The countdown is on for the 11th annual Greenwich Town Party as the non-profit organization announces three more high-octane bands to perform on the Main Stage leading up to the highly anticipated headliner, Billy Joel: Old Crow Medicine Show, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Robert Randolph Band.
Rounding out the day’s lineup are seven local bands with Greenwich roots who will perform on the Town Stage: Winston Rider; Cover Story; Kings Highway; Drew Angus; Merlin; Henry Conlon; and Mathes, Kimberlin and Friends.
The popular, all-day, family music festival will kick off summer on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, May 28, at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.
Representing the Color Guard, the Byram Veterans Association will kick off the day’s festivities at 11:00am, as The Melody Men perform the National Anthem. Created to celebrate talent within the Greenwich community, the Town Stage offers the opportunity for local musicians of all ages, backgrounds and styles to have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to open for world-renowned artists.
The Main Stage performances will start in the early afternoon with the Robert Randolph Band, followed by Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Old Crow Medicine Show. The festivities culminate with legendary singer, songwriter and composer Billy Joel, who is widely considered one of the greatest musicians of this era, taking center stage at this year’s GTP.
The annual popular event brings multiple generations of Greenwich residents together to celebrate town pride and the spirit of giving through live music, food favorites, and family-fun activities.
“GTP is an event that brings enthusiasm and joy to our town every summer,” said Ray Rivers, co-president of the GTP in a release.
“There’s something special about experiencing the energy of live music all together as a community,” he added. “We are so fortunate to have incredible lineups every year, including the talented musicians from Greenwich who will perform on the Town Stage.”
Main Stage Band Bios
Preservation Hall Jazz Band New Orleans has long been the intersection of where sounds and cultures from around the world converge. Nowhere is that idea more vividly embodied than in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has held the torch of New Orleans music aloft for more than 50 years while carrying it enthusiastically forward as a reminder that the history they were founded to preserve is a vibrantly living history.
“A Tuba to Cuba,” the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed documentary film chronicling band leader Ben Jaffe and Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s pilgrimage to Cuba, shares the true power and ability of music to cross over the language barrier and connect people through rhythms that run through everyone.
Inspired by Jaffe’s late father’s dream of retracing the cultural and musical heritage that would give birth to New Orleans jazz, “A Tuba to Cuba” fills the screen with energy, elation, and inspiration, reminding us that everyone has a story to tell or a musical style to lay claim to, and a tradition to illuminate.
Old Crow Medicine Show got their start busking on street corners across America in 1998, eventually finding themselves in Boone, North Carolina, where they caught the attention of folk icon Doc Watson. It’s been over 20 years since these humble beginnings. The band has gone on to receive the honor of being inducted as members of the Grand Ole Opry, and have won two Grammy Awards: Best Folk Album for “Remedy” (2014) and Best Long Form Music Video for “Big Easy Express” (2013).
Additionally, their classic single, “Wagon Wheel,” received the Recording Industry Association of America’s Double-Platinum certification in 2019 for selling over 2 million copies while the band’s debut album “O.C.M.S.” has been certified Gold (500,000 copies). Old Crow Medicine Show’s seventh studio album, “Paint This Town,”was recently released via ATO Records. Produced by Matt Ross-Spang and recorded at their own Hartland Studio, the new album shines a light on the dark aspects of the American experience with character-driven songs underpinned by the band’s vision for a more harmonious future.
Robert Randolph Band grew up playing a little-known gospel music tradition called sacred steel music – gospel played on pedal steel guitar – in the House of God church in Orange, New Jersey, and began taking his joyous, gospel-infused music out to clubs, backed by family members who shared not only backgrounds, but blood. When he was a teenager, Randolph broke away from the confines of his social and musical conditioning and discovered rock, funk, soul, jazz and the jam band scene, soon forging his own sound by fusing elements of those genres. The first three songs of “Brighter Days” are a full dive back to Randolph’s gospel roots, starting with lead track “Baptize Me,” a joyous romp of a song that makes a direct connection between religious and musical ecstasy and salvation.
Town Stage Band Bios
Winston Rider Winston Rider Mock, known professionally as Winston Rider, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Born and raised in Greenwich, his interest in music began at age 12 when he was given a guitar; by the time he was 17, he had written and produced over 100 original songs. Rider’s musical talents and songwriting ability were recognized in December 2021 when he was selected by iHeart Radio and Z100 New York as the opening act for the Jingle Ball concert in New York City, one of the biggest music events of the year. In December, Rider released two singles “Why Don’t You Go” and “Made for You” via digital download and streaming platforms.
