What is it?
Over the past six decades, Paul Winter has crafted over 50 genre-blending albums that have garnered him an international following and earned him seven Grammy awards. If you’ve never listened to his music before, now is the perfect time to discover it. Every December since 1980, Paul and his colleagues have celebrated the Winter Solstice at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine with a feast of music and dance celebrating the cultures and creatures of the world. This December, with their beloved cathedral forum closed for renovations, the 42nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration will be a unique video retrospective that will be available to a worldwide audience.
Entitled Solstice Saga, Paul Winter’s 42nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration will highlight iconic performances from this legendary events’ four decades. This one-of-a-kind video will premiere as a livestream via Stellar on December 17th at 7 p.m. EST, December 18th at 7 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. EST, and December 19th at 2 p.m. EST. Solstice Saga will be released as a video on-demand after the premiere, for ticket holders to view as many times as they wish, until the video is taken offline on June 15th, 2022.
This singular annual event captures the full range of Winter’s musicianship and his unique ability as a bandleader to seamlessly synthesize inspirations from all over the Earth into a breathtaking experience. It includes highlights from the first 40 years of Paul Winter’s groundbreaking cathedral performances. These concerts have always highlighted special guest performers from different cultures of the world. Solstice Saga is no different and features appearances by Brazil’s Ivan Lins and Fabiana Cozza; Russia’s Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble; Gary Brooker (of Procol Harum); Ireland’s Davy Spillane and Nóirín Ní Riain; Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary); Abdoulaye Diabaté of Mali, and the drumming and dancing of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre.
The Paul Winter Consort players will include cellist Eugene Friesen; double-reed master Paul McCandless; keyboardists Paul Halley and Paul Sullivan; flutist Rhonda Larson; bassist Eliot Wadopian; drummers Jamey Haddad and Ted Moore; percussionists Glen Velez and Café, and gospel singer Theresa Thomason.
“This tradition and these events, to me, are a resounding manifestation of the multiculturalism that is one of the great hallmarks of our country,” says Paul Winter. “America has long been a sanctuary that has welcomed and embraced peoples from everywhere, and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that it will continue to be. These celebrations have come to be the most memorable events of the year for us, summing up the musical adventures of our journeys, and bringing ‘home’ new friends we’ve met along the way. It is a blessing, I feel, that the marking of the Winter Solstice which was so integral to the lives of Northern peoples for millennia, has now re-emerged in our times.”
Winter continues, “Central to all the traditions of Solstice is the renewal of spirit, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun. Winter Solstice is a time for healing and for hope. It is a time to celebrate community and relatedness and a time to honor the diversity and the unity of this great cornucopia of life on Earth. In remembering the Solstice, we resonate once again with the rhythm of the cosmos and allow our hearts to embrace the optimism of our ancient knowledge that the light will overcome the darkness.”
Free Bonus Content:
Prior to their viewing of the Solstice Saga video, Paul Winter would like to introduce people to the history of this long-running Winter Solstice Celebration. So he wants to include two free “Prelude Offerings” with each Solstice Saga ticket purchase:
Winter Solstice, The Early Years: Volume 1
A 90-minute video of one complete concert from the first decade of this event: the 9th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration of 1988. This features an early chapter of the Paul Winter Consort, that includes Winter on soprano sax; vocalist Kecia Lewis-Evans; Paul Halley playing piano and organ; cellist Eugene Friesen; flutist Rhonda Larson; percussionist Glen Velez; and drummer Ted Moore.
This is a double-album that features all the special guest singers from all four decades of the Winter Solstice Celebration: 22 singers from cultures around the world. The 48-page booklet of the album tells a great deal of the story of the event, and the extraordinary artists who have been part of it.
Paul Winter’s goal is to introduce people to the long story of the evolution of this unique solstice celebration, and wants to offer to Solstice Saga ticket buyers a free bonus video entitled Winter Solstice: The Early Years vol. 1, a 90 minute video from the 1980s, the first decade of the event. Also, along with this, is a free download of the double-album Everybody Under the Sun (Vol. 1 – The Singers), which features all the special guest singers from all four decades of the event. 22 singers from different cultures around the world. This bonus content will be available at the time of ticket purchase.