Tag Archives: Nyack

M Shanghai String Band playing in Nyack

M Shanghai String Band: old-timey joy. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Acoustic country-folk collective kicks off GraceMusic’s 41st season of Great Music in a Great Space

The fantastic M Shanghai String Band brings its old-timey, joyous country folk sounds to Nyack, N.Y., to kick off the 41st season of GraceMusic on Sunday, Oct. 17.

Richard Morris steps up to the mic for a solo with M Shanghai String Band.

Visit the M Shanghai String Band MySpace page to hear samples of the band’s music.

Every member of this Brooklyn-based acoustic collective — which at times puts as many as 11 musicians onstage at once — is an accomplished musician in her or his own right. Many of them are involved in other bands, too. So when they mass their awesome talents together onstage as M Shanghai String Band, they put on a roof-raising, rollicking good show.

The band, which takes its name from the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Chinese restaurant where it began in 2002, has an old-fashioned Grand Old Opry-style performance aesthetic. Players crowd around a single mic, stepping up to take turns on leads and solos. The music, likewise, is deeply rooted in the old-fashioned American musical traditions that spawned the Opry, their repertoire includes mostly original material that deals with issues both timeless and contemporary in often humorous ways.

The band is a fan favorite at Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a hotbed of traditional music.

Don’t miss this show. Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? is a huge fan of this band. (Full disclosure: We serve on the GraceMusic board and are friends with one of the players.) Make a day of it by visiting Nyack early in the day for brunch or lunch, and then settle in for a great session of foot-stomping music in a lovely space.

We guarantee you’ll have a good time  — including the great meet-the-artists reception afterward!

4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 17. GraceMusic, Grace Episcopal Church, 130 First Avenue, Nyack, N.Y. (845) 358-1297. Tickets at the door only: $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for students.

Patty Hughes, Austin Hughes and Matt Schickele of M Shanghai String Band.

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ETA3 to shine in Nyack

The stellar trio ETA3.

ETA3, a hip, young classical trio formed at the The Juilliard School that takes its name from a star-forming nebula in our galaxy. The trio’s name also happens to use the first letter of the first name of each member: flutist Emily Thomas, pianist Tomoko Nakayama and clarinetist Alexey Gorokholinsky.

They bring their unconventional lineup of flute, clarinet and piano to the stage of GraceMusic this Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock. (Full disclosure: Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? recently joined the board of this Nyack-based concert presenter. My only pay for that job, like the job of maintaining this blog, is the satisfaction of fostering the arts.)

Since there’s little repertoire written for their particular instrumentation, the talented trio adapt and arrange music themselves, often distilling pieces from larger orchestral compositions.

Sunday’s program features Debussy’s Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun, Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dance and Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance,  as well as Trio in Three Movements by Khachaturian  and Carmen Fantasy, adapted from a famous transcription by Sarasate.

In some vocabularies, ETA also stands for estimated time of arrival. They’ll arrive onstage at GraceMusic at 4 pm this Sunday, Feb. 28. The concert is in the beautiful nave of Grace Church, 130 First  Ave., Nyack, NY. Tickets are $15 at the door ($10 for seniors and $5 for students). For more information about GraceMusic, go here, click on Music in the navigation bar at the bottom of the page and on GraceMusic at the top of the Music Page. Or check out GraceMusic’s facebook page and become a fan.

Don’t miss Anonymous 4 in Nyack tomorrow

Anonymous 4

Anonymous 4

This is just a reminder to anyone in the NYC metro area that Anonymous 4 are performing Saturday, Oct. 10, at GraceMusic in Nyack, NY. It’s a pleasant and easy trip up the Hudson Valley from the five boroughs or anywhere else in the Tri-State.

The first ladies of early music will be performing their new program, Secret Voices: Music from The Las Huelgas Codex, c. 1300.

It’ll be a fantastic show. And it’s for a good cause, as proceeds will be donated the church, which has housed GraceMusic for decades. Get there early, as seating is general admission. GraceMusic has a limited number of stadium cushions available to make the wooden pews more comfortable. But since this show is likely to draw a full house, I’d advise you to bring your own cushion if possible.

