"...just a smile away from Whoville with a hint of It's a Wonderful Life."
—Huffington Post
Sinterklaas Send-Off Celebration, Kingston, New York
Sinterklaas Festival Day, Rhinebeck, New York

Performer Profiles

Meet some of the fabulous performers that come to entertain you at Sinterklaas. This list is still in the works so we apologize if anyone is missing. Keep checking back!

 

Community Music Space Young Performers
We believe that music is not simply something we listen to but an essential element of any healthy community. Throughout the year we offer performances, Open Mic nights for kids, and a wide range of classes and lessons for kids and adults. our groups also perform in public up and down the Hudson Valley, from Red Hook to Woodstock and Hudson, NY.

Bard College Georgian Choir
Bard College Georgian Choir is a community choir that performs traditional polyphonic vocal music from various regions of the Republic of Georgia (former USSR). Nestled in the Caucasus Mountains on the Black Sea, Georgia boasts one of the oldest and richest forms of traditional polyphonic singing in the world, with spine-tingling dissonances and turns which never cease to surprise. The choir is directed by Carl Linich, of the world-renowned Trio Kavkasia.

Betty and the Baby Boomers
According to Sing Out! magazine, Betty and the Baby Boomers are a ”refreshing reminder of the halcyon days of American folk music during the late ‘50s and early ‘60s”; the Kingston Daily Freeman says they “sing and play old-school folk like it was brand spanking new.” Come hear some old favorites done up in the Boomers unique harmonies, as well as new songs performed in a style harking back to those inspiring times.

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus  
The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus brings four special live experiences to share at Sinterklaas! An Old Dutch Tradition in Rhinebeck. In addition to annual "Sinter Cirkus" performances, Bindlestiff was asked by Sinterklaas founder and director Jeanne Fleming to bring additional Cirkus stars to make the day sparkle. The Cirkus will also be bringing Paris, the Hip Hop Juggler, the Homespun Merry-Go-Round, and Alakazam, the Human Knot

Bond Street Stilt Band
A talented group of musicians who parade, dance on stilts and perform various feats of physical and musical dexterity, the 5-7 member ensemble includes saxophones, trumpets, and drums with an occasional trombone, tuba, banjo, or clarinet.

The Sinter Circus
The historic former Vaudeville theater at Upstate Films houses Bindlestiff’s Sinter Cirkus, a duo variety show featuring Bindlestiff founders Mr. Pennygaff and Ringmistress Philomena. Witness circus skills, vaudeville classics, and sideshow thrills as Mr. Pennygaff, one of 70 living sword swallowers in the world, drops 24" of shining steel into his gullet! Led by whip-cracking Ringmistress Philomena. Showtimes: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm

Caprice Rouge
An acoustic ensemble from the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State playing Balkan, Roma-Gypsy and Klezmer dance tunes! Performing on traditional instruments including accordion, violin, an esoteric variety of clarinets, and percussion, the band is equally at home in a bar, a celebration hall or at a farmer’s market — happy to play for dancers, revelers, holidays, weddings and other simchas.

D'AMBY Dance
Pronounced “dee-am-bee”, this company affords a safe, private environment and outlet for dance students to hone their skills and talents, often collaborating and utilizing other art and art forms in their efforts. The D’amby Project is a professional performance company based in Red Hook, NY., and performing globally. Rooted first in the technical traditions of Irish Dance, the company takes on a breath of Contemporary dance with rigor and free grace.

Dog On Fleas
HAILING FROM UPSTATE NY AND 15 YEARS IN THE MAKING...Dog on Fleas plans to take over the world. Their strategy is to play honest, loose and ingenious music for kids and their adult counterparts, and since kids tend to listen to music over and over and over, they are encoding special messages into the songs. Sort of like the Beatles, only less psychedelic. Actually, the only agenda the Fleas have is to make good music for decent people. And for you, too.

Grumpus MAGIC by Andy Weintraub
Andy Weintraub has been performing magic in the Hudson Valley for more than twenty five years. He is the resident magician, and President of the board, at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. His magic is geared to family audiences and focuses on the classics of magic, with a special emphasis on interaction with, and participation of, the audience.

Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra
This intense and resourceful orchestra offers a charged dance, music, circus and reinvention experience. Compelling fusion of percussion of the Colombian Caribbean and Gypsy brass bands from the Balkans and Eastern Europe. KUMBIA GYPSY KUMBIA ORCHESTRA invites the public to an explosive experience where dance takes over all the bodies and souls of a mesmerizing way and liberating.

