Water Island Music Festival 2019 to be held at Prior-Jolleck Hall

Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas – January 5, 2019 — The 14th annual Water Island Music Festival is coming up – January 18, and 19 2019 on St Thomas at Prior-Jolleck Hall of Antilles School!

Carnegie Hall Pianist Julian Gargiulo returns for the fourteenth year bringing to the Virgin Islands a performance of the program he performed January 12th at Carnegie Hall. Joining Julian are world class musicians including; Maria Yefimova, piano, Wells Hanley, jazz piano, Hilary Gardner, jazz singer, trumpet virtuoso Joe Burgstaller, special guest percussionist Dion Parsons and this year’s winner of the “Getting to Carnegie” Competition. This year the competition is among cellists performing a new Cello Sonata and the prize for being the BEST in Carnegie Hall is to come to Water Island Music festival… (is that ironic or what?!?)

Make plans to come to Prior-Jolleck Hall of Antilles School Friday January 18 and Saturday January 19th at 8 PM. Tickets are available at Instantseats.com or Chelsea drugstore in Red Hook, Medicine shop pharmacy in Havensight, the Antilles school or from Frenchtown Deli.

Click here for Fri, January 18

Click here for Sat, January 19

There is no concert on Water Island this year.

Water Island Music Fest 2019



Julian Gargiulo is a dynamic classical pianist who renders the compositions of renowned masters with extraordinary passion and precision, and fills the concert hall with his personal brand of charm, humor and charisma. He has performed in the United States, Canada, England, Italy, France, Germany, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, China, and Australia, meeting always with both public and critical acclaim.

Julian performs regularly throughout the world in halls such as Carnegie Hall (US), United Nations’ Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium (US), Moscow Conservatory Hall (Russia), Verona Philharmonic Hall (Italy), The Esplanade (Singapore) and the Seymour Theatre Centre (Australia). Collaborations include performances with soprano Olga Makarina (Metropolitan Opera), trumpet virtuoso Joe Burgstaller Canadian Brass), and violinists Elizabeth Zeltser (NY Philharmonic) and Dmitri Berlinsky (Gold Medal Paganini Competition). TV and Radio appearances include stations such as RAI Uno (Italy), RAI Tre (Italy), RAI International (Italy), RTN (Russia), CTV (Canada), Radio One – CBS (USVI), Paradise Radio (USVI) and SBS (Australia).

In 2006 Julian started the Water Island Music Festival in the Virgin Islands, currently in its 9th season, which brings together classical and jazz musicians for three days of music.

In 2008 Julian founded the Non-profit organization 16000children which brings together musicians, visual artists and filmmakers in creating events to raise awareness for the 16,000 children that die of hunger in the world every day. Performances worldwide began in Mar 2010.

In 2009 Julian was named Artistic Director of ‘Crossing Borders’, a Hunter College (NY) program which presents established foreign artists currently living in NY.

In 2010 Julian began writing a classical music column for the main newspaper in the Cayman Islands, The Cayman Compass. Recent and upcoming highlights include the release of his seventh CD ‘No Smoking’ with his own original compositions along with works by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Piazzolla, return tours of Europe, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, and a performance at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall on Jan 12, 2014. Julian currently splits his time between New York and Paris.


Acclaimed singer Hilary Gardner grew up in Wasilla, Alaska infatuated with New York City. Her stunning recording debut, The Great City, is part love letter, part lament to New York and the big dreams it represents. Jonathan Schwartz has kept The Great City in consistent rotation on his radio program, and the album has garnered effusive praise from New York’s jazz community, including Will Friedwald (Wall St. Journal) and Terry Teachout (Arts Journal, Wall St. Journal).

In 2010, Hilary was chosen by the Frank Sinatra estate to
appear as the live, onstage singer in Tony-award winner Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away. Backed by a 19-piece big band, Hilary sang solos and duets with Frank Sinatra in a performance hailed by critics as “wonderful” (Huffington Post), “elegant” (USA Today), and “terrific” (New York Observer).

Hilary performs as a leader throughout New York City, appearing regularly at Birdland, in addition to recent performances at the Café Carlyle, Symphony Space, and Jazz at Kitano. She is a frequent soloist with symphonies throughout the United States and has appeared with Connecticut’s Ridgefield Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and New York’s Rochester Philharmonic. Multi-platinum recording
artist Moby featured Hilary prominently on his 2009 release, Wait For Me (Mute Records/EMI).

The Great City is a graceful and intimate album, with nuanced band interplay enriched by lyrical instrumental solos. It’s sophisticatedly accessible, recalling classic records by Peggy Lee, Julie London, and Ella Fitzgerald. The album’s program of songs is refreshingly broad, featuring songs both urban and urbane by composers like Leonard Cohen, Vernon Duke, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, and Nellie McKay, among others. “I wanted to acknowledge the breadth of musical influences in my life while still making a cohesive musical statement,” Hilary says.

The album was tracked at Systems Two in Brooklyn, under the guidance of Grammy-winning producer Eli Wolf, and features sublime musical accompaniment by friends and NYC jazz mainstays Ehud Asherie, piano; Randy Napoleon, guitar; Elias Bailey, bass; Jerome Jennings, drums; Jason Marshall, saxophone; Tatum Greenblatt, trumpet, and Jon Cowherd, organ.

