Well, if you’d been at Rockwood Music Hall last year for Charles R. Hale’s “The Musical History of the Lower East Side,” you would have seen and heard Noah Hoffeld and Basya Schechter perform Shnirele Perele and you would agree: Yiddish music rocks. If you can get up to the Bronx tomorrow afternoon, Thursday, April 7th, 12:30 pm, you’ll see what we mean.
Join us as Noah and Basya, and a brilliant cast of musicians, perform some of the tunes that comprise the “Musical History of the Lower East Side.” The event will take place at Lehman College’s Studio Theatre, 250 Bedford Park Blvd W, Bronx, NY. This is a free event which is being sponsored by Lehman College: The City and Humanities Program and the CUNY Institute of Irish Studies. Click here for directions.
Artists Without Walls’ member, soprano Ashley Bell, will be performing a number of Italian songs as part of Charles R. Hale’s “Musical History of the Lower East Side,” at Lehman College, Thursday, April 7, 12:30pm.
Many of our nation’s ethnic communities trace their roots to the Lower East Side, historically, a working class neighborhood, ethnically diverse and poor. A steady stream of Italian immigrants began arriving in America in the late 19th and early 20th century, including, Italians from Naples and Southern Italy who brought with them a traditional form of singing known as Neapolitan music. In New York City, Italian tenors such as Enrico Caruso and Beniamino Gigli popularized such songs as O Sole Mio, Funiculi Funicula, and Non ti Scordar di me. The steady stream of Italian immigrants also helped popularize the Metropolitan Opera, which debuted a number of Italian operas, including Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in 1918. The most popular aria from that opera remains “O Mil Bambino Caro.”
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 sixteen 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 Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in the Narni Festival in Italy with the Orchestra Filarmonica di Roma, Norina in Don Pasquale in Logroño, Spain, Violetta in La Traviata at the Bay Street Theatre, Isabella Colbran in the premiere of Discovering Mrs. Rossini at the new Sheen Center in NYC, and Musetta at the National Opera Center.
The performance will be in the Studio Theatre, Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd W, Bronx, NY, Thursday, April 7, 12:30pm. This is a free event which is being sponsored by Lehman College: The City and Humanities Program and the CUNY Institute of Irish Studies. Click here for directions.
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.
“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! Niamh Hyland, Maritri Garrett, Honor Finnegan, Basya Schechter, Ashley Bell and with equally beautiful instrumentals from Noah Hoffield and Deni Bonet. Curated and M.C’d by the one and only, Charles R. Hale. A slice of New York History. Take it on the road guys! Hopefully this will be done again…. not to be missed.” Actress/Director Aedin Moloney
The Irish, leaving behind famine and poverty, began streaming into the country in the 1840’s. The emigrés wrote a large number of emigrant ballads, which were usually sad laments, steeped in nostalgia and self-pity, and despite the troubles they’d left, singing the praises of their native soil. But they also brought Celtic music with them. One tune “Red Haired Boy,” a melody common to fiddlers throughout Scotland and Ireland was transferred nearly intact to the American fiddle tradition where it has been a favorite of bluegrass fiddlers in recent times. Fiddler Deni Bonet opened the evening with a rendition of the tune.
Stephen Foster known as “the father of American music” was an American songwriter known for his parlor and minstrel music. The minstrel show was an American form of entertainment developed in the 19th century, consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface. Popularized in the 1830 and 40s, in New York City alone, when minstrelsy was at its height in the 1850s and 60s, there were ten theaters in New York City devoted almost solely to minstrel entertainment. Bonet strung together a medley of Foster’s tunes, illustrative of the minstrel style: “The Old Folks at Home,” “Camptown Races,” and “Oh Susanna.”
Singer Niamh Hyland, cellist Noah Hoffeld joined Deni to perform two of Foster’s parlor songs, “Hard Times Come Again No More,” written in 1854 and “Slumber My Darling,” written in 1862, two years after Foster moved to New York.
Many ethnic groups or cultures tend to claim sections of New York City as historically their own. 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 two million Yiddish-speaking Jews left Eastern Europe and
Russia where repeated pogroms made life unbearable for many. The immigrants brought a great deal of their European music with them and the music became an integral part of the immigrant’s life. Two of these songs “Oyfn Pripetchik” and “Shnirele perele” were performed by guitarist/singer Basya Schecter and cellist Hoffeld .
The first Italian opera, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, was performed in the United States in NYC in 1825, but it wasn’t until a steady stream of Italian immigrants began arriving in America in the late 19th and early 20th century—four million—that the popularity of Italian opera picked up steam. The Metropolitan Opera debuted a number of Italian operas, including Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in 1918. The most popular aria from that opera remains “O Mio Babbino Caro,” which was performed by soprano Ashley Bell who accompanied herself on piano.
Canzone Napoletana, sometimes referred to as Neapolitan song, is a term for a traditional form of music sung in the Neapolitan language. Many of the Neapolitan songs became world-famous after they were taken abroad by emigrants from Naples and southern Italy. The music was popularized in New York City by performers such as Enrico Caruso, who took to singing the popular music of his native city as encores at the Metropolitan Opera. Bell sang one of the most popular Neapolitan songs, “No ti Scordar di me.”
