By LINDSAY OLIVIER
NORTH KINGSTOWN â If you were among the motorists who frequented Route 2 from the Route 4 interchange in East Greenwich this past week, and had to drive through the restriping process by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), youâll be happy to know the project is meant to enhance better and safer driving.
KINGSTON â Under the artistic direction of Natalie Zhu, the Kingston Chamber Musical Festival will present its 23rd season at the University of Rhode Island through July 31.
Founded in 1989 by violinist David Kim, the festival strives to present the finest quality chamber music to the widest possible audience. Musicians from across the country appear annually during the two-week summer festival of six concerts held on the peaceful URI campus.
HOPKINTON - The town council has been operating with only four members since the resignation of council member Jonathan Osborne in April, but a special election held on Tuesday, July 26, will decide who will fill the seat for the remainder of the term, which lasts until November 2012.
The three candidates in the election are Frank T. Landolfi, David Husband and Edward D, Gaul.
With school out and high humidity here for the summer, families may want to take advantage of the local Briar Point Beach for a dip.
The beach has been open on weekends since the beginning of June, according to lifeguard Rebecca Searly.
âWe opened up full-time on June 18,â she said.
By DAVID PEPIN
The featured performer for this yearâs Summerâs End concert can boast of having spent the past 15 years working with a music legendâŚand having received his big break in show business from a boxing legend.
John Pagano, a Providence native whose repertoire ranges from pop chestnuts to rhythm and blues, will be performing with the R.I. Philharmonic at the townâs annual concert, to be held Friday, Sept. 2, at Eldredge Field. Rain date for the show is Saturday, Sept. 3.
Pagano, who began his career in the â80s as an R&B singer, has been a featured vocalist since 1997 with Burt Bacharach, the pianist and songwriter responsible for many entries in the canon of pop music standards over the past 50 years. Along with two female singers and an 11-piece orchestra (including his brother Vinny, its drummer), they have toured throughout much of the world, most recently a six-date swing through Italy.
âThe girls cover many of his hits, and I do all the male songs,â says Pagano, who usually performs âThis Guyâs In Love with You,â âWhat the World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love),â âRaindrops Keep Falling on My Head,â âAny Day Nowâ and âGod Give Me Strength.â
Now living in southern California, Pagano returns roughly every three months to visit his family, and tries to work in a shown or two while heâs in the area.
Before meeting Bacharach, and before recording a CD on MCA, however, came his âdiscoveryâ by that noted musical talent scoutâŚMike Tyson (yes, the former world heavyweight champion).
âI played in a band called Xpo around Albany with my brother. Mike trained about a half-hour away, and he came and saw us and took a liking to my band and my voice. He said I ought to sing the national anthem at one of his fights,â Pagano remembers.
In 1989, Pagano stood in the center of the ring as the Las Vegas Hilton and sang âThe Star-Spangled Bannerâ prior to Tysonâs successful title defense against Frank Bruno.
In the audience that night was an assistant to Irving Azoff, one of the recording industryâs giants, then chairman of MCA records.
âShe saw me in the elevator on my way to the afterparty, and I met Azoff two days later,â Pagano says. While he had been discussing a record deal with Warner Brothers at the time, he ended up signing with MCA, which led to his first encounter with Bacharach and his then-wife, songwriter Carole Bayer Sager.
âAzoff took me over to see him because he was looking for material for my album, but Burt didnât have anything that fit,â says Pagano.
The MCA CD, he recalls, was âvery of the times, uptempo,â on which Bacharachâs more ballad-oriented tunes wouldâve been out of place. âI was the only white guy in MCAâs R&B division.â
Plans for a second CD never materialized, but in 1997, âI received a call from Burt out of the blue. He was getting ready to tour, but had never toured with a male vocalist before. I told him I was surprised he remembered me, and he said he had never forgotten my voice.â
NARRAGANSETTâThe trail begins at Annie Hoxsie Lane across from the Narragansett Town Beach, unassumingly sliding into the woods. The path is about six feet wide and winds along the Chafee Wildlife Preserve on Boston Neck Road. The underbrush is thick. The ground water gathers at places, saturating the ground. Nature abounds, yet without the work of the Narragansett Tree Society, headed by William Bivona, and Narragansett Boy Scout Troop 2, this trail would have never been accessible.