If you drive, the concert is just two blocks from the heart of the village, in easy walking distance from the municipal parking lot and steps away from buses from Tarrytown (connecting service from Metro-North’s Hudson Line) and Manhattan. For schedule information, click here.

Read previous coverage by Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? here. And click here to read more on Anonymous 4’s web site.

Anonymous 4 performs at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. A meet-the-artists reception follows the concert. Free child care available. Grace Episcopal Church, 130 First Avenue, Nyack, NY. (845) 358-1297. $20 at the door.

Who needs roadies: Pete Seeger is 90 and still carries his own gear!

Pete Seeger is still carrying his own gear – at 90 years of age! (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

Pete Seeger is still carrying his own gear – at 90 years of age! (Copyright 2009, Steven P. Marsh)

The crowd in Nyack’s Memorial Park was getting antsy after dark fell last night. The several hundred people gathered in the park on the banks of the Hudson River were waiting for one man: legendary folk singer Pete Seeger.

He was the headliner for the Health Care for All rally. The organizers kept assuring the crowd that Pete was on the way, racing to Nyack after an appearance in Manhattan’s Central Park. But by shortly after 7, it started looking like the rally’s 7:30 end time would come and go before Pete got there.

The crowd crowded the stage for a glimpse of Pete Seeger.

The crowd crowded the stage for a glimpse of Pete Seeger.

Then someone near the park entrance shouted, “He’s here. Somebody just saw him.” That caused some in the back of the crowd to turn and face the driveway into the park, expecting to see a livery car racing in. Instead, through the gathering darkness strode a rail-thin man in a chambray shirt and jeans, a floppy hat on his had, with two gig bags, one slug from each shoulder.

Yes, it was the 90-year-old folk icon, walking into the park, carrying his own gear. A roar rose up from the crowd, which seemed to double in size as people pushed forward to get a glimpse of Pete.

He apologized for being so late, explaining that this was is fourth event of the day — which he spent racing between his home in Beacon, to NYC to Nyack. And then he launched into energetic performances of  a handful of familiar songs, including a “rap” version of “English is Crazy,” a singalong of “This Land is Your Land,” and a beautiful rendition of his 1950 chart-topper “Goodnight, Irene.”

The energy was intense. And I’m sure that the doubters who left before Pete arrived are kicking themselves for missing out on such a vital performance.

A number of other musicians performed brief sets during the nearly four-hour-long rally, including the Roues Brothers of West Nyack, Tom Chapin of Piermont and Emory Joseph of NYC.

Check out the Nyack News & Views report here.

Click through to the jump for more photos. Continue reading

Pete Seeger, Tom Chapin perform at Nyack health-care reform rally

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger

Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger and Piermont’s own Grammy Award-winning folksinger Tom Chapin will headline a Health Care for All Rally in Nyack’s Memorial Park tomorrow.

Tom_Chapin_CROPPED

Tom Chapin

Pete, 90, and Tom top a roster that also includes  New York City blues rocker Emory Joseph and The Roues Brothers from West Nyack.

The rally for universal health care was organized by Health Care for All Now and is co-sponsored by The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Rockland Progressive Dems, Spring Valley NAACP, Nyack NAACP, WESPAC Foundation, Organizing for America, and Rockland Women’s Political Caucus.

For further background, click here to read an article from  The Journal News about the rally.

Health Care For All Rally, Sunday, Oct. 4, 4:30-7:30 pm. Memorial Park, 53 Piermont Ave (at Depew Ave.) Nyack, NY. (845) 512-3261 http://healthcareforall.tripod.com.

Voices along the Hudson: Anonymous 4 coming to Nyack

Ruth Cunningham, Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer and Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek

ANONYMOUS 4: Ruth Cunningham, Marsha Genensky, Susan Hellauer and Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek (Photo by Christian Steiner)

Anonymous 4, the female vocal quartet that has long been at the forefront of modern interpretation of medieval chant and polyphonic music is coming to the Nyack next month.

The concert will kick off the 40th season of GraceMusic on Saturday, Oct. 10, in the Gothic-style nave of  Grace Episcopal Church in the village on the banks of the Hudson River at the western end of the Tappan Zee bridge. It’s an intimate room with a bright, lively acoustic. The concert is a benefit for the parish’s Second Mile fund-raising campaign.

The internationally known a cappella quartet will perform a program called Secret Voices: The Sisters of Las Huelgas. It features 13th-century polyphony and sacred Latin song from the Spanish Las Huelgas Codex, collected for a convent of aristocratic women. They defied a rule that forbade them to sing polyphony and produced the most beautiful and demanding music in Europe at that time.

Anonymous 4 performs at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10. A meet-the-artists reception follows the concert. Free child care available. Grace Episcopal Church, 130 First Avenue, Nyack, NY. (845) 358-1297. $20 at the door.

EXCLUSIVE: Jon Pousette-Dart was born to make music!

Jon Pousette-Dart (Photo by talisman.com)

Jon Pousette-Dart (Photo by talisman.com)

It’s nice to meet a rock musician like Jon Pousette-Dart who’s really in it for the long haul. He’s been playing music since he was a young boy in Suffern, N.Y.

Jon, who continued to tour and play even when the major-label spotlight shifted away from him in the early Eighties, tells Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? what keeps him going:

“I do it because him have to do it. It’s kind of who I am,” Jon. And while Jon is clearly a smart guy, who no doubt would be successful at almost anything he might tackle, he modestly suggests he has little choice of vocation because “I don’t know if there’s anything else I could do.”

Evidence from Jon's scrapbook shows he was playing music in 1962, when he was about 10 years old.

Evidence from Jon's scrapbook shows he was playing music in 1962, when he was about 10 years old.

Jon, the son of Abstract Expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart, began playing musici with friends when he was quite young, even forming a band  called Tony and the Tigers with Tony and Hunt Sales, sons of TV comedian (and neighbor) Soupy Sales. (The Sales boys later comprised the rhythm section on Iggy Pop‘s classic album Lust for Life, before becoming part of David Bowie‘s Tin Machine.)

“I knew even when I was a kid that this was what I was going to be doing,” says Jon, a self-taught guitarist who learned most of his chops from his older sister’s record collection. “It’s always been about being in music for the long run.”

In 1973, Jon formed the Pousette-Dart Band (PDB for short), and quickly was signed to Capitol Records. PDB brought bring Jon’s warm voice to bear on a string of countryish folk-rock tunes like “Amnesia” and a cover of the 1961 rock standard, “Stand By Me.” PDB’s sound was cheeful, bright and overall a little less polished than similar work by the Eagles, James Taylor or even Orleans, another band with New York roots. PDB was perfectly positioned as an alternative to the over-hyped sound of some of the big artists of the day.

The band broke up in 1981, but Jon has continued to perform, as a solo artist and with bands, ever since. He’s managed to stay afloat while dealing with huge changes in the music business. All while, Jon says, his approach to making music remains pretty steadfast. “It really hasn’t consciously changed, it has organically evolved. Over time, you become open and receptive to other things. But I was kind of rooted in roots, blues and rock-and-roll.” And even though he’s a Northerner (born in New York City in 1952, and a resident of its northwestern suburbs on and off for much of his life), he has a deep affinity for the South. “Almost everything I’ve drawn from, musically, is from down South. There’s a real layer of depth in the South.”

The one thing that has changed is Jon’s writing habits. “When I was starting out, I  wrote everything on my own. But then in the early Nineties, my manager brought me to Nashville and got me started collaborating. I really enjoyed that. It opened up a whole new perspective.”

Jon is still actively recording (a new album is due later this year) and playing shows. “Live performance is invaluable to a songwriter. It’s part of the process. You start to play a song out and it shifts and changes.” But finding places to play is the tough part in a market that Jon calls “oversaturated” with bands. So he’s thrilled to be bringing his sound back home to Rockland County with a gig in Piermont tomorrow and in Nyack next month.

The Jon Pousette-Dart Band plays at 9 p.m., Friday, May 1.  At  The Turning Point, 468 Piermont Ave., Piermont, N.Y.; (845) 359-1089. $25. (Also June 13 at Riverspace in Nyack, N.Y.)