Cape May Music Festival Concert To Go On As Tribute To Late Jazz Artist

CAPE MAY – The June 3 Cape May Music Festival concert, originally planned to feature Cape May’s favorite jazz pianist, George Mesterhazy, will continue on as a tribute to Mesterhazy, who passed away on April 12 from natural causes.

“Following the untimely death of our June 3 headliner, George Mesterhazy, we’ve decided to go ahead with the concert as a tribute to George,” said Mary Stewart, MAC Chief Outreach Officer.

The concert will be under the direction of Barry Miles, assisted by Tim Lekan, and feature Paula Johns, Joe Barrett, Paul Jost and Bob Shomo, with special guest, Afro-Cuban percussionist Babatunde Lea. The concert is scheduled for Sunday, June 3 at 8 p.m. at the new Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue and Stockton.

Mesterhazy had a diverse career as an accompanist for a broad spectrum of people including headliners Jaye P. Morgan, Bernadette Peters, Anthony Newley, Jack Jones, Bobby Rydell, Chita Rivera; comedian Billy Crystal (who has a strong foundation in jazz himself); and jazz personalities Gary Burton, Rebecca Parris, Fran Jeffries, Mark Murphy, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Steve Gilmore, Red Holloway, Bill Berry, Franky Capp, Les Paul and Karrin Allyson. He performed nationally and abroad with jazz legend Shirley Horn until her death in 2005. His performing and arranging credits include the two Grammy-nominated Shirley Horn recordings “Loving You” and “May the Music Never End.”

General admission is $25, seniors are $20, and students are $10. Tickets must be ordered through the Convention Hall box office either online at or by calling 1-609-884-9565.

Friends and family are establishing the George Mesterhazy Foundation to foster music education, performance and preservation . To learn more about how to make an artistic or financial contribution, email with GM Foundation in the subject line.

The 23rd Annual Cape May Music Festival runs from Monday, May 28 through Thursday, June 14. The Sunday, June 3 concert is part of the festival’s world traditions series, which includes music from the Irish, jazz, brass band, and Afro-Cuban traditions.

The Cape May Music Festival is funded in part by PNC Arts Alive, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State. PNC Arts Alive is a five-year, $5 million investment from The PNC Foundation that supports visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement. For more information on PNC Arts Alive and the grant recipients visit The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey promotes health, well-being, and quality of life in New Jersey’s communities.

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