Mitch Traphagen’s photos from Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell Theatre, April 26, 2016.
Mitch Traphagen’s photos from Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell Theatre, April 26, 2016.
“Artists Without Walls has has gotten off to a fantastic start this year. I’m so very thankful for the artistic, cultural and social benefits I have reaped from this organization. Thanks, Charles and Niamh. Thanks everyone for your support.” Mark Donnelly
We’ve got a great evening of diverse entertainment planned for Artists Without Walls’ April Showcase at The Cell Theatre, Tuesday, April 26. One of the group’s newest members, songwriter Rick Cashman, will be making his first AWoW appearance. Joining Rick will be jazz pianist John Ambrosini and saxophonist Premik Russell Tubbs, who has performed with Lady Gaga, Sting, Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, Jackson Browne and James Taylor. Rick is also the creator, writer and producer of a weekly comedy podcast called “The Hickory Bench Playhouse”
Actress Gina Costigan will be performing a scene from Honor Molloy’s short play, “And in My Heart. ” The play is a young woman’s account of love and revolution during the 1916 Easter Rising, which is drawn from Honor’s Great Aunt Florence Kane’s eye witness account of the week when Ireland changed, changed utterly.
Mala Waldron, a New York City native, balances local performances with regular tours in Europe and Asia. Currently, the songstress is excited about her upcoming solo release, “Deep Resonance.” The project is an intimate, unplugged, personal glimpse into the heart of the artist, featuring her lush vocals and piano accompaniment. Mala’s recordings include her CD debut, “Lullaby,” a tribute to her godmother, Billie Holiday and a duo project with her father, pianist/composer Mal Waldron, “He’s My Father” and “Always There,” which, in addition to being her first U.S. release, was also licensed by Columbia Records (Japan) and voted one of the Top 20 Jazz CDs of 2006 by JazzUSA.
Jenai Huff, NYC based singer/songwriter composes songs that address life with its nuances, contradictions, and challenges. Working with acclaimed cinematographer and cameraman, Arthur Jafa (Selma, Crooklyn, Seven Songs for Malcolm, Beyonce, Lauren Hill), has put two of her songs to film, which she will be showing at Tuesday’s Showcase. One of the songs, “Just Like Me,” subtly addresses racism and how we really are all mostly a like.
Michelle Macau will be presenting a reading of selected poems from “The Surrender Tree” by Margarita Engle about Cuba’s struggle for freedom, experimenting with percussive sounds to enhance the story. Joining Michelle will be Al Foote III, Celeste Muniz, Paul Roberson and Kabuki Kozuru.
Storyteller Jim Hawkins will pay tribute to the men and women of 1916 Ireland, with passages from Sean O’Casey’s writings and the song, “The Foggy Dew.” Jim has spent decades telling stories, with a sly, folksy understated humor, like the seanchaís of old, whom Hawkins emulates. Jim tells the stories of nearly vanished Irish folkways to audiences far and wide, in public libraries, pubs, churches, universities, in Ireland and here in the United States. “I wish to be a vehicle that carries the history, culture and traditions of the Irish people, and to share the stories, songs and poetry of this great culture with the world. It will be my contribution to keeping this wonderful art-form alive and well.”
Artists Without Walls’ Artistic Directors Niamh Hyland and Charles R. Hale will be hosting and emceeing the event. The Cell Theatre is located at 338 W23rd. St., NYC. The doors and bar open at 6:45. The Showcase begins at 7:30. For more information about the event click here.
Charles R. Hale will be presenting “Breathing from an Ancestor’s Space and Time,” a series of short films that combine family stories and historical events, including his latest film, which tells the story of his family’s sixteen year old neighbor who was sentenced to die in the electric chair. Lehman College, The Studio Theater, 250 Bedford Blvd, West. Bronx, NY. Thursday, 11/6, 12:30-2.
Serena Jost will be performing at Rockwood Music Hall, 185 Orchard Street, on Nov 6th at 8 pm. Get your tickets asap, just $10 (less than your lunch) and help her pack the joint. For ticket info click here
Niamh Hyland’s band Lily Sparks will be doing a very special live show for the New York, International Pop Overthrow festival at Bar Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn), thisThursday Nov 6th, 9:15pm. Have a listen to some tunes www.lilysparks.com
You’re invited into Deni Bonet neighbor’s living room in Uptown NYC for her second International online streaming concert, coming to you LIVE over the Internet via Concert Window. Deni had such a great response last month that she’s doing it again THIS THURSDAY at 9:30 PM! Tune in to to hear brand new tunes from her upcoming instrumental CD, as well as a few old favorites. She might even take requests. Robin Pahlman will be joining her on guitar & it’s just like you’re there in the room with them! Sign up now and get an online reminder when it’s close to showtime. PAY WHAT YOU WANT. You can even wear your pajamas! For details click here.