Cover Story celebrates hidden gems from a wide range of artists from the 60s to today. Employing vocal harmonies to enhance their highly skilled instrumentation is their sweet spot. Their song selection never fails to get the crowd moving to the groove and singing along. Led by vocalist Megan Tyre, who has been the Director of Alumnae at Greenwich Academy for more than 20 years, Cover Story plays at many local establishments as well as private parties and events in town, always bringing joy and connectivity through music.
Kings Highway formed more than eight years ago through local Greenwich friendships. Bas Hartong (lead vocals, keys harmonica), Greg Azrak (saxophone), Gerhard Gnaedig (guitar), Philippe Hatstadt (bass guitar), Nick Barile (drums, vocals, conga), Tammy Grimes (vocals, percussion), Chris Zadik (back-up vocals, 2nd keys, percussion) have played almost exclusively around Fairfield County, with a diverse library containing over 93 songs. This diversity allows them to play everything from classic rock to Motown to current popular music with equal enthusiasm.
Drew Angus found his love for music growing up in a house filled with the sounds of artists like Tom Petty, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. These voices, combined with Ben Rector, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, and his own city life experiences, relationships and obstacles give Angus a unique and dynamic sound in today’s pop rock/singer-songwriter world. He has shared the stage with Harry Styles, Nile Rogers, Jonas Blue, Andrea Boccelli, Marc Broussard and more. He has also appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and was a finalist on “American Idol.” His band includes Greenwich resident and guitarist Jeremy Goldsmith.
Merlin is a local Greenwich band started by photographer and guitarist Bob Capazzo and lead guitarist David Bachenheimer ten years ago. Merlin is known for its high-energy music that draws inspiration from country, pop, and classic rock artists with a mix of original music written by Capazzo, Bachenheimer and Kathiryn Werlinich on lead vocals. They love getting their crowd involved in the music and making it not only a concert but an interactive event.
Henry Conlon is an Americana Rock artist from Greenwich and now located in Nashville, TN. Over the last three years, Conlon has written, recorded and released several singles and is in the process of releasing his second studio album with Eric Lichter of Dirt Floor Recording (Haddam, CT). His latest single, Die Like A Poor Man, a song about the cyclical nature of life in small town America, was featured as BMI’s “Music City Pick of The Week” and can be found on multiple of Spotify’s emerging Americana playlists. His upcoming album, Break My Heart, features songs composed by the artist and by the writing group Warhorse, comprised of Conlon, Kline, and Hollier. This record shows a progression from Conlon’s roots as an Americana Country performer into a more Rock influenced sound.
Mathes, Kimberlin and Friends The band is comprised of two long-time friends and Greenwich residents, Rob Mathes and Kevin Kimberlin, along with Shawn Pelton (drums), Zev Katz (bass), Oz Noy (guitar), John Deley (keys), and Genevieve Jarvis (vocals). Mathes is a record producer, music arranger, composer, songwriter, and performer who produced Sting’s last three records as well as albums for Jay-Z, Yo-Yo Ma, Sade, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, Vanessa Williams, and Michael Cavanaugh. Renowned for his yearly Christmas concerts, Mathes has released five albums of his own, and received an Emmy for Directing the Obama Inaugural Celebration. Kimberlin wrote the soundtrack for The Winthrop Woman, has played gigs around town and just released his new album, “7OVER.”
For the first time this year, the GTP will have a welcoming band at the entrance of the park.
Silver Steel Pan Band is a festival, family dance band that plays island favorites and Calypso music from Trinidad and Tobago, the home of the steel pan, as well as Disney, Soca, Latin and pop and classic rock tunes.
An IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, The GTP is privately funded through generous contributions from residents and businesses and, in part, through ticket sales. In the spirit of mutual generosity, the GTP encourages everyone to contribute as much as they can so the General Admission ticket prices can remain at $85. One generous Greenwich resident matches all contributions, and 75 percent of the cost of each Community ticket is generously funded by individual and corporate sponsors of the GTP. The GTP has no cost to the Town of Greenwich and is not funded by taxpayers.