It takes lots of talent to put on a successful Showcase each month. But just as importantly, it takes a highly organized, skilled and competent person to handle the lighting, computer technology, the digital equipment, setting up the theater, scheduling, and Lord knows what else. We are fortunate to have just the right person working with us, Suley Ly. And if that isn’t enough he does everything with a great smile and a kind word. Artists Without Walls thanks you for all you do for us, Sir Suley. You really are a gem. Photo by Vera Hoar.
Singer/songwriter Michael Brunnock and actor John Duddy will be performing an excerpt from Michael’s new work, a musical drama highlighting the life and legacy of Irish Nationalist hero Roger Casement at Artists Without Walls’ First Anniversary Showcase, Tuesday, Jan. 28th at The Cell Theater in New York.
Michael possesses an extraordinary voice, and his song writing is profound. It’s no surprise that David Byrne (Talking Head’s) cast him to sing the role of an Irish musician on the brink of success whose voice guides Sean Penn through an emotional journey of self-discovery in the film ’This Must Be the Place’ (2012). The score by Byrne with lyrics by Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy) called for a distinctive vocalist, which Brunnock is, and the song ‘If it falls, it falls’ won a David di Donatello award, equivalent to the Italian Oscars.
Former middleweight boxing champion turned actor, John Duddy, who made his New York City stage debut in Kid Shamrock, will soon be appearing in Artists Without Walls’ member Colin Broderick’s Father Who at The Theater 80. The show opens on February 26th.
Join these two terrific talents this Tuesday night, January 28th at Artists Without Walls’ First Anniversary Showcase at The Cell Theater, 7pm, 338 W. 23rd St., NYC.
Artists Without Walls is happy to announce that Yuri Martín Juárez Yllescas guitarist, arranger and composer, will be performing at Artists Without Walls First Anniversary Showcase on Tuesday, January 28, 7pm at The Cell Theater.
Yuri began his career in 1996 as guitarist for various groups of Afro-Peruvian music, folk and fusion. His musical training ranges from formal studies with the Afro-Peruvian masters of the guitar Pepe Torres, Alvaro Lagos and Jorge Madueño and more “street” experience in Afro-Peruvian peñas.
Yuri has shared the stage and recorded with Eva Ayllón, Susana Baca, Chaqueta Piaggio Ebelin Ortiz, Pilar de la Hoz, Carmina Cannavino, Mariella Valencia, Pamela Rodriguez, Elena Romero, iconic Peruvian composers Kiri Escobar and Javier Lazo, and trail blazing bands including the Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet, Novalima, Teatro del Milenio and Sin Líneas en el Mapa, among others.
In December of 2009 Yuri received the Latin Jazz Corner Awards in the categories of Best Afroperuvian Jazz Album and Best Latin Jazz Guitarist debut for his work “Afroperuano.”
Here’s a great cut of Yuri accompanying singer Sofia Tosello.
Artists Without Walls in this week’s Irish Echo, featuring photos from AWoW’s Collaboration Night at the Cell and Charles R. Hale’s “Rise Up Singing: Women in the Labor Movement.” Photos by Vera Hoar and Cat Dwyer.
Some comments from Tuesday night’s Artists Without Walls “Collaboration Night.”
“Once again I thank you for the wonderful opportunity and venue you have provided for artists to showcase their talents.” Ron Vazzano
“Stupendous experience. Oh, the memories! A special highlight of my life participating at AWoW last night.” Cynthia Neale
“Good people, great fun! Let’s put on a show!” Jack O’Connell
“The photos capture the sweetness and magic of that night!” Jenai Huff
“I still have a smile on my face since Tuesday night, it was so much fun.” Tzila Levy
One of the objectives of Artists Without Walls is for members to collaborate with other artists of the same or different disciplines. Over the course of AWoW’s first ten months we’ve had a number of collaborations that have led to some wonderful performances and we know, given the opportunity, there are many more waiting to happen.
Last Tuesday AWoW had it’s first “Collaborative Night.” Six groups of three or four members, who have worked together for the past two months, presented short works. The idea behind the event was to get the creative juices flowing and come up with something creative and entertaining.
The evening began with a short work written by Honor Molloy and Joe Goodrich. Caroline Winterson and Annette Homann were wonderful as a woman looking for love and another looking for work in “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.” Charles Hale played the shifty and lubricious, bar owner/pianist.
Marni, Rice, Jack O’Connell and Guen Donohue each showcased their special talents in a skit about Coney Island circa 1970. Marni’s accordion, Jack’s “barking” and Guen’s yearning all worked brilliantly together and perfectly captured a “gone-by” era.
Singer/songwriter Jenai Huff adeptly wove two songs through Cynthia O’Neale’s compelling reenactment of a story of her character Nora from her book, “Norah: The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th-Century New York,” and Joanna Rush’s dramatic performance of a character from her solo play “Asking For It.” The skit was titled “Women Who Rise Up Through Adversity.” This radiant trio gets the award for having the most fun. What a delight!
Noel Lawlor and Michele Cetera presented “Private Illusions”, combining Tennessee Williams, “Glass Menagerie” and “Streetcar named Desire.” Two different plays, two different characters and yet the protagonists, Tom and Blanche, have much in common. Each creates their own “private illusions” to cope with life’s disappointments and lost dreams, while never escaping ghosts from the past. Great work from two fine actors.
Fiddler and singer Deni Bonet opened her group’s skit with a stirring rendition of her song, “One in a Million” and then proceeded to create evocative moods for the wonderful poetry of Ron Vazzano and Mary Tierney.
The next Artists Without Walls’ Showcase will be on Thursday, December 19, 7pm, at The Cell Theater, 338 w. 23rd St., NYC. For more information on Artists Without Walls contact email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org