Category Archives: World Music

Bang on a Can Marathon moving to Brooklyn with promise of ‘politics, resistance and love’

Asphalt Orchestra performing at the 2015 Bang on a Can Marathon at the Winter Garden in Manhattan on June 21. (© 2015 Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Asphalt Orchestra performing at the 2015 Bang on a Can Marathon at the Winter Garden in Manhattan on June 21. (© 2015 Steven P. Marsh/willyoumissme.com)

Bang on a Can, the premiere purveyor of New Music in New York City, is rebooting its  iconic Marathon concert with a move to Brooklyn in May, after a year off. Organizers promise it will be an “8-hour marathon concert of politics, resistance, and love.”

The Marathon lost its downtown Manhattan home of a decade at the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center (now renamed Brookfield Place). The organizers skipped a 2016 edition, but promised a new location for the its 30th anniversary this year.

They delivered on that promise Thursday, announcing that the genre-busting musical celebration lands at the Brooklyn Museum on May 6, from 2-10 p.m.

The Marathon was somewhat itinerant prior to its 10-year run at the Winter Garden, spending time at mostly Manhattan venues, ranging from the Soho art gallery where it started in 1987, to the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side, to Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

Despite its Manhattan roots, this won’t be the first time the Marathon was held in Brooklyn. In 2000 and 2001, it was staged at BAM, just a block or two away from Bang on a Can’s longtime headquarters on Hanson Place in Fort