Paul Winter’s 35th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration – 2014

Thursday December 18, 8pm; Friday December 19, 8pm;
Saturday December 20, 2pm & 7:30pm


A Holiday Celebration on a Spectacular Scale

An immersive, multimedia extravaganza, as grand and expansive as its location.” ~ The New York Times

“Feasts for ears and eyes.”The Wall Street Journal

Winter Solstice is our contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals, when people came together during the longest night of the year to celebrate the turning point in the Earth’s journey around the sun, and the birth of a new year. Now in its 35th year, this cross-cultural performance within the awe-inspiring space of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine has become one of New York’s favorite holiday events. This year’s Solstice has a Caribbean theme, featuring Danny Rivera, revered as “the national voice of Puerto Rico.” His exquisite sunny voice is beloved throughout the Spanish-speaking world. He’ll be bringing his band and chorus from Puerto Rico to collaborate with the Consort, vocalist Theresa Thomason, and the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre.

danny-rivera-email.170304Danny is known as the “the national voice of Puerto Rico,” and is also beloved throughout the Spanish-speaking world for his passionate singing. Danny has delved into the rich past of Puerto Rican music, and over the course of his long career he’s recorded over seventy albums. The only Puerto Rican to star at Carnegie Hall in four different decades (1979, 1989, 1999, 2010), Danny has also become well-known for his activism, lending his voice and energy to many social, educational and peace initiatives. His performance at the “Paz Sin Fronteras” concert in front of 1.15 million listeners in Havana was shown throughout the hemisphere and in Europe to hundreds of millions television and online viewers, the biggest Latin music broadcast event ever.

“For me, the solstice celebration is an ever-renewing thrill — whether watching the sun gong ascend 12 stories with its player to the vault of the Cathedral; or hearing the ‘tree of sounds’ as it slowly turns, reflecting a myriad of lights from its hundreds of bells, gongs and chimes. Please join us as we ‘bring home the sun’ and celebrate the birth of a new year.” - Paul Winter

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The Solstice Celebrations grew out of Winter’s dream of presenting a musical celebration that could resonate with all people regardless of background or age. It occurred to him that the most universal milestone to celebrate would be the winter solstice.

Photo © Cliff Sobel, 2013

Photo © Cliff Sobel, 2013

Over the years, the event has become a shared rite of passage through the longest night of the year. Utterly unique as a venue, the Cathedral’s all-embracing vastness overwhelms differences, and yet welcomes and affirms diversity. The performance has slowly grown to inhabit the entire titanic space, all the way up to the 150-foot ceiling. “”My aspiration,” says Winter, ” is that the audience will come away with their spirits awakened, and with a deepened sense of relatedness to the world, and to the family of life.” (Read interview here.)


Watch the full 2-minute video about this year’s Winter Solstice