Homespun Merry-Go-Round
Al Gori originally built his Homespun Merry-Go-Round as part of his senior thesis while studying kinetic sculpture at Mason Gross School of the ARts of Rutgers University. Over the years, he's re-built, refined, and redecorated the Homespun Merry-Go-Round many times—adding mechanical monkeys, birds, and a bubble-blower to it. Built on the rear axle of a 1968 Dodge Dart, and powered by a washing machine motor, Al calls his Homespun Merry-Go-Round "Savage Salvage" : the art of finding new and fun uses for old junk, or, getting something for nothing. The Homespun Merry-Go-Round will be operating between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm, rides are free, and young and old alike are welcome to sit and whirl.

Hudson Valley Brass from Bard College Conservatory of Music
Hudson Valley Brass is a brass quintet formed in 2013 at the Bard College Conservatory of Music with a wide repertoire ranging from baroque to jazz. After performing at venues throughout the Hudson Valley including the Old Dutch Church in Kingston to the frozen ice of the Hudson River as part of an ice-boat gathering, the group presented concerts in Hungary and South Africa in summer 2014. Hudson Valley Brass was invited to participate in the 2014 Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, the only international music festival in Africa. They have been invited to return to Stellenbosch in 2015.

Hungry March Band
Celebrating over 15 years of bringing live musical spectacle to the people of New York City and beyond is Hungry March Band, a brass, percussion, and performance ensemble.
Founded in Brooklyn in 1997 for the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, HMB embodies the spirit of NYC’s streets with an inimitable brass sound and inspired, eclectic dance. HMB has shared their creativity with audiences around the United States, South America, and Europe, where they’ve been embraced by a longstanding community of brass bands.

Improv Students from Mary Ward & Co
Acting and Improv is fun! Acting and Improv classes at Community Music Space are really fun! Led by Mary Ward, these classes provide a supportive, fun environment where you can be creative, expressive and work as a team. performances by student at The Community Music Space in Red Hook, NY. These students have all studied at CMS for a number of years and, as you will hear, have developed into confident and talented young performers. Performers:Romi Butscher - Ain't Misbehavin', Miles Demartino - Dat Dere; Anabel DeMartino - Long Way Home; Madi Guski - River.

Into the Light: A Holiday Spectacular with Vanaver Caravan and Arm of the Sea.
A Holiday story of a Young Girl’s Journey throughout the World searching for the Light. Features Giant Puppets and music and dances from Holland, Sweden, Israel, Mexico, Ireland and more!

The Vanaver Caravan
The Vanaver Caravanwas established in 1972 by musician/composer Bill Vanaver and dancer/choreographer Livia Drapkin Vanaver. Their love for the world’s diverse cultures and commitment to their art as well as to peace among nations, continue to inspire artists, students, teachers and audiences daily. Their down-home, high-spirited performances have been presented throughout the U.S., Europe and North Africa.

Arm of the Sea
We believe that such theater should be easily accessible to a wide range of audiences. Thus, many of our performances take place in non-traditional spaces and at free outdoor festivals. We strive for a theater of visual poetry–handmade & archetypal–imbued with the urgencies of the Moment and the elemental impulses of Human/Nature. We believe that such Theater plays a vital role in community life by illuminating essential relationships and planting seeds of change. Arm-of-the-Sea was founded in 1982 by Marlena Marallo and Patrick Wadden as an experimental hybrid performance group combining art, ecology and social action. We continue to experiment with this ephemeral art form as a symbolic visual language that can illuminate the links between human communities and the life-support processes of the planet.

Ivy Vine Players
Grian MacGregor presents a series of songs and tales in each program. Her charming puppet characters are loaded with personality, and her stories are timeless in theme. From the Toy Theater Festival in New York to the Festival of Romance in New Zealand, from the playgrounds of Ecuador to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Ivy Vine Players are more than half-way to their goal of presenting puppet shows on every continent on Earth. A unique approach to puppetry using a wearable stage will transform a library, classroom, or the great outdoors into a theater. Why do these puppets seem so engagingly real? Because they have lived before, as a favorite sweater, a toddler's raincoat, or a silk kimono. The Ivy Vine Players are made from 100% recycled materials, including the human being!

Jenny Saturn’s Big Hula Hoop Show
A one person variety show featuring a rubber chicken, physical comedy, plate spinning, singing and dancing, small hoops, big hoops, invisible hoops, and various attempts of breaking world records. Jenny McGowan, also known as Miss Saturn, is a physical comedian and hula hoop artist who has been performing for over 18 years and has become a mainstay in NYC's top vaudeville and variety arts scene. Jenny's full length show has left people in laughter and awe across the world. She has performed her solo show at the World Busker's Festival in New Zealand as well as enjoyed weekly performances in Central Park’s Victorian Gardens, and Coney Island’s Astroland and Luna Park. She is the creator and producer of "Hula Pa Looza", an all hula hoop cabaret and co-creator of the hit comedy and dance troupe Animal Crackers.

