The centerfielder returns to center stage! Bernie Williams, a New York Yankees centerfielder for 16 years, is best known for his long and storied career in pinstripes – a career that includes four World Series championships, five appearances on the American League All Star Team, four Gold Glove Awards and the 1996 American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award. Since he’s hung up his cleats, he’s had time to devote to his other great passion in life – jazz guitar. Now that he’s out of the game, he’s getting back to his musical roots. The former slugger will be bringing his music back to the Ridgefield Playhouse with his All-star band on Sunday, August 30 at 8 p.m. The performance is generously underwritten by Nick and Anita Donofrio. Having topped the contemporary jazz Billboard Chart with #1 singles, recorded albums with guests as varied as Bruce Springsteen and Jon Secada, and having accepted an invitation to sit in with the Allman Brothers Band at their storied Beacon Theatre residencies, Williams instantly established himself as a formidable talent. 109 Cheese & Wine will offer a complimentary wine and cheese tasting, which will take place in the lobby from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Bernie takes the stage at 8 p.m. An afternoon Celebrity Softball Game with Bernie and friends in the ballpark adjacent to the Playhouse will start at 1 p.m., with play-by-play announcing courtesy of 100.7FM WHUD’s morning personality Mike Bennett. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hillside Food Outreach and the Playhouse Arts for Everyone Program. This event is part of the No. 109 Cheese & Wine Art, Wine with additional sponsorship provided by Canine Training and Behavioral Services, LLC, Cultec and Blue Line Labradors with media sponsor 100.7FM WHUD.
A modern-day multi-talented Renaissance man, Bernie Williams grew up in Puerto Rico, where he learned classical guitar at an early age and was to focus on a career in music, that is, until the Yankees drafted him. The rest may be sports history, but Bernie Williams is also making his mark in the music world. He has developed a fresh style of jazz influenced by his classical music background, along with Brazilian, pop and Latin rhythms. His albums include Moving Forward and The Journey Within. Williams has also written a book, Rhythms of the Game: The Link between Musical and Athletic Performance (2011). Bernie Williams is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, both in his baseball career and in music. He performed at the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year tribute to Gloria Estefan and at the final home game played at historic Yankee Stadium in 2009.
For tickets ($90 Gold Circle Meet & Greet; $65 orchestra, $55 mezzanine/balcony; all tickets include admission to the softball game; $20 game only by calling the box office), call or visit the box office at the Ridgefield Playhouse, (203) 438-5795. The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT. Visit ridgefieldplayhouse.org.