traveled combo that included brother Martin on bass, Larry Fuller on piano and Tony Tedesco on drums in an exciting survey of the Great American Songbook, leavened with jokes about his New Jersey boyhood and the jazz life.

Read more:

Judy Collins take the stage at fundraiser for the arts in Skaneateles
By Ellen Leahy, Skaneateles Press
July 13, 2009

One definition for “Icon” is one who is the object of great attention and devotion; an idol. Singer, songwriter and entertainer, Judy Collins, told a packed tent at the SKARTS (Skaneateles Area Arts Council) gala in Skaneateles that she was 1956’s American Idol.

At 70, folk legend, cultural icon Collins, is one part glamour, one part burlesque, shaken up with plenty of talent and life experience. Beyond her elegant “butter would melt in her mouth,” 21 century evolved Gibson girl persona, she’s essentially an old-fashioned show business person with surprising star quality. “I was a storyteller” she said, “I never intended to make a record.”

She told stories about her daddy’s radio show, the folk scene in Denver and then Manhattan, quoting the likes of Dorothy Parker and Mae West with a few one liners of her own.“I’m glad to be here” she told the audience, I’m glad to be anywhere these days.”

Arriving in Skaneateles
Earlier in the day the Arts Council held a brunch in her honor at Dr. Robert Kiltz’s house, which was catered by Mirbeau Inn and Spa. Neighbors Mary and Craig Humphrey arrived with a Newport Folk record album in hand. Craig said Collins was partly responsible for getting him his first girlfriend, as she was a singer and he went to school on Collins and learned to play some of her hits on the guitar. It worked and he got the girl. This many years later he was able to thank Collins and to top it off she autographed his album complete with a heart.

A magical introduction
Skaneateles’s Holland “Holly” Gregg, an accomplished musician in his own right, and actress, comedian, Laura Austin introduced Collins to her audience on the lawn at Stella Maris.

Gregg took the crowd back to 1965 when he was a 15-year-old and listening intently to music in his second floor bedroom off of East Lake Road. Remember back when your room was the center of your world? He described the music scene of the 60s mentioning that “There was this kind of undercurrent of folk music happening.” He had captured one of his older sister’s Judy Collins albums, and oddly enough, it was a Randy Newman song, “I Think It Is Going to Rain Today,” Gregg said when this came on; it totally spoke to him, cutting right through all the clutter. “This was one of those things that got me on the path (musically).” Austin prepared the audience by saying “This is a voice that transcends; it’s magic.”

On stage
Collins, in a glittery black bellbottom pantsuit, eyes sparkling and hair in a topknot, took center stage with guitar in hand. A lone pianist accompanied her on a shiny black grand piano. She acknowledged Gregg’s introduction by singing a verse a cappella of Newman’s song, helped a tad by her well-versed pianist. She followed it with another nod to Gregg, as earlier in the day he had mentioned Lennon and McCartney were his favorite songwriters when she inquired. After “I Think it is Going to Rain Today” and thankfully it didn’t, she performed the Beatle’s “Lovers and Friends.”

Expectation exceeded
There was a general consensus that after all this time what was Judy Collins going to be like? People shared memories and favorite songs, but still how had she evolved? Had she evolved? Pretty much from the moment she arrived on stage, on one of the few clear nights CNY has experienced this summer, she took the audience by storm.

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Folk Icon Shines during Arts Benefit

by John Turner, Skaneateles Journal

July 15, 2009

SKANEATELES – A modern cultural icon wowed a Skaneateles audience Sunday.

Judy Collins, singer,  songwriter, author, social activist and one of the most well-known figures in popular music, was the featured performer at “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” the fifth annual summer gala presented by the Skaneateles Area Art Council. The sold-out affair on the grounds of Stella Maris Retreat and Renewal Center included food and beverages provided by local restaurants and an intimate performance by Collins, whose music career has spanned nearly half a century.

Sunday afternoon, beneath a huge tent set up on the shallow hill behind the center, Collins discussed her decades-long career in music and pop culture. Collins, along with arts council board members and president Joe Strodel Jr., had just attended a brunch at the home of Skaneateles resident Dr. Robert Kiltz, who was the title sponsor for Sunday’s gala.

“Skaneateles is such a lovely little village,” Collins exclaimed while her sound technicians made last-minute preparations on the stage hours before her performance.Collins previously stayed at Stella Maris following the death of her son, Clark Taylor, in 1992, she said. Collins has recorded almost 40 albums, written three books and has been active in social causes, particularly as a spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund.

So where does she find the time and creative energy to accomplish so much? “Well, I definitely stay busy,” she said with a laugh. “But I’ve also been lucky to have wonderful friends, family and fans, so that’s been a big part of it. “But more than anything, I’ve been lucky to spend my life just being Judy Collins.” Collins also gave her opinion on newer generations of female singer/songwriters like Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow and Tori Amos. “All those ladies are great,” she said. “You know, it’s interesting to see people build their careers, and to see the musical and creative choices they make.”

Starting at 6 p.m., the gala was quickly filled with patrons who numbered close to 400. After beverages and a buffet-style dinner provided by Sherwood Inn, Rosalie’s Cucina and Anyela’s Vineyard, the guests squeezed into their seats awaiting Collins’ performance. Collins took the stage to a roar of applause, and opened with “Chelsea Morning,” a Joni Mitchell song. President Bill and Hillary Clinton, who have visited Skaneateles in the past, reputedly named their daughter, Chelsea, after Collin’s version of the song. For about two hours, Collins, who played guitar and was accompanied only by pianist Russell Walker, had the crowd eating from the palm of her hand.

Reviews of the SKARTS  “A Tribute to Joni Mitchell” concert:

Tribute to Joni Mitchell Article – May 9, 2007 – Skaneateles Press

Tribute to Joni Mitchell Article – May 2, 2007 – Skaneateles Journal

Skaneateles Hummed With A Feast For The Senses At Gala
By Ellen Leahy, Skaneateles Press
August 2, 2006

The Skaneateles Area Council for the Art’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Gala closed with rain; singer, songwriter, Ben Taylor’s “Rain, ”from his latest collection of songs “Another Run Around the Sun.” Taylor, who hails from Martha’s Vineyard, brought his pared down road band, percussionist Larry Ciancia and David Saw, guitar and vocals, to Skaneateles. They made the most of their visit making the rounds from Mirbeau to Café Maurice and in the middle they literally “wowed” the audience at Sunday night’s performance at the Castro-Kiltz home off East Lake Road. To read the complete article, please visit:

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