‘Voice Of The Vibes’ To Be Honored

Fans of the annual Gathering Of The Vibes music festival lost a dear and faithful friend earlier this month when the event’s co-emcee, Michael J. Potashnick, passed away from pneumonia Jan. 10. He was 52.

While known as the “Voice Of The Vibes,” to festival goers, Potashnick had a long and respected career within the New England arts and music community. Through the years he was involved with the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival, SoNo Arts Celebration, Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Flynn Center For the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vt., and the Polka Dot Playhouse in Bridgeport, Conn.

Potashnick worked as the stage manager for Gathering Of The Vibes until 2004 when he was tapped to co-emcee the festival, a position he filled with gusto through 2010.

“Michael was family,” Vibes founder Ken Hays said. “He exemplified what the Vibes means to so many, reminding us from his spot on center-stage of the love we have to offer each other, and that through music, we can truly see the light that brings harmony and balance to the world. We will miss him tremendously.”

Right now there are two separate events planned to honor Potashnick’s memory. A collaborative group of his extended Burlington production family has planned an afternoon at Burlington’s Flynn Center Feb. 13 for folks to reminisce about Potashnick while celebrating his life.

The second event, hosted by Gathering Of The Vibes, takes place Feb. 20 on the campus of the University of Bridgeport’s Arnold Bernard Center, beginning at 3 p.m. and running until 9 p.m. The Bridgeport event will include live music as well as dedications by some of Potashnick’s favorite artists.

Folks planning on attending one or both events are asked to RSVP via the “Michael Potashnick Memorial” Facebook pages. Click here if you’re going to the Burlington remembrance and here if you’re going to Bridgeport.

People wanting to make contributions in Potashnick’s memory are asked to donate to his favorite charities – The United Way and the SoNo Arts Festival in Norwalk, Conn.