And beginning next weekend, November 7-9 there’s this special event: In association with Glucksman Ireland House Nyu – and Poetry Ireland, the Irish Arts Center’s sixth annual PoetryFest, which celebrates Ireland and America’s great literary connection by showcasing an unparalleled array of much-published and award-winning poets. The event takes place next weekend, November 7-9th. The only New York festival of its kind, PoetryFest immerses participants in an intimate and creative atmosphere filled with readings, storytelling, book signings, conversations, and more.
Jenai Huff and Eugene Ruffolo in concert, Friday, November 7 at 7:30pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. It is in Jersey City and only 5 minutes walk away from the PATH train. It is located in the prestigious Paulus Hook area of Jersey City. (Contact Jenai Huff at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for information or reservations. ) Eugene and Jenai will be performing two sets and introducing new songs there. There will be plenty of delicious treats and wine to accompany the harmonies, the stories and the laughter. Eugene is a highly acclaimed singer/songwriter and session singer from NYC and Jenai who hails from CA, but is now a NYC resident, is an AWOW favorite. There is a lot of information on the Facebook event about the each of them or on the host’s website
Connie Roberts invites all to The 39th Annual National Conference of the American Irish Teachers Association’s Well Versed: A Celebration of Poetry from Ireland and America. With poets Terence Winch, Sean Nevin, and Connie Roberts, musicians Jerry O’Sullivan and Niamh Hyland, and arts journalist Earle Hitchner. 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, November 8, 2014 Liederkranz, 6 East 87th Street (between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue) Special guests include (visiting from Ireland) the Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, NY Consul General, Barbara Jones and Deputy Consul General, Anna McGillicuddy.
And in the following week, AWoW is happy to announce its first evening at Rockwood Music Hall, Wed, 11/12, 7pm. We’ve assembled a great array of talent: Deni Bonet, Warren Malone, Aisha Badru, Jack O’Connell, Tara O’Grady and Sasha Papernik. Please come out and support these terrific artists. Our goal is to sell out the room and recognize our very talented members. Tickets are $20 but $15 for AWoW members using the code…awwmember. Click here for tickets
Haven’t been to an Artists Without Walls’ Showcase? Here are some of the sights and sounds you’ve been missing. Music provided by Warren and Gibson Malone, Sasha Papernik, Jenai Huff and Deni Bonet.
Singer/songwriter Jenai Huff will be performing with Eugene Ruffolo, Ben Wisch and Chris Marshak today, Sunday (9/7) on NYC’s WFUV. Tune in and listen to their interview with host John Platt on his Sunday Breakfast Show; they will be performing 4 songs as well. John’s show airs from 8-11am, 90.7fm on your dial in the NYC metropolitan area or streaming at WFUV. They will likely be on sometime between 9-10:30am EST.
Tuesday they will be performing an hour set during the “On Your Radar” concert series at Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen St., NYC, which is hosted by WFUV. The show starts at 7pm but you will want to get there early to get a seat. The doors open at 6:30pm. Also performing that night is a wonderful trio from Nashville, TN called Harpeth Rising .
Actor Jack O’Connell plays Uncle Richard, a tile store owner on Coney Island Ave, in the film The Quitter, which opens for a one week preview at Regal Cinemas, 247 W 42nd St, NYC on Friday September 12th. There are five screenings per day for one week. This great little gem of an Indie was filmed mostly in Brooklyn and directed by Brooklyn native Matt Bonifacio.
Singer/songwriter Martina Fiserova will perform a solo set of her originals at the Way Station, located at, 683 Washington Ave (Btw Prospect and St Marks), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn 11238, on Wednesday Sept 10th at 8pm. No cover.
