Mitch Traphagen’s photos from Artist Without Walls’ “Love Force” benefit Showcase for Stars of Hope at Sid Golds Request Room.
Mitch Traphagen’s photos from Artists Without Walls’ August Showcase at The Cell Theatre, August 23, 2016.
Join Artists Without Walls’ for its August Showcase at The Cell Theatre, Tuesday, Aug 23rd. We’ve got an outstanding lineup planned for the event:
Argentine-born friends and collaborators, Eliana González and Martin Fuks will be joining musical forces on the evening of Artists Without Walls’ August Showcase at the Cell Theatre. Eliana is an internationally-acclaimed singer and actress and Martin is a multi-awarded producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist, both based in New York City.
Sedly Bloomfield and Zhana Roiya will be performing a dramatic excerpt from “Fences” by August Wilson.A veteran stage and screen actor Sedly will soon be seen on Netflicks new episodic “Luke Cage” and “The Get Down,” directed by Baz Luhrmann. Zhana is currently transitioning from music to acting. She has recently worked with legendary vocalist Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes and currently she is auditioning and working in Independent film projects, one of which, “Girl on a Ledge” will be released later this year.
Anana Kaye, a native of the Republic of Georgia, started performing in the US in the spring of 2014 and quickly earned accolades from listeners and fellow musicians for her soulful, husky voice and heartfelt delivery of songs. Irakli Gabriel, sometimes also referred to as “Dr. Duende”, has been a presence on NYC music scene for the last decade. He has played and recorded in several bands, most recently as a member of acclaimed singer-songwriter Freddie Stevenson’s project “Midnight Crisis”, with whom he has also co-written over a dozen songs. Anana and Irakli will be performing a few tunes along with AWoW fav, fiddler Deni Bonet.
Janet Burgan, an Americana singer/songwriter based in NYC, recently released “Nothing But Love Songs” on Fierce & Willful Records on July 5th, songs that were all written this past winter. She’ll be singing songs from this release and then showing the music video for the first single from the CD, “Seize The Day.”
Once again Mary Tierney and Larry Fleischman come to AWoW to display their “mercurial charm and acting skills.” Join us and watch Mary and Larry preview a scene from “Autumn Stage” by Peter Welch.
David Loughlin, a playwright, a screenwriter, an actor and a story-teller, whose short plays have been produced from New York to California, will present a scene from his play “Millennial Discoure,” a comedy about communication, lack of communication, commitment-phobes, billionaires, Siberian tigers, the conflicts between generations and more.
The Cell is located at 338 W23rd Street, NYC. The doors and the bar open at 6:45 and the performances begin at 7:30. Charles R. Hale will emcee the event.
This past Thursday, Lehman College: The City and Humanities Program and the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies sponsored a performance of Charles R. Hale’s “Musical History of the Lower East Side,” celebrating the music of a neighborhood from which many of our nation’s ethnic groups can trace their origins.
In the 1840s, almost half of America’s immigrants were from Ireland. Often leaving behind famine and poverty, the Irish would often sing ballads steeped in nostalgia and self-pity, and despite the troubles they’d left, singing the praises of their native soil. The Irish also brought Celtic music. Melodies common to fiddlers throughout Scotland and Ireland were transferred nearly intact to the American fiddle tradition. Deni Bonet performed one such tune that has remained a bluegrass fiddler favorite, “Red Haired Boy.”
Stephen Foster, who’s often referred to as “the father of American music,” moved to the Bowery in 1860. Foster was primarily known for his parlor music and minstrel music. Niamh Hyland, with accompaniment from Deni and Noah Hoffeld, sang two popular Foster tunes, “Hard Times Come Again No More,” 1854, and “Slumber My Darling,” 1862.
A steady stream of Italian immigrants began arriving in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Italians from Naples and Southern Italy brought with them a traditional form of singing called Neapolitan music. In New York City, Italian tenors Enrico Caruso and Beniamino Gigli popularized such songs as “O Sole Mio,” “Funiculi Funicular” and “Non ti Scordar di me,” which was performed by soprano Ashley Bell. Italian immigrants also helped popularize the Metropolitan Opera, which debuted a number of Italian operas, including Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in 1918. Ashley performed the opera’s most popular aria “O Mio Bambino Caro.”
The Lower East Side is especially remembered as a place of Jewish beginnings in America. Between 1880 and the start of World War I in 1914, about 2 million Yiddish speaking Jews left Eastern Europe and Russia where pogroms and persecution made life unbearable. While Jewish composers, many of whom lived on the Lower East Side, were influential in creating the American Songbook, they also brought a great deal of European music with them as well. Basya Schechter and Noah Hoffeld captured the spirit of the past with two Yiddish songs, “Oyfn Pripetchik” and “Shnirele Perele”
George and Ira Gershwin were composers who were raised on the Lower East Side. George’s classical music such as Rhapsody in Blue, his opera Porgy and Bess and his many show tunes remain popular today, but he also teamed up with brother Ira to write “I Got Rhythm,” “The Man I Love” and “Someone to Watch Over Me,” which was performed by jazz pianist and vocalist Mala Waldron with accompaniment from fiddler Deni.
In the mid 1950s many artists and musicians were drawn to the neighborhood around the Bowery by cheaper rents. The Five Spot Café, a jazz club located between 4th and 5th Streets, staged jam sessions with some of the giants of jazz: Thelonius Monk, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and Lower East Side resident, Charlie Parker. Waldron, accompanied once again by Deni, performed a Parker favorite “Embraceable You.”
