Snapshot of LBIF 70th Anniversary Summer Serenade: a Tasteful Farewell to Another Season

Aug 29, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill Kate Chaston, a New York-based singer-songwriter, and the Elements perform at LBIF.

This past Sunday, to conclude its 70th anniversary summer, the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences invited the public for an evening of small bites and song at its Summer Serenade. Though the conclusion of August is typically a melancholy affair, the LBIF celebration was a sweet, breezy dream. Attendees sat, leg over leg, sipping chilled wine and cocktails, looking over the lush marshland and squinting into the setting sunlight. Out along the horizon, the bay stretched, glittering beneath the last rays of day before dusk. Attendees, donned in their best summer attire: white pants, flowy button downs, floor length colorful dresses and strappy sandals, picked at the spread of appetizers from Foodie’s. Smiling, relaxed faces emanated that air of exhaustion one can obtain only from a day on the beach.

Around 7 p.m., as the sun sank lower below the floating gulls and a pinking skyscape, guests filtered inside where the stage awaited Kate Chaston, a New York-based singer-songwriter, and the Elements, an expert duo consisting of Tony Jarvis and Chris van Voorst van Beest. Jarvis, an international touring musician, played guitar and van Voorst van Beest, an equally acclaimed instrumentalist, played an upright bass. Both Jarvis and van Voorst van Beest boast an impressive list of credentials; among them are some theater and film credits. The musicians flanked their singer, edging her jazzy arrangements with depth, dimension and lyrical, full solos.

Chaston is a singer with rich, Ella Fitzgerald-like vocals showcased best through her covers and originals that span the cabaret, pop and jazz genres. Before each song, she reminisced and mused, often divulging the inspirations behind her own works with a delightful anecdote. Her songs explored matters of love and time and the precious sentimentality of both. A favorite cover, and appropriately so, was her rendition of Fitzgerald’s “Summertime.” In the yellow glow of the day’s end, audience members sank into their chairs while Chaston spoke, sang and scatted. Her soothing, melodious vocals drifted about the open building, weaving through artwork and white paper lanterns, up and over the string lights and into the rafters.

“Summer is still here,” Chaston said before a smattering of claps. “You might call this the summer send-off, but that seems wrong, like you’re going to rush into the arms of fall. I think fall should wait a little longer. I think it’s still summertime.”

For more information about LBIF events, visit —S.H.


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