"No words to explain. Mystical, spectacular, unique - a must see!"
"Very unexpected and a joyful evening"
"Incredibly entertaining and rousing. Had no idea it would be so moving."
These are just a few recent audience reviews of the legendary Winter Solstice concerts that Paul Winter has been putting on at New York's Church of St. John the Divine since 1980. The concerts have become New York's favorite holiday alternative to The Nutcracker and Radio City's Christmas Spectacular. A dazzling extravaganza of music, dance, and spectacle, the event is a contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals, when people felt a calling to come together on the longest night of the year to welcome the return of the sun and the birth of the new year.
So who is Paul Winter? A seven-time Grammy-award winning musician whose performances, accomplishments and travels are too numerous to cover in this short space. But let us name a few highlights.
- Born in Altoona, PA
- Playing music since he was five
- Picked up a sax in the fourth grade
- Educated at Northwestern University in Chicago
- First jazz band to play in the White House (for the Kennedys)
- Performed over 3,000 concerts in 52 countries
- Made music in the Grand Canyon and dueted with a wolf
- His songs were taken to the moon by Apollo astronauts, who named two craters after them
- Produced 45 albums, seven of which have won Grammy Awards
- Received a Global 500 Award from the United Nations, as well as numerous other awards and honors
With his music, Winter seeks to connect people to a sense of place, to promote relatedness to the larger community of life, and to assist groups supporting local cultural and biological diversity. Hundreds of his benefit concerts and various compositions have served environmental causes in a range of countries.