Arts and leisure digest: Take two

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:35

    Mid Summer Salsa Festival set for July 29-31 NYACK — The first Mid Summer Salsa Festival will be held at the Best Western on Hudson in Nyack in Rockland County from July 29 to 31. The festival’s goal is to celebrate Latin music, dance and culture. Featured artists will be the former Tito Puente All Stars - The Mambo Legends, along with other Latin music artists. There will also be participation from international dance instructors, music workshops, a documentary film on Latin music history, special guests, art exhibitors, crafts and foods. Master of ceremonies is J.I. Starr, For more than 28 years, The West Gate Lounge has offered Latin music performances and performances by local artists started by the legendary Latin Music artist Tito Puente. Every Saturday night, it offers Latin dance lessons, followed by a full Latin orchestra and DJ entertainment. To learn more, call 358-8100 or visit: 'Ramayana Dance Drama’ performance is July 30 MONROE — The East-West School of Dance will present its “Ramayana Dance Drama,”directed and choreographed by Pandit S.N. Charka, on Saturday, July 30 at 8:30 p.m. at Ananda Ashram on Sapphire Road in Monroe. The dance is a presentation of the great epic Ramayana, a story that depicts the eternal battle between good and evil. The scenes of ancient India feature both western and eastern performers as well as trained Kathak dancers from the school. This summer’s production will be the 30th anniversary celebration of this event and will be held at the outdoor amphitheater, weather permitting. Attendees should bring sweaters, shawls or jackets suitable for evening temperatures. Donations are $15/$12 for children and adults. To learn more, call 782-5575 or 783-7514. Free jazz and swing concert scheduled in Tuxedo on July 30 Tuxedo — The Tuxedo Performing Arts Group will present a free community concert and picnic, featuring Reflections Jazz and Swing Orchestra, on Saturday, July 30, at 5 p.m. at Powerhouse Park (behind the commuter lot). This event is sponsored by the performing arts group, through the generosity of its sponsors, as part of its program of four concerts a year in varying styles and differing venues within the community. Reflections is a traditional big band (17 pieces and vocalist) that plays a wide variety of popular music, including hits of the 30s and 40s right up to compositions by contemporary composers. Rain date is Sunday, July 31, same time and place. Herb Day at Hill-Hold Museum will feature a talk about 'Herbaceous Cocktails’ on Aug. 2 Montgomery — The Orange County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation will host its annual Herb Day program on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gwen Sutherland Kaiser, the featured speaker, will present “Herbaceous Cocktails.” Kaiser has served as master mixologist for the and is a consultant for Brotherhood Winery. She’s currently writing her first book, “Zodiac Cocktails,” and has a popular blog on the topic. The presentation will be followed by an herb-oriented luncheon catered by Holbert’s at Hill-Hold Museum. Activities will also include a raffle and silent auction. Books on herbs, potted herb plants, and other gift shop items will be offered for sale. Tickets are $45 per person, and include the lecture and lunch. Pre-payment and advance reservations will be required. Call Susan Tucker at 615-3833, e-mail to, or visit to make a reservation online. Rabbi to speak at Congregation Eitz Chaim MONROE — Rabbi Shalom Hammer will present a lecture called, “Israel: Struggle for Survival. Vision of Continuity,” on Sunday. Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. at Congregation Eitz Chaim in Monroe. The lecture will deal with the aftermath of the war in Gaza. Hammer served with the Rabbinate of the Israel Defence Forces. He is the author of three books, and has lectured throughout the Diaspora regarding Israel, Jewish Education, and the challenges facing the Jewish world and Israel today. He currently serves as one of eight lecturers who help to motivate the soldiers in the IDF. He is also a contributing writer for the Jerusalem Post. There will be a question and answer period after the lecture. To learn more, call Edith Barlow at 269-3791 'Music Under the Stars’ concert set for Aug. 7 West Point - The West Point Concert Band will continue its “Music Under the Stars” series on Sunday, Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at West Point’s Trophy Point Amphitheatre. Entitled “A Night at the Movies,” the performance will feature a collection of well-known music from cinema. This concert is free and open to the public. Call 938-2617 to learn more. Purple Heart Appreciation Day is Aug. 7 New Windsor — The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Sites are honoring Purple Heart recipients on Purple Heart Appreciation Day Sunday, Aug. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m. The event includes a presentation on “Why We Are Here Today: The Significance Of Purple Heart Appreciation Day” followed by a cake cutting and singing by Song of the Valley Chorus, Sweet Adelines International. Admission is free. Call 561-1765 to learn more.