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Concert on the Lawn

René Marie & Experiment In Truth

Jump in the Line: The Music and Life of Harry Belafonte
Presented in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center

Thursday July 18, 2024 at 7:00pm

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Thursday July 18, 2024 at 7:00pm

This concert, led by René Marie on vocals, intersperses the most beloved calypso selections of Harry Belafonte with lesser-known facts about his use of music to effect social change. Each musical selection (arrangements by trumpeter Etienne Charles) is curated to engage the hearts and minds of both long-time fans of Belafonte and more recent acolytes.


René Marie, vocals
Etienne Charles, trumpet and percussion
Andrae Murchison, trombone
Xavier Davis, piano
Dan Wilson, guitar
Rodney Jordan, bass
Quentin E Baxter, drums

“It’s her ability to step inside the song and make the lyrics come alive that really sets her apart.”
— Peter Quinn, The Arts Desk

The Venue: Friends Field
A large open lawn adjacent to Concessions and restrooms, Friends Field is used for many programs throughout the summer. Food and drinks are allowed (and encouraged!) – just remember to throw out or recycle before you leave. Note that there is no built-in seating on Friends Field, so please bring your own chairs and/or blankets.

    Summer Season Shuttle / Take the FREE shuttle from Metro North’s Katonah train station to and from Caramoor! The shuttle runs before and after every summer afternoon and evening concert. There is no RSVP to get on the shuttle, it will be there when you arrive (in the parking lot side of the station). If it’s not there, it’s just making the loop and should be back within 5–10 minutes. The shuttle will start running 2.5 hours before the concert, and 30 minutes after the concert ends.

Rain or Shine / All events at Caramoor take place rain or shine. In the event of bad weather, this Friends Field concert will move under the fully covered Venetian Theater tent. This is a large tent with open sides and seating already provided. You will no longer need to bring your own seating to this concert in this scenario.

Explore the Rosen House from 5:00pm–6:30pm / Select rooms of the Rosen House are free to explore during our Open House hours. No RSVP is required; feel free to attend and discover more about Caramoor’s history and founders.

Learn More About Réne Marie

ené Marie is a very rare artist. A modern vocal icon, her unique artistry has been recognized with multiple domestic and international awards including two GRAMMY Award nominations for Best Jazz Vocal Album. A lyricist / composer / arranger / playwright / actress / educator / speaker / and social justice activist, René is an Americana roots artist with jazz improvisational chops. Influenced by her southern upbringing, she incorporates folk, R&B, country, and classical elements into her music and approach, lending her a unique sound and style that have captivated audiences worldwide. Over a span of two decades, 11 recordings, and countless festival and concert stage performances, René inspires people with her artistry, her life story, and her ability to affirm the power of the human spirit. Her latest GRAMMY recording, Sound of Red (Motéma), celebrates her life story.

Born the fifth of seven children in Warrenton, Virginia, René absorbed a wide variety of music during her childhood – blues, folk, opera, bluegrass, and classical – and studied piano for two years. After her parents divorced, she moved with her mother to Roanoke, Virginia, and began singing in R&B bands. She composed her first original song when she was 15 and by 18, she joined a strict religion that required her to stop singing. She married a former bandmate of the same faith, had two sons, and began working at a bank. At age 42, René listened to the encouragement of her older son, who knew she needed to sing again. She started singing for tips one night a week in a smoky hotel bar with the house band, and, within a year, had established her own trio, JazzBone. Initially supportive, her husband quickly became disenchanted with “her success” and issued an ultimatum: stop singing or leave their home. Tension over the issue escalated from emotional abuse to domestic violence. René left the house and ultimately the marriage behind.

Over the next 18 months, René made a flurry of monumental life changes. She moved to Richmond, Virginia; divorced her husband of 23 years; left the bank and her religion; produced her first CD Renaissance (1999); won the title role in the Richmond world premiere production of “Ella and Her Fella, Frank,”; and signed to the Maxjazz record label. In 2000 Maxjazz released How Can I Keep from Singing, which immediately grabbed the jazz industry’s attention. Three more acclaimed albums on the label followed: Vertigo (2001), Live at Jazz Standard (2003) and Serene Renegade (2004) along with glowing national press.

In 2005 René moved to Denver and assumed creative ownership of her career, self-releasing and co-producing her 6th release, Experiment in Truth (2007). In 2008, she originated and produced Two Skirts and A Shirt, a show of 70’s protest music that toured nationally and featured jazz vocalists Carla Cook and Allan Harris. She wrote and starred in Slut Energy Theory: U’Dean, a heralded one-woman musical drama about overcoming abuse and incest, which premiered at the Cherry Lane Theater in New York City in October 2009. Its soundtrack became her 7th recording. Always focused on healing and giving back, René launched a series of vocal therapy group sessions in 2010 that she called SLAM.

Voice of My Beautiful Country showcased René’s Americana core and announced her signing with the Motéma label. The stunning 2011 release spanned a century’s worth of American music from traditional to folk to Tin Pan Alley songs and also gave voice to patriotic songs as if composed by disenfranchised Americans. Black Lace Freudian Slip (Motéma) followed that same year and tapped into longing, independence and prayerful introspection. She brought all of her experience and interests together with her lauded 2013 release, I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt (Motéma), which was nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 57th GRAMMY Awards. René highlighted Ms. Kitt’s undaunted commitment to the power of the feminine and to social justice. Her second GRAMMY Nomination in the same category recognized her next Motéma release of all originals, Sound of Red (2017). Always a strong lyricist and composer, she created an 11-song journey that gives insight into profound turning points of her life. Her clever songcraft and sensual vocal delivery made those personal moments not only meaningful but also enlightening to her growing audience.

René has a deeply personal understanding of music’s capacity to change lives. Together with her touring and recording group, Experiment in Truth, she fearlessly explores the nooks and crannies of the human psyche and experience. Songs about inner strength, family ties, self-determination, and positivity are on her set list along with those about homelessness, domestic abuse, depression, and addiction. René is a frequent star guest of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Count Basie Orchestra, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and many more that tap into big, brassy celebrations of fun and sass.

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Caramoor is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer.
All concerts made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.