Hilary’s bittersweet rendition of “Autumn In New York” is both luxurious and filled with longing. She reinvigorates Vernon Duke’s classic standard, singing with understated elegance. On the title track, she sings with dynamic emotionality, vibrantly teasing out the love-hate duality pent up in the lyrics.

Her version of Tom Waits’ late-night ballad, “Drunk On The Moon,” evokes the original’s snapshot of blue smoke curling around neon signs and the beauty of the urban underbelly. Hilary authentically inhabits the song’s bruised and slumped-over emotionality with silken grace, smoothing out the melody without dulling the sentiment. “This song is how the city feels after a long night, coming home after a very late gig,” Hilary says.

The album concludes with poise and poignancy on “Manhattan Avenue.” Here, supported by Ehud Asherie’s virtuosic piano accompaniment, Hilary interprets the gritty, contemporary lyric with sophisticated intimacy. The simple grace of the song’s arrangement is a tribute to the telepathic interplay between Teddy Wilson and Billie Holiday. That juxtaposition of sensibilities, timeless musicality melded with an in-the-now sentiment, poetically sums up The Great City.

“We knew right away that “Manhattan Avenue” would close the album, especially with the last line: Oh, but dreams come true/on Manhattan Avenue. That’s really the message of the album,” Hilary says. This city is complicated, frustrating, and magical, and dreams do come true here. They certainly have for me.”


JOE BURGSTALLER has thrilled audiences throughout the world with his dazzling virtuosity, captivating sensitivity and engaging personality. He tours worldwide as a soloist (30+ appearances this past season in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Hamburg, Bologna, US Virgin Islands and 13 U.S. States) as well as a clinician with his groundbreaking masterclasses for all nstruments called “Change Your Mind, Change Your Playing™”. He is Distinguished Faculty at The Peabody Institute (The Johns Hopkins University) in Baltimore, MD, where he teaches trumpet and chamber music. Formerly with Canadian Brass (8 yrs.) and the avant-garde Meridian Arts Ensemble (6 yrs.), he was also one of the all-time most popular soloists at Columbia Artists’ Community Concerts, performing 60
solo concerts every year. His extensive discography includes solo CDs (License to Thrill and The Virtuoso Trumpet) and three Top-10 Billboard hits. Joe Burgstaller is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

Joe and his newest solo CD “License To Thrill” were recently the subject of an hour-long segment of The INNERView (100 million viewers) on Korea’s Arirang Television, as well as an hour-long feature on
Sirius-XM Classical Radio. “License To Thrill” features the music of Vivaldi-Bach, Sting, Jennifer Higdon, Gershwin, Chick Corea and a new commission by Su Lian Tan entitled “Ming”. His last two CDs with his Classical/Jazz-Hybrid crossover group BM4 (Bach’s Secret Files and Mozart’s Blue Dreams) were Top-50 on the JazzRadio charts and the Roots Radio Report (under Paul Simon but right above the Beastie Boys).

He has performed in front of more than 40 orchestras (Philadelphia, Minnesota, Detroit, Houston, Baltimore, New Jersey, Virginia, et.al) as a member of Canadian Brass and as a soloist, in more than 50 Music Festivals (14 summers at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA) and has performed and taught at over 80 universities, conservatories and colleges.


Internationally acclaimed pianist Maria Yefimova has performed in Italy, Spain, England, Slovakia, Croatia, Russia, and the United States. She appeared in such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Malii and Rachmaninoff Halls, Steinway Hall (NYC), Teatro Puccini di Merano (Italy), Lisinsky Hall (Zagreb), and Slovak Philharmonic Hall, among others. Her performances were described by critics as “brilliant” (Novosti, Russia), “highly artistic” (Virginia Gazette), filled with “passion and energy” (America Oggi), “judged to a ‘T'” (New York Concert Review), and “truly outstanding” (Berkshire Review for the Arts).

Ms. Yefimova has been featured on Bravo TV network, Tele Monte Orlando (Italy), Paradise Radio (USVI), Slovak National Television, WCVE public radio, as well as on major TV art networks in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Chile. She is a featured artist in a film documentary Women of Music – a classical music series that presents performances and interviews with today’s top artists from around the world.

Ms. Yefimova’s festival appearances include Meranofest and Vello Music Festivals in Italy, Rachmaninoff Festival in Russia, Water Island Music Festival in USVI, Chamber Music Institute in VA, Lake George Music Festival in NY, and Virginia Arts Festival.

Ms. Yefimova is on the piano faculty of the College of William and Mary.


Wells Hanley is a musician of diverse influence and output whose career spans a broad variety of styles. In addition to his work as a pianist, Wells is also a singer, drummer, guitarist, songwriter, and producer.

As an accompanist Wells has collaborated with Betty Carter, Rene Marie, Tom Wopat, and Dave Matthews, to name a few. As a jazz instrumentalist he has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and has shared the stage with jazz greats such as Dave Liebman, Chris Potter, and Wynton Marsalis.

Mr. Hanley’s education includes a Bachelor of Music in Classical Piano from James Madison University and a Master of Music in Jazz from Manhattan School of Music as well as private study with Fred Hersch. Wells currently teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University.