It’s March…for the Arts! A Concert Featuring the Great American Songbook

The Groves Family: Dean and Ellen (Buffie) stand behind their mother Alice, one of Bedford's best-regarded jazz singers. Courtesy image
The Groves Family: Dean and Ellen (Buffy) stand behind their mother Alice, Bedford’s renowned jazz singer. Courtesy image

Submitted by Bedford Center for the Arts

The sanctuary at First Parish on the Common will be alive with the familiar sounds of the Great American Songbook at 4 pm on Sunday, March 16. Bedford Center for the Arts (BCA) and the music committee of First Parish on the Common are collaborating to present a community concert in celebration of the arts.

Performers include vocalists Cynthia Mork and Ben Sears with Brad Conner, piano, and the Groves family (Alice, Buffy, & Dean).  Sears, Mork and Conner will perform popular favorites as well as lesser known songs by the likes of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Vernon Duke, G&I Gershwin and others, including songs like “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”, “April In Paris”, “Cherry Pies Ought to be You” and “It’s Magic”. The Groves family will give standards such as “Dream A Little Dream Of Me”, “Stars Fell On Alabama”, “Sweet Sue” and “Old Cape Cod” their unique close-harmony treatment.

Hailed as “Boston’s favorite song duo” by the Boston Globe, Benjamin Sears (vocals) and Bradford Conner (piano) have performed as a duo since 1989, and to date have thirteen CD releases to their credit, including songs by Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and E.Y. Harburg.  Sears and Conner are Producing Directors of American Classics and founding members of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA), an organization promoting awareness and performance of cabaret in the Boston area. Vocalist Cynthia Mork equally enjoys performing classical music, popular song and jazz, appearing in greater Boston and beyond in a variety concerts and engagements. She has joined forces with “Ben and Brad” on many occasions, including appearing in four American Classics productions, and she is included on their two most recent CD releases

The Groves family have performed all their lives. Alice is a consummate song stylist, who began her musical career in her teens. Back in the day, she was part of the fabled Storyville scene in Kenmore Square.  Dean has been writing, playing, and arranging music for over 40 years–he has written over 150 original compositions.  Buffie is a folksinger, theater actress and director, screenwriter, and teacher. She’s half of Fishken & Groves, a hugely popular fixture of the local folk scene.

This is an exciting first collaboration between BCA and the First Parish music committee.   For BCA, this is an opportunity to round out its offerings to include more music, and for First Parish it represents the support for another community organization while at the same time offering top flight music to the community.   Suggested donation is $20 ($15 for seniors and students). Proceeds go to the BCA to support its programming of events for the greater Bedford community.   First Parish is fully accessible, including parking, bathrooms, and elevator.

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