In the 1940s and 50s Latin Jazz began to take hold in New York City. At the same time, there was the first great migration of Puerto Ricans entering the country. Shortly, Dominicans and other Spanish groups followed. Latin jazz musicians, guitarist Yuri Juarez and percussionist Jhair Sala, performed a tune that was popular in the Latin community, now known by its Spanglish name, Loisaida, in the 1940s and 50s, “Night in Tunisia,” written by jazz great Dizzie Gillespie.
The music of the Lower East Side has continued to evolve from garage band to punk to alternative rock and yet, each year, the Loisaida Festival continues to evoke the spirit of its immigrant past, as did Yuri and Jhair with the last song on the program, “La Bikina.”
A big thank you to all the artists who participated in the “Musical History of the Lower East” and to Lehman College: The City and Humanities Program and the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies for sponsoring the event.
Photos by Mitch Traphagen.
Mitch Traphagen’s photos from Charles R. Hale’s “Musical History of the Lower East Side,” at Lehman College. The event was sponsored by “Lehman College: The City and Humanities Program and the CUNY Institute for Irish-American Studies.
This Thursday, April 7, 12:30pm, Lehman College: The City and Humanities Program, The CUNY Institute of Irish Studies and Artists Without Walls presents Charles R. Hale’s “The Musical History of the Lower East Side. The event will take place in the Studio Theatre, 250 Bedford Park Blvd W., Bronx, NY. Click here for directions.
Here’s what actress/director Aedin Moloney said about the show: “Blown away tonight by the most talented collection of musicians! Artists Without Walls hosted a terrific musical evening at Rockwood Music Hall. What a line up of super talented vocalists. One after another boom, boom, boom! All equally stunning performances….A slice of New York History. Take it on the road guys! Hopefully this will be done again…. not to be missed.”
Performers include (clockwise from top left) Niamh Hyland, Noah Hoffeld, Mala Waldron, Yuri Juarez, Ashley Bell, Basya Schechter, Deni Bonet and (center) Charles R. Hale, who wrote and narrates the show.
Wednesday, March 23rd, 7:30pm in NYC, Artist Without Walls’ member Deni Bonet’s Album Completion Concert at Bowery Electric, 327, Bowery, NYC. Come out and celebrate Deni’s new album – “BRIGHT SHINY OBJECTS.”
Niamh Hyland and Michael Brunnock, with fiddler Deni Bonet’s accompaniment, shared two of their upcoming original releases “Snowmen” and “Live to Love” at AWoW’s Anniversary Showcase at The Cell Theatre. In our lives we often behave as if many of the plans and the goals we have are destined to have permanent results. We hold on to the idea that our plans are permanent and important. Life shows us that these thoughts and intentions have transient results – much like building ‘Snowmen.'”
“Live to Love” is about being present, reliving an intimate moment in time and being grateful that you experienced it. As a duo, Niamh and Michael’s tight, intuitive harmonies meld their voices into a dreamy singular connected sound. The songs place the listener in a familiar story being retold.
Poignant and beautiful.
Photo by Vera Hoar
Manav Sachdeva Maasoom kept the full house spellbound at AWoW’s Anniversary Showcase with his mystical, magical rendition of his opening poem “The Song of Humanity” dedicated to Tagore, from his debut poetry book, The Sufi’s Garland.
A Luce Foundation Poet Laureate, Manav Maasoom, accompanied by the extraordinary fiddler Deni Bonet, matching and making the Sufi poetry even more magical through the wonderful matching renditions of the violin, made sure the evening had a taste of the spiritual, romantic, war, and indeed the whole repertoire of poetic thought represented.
An evening to never forget. Hopefully Manav Sachdeva Maasoom will grace us again with his creations in the not too distant future.
Deni Bonet and members of her band made a special Artist Without Walls appearance at AWoW’s Fourth Anniversary show, this past Tuesday evening at The Cell Theatre. Deni premiered four songs off of her soon-to-be-released rock instrumental album. Deni wowed the AWoW audience with her virtuoso violin performance, along with her band of accomplished musicians: Ado Coker on piano, Jonathan Linden on guitar, and Andy Mac on drums.
Deni kicked off the show with the title track of the record, “Bright Shiny Objects” – an up-tempo piece that reminded us of a cross between Aaron Copland and Disco Inferno.
Next up was “Primal Dream,” a song written years ago when Deni was a member of NPR’s Mountain Stage Radio Show, which started with solo acoustic guitar and surprised the audience as it built to a powerful climax.
“Einstein’s Brain” was a crowd favorite with its interesting time signature and infectious melodies. Following the performance of this song, one audience member exclaimed out loud, “This is my new favorite song EVER!”
Deni and her band finished off their tremendous set with the exciting tune, “Red Dog”, where Deni’s violin pyrotechnics left the audience breathless and wanting more – which is what they will get if they come to the Bowery Ballroom on March 23rd at 7:30 to catch her full show. Click here for more info and tickets.
Poet Liv Mammone returned for her third feature with AwoW to celebrate the anniversary. She debuted a collection of sparkling and smarting new poems, including open letters of love to Frida and of hate to Kylie Jenner that were more like open wounds.
In a night full of collaboration, both planned and unplanned, Liv had no one to pass the ball to but the audience, which she successfully drew into her experiences with a humor both generous and biting and an honesty that continues to shake us.
Desdemona’s death scene in Othello always comes with a high degree of difficulty and expectation. In the hands of Alessia Sushko and Sedly Bloomfield the audience was witness to a beautiful, passionate and moving scene. Love and fear was on display. Ms. Sushko’s beauty and Mr. Bloomfields’s presence left us wondering, “What would have happened if Desdemona had lived…?
Photos by Vera Hoar