“How many more amazing things can I say about Artists Without Walls? It’s an amazing community and an incredible lineup of diverse artists. Thank you for the plug on my show and for the major hugs of support. I love these people.” Erin Layton
“Yes! Last night’s Artists Without Walls Showcase was exhilarating as was evidenced by the energy and smiles at The Cell . Thanks for putting together another evening of performances for the memory book.” Marty Plevel
Honor Molloy began the evening by reading “What’s Taken,” an expressionistic segment that was dropped from her novel Smarty Girl – Dublin Savage. This piece features Noleen O’Feeney and her father trapped in the ruins of her childhood home. Afterwards, someone asked Honor why it was taken out of the book. “Because it was far too abstract for the audience I wanted…but not too abstract for the gang at AWoW.”
The silvery voice of Jenai Huff combined with the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Eugene Ruffolo in a performance of two original tunes written by Jenai and one by Eugene. Eugene followed with a song written in Italian, which will be part of his next CD scheduled to be released in the fall. His beautiful timbre and romantic language delighted the audience.
From the moment Yvonne Cassidy began to read from her latest novel How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? she held the audience spellbound. Cassidy read the first letter from the novel title, a letter from seventeen-year old Rhea Farrell to her mother, Allison who died when Rhea was only three. Writing from Penn Station, Rhea begins to share with her mother her homeless experience but quickly lapses into questions she has always had, questions she wants her mother to answer. Judging by the book sales at the intermission, the audience members too, were keen to find out the answers to these questions! For anyone who didn’t get their hands on a copy, click here.
A delightful new presence on the music scene in New York has arrived from the heart of Europe, the city of Prague. Martina Fiserova’s humor and energy shone through her music and lit up the room. Her soulful authentic approach delivered an emotional urgency; even a melancholic story felt uplifting. The exciting chord work she does sets her apart from being “just another girl with a guitar.” We need more of these European invasions.
Dan Yurkofsky premiered two song compositions from his new CD, Hoverhill. The songs, titled “The Time Zone” and “Walking” featured Mr. Yurkofsky’s melodic singing voice and contemplative lyrics. He was deftly accompanied by two fine musicians, Matt Turk on acoustic guitar and Noah Hoffeld on cello . To learn more about Hoverhill, and to hear listening examples from the CD you can click here.
First time performer, Kathleen Bennett Bastis’, opened the second half of the show with an hilarious and “spot on” perspective of internet dating. Kathleen claimed that this was the first time she had been on stage since she performed in Scheherazade in fifth grade; hard to believe given her poise, charm and insouciance. “As always, a terrific evening of great entertainment and talent,” Kathleen said after the show.
Ashley Bell was next and she dazzled all with a stirring rendition of the opera staple, “O Mio Babbino Caro.” She followed up the showstopper with an original composition, which showcased her lower register and displayed another level of her vocal instrument.
Digital poet and recent NYU grad, Allison Fichtelberg dazzled the audience with a spellbinding performance of her epic poem “Scroll.” I am honored to have performed for such a receptive audience and to share the space with such talented artists. That was the first performance I’ve done where I summoned the appropriate chutzpah to make the concluding sword trick work.” (You’ll have to see her perform live to understand that comment.) An absolutely mesmerizing performance.
But Allison wasn’t done for the night. Lyndon Achee, steel drummer and percussionist began with a piece dedicated to his sister Beatrice who died of breast cancer. Lyndon than circulated a bag of instruments—tambourines, maracas, drumsticks and bells–through the audience who accompanied Lyndon in an upbeat tune, which ended with Allison coming back on stage and dancing to the sweet sounds of a steel drum. A wonderful, highly spirited, ending to a great night.
The next Artists Without Walls’ Showcase at The Cell will be on July 22nd at The Cell Theatre, 338 W 23rd St., NYC. For more info on Artists Without Walls write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Mitch Traphagen.
Come be part of the Artists Without Walls’ Showcase, Tuesday, June 24, 7pm at The Cell Theatre, 338 W 23rd St. NYC. Here’s what’s planned:
Ashley Bell has been performing from an early age, starting at age 9 as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus and making her Off-Broadway debut at 16 in the world premiere of the musical The Golden Touch. Ashley has since performed as a soloist in the United States, Italy, Spain, France and Russia. Recent performances have included Beauty in Giannini’s Beauty and the Beast, Mimi in La Bohème and Katrina in Legend of Sleepy Hollow with Di Capo Opera and the soprano soloist in the Italian Cultural Institute and the Basilica of St. Patrick Old Cathedral’s. Next month she will sing Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in the Narni Festival in Italy with the Orchestra Filarmonica di Roma
Lyndon Achee is a percussionist, keyboardist and composer. Lyndon is an active performer in New York, he has recorded and performed with Nile Rodgers’ R.T. G. Productions, Anthony Braxton, Eric Leeds’ Paisely Park release, David Pleasant, Jay Hoggard, Arnie Lawrence, Winston Grennan, and at the Lincoln Center Summer Concert Series, with the Village Drums of Freedom. He recently composed and performed a score for Derek Walcott’s play “On the Blue Nile” at the Juilliard School. He is currently Musical Director of Village Drums of Freedom, Calendula, a New York-based World Music and Jazz Band.