Jonathan Kruk
Jonathan Kruk is a career storyteller for children, who has been inspiring active listening and vivid imagining full time since 1989. Jonathan provides schools with creative programs which meet curricular goals and exceed language arts & social studies standards by engaging kids. Born in El Paso, Texas, but raised in Westchester County, Jonathan Kruk grew up on tall tales and daydreams. He began telling tales to calm his rambunctious kid brother at bedtime. Later, friends got him a gig entertaining at Abingdon Square Park in the middle of New York City. When kids abandoned the monkey bars, cyclone sprinkler and ice cream truck to listen, Jonathan, found his career calling. Now, Jonathan considers it a blessing to give over 250 performances and workshops each year.

Leela Puppet Theater

Mamalama
With its intoxicating acoustic fabric of harp, violin, cello, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, flutes, frame drums, and ethereal voices, Mamalama weaves a vibrant tapestry of European folk and classical, Renaissance/medieval music, psychedelia, modern minimalism, world music, and mystical, image-rich poetry. It's an irresistible spell that carries the listener to realms both calming and stimulating.

Mexico Beyond Mariachi
Mexico Beyond Mariachi is the number one Mexican performance program for young people and families in the New York Tri-State area. Over the last 10 years we have performed for over 1 million young audience members bringing the living traditions of Mexico into their lives. As a leading provider of Mexican arts-in-education performances they have carefully created their shows to maximize the educational content while keeping in mind that kids also want to have fun while they learn. Every year, Mexico Beyond Mariachi performs in dozens of schools, theatres, and museums.

Michael Rosman Feats of Comedy
Michael Rosman lights up the crowd with his one-of-a-kind performance. His comedic entertainment appeals to adults and youth. His skills include tight-wire walking, juggling, magic, balancing stunts and unicycling - and plenty of audience participation. Michael's daredevil array of props includes bowling balls, blenders, knives, giant unicycles and tiny tiny bicycles. His skills will amaze and amuse all!

Mid-Hudson Mexican Folkloric Group

Raspberry Hill Fiddlers
The Strawberry Hill Fiddlers are a group of fiddling teenagers from various middle school and high schools in and around Dutchess County, New York. Directed by Emily and Carole Schaad, the group has been evolving since 1999.

Raya Brass Band
Since 2008 Raya Brass Band has thrilled audiences with its energetic brand of soul shaking, border defying dance music. Given the way these five musicians electrify clubs, festivals, underground parties, and even subway cars with their riotous performances, it’s no wonder that they’re often mistaken for a band twice the size. The members of the band all bring their unique voices to the group, creating a sound informed as much by their love for the fierce and seductive music of the Balkans as it is by New Orleans brass bands, punk rock, out jazz, and a host of other international sounds. When they put it all together, this hard working band gets straight to the point, dancing, sweating, and shouting alongside its audience.

Rhinebeck Dance Center
The Rhinebeck Dance Centre was established in 1980 by dancer/choreographer Michele Ribble. Her loyalty and commitment to the preservation of formal dance training with professional quality concert performances for youths has helped to keep dance and theater arts alive in our community. RDC believes in careful training for all students, from the recreational to those with professional aspirations. Our goal is to encourage, challenge and inspire each student individually and to their personal best. See RDC Dancers performing Excerpts from the Nutcracker at the Rhinebeck Town Hall.

Roger the Jester
Every performance is a debut, since my work is so improvisational, not in the current “give me a word, I’ll fit it into a pre-rehearsed format,” but true in the moment magical events.

Solas An Lae American Irish Dance The SAL School fuses multiple styles of training to create a curriculum that is uniquely SAL. We have incorporated Irish dance fundamentals and the best practices from classical and contemporary to create the American style of dance training that is SAL.

St. George & the Dragon

The Storycrafters
Barry Marshall, and Jeri Burns, PhD have been working together as The Storycrafters since 1991, and have been storytellers for even longer than that. In addition to being nationally renowned storytellers, they are award-winning radio show hosts, recording artists, writers, and the parents of a fiddle-playing, tapdancing classical singer who accompanies them whenever his busy schedule allows. Their creative work as storytellers is rivaled by their creativity in making child-care arrangements for their busy lives as a ‘family on the road’. They perform and teach their art form in schools, libraries, and other venues all over the US and the British Isles. They have been featured performers at storytelling and folk festivals nationally and internationally.

Tom Hanford Puppets

Victorio "Roland" Moussa

Woodstock Renaissance

Winter Song Fest: Students of the graduate Vocal Arts Program of the Bard College Conservatory of Music