Folk icon Judy Collins will join the likes of returning performer Tom Rush and Rockport's own Paula Cole on the schedule for Rockport Music's 2012 summer concert season at its glistening Shalin Liu Performance Center.
And in touting the 31st season of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, organizers also announced plans for Rockport Music to host the first Rockport Jazz Festival in August, featuring the patriarch of the legendary Marsalis family.
Those are just a few of the events highlighting Rockport Music's ambitious third season at the Shalin Liu, which formally opened in June 2010 and has regularly drawn sellout crowds ever since for musical performances ranging from community and school concerts and Metropolitan Opera TV simulcasts to live shows featuring greats in the genres of folk, pop, classical, blues, jazz and more.
Collins, whose star rose in the company of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in the 1960s, will take the Shalin Liu stage with two performances on Friday, Aug. 10, and Saturday, Aug. 11 — with both shows at 8 p.m. A singer-songwriter, musician, author, and humanitarian, she is best known for her versions of songs such as "Send In The Clowns" and Joni Mitchell's classic "Both Sides Now."
Tom Rush, who sold out two nights at the Shalin Liu in its 2010 debut year, is returning "by popular demand," Rockport Music's Gregg Sorensen said, on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25.
Cole, whose hometown shows have been centerpieces of both Shalin Liu Center seasons to date, will return for a Thursday-Friday gig this year to essentially close out the summer season on Aug. 30-31.
Tickets for all performances and events will go on sale through subscription sales beginning March 15, while individual tickets for various events will go on sale April 9.
Subscription prices range from $126 to $1,000, while individual event prices range from $35 to $78.
The Rockport Chamber Music Festival — the driving force behind what is now the Rockport Music organization for nearly three decades, and still one of its primary attractions — kicks off June 7 with a gala opening night featuring iconic pianist Leon Fleisher.
The gala program, a benefit for Rockport Music's Education and Outreach programs, will also include the presentation of an Academy Award-nominated documentary film on Fleisher's life and career.
A limited number of tickets will be available for $78, with tickets for the full fund-raising gala available for $250 and up.
Five-week Chamber Festival
Fleisher's performance launches a five-week Chamber Music Festival that will run through July 16, with performances winding around Thursday through Saturdays until the finale.
The final festival performance — Monday, July 16 — will feature Rockport Chamber Music Festival Artistic Director David Deveau on piano with the Jupiter String Quartet.
In all, the chamber festival features a total of 21 concerts, including solo pianists, string quartets, early music ensembles, vocal ensemble, musicians from the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
The festival also offers three Prelude Supper Lectures (dinner and a pre-concert talk) for $30 at a new location: Heath's Tea Room in Rockport.
Three free concerts will be offered, as well as a free open rehearsal with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players and a free master class with David Deveau.
Debut Jazz Fest
Meanwhile, the first Rockport Jazz Festival will run Aug. 16-19, with the performance of Saturday, Aug. 18 featuring Ellis Marsalis, the patriarch of one of the world's best-known jazz families. And it will conclude Sunday, Aug. 19, with a performance titled "To Ella With Love" by Ann Hampton Callaway, noted singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host, and producer.
For more information and full schedules, www.rockportmusic.org., or call 978-546-7391.