Allison Fichtelberg is a digital poet who has been performing her manifesto, THE GREAT OSCILLATION, in Washington Square Park since its conception in October. Allie will be reading from her epic poem Scroll, her coming of age as a digital artist. “It will be free, multimedia smart phone literature” Allie, said, “because imagine what a world it’d be if everybody playing “Candy Crush” suddenly started reading poetry.”
Singer/songwriter Martina Fiserova, from Prague, Czech Republic, is in NYC to finish up a record of original songs. She released a jazz album Clearing Fields in 2012 and published a poetry book (in Czech) called Martezie in 2013.
Author/actress Honor Molloy will be reading “What’s Taken” from her book Smarty Girl: Dublin Savage. “What’s Taken” is a brief section that was dropped from Smarty Girl – Dublin Savage. It’s an expressionistic piece about getting trapped in a family obsession for decades. As Honor says, “I’m sure that people can relate to the family obsession part.”
Singer/songwriter Jenai Huff with her soulful voice and beaming smile will be joined in performance by critically acclaimed singer/songwriter and native born New Yorker, Eugene Ruffolo.
two sing together on Jenai’s recordings and now are performing together live.
Kathleen Bennett Bastis is a visual/mixed media artist who works with reclaimed materials. Of her writing she said, “I write for myself without the intention of ever sharing what I write. It’s just a way of expressing and exploring what is on my mind or what I have experienced.” This will be the first time Kathleen has read any of her writing before an audience – it was her “white card challenge” to herself – so she’s hoping the audience finds her piece amusing and worth the listen.
Yvonne Cassidy was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and moved to New York in 2011. Yvonne is the author of three novels: The Other Boy, What Might Have Been Me and How Many Letters Are In Goodbye? which was released earlier this month. In addition to writing, Yvonne works at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, the largest and longest running emergency food program in New York, where she teaches creative writing to homeless soup kitchen guests.
Today, Sunday, May 18th, singer/songwriterJenai Huff and fiddler Deni Bonet, will be performing in “Great Strides,”the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event at the Lyndhurst Mansion, 635 South Broadway, Tarrytown, New York 10591. The show day begins at 9am and ends at 2pm. Jenai will be on at 11:15 on the Veranda and Deni is in the Bowling alley at 11:25.
Singer/songwriter Martina Fišerová, from Prague, Czech Republic, will be performing on Sunday, May 18th, 5pm, at Rockwood Music Hall, 196 Allen Street, NYC.
On Monday, May 19th there will be a reading of Joe Davidson’s play, “The Rekindling” featuring Mary Tierney as actress Nancy Morris and Ron Ryan as Barney Morris. All are invited to Chelsea Street Studios #5, 151 West 26th St., NYC. Wine will be served.
On Tuesday, May 20 at 7:30 pm AWOW member Kevin Holohan will be at the Irish Arts Center in conversation with Irish author Johanna Lane to celebrate the launch of her haunting and accomplished debut novel “Black Lake,” a compelling study of the importance of place in how we create identity and store memories and history. Irish Arts Center 553 West 51 Street, New York, NY 10019. Tickets $10 member/$12 non-member. Click here for details
Artists Without Walls’ member Jenai Huff will be doing a live performance/interview on 90.3 fm WMSC. The show is ‘Radio Nowhere’ and runs from 7-10pm. Jenai will be on about 8pm for 45 min to an hour. It can also be listened to online at http://wmscradio.com./
Bernadette Fee, well-known New York fiddler leads at seisiun at Cannon’s Blackthorn, 49 North Village Ave., Rockville Centre, NY 11570-4604, today, 1-4pm.
Charles R. Hale will be presenting Breathing of an Ancestors Space and Time, a video and spoken presentation, which focuses on the importance of taking the time to find one’s family story. A simple question–Where is your baby sister buried?–sent Charles on a journey of self reflection and discovery. Today, 3pm at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY.
