After a hiatus, one of our favorite events has found a new home as the CT Sea Music Fest drops anchor in Essex, CT the weekend of June 9 – 12. Free weekend festivities at venues around the village include a Symposium on the Music of the Sea, daytime workshops, a parade, a family stage, demonstrations of sailor skills, a Sunday morning revival-style hymn sing, and late night Chantey Sings in the historic Griswold Inn! Main stage evening concerts, under the tent at the Connecticut River Museum, are ticketed events. Stroll Essex with ice cream in hand and hear sea chanteys and maritime music performed by artists from all over the world. You might even find yourself singing along by day’s end!
The Festival started from the ground up last year after a 40-year run at Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic. When circumstance forced cancellations and broke the beloved streak, heartbroken die-hards were forced to reorganize. That they did, with great success! The town of Essex embraced the opportunity to host, with sea chanteys ringing out every Monday night for the past fifty years at The Griswold Inn, and gave the Festival the necessary footing to start anew.
This dedicated Sea Music community reunites every June to sing, honor, and pass on these traditional sailors’ work songs from the Great Age of Sail, keeping them off dusty shelves and in the hearts and voices of many. The Festival is a project of the Maritime Music & Tradition Society Corp., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is sponsored by CT Humanities and receives support from the Paul Foundation and The Griswold Inn. For more information including schedule, venues and performers, log onto ctseamusicfest.org. ■