If many are unfamiliar with the names Israel Baline, Samuel Cohen, Isidore Hochberg, and Jacob and Israel Gershowitz, it’s because they were better known as Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Yip Harburg and George and Ira Gershwin, composers who were either born or raised on the Lower East Side. George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me,” was sung by Maritri Garrett, who played the guitar, with additional accompaniment from fiddler Bonet.
Yip Harburg wrote a number of popular tunes including “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” and “April in Paris,” but he’s probably best known for the Wizard of Oz’s “Over The Rainbow,” which he wrote with Harold Arlen, and for which they won an Academy Award. The versatile Garrett moved to the piano and performed “If I Had A Brain,” also from the “Wizard.”
The East Village was once considered the Lower East Side’s northwest corner; however, in the 1960s, the demographics of the area above Houston Street began to change, as hipsters, musicians, and artists moved in. And from 1968 to 1971 the Fillmore East, located in a Second Avenue building that was originally a Yiddish theatre, was the rock palace of the world. The performers are legendary: The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and many others performed there. The brilliant singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell appeared at the Fillmore on April 26, 1969. Honor Finnegan, accompanied by Carl Money on guitar performed two of Mitchell’s songs, “All I Want” and “Both Sides Now.”
Some American music critics began using the term “punk” in the early 1970s to describe garage bands and their devotees. By late 1976 Patti Smith, Television and the Ramones in New York City were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement performing in such places as the famed CBGB at 315 Bowery. To close out the evening Hyland, Bonet, Hoffeld and Garrett performed a song from that era, a rousing rendtion of Blondie’s “Call Me.”
Musician, storyteller & actor Richard Stillman be playing Irish music at the Verona Inn with guitarist Paul Byrne on Sundays, 6-9pm (March 29, April 5, 12 & 19). The music will include vocals, guitar, tenor banjo, mandolin, pennywhistle, concertina, bones, harmonica and bagpipes. The address is: 624 Bloomfield Ave. Verona, NJ. For info. call 973 239 0544.
Kathleen Bennett Bastis’ solo art show opens on March 31-April 25th at First Street Gallery, 526, W26th, Suite 209 in Manhattan. Opening reception is April 2, 6-8pm. “I am inspired by the distinctive character, energy and form found in the fragments of discarded, washed up, broken or otherwise overlooked materials which I salvage from the street, river bank and scrap yards. Their unique shape, texture and hue guide my creative process as I reinterpret the history of this detritus and construct a contemporary visual narrative.” Kathleen Bennet Bastis
Artists Without Walls: Performance Series
“The Musical History of the Lower East Side”
Join members of Artists Without Walls on April 2nd, 7pm, as it journeys through the music of the Lower East Side. Celtic music, Minelstry, Yiddish music and humor, Italian opera and Neapolitan song, Jazz and Rock presented by a talent cast including, Ashley Galvani Bell, Deni Bonet, Maritri Garrett, Niamh Hyland, Noah Hoffeld and Baysa Schecther. And some Yiddish humor from Nancy Redman. Narrated by Charles R. Hale. Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3, 185 Orchard St, NYC. Tickets $15 and $20. For ticket info click here. Use the code AWWMEMBER for an AWoW discount.
Opening on April 4th and running through April 25th, Jack O’Connell, will be starring in the World Premiere of The BISCUIT CLUB, Marianne Driscoll’s canine comedy inspired by The Breakfast Club. Directed by Kira Simring. For ticket info click here Use the code awow for discounted tickets.
Ever wonder what goes on in a kennel when people aren’t around? THE BISCUIT CLUB gives audiences a behind-the-bars peek into Bradley’s Bed & Biscuit, a boarding house for dogs. When an aging Bulldog, a jumpy Beagle, a glamorous Shih Tzu, a grumpy Pit Bull, a champion Airedale Terrier and a wide-eyed Labrador pup are locked together for the night, a doggone good time is in store for all.
Artists Without Walls: Gallery Series
Kathleen Bennett Bastis: “Permutations”
Join Kathleen Bennett Bastis and Artists Without Walls on April 10th, 6;30pm at First Street Gallery, 526, W26th St, Suite 209 when Kathleen, in conjunction with AWow, will be celebrating the arts–including Kathleen’s mixed-media art and live entertainment. Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks will be served. Entertainment during the evening provided by Annette Homann, Martina Fiserova and Allison Syliva.
Soprano Ashley Galvani Bell will be performing in SEÑORA/SIGNORA ROSSINI: A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE OF ISABELLA COLBRAN on April 10th and 11th, 2015 at 8 pm at the Loretto Theater at the Sheen Center in NoHo, located on the corner of Elizabeth and Bleecker Street in New York City. The show will be presented as a multi-disciplinary concert for classical singers, piano, harp and actor/narrator.
For more information and to order tickets click here. Tickets are $10 for the balcony and $30 for the orchestra. Please note there is $10 discount for orchestra seats using a SPECIAL AWOW DISCOUNT CODE…Divaria1 (Be sure to use a cap D. Case sensitive.)