Singer/songwriter Ed Romanoff said, “If you were to put Ed Sullivan, Oscar Wilde and TEDTalks into a blender you’d get Artist Without Walls. The Showcase is a friendly environment for artists to share their work and start unique collaborations in a remarkably intimate setting. One of the most receptive and fun shows I’ve been a part of…”
Poet Angela Alaimo O’Donnell offered a powerful reading of selections from her books Moving House, Saint Sinatra, and Waking My Mother. Hers are fierce, finely-wrought poems that embrace unlovely realities–the hard life of “Coal Town,” the families that labor beneath its ashen skies, the death of a father, the loves of a mother, spiritual hope dogged by spiritual despair. O’Donnell’s superb, inspired language and forgiving imagination have somehow survived the “slag heaps” of home. Her passionate performance offered public witness to the power of poetry to speak the unspeakable, to articulate for us all what we cannot, and to redeem our lives and losses through beauty.
Ceramic artist Sana Musasama began her compelling performance, which included a filmed photo-journey of her art and travels, stating that as a world traveler she seeks out the comfort and protection of women in traditional cultures She visits markets that are dominated by women who invite her into their lives, guide her and teach her; they feed her passion. Sana’s work is about an experience that triggers an emotion , sometimes a place or a time. She then submerges herself with information that informs these ideas and concepts. As she said, “When I feel this overwhelming presence I poetically call my extra heart beat. I then pick up my clay and begin to build.”
Visiting Irish writer Alan McMonagle read from his newly published collection, Psychotic Episodes. In ten captive minutes he excerpted a story that manages to accommodate a six-hundred-year-old woman, a talking cat, a marijuana grower, a pair of deaf and blind philosophers, a notorious womanizer, and a Yoga Master become property developer. We hope to see Alan back in the States soon. A most welcome addition to the AWoW lineup of talent.
Singer/songwriter Diana Jones made a dazzling Showcase debut singing three songs. She opened with “Henry Russell’s Last Words,” a song she wrote, based on a letter a dying miner scratched on a piece of paper while trapped in a mine. Diana followed with “Pony” a song told from the viewpoint of a young Native American girl in the 1920s who is forced to assimilate to a life and culture that is not her own. She ended her set with a song from her brand new release Museum of Appalachia Recordings. Diana combines traditional mountain and old-time sounds with a literate, character-driven brand of storytelling. She will be appearing in NYC at Hill Country NY on Monday, November 4th. I highly recommend getting tickets to hear this great talent. Click here for ticket info
Fiddler Deni Bonet and singer and AWoW cofounder Niamh Hyland accompanied Ed Romanoff on four tunes. Mixing humor and warmth with darker tones, aided by two very accomplished musicians, Ed’s songs, stories of the human condition, captivated the audience. Niamh closed out the set with a touching, soulful tribute to her mother Margaret and grandmother Sarah by performing the old Irish ballad: “The Parish of Knockmore.” She followed it with a haunting and powerful version of Alanis Morissette’s tune “Uninvited”. Beautiful singing and a voice that can go from zero-to-sixty in a heartbeat.
Ron Vazzano read from his books of poems Shots from a Passing Car, in a an exuberant and energetic manner, in the best tradition of spoken word performance. His satiric and cutting edge style was most evident in “Blue Sky Session At Morning,” which recounts moments in time from his previous life as an advertising executive. This piece especially elicited an hilarious response from an audience, obviously attuned to the “Mad Man” culture.
We were pleased to have Jenai Huff join us again last night. Jenai played three songs from her new EP Grace and Elbow Grease. The first song was the title track, followed by “Make This Be” and closing with with “Come Home.” Jenai’s songs are about life, love and loss and she clearly has a reverence for them. Her pure and soulful voice and big smile coax the listener to relax.
The evening concluded with a tour-de-force performance from a work written by the very talented actor D.J. Sharp. His portrayal of Tennessee Williams in his final three days of his life at New York’s Hotel Elysee was spellbinding and brought down the house. A brilliant end to a night filled with one great performance after another.
At the end of the evening AWoW member Ray Lindie said, “Brilliant! Somehow egos are left at the door and you sit there absorbing these wonderful performances. And by the end of the evening you find yourself connected to your soul.”
The next Artists Without Walls Showcase will be on November 26th at The Cell Theater, 338 W. 23rd St., NYC. For more information on Artists Without Walls contact email@example.com
Photos by Cat Dwyer and Vera Hoar