OSSINING, N.Y. – The Ossining Public Library’s Budarz Theater has a capacity of 200. With the return of the Words and Music Concert Series, organizers are expecting that capacity to be tested to its limit.
Alan Marzelli, the series’ curator, recently announced the Fall 2012 lineup will be Guy Davis on Sept. 23, Tabitha Fair on Oct. 19 and Ossining’s own KJ Denhert on Nov. 18. The series, organized through the Mazellis and the Ossining Library Foundation, features well-known singer-songwriters performing during free Sunday afternoon concerts at the library. Alan and Ellen Marzelli started the series, largely using funds out of their own pockets and connections in the radio and music business. But Alan Marzelli said he didn’t expect it to take off so quickly.
“It was wildly successful right out of the gate not only in terms of the public’s response but in the visibility it brought to the library as a performing arts center,” Marzelli said, adding that he now receives dozens of calls from booking agents looking to line up their talent for the series. “For me, it’s been better than I ever could have expected. I wanted to give something back to this community but I had no idea it would become this big.”
The Marzellis organized this concert series in conjunction with several other local businesses to provide the funds for the series.
“It’s been absolutely magical,” Alan Marzelli said. “The artists love coming here and the community loves having them here. We’ve had people come from all over the state and as far away as Florida and Cape Cod to see these shows.”
While he considers the entire lineup to be of the highest quality, Marzelli said the community is going to be blown away by Tabitha Fair, who recently shared the stage with Willie Nile in Ossining in May.
“You’ve heard her but you’ve never heard of her. I guarantee once you hear her live, you’ll never forget her,” Marzelli said. “And I’ll guarantee that like I’ve never guaranteed anything before.”
Jim Farrell, the library’s director, said the concert series provides one of the library’s biggest draws of the year.
“Every time the show is put on, we expect a full house because of the quality of the performers who come in here. We’re very lucky to have the program,” he said. “It’s a great program and it’s huge for the community. It’s a real magnet for us.”