Bernie Williams to Perform On and Off the Field

RIDGEFIELD, CT – New York Yankees Centerfielder turned award-winning jazz guitarist, Bernie Williams, returns to The Ridgefield Playhouse on July 29 for a charity softball game and concert

Famed New York Yankees Centerfielder Bernie Williams returns to The Ridgefield Playhouse to celebrate his two passions – music and baseball!  Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. presents “The Concert for IPF” starring Bernie Williams and his All Star Band on Saturday, July 29 at 8pm benefitting IPF Awareness.  Bernie Williams is teaming up with Boehringer Ingelheim to raise awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that his father suffered from for years before he passed away in 2001. His father, Bernabé, inspired Williams to play baseball and make it to the Major Leagues, and taught him to play guitar which has become William’s second career since retiring from baseball.  Bernie, along with special guests to be announced, will play in a charity softball game at 1pm in the field adjacent to the Playhouse with play-by-play announcements by WHUD morning show host Mike Bennett. In this Moffly Media Evening of Art, Wine and Jazz Series ticket holders can enjoy a complimentary Italian wine tasting courtesy of Gallo Ristorante and art exhibit by Andres Chaparro in the lobby at 6:45pm.  Artist Cortney Wall will paint an original Bernie Williams canvas live during the reception and concert to be autographed by Bernie Williams and auctioned off for the charities!  Make it a great night out with dinner and a show – visit Tigers’ Den Sports Bar and Grill (23 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield) and enjoy a FREE glass of house wine or draft beer with the purchase of an entree when you show your ticket!

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Williams discovered his love for baseball and music at roughly the same time. At the age of eight, he fell in love with the sounds of a flamenco guitar his merchant-marine father brought home from Spain, feeling the same exhilaration when he picked up a baseball bat around the same time.  In his 16 year career as centerfielder for the New York Yankees, Williams was a four-time World Series Champion and a five-time All Star.  Throughout Williams’ years with The Yankees, his passion for music never waned, and the sound of a guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights.

Whether acoustic or electric, a guitar was a constant presence in the star’s locker or equipment bag, and it was no surprise in 2003 when he demonstrated how serious his musical pursuit was with the release of his first album, The Journey Within. The record featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams’ heritage and was met with both strong critical praise and instant chart success- reaching #3 on Billboard’s “Contemporary Jazz Chart.”

Williams raised his musical game even further with the release of his second album Moving Forward. Featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Secada, Dave Koz, and an All-Star cast of renowned studio musicians, Moving Forward debuted as Billboard’s #2 Contemporary Jazz album in the country, and continued to hold that chart position for five straight, and spawned two consecutive Billboard #1 singles, “Go For It,” and “Ritmo de Otono.” The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2009.

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