Southington Library to get loud for Mardi Gras

Published on Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:13


SOUTHINGTON – Southington Public Library will party down this Mardi Gras with the music of New Orleans with “Dr. Ya Ya’s Dirty Rice Review” performing Feb. 13.

The free concert will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the café of the library at 255 Main St. Dr. Ya Ya, also known as drummer and vocalist Bernie Soroko, will bring his six-piece band to entertain with genuine New Orleans music.

Sue Smayda, library director, said that when the band performed for Mardi Gras last year, it was a “tremendous success.”

“We had a full house and we passed out beads – it was really festive,” she said. “People were dancing in the aisles and the band wore special party hats.”

Smayda said that last year, the band arrived and began marching around the library with a bass drum and two saxophone players. The band also played on a washboard.

“They played a lot of New Orleans Style Rock N Roll including ‘Let The Good Times Roll’,” said Smayda. “Bernie has been a part of the Connecticut music scene for a long time – he has played in another band called Eight to the Bar and chances are he knows just about every musician who plays around here.”

Smayda encouraged people to come out and enjoy the night of free music.

“You’ll get a real feel for what a Mardi Gras party in New Orleans would sound like,” she said. “One of the band members, Tommy Snider, spent a lot of time in New Orleans. He wrote a non-fiction book about the murder of a police chief that occurred there in the 50s and he previously spoke here at the library about his book.”

This performance is made possible for a donation from All Waste, Inc. as well as a private donation.

“This is the type of program that anonymous donations allow us to do,” said Smayda. “We couldn’t stretch our budget for something like this but we are very happy to be able to offer this incredible experience. Our free concerts have been hugely popular and have attracted some excellent musicians.”

On Jan. 31, also at 7 p.m. in the café, Southington Public Library will have another free music program funded by private donation: “Warm Up with the Music of Nat King Cole”, which will feature musicians John Brighenti and Orice Jenkins.  “

Those who wish to attend the Mardi Gras performance are asked to register, as space is limited. To register, visit the library or call 860-628-0947 or visit

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, , Southington Herald on Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:13. Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2018 22:15.