Spotlight on the arts, entertainment
WEST HAVEN >> The first-ever West Haven Latino Cultural Music Festival will take place 4-10 p.m. Friday at Old Grove Park off Palace Street at the Savin Rock shore.
It will feature the music of Tito Puente Jr. — son of the late Latin American mambo king Tito Puente — and his Latin Jazz Ensemble, along with Puerto Rican-flavored salsa band Victor Santos y La Epoca, Lily Rose singing Freestyle music, Mexican mariachi band Son di Mi Tierra and Maria and Cecilia, two Ecuadorean-American women who sing cumbia music.
“We’ve never done anything Latino in West Haven,” said Victor Manuel Borras, a member of the newly formed Latino Haven Committee, which came together in April to try to raise the profile of Latinos in West Haven.
But Borras, who works as a revenue clerk in the tax office in City Hall, said that in the year he’s been in that job, he’s seen ample evidence of a fast-growing Latino community in West Haven. He thanked the city for its support in reaching out to it.
This festival “is all Spanish communities. We want everything,” Borras said. “We want every Latino community to be here. ... West Haven’s never had an event like this.”
Borras said that in addition to people from the area, some friends or organizers will be coming from New York and Massachusetts.
Admission is free, but the committee will be seeking $5 donations to help cover costs.
Food trucks serving Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban food, among others, will be on hand.
For more information, visit http://LatinoHavenCommittee.org.
MILFORD >> The Chamber of Commerce concert series “Summer Nights by Harbor Lights” runs 7-9 p.m. June 23 at Fowler Field Rotary Pavilion, behind the Milford Library.
The free series, June 23-Aug. 11, is: June 23, Milford Concert Band, pop, show tunes; July 14, What Up Funk, funk, soul; July 21, Midnight Rodeo Band, country; July 28, Kathy Thompson Band, blues, soul; Aug. 4, The Bernadettes, rock, soul; Aug. 11, Rumrunners, pop, covers.
Rain cancellation notices will be broadcast on WPLR and WICC radio. Alcohol is not permitted.
MILFORD >> Animal portraits in all media are being accepted for the ART 4 PAWS exhibition.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Milford Animal Shelter.
The show will run June 29-Aug. 24 at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave. S.
Opening reception and presentation of awards will be July 20.
One or two pieces will be accepted per artist with a fee of $25 for one and $35 for two. MAC members receive $5 off their total fee. For a prospectus: www.milfordarts.org.
For more information, call the Milford Arts Council at 203-878-6647 or go to www.milfordarts.org.
MILFORD >> “Our Fine-Feathered Friends” art exhibition is at the Milford Arts Council’s Firehouse Gallery, 81 Naugatuck Ave.
Showing is noon-4 p.m. Fridays-Sundays, through June 24.
Juror is Jan Prentice. For more information, go to prenticestudio.com, call the gallery at 203-306-0016 or the council at 203-878-6647.
MILFORD >> The Tara Theatre Company will present “Married Bliss,” a play by Sam Cree, in July.
The production is sponsored by the Irish Heritage Society.
Set in the 1960s, the play takes place in the annex building to the farmhouse of Angus Calvin Knox near Ballymena, County Antrim. Knox is a man with a tendency toward “prudency with money.” His daughter, Mary Rose, is a tad agricultural, so her romantic life is somewhat underdeveloped. Belfast couple Colin and Grace Ramsey visit the Knox establishment and are subjected to Knox’s parsimony with hilarious results, and a crew of other characters joins the mix giving rise to tensions, humor, slapstick and surprises.
Performances will be at 8 p.m. July 7, 8 and at 1:30 p.m. July 9 at the Milford Arts Council Eastbound Theatre, 40 Railroad Ave. S.
Tickets are $15; contact Maureen Richetelli at 203-874-6273 or email@example.com, or Linda Hardiman at 203-878-2865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MILFORD >> The 10th Connecticut Tango Festival, with master Argentine dancers Carolina Leonardelli and Gabriel Salvi, will be held July 21-30.
Events will be held in Milford, Norwalk, Danbury and Middletown. Go to www.CTTangoFest.org
In Milford, the programs at Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Ave. S. are:
• July 22: Tango Boot Camp for Beginners with Dale and Gem, 2:30-5:30 p.m., $50.
• July 28: Tango Passion Show, 8 p.m., tickets $38, $42, presented by the Milford Arts Council and the CT Tango Fest with piano, bandoneon and bass musicians; and Grupo Folklorico Rio de la Plata, Tango Sueño Performance Group.
• July 29: Tango workshops with Manuela and Juan, 1-5:30 p.m., $75.
Contact: 203-584-4480, www.CTTangoFest.org.
MILFORD >> The 43rd annual Milford Oyster Festival will present Blackberry Smoke on the festival main stage, Aug. 19.
Blackberry Smoke is a Southern country rock band from Atlanta. The lineup is Charlie Starr, lead vocals, guitar; Richard Turner, bass, vocals; Brit Turner, drums; Paul Jackson, guitar, vocals, and Brandon Still, keyboard.
Since forming in 2000, the band has toured Europe multiple times and performed in Australia in 2016 to sold-out crowds. Along the way, Blackberry Smoke has recorded a handful of independent releases, including “Bad Luck Ain’t No Crime,” “Little Piece of Dixie” and “The Whippoorwill,” plus “Holding All the Roses.”
Opening will be the Artimus Pyle Band. The festival will be held, rain or shine, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 19.
It includes a craft beer area at Lisman Landing, a car show, children’s stage at Fowler Field, Armory Square big toys, 200 arts and crafts vendors on the Green, amusement rides, schooner cruises, canoe and kayak races, and 35,000 oysters.
Oyster Eve, the festival kickoff, will be held 6-10 p.m. Aug. 1 at Lisman Landing. Headlining is Classic Stones Live! The band will also play on the harbor stage the next day during the festival. Craft beers, wine and oysters as well as other food will be available.
ORANGE >> A viewing of art by Michael Voytek and Jessica Zamachaj will be held 5-7 p.m. July 6 at Case Memorial Library, 175 Tyler City Road, off Lambert Road.
Refreshments will be served. The exhibit will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except Sundays, July 5-31.
River St. Wednesdays is at downtown park
MILFORD >> The city and Milford Arts Council are holding River Street Wednesdays every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. in the park in front of City Hall until Aug. 23.
The Wednesday events are complemented by Open Mic nights at 7-10 p.m., July 12-Aug. 16 at the Milford Arts Council; performers register at 6-7 p.m. The winner will perform at the widely attended 43rd Annual Milford Oyster Festival Aug. 19.
The schedule: July 5, old-time string band The Uncommon Night Crawlers; July 12, jewelry demonstration S.V. Decker Jewelry, copper bracelet; July 19, fencing demonstration, Milford Fencing; July 26, “Paint-in” Milford Arts Council; Aug. 2, K-9 Unit demonstration Police Department; Aug. 9, puppet show, sparkle tattoos, Duck Duck Goose; Aug. 16, Chalk the Walk Milford Prevention Council; Aug. 23, pet portrait session, Milford Photo.
For more information visit www.milfordarts.org.
Attendees may bring a blanket or chair as well as a picnic.
Visit the Downtown Milford Business Association at www.downtownmilfordct.com for a list of restaurants and shops to visit.