Michael “Woody” Woodward
Celebrating 10 years of music production excellence at
The 2014 Corn Hill Arts Festival
Welcome to the entertainment pages for The 46th annual Corn Hill Arts Festival. This years festival will feature over 350 fine artists, a wide variety of delicious food, and 15 hours of continuous music presented on four stages. As we continue to grow, this year we will be offering more food selections and opening a beer and wine garden at Avery Mall.
Our entertainment line up will offer a wide variety of local, regional, national, and international music acts. There will be 27 performances by 23 bands. Rosco The Court Jester will be touring the festival grounds and making his signature balloon animals for the kids during both days of the festival.
On Sunday July 13th, we will be celebrating my 10th season as the entertainment producer by presenting a full day of Cajun and Zydeco music at The Delta Airlines Food Court Stage. This stage will feature performances by international Zydeco superstar C.J. Chenier and The Red Hot Louisiana Band from Houston Texas and the Hudson Valley based C’est Bon Cajun Dance Band.
The genres of Cajun and Zydeco music are native to southwestern Louisiana and the southern gulf coast of the United States. These styles of music carry an infectious beat that make your body and feet want to move all over the place. Zydeco music holds a special place in my heart thanks to my 21 years of guest performances around the country with my close friend and mentor, C.J. Chenier and his Red Hot Louisiana Band.
C.J.’s father, Clifton Chenier, and his Red Hot Louisiana Band began performing for audiences in 1976. Clifton won the Grammy award in 1981 for his album entitled “I’m Here” which was voted as The Best Traditional Album of the year. C.J. Chenier played the saxophone as part of the band from 1978 until his father passed away in December 1987. Right after Clifton’s funeral, C.J. received a phone call from the guys in the band. They met and told Chenier that they wanted to keep the band going. C.J. agreed, went home, picked up his father’s accordion, polished his skills, and then hit the road with the band!
Since 1987, C.J. Chenier has made seven recordings on five different labels that include Slash, Arhoolie, and Alligator records. He was a guest on Paul Simon’s “Rhythm Of The Saints” disc and has recorded with The Gin Blossom’s as well. Most recently he has toured with Joe Sample and The Creole Joe Band and has worked with John Mayall. C.J. Chenier was nominated for a Grammy award in 2012 for his recording entitled “Can’t Sit Down”.
C.J. Chenier was most recently inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame in February 2014 and he accepted a life time achievement award on behalf of Clifton Chenier, at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Chenier is a multi-talented musician and is a grand master of the Baldoni concertina accordion. He has his own personal signature model accordion that is made by Baldoni.
Chenier is a friend to many of us here in the Rochester music community and always enjoys the opportunity to visit and perform here.
The C’est Bon Cajun Dance Band, is a popular act that performs in this area and along the east coast. . This is an all girl Cajun band that sings most of their songs in Cajun French and digs deep into the roots of the Louisiana Cajun music scene. They put on a memorable 2011 performance at Corn Hill and packed Avery Mall with fans and dancers. The C’est Bon Cajun Dance Band includes Canandaigua native Betsy Fuller on guitar and Rochester native Jimmy McAvaney, will sit in on percussion with the ladies for this performance.
Former Rochestarian and now Kansas-based piano master Todd East will return to Corn Hill for two performances. Todd is another artist who continues to gain fame and popularity in this area with his high energy shows, his piano skills, and his deep, rich vocals which continue to make him a Corn Hill Arts Festival favorite. Todd will appear on Saturday afternoon at Avery Mall with guitarist Pete Isaac and former Savoy Brown percussionist, Joey Pierleoni. Todd will open up the Gazebo stage on Sunday morning with The Corn Hill All Stars. This interesting act will feature local favorites Jim Richmond, Dave Cohen, Steve Lyons, and John Viavattine Jr.
Bands making their first appearance at Corn Hill will include Anonymous Willpower, Noble Vibes, Laura Dubin, Judah Sealy, Spectra, Steve Piper and Ken Hardley, Big Blue House, Dave Riccioni and Friends, and the up and coming Danielle Ponder and The Tomorrow People, who’s popularity continues to grow with every performance. We have two new acts as part of our continuing emerging artists series that will feature Fiona Corinne and Rusty Kettle.
Returning artists will include local 2008 album of the year recipiant Jeff Riales and The Silvertone Express, The Tabletop Three, Ann Mitchell Jazz, Blue Jimmy, Dan Schmitt and The Shadows, The Lonely Ones, Cut Off A Cappella, and Buffalo music hall of fame and youth music advocate, Bob James, will perform with Stevie Fleck and The Love Parade.
I invite everyone to join us this year and to visit our artist’s booths, enjoy the great food, and to take in the music performances that we will be presenting. I thank you for supporting the Corn Hill Arts Festival and we look forward to seeing you at this years event.
Michael “Woody” Woodward