For three years they’ve worked to recreate an arts and entertainment scene, bringing in musicians like jazz guitarist Rick Stone, jazz cornetist Peter Ecklund (soloist on Ken Burns’s The Civil War and many other films) and others. The couple has also produced an outdoor folk and jazz concert, an outdoor sculpture show and most recently a theatrical performance of A Clearing in the Woods.
“Our thinking about the future of this business and of the area is to revive the arts here. We’re moving ahead slowly on our own,” Guart says. “I feel like we’re in an outpost sometimes, but we’ll keep doing it, to get more creative things happening in this area.”
They had bought a second home just 200 yards from the hotel and heard that the place was for sale at breakfast there one day. Fast-forward three years and, without previous business experience, they’re hosting some of the known greats of the jazz world.
This Saturday, November 20, the Guarts present Harlem jazz vocalist Vinnie Knight for two sets at 7 and 9 p.m. A crooning diva who has been compared to the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Pearl Bailey and Billie Holliday, Knight has performed internationally and has delivered her vocal stylings onstage with such jazz luminaries as trumpeter Clark Terry. With a voice described as “smooth, velvet,” her interpretations of great American jazz and blues songs are sophisticated, earthy and seductive.
“My band in New York City backed her at many venues – the Sign of the Dove, the Cornelia Street Cafe and T. J. Bentley’s – and this is going to be her first visit up here,” says Guart. “She’s very engaging. She banters and jokes with the audience. She’s a world-class act!”
Knight will be backed by Allen Murphy on upright bass, Lenny Case on drums, Tom DePetris on guitar and Guart on saxophone. Don’t miss an evening of jazz and blues with vocalist Vinnie Knight! There will be no cover charge at either set.
The Catskill Mountain Lodge is located on Kaaterskill Creek at 334 Route 32A in Palenville. The Kindred Spirits Steakhouse & Pub – named for the iconic 1849 painting by Hudson River School painter Asher B. Durand – offers a healthy range of good, solid fare, as well as catering services. For menus and further entertainment information visit www.catskillmtlodge.com or call (518) 678-3101.