SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

June 27, 2013

Marblehead's annual festival celebrates art, music, film and fun

The most beautiful thing on display at the Marblehead Festival of Arts, this and every year since 1962, may be Marblehead itself.

With a kite festival on Devereux Beach, musical performances and a film festival at Crocker Park, and art exhibits at some of the town’s most illustrious historical venues, the festival takes full advantage of the natural beauty of Marblehead.

The fireworks and harbor illumination on the Fourth of July, sponsored by the Marblehead Fireworks Committee, will also use the harbor as a canvas, painting a breathtaking display on the night sky.

But that doesn’t mean you would want to ignore any of the events or exhibits being held from July 3 to 7, starting with the unique lineup of musicians who will play throughout the festival at Crocker Park.

“We start with a blank canvas, which we paint every year with a variety of styles of music,” said Brian Wheeler, who has been booking the event for more than a decade. “Our job is to bring performers that can touch people from 8 to 80.”

The music begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. with a performance by Robin Lane, best known for fronting Robin Lane and the Chartbusters in the ’80s, followed by Mamadou Diop, a West African rhythm guitarist and drummer who took home a Boston Music Award in 2011 in the world music category.

The next day, the strumming and singing continue with local performers taking the stage starting at noon, including Box of Birds, Addy and Julia, and the Lee Hawkins Trio.

“Addy and Julia are wonderful,” Wheeler said. “They’re two local Marbleheaders who started playing together a couple of years ago and have risen fast.”

These two young ladies play a variety of folk and pop tunes and have recorded an EP, “Someday.”

“The quality of their work, their harmonies, are intricate, sensitive,” Wheeler said. “They can take a song and truly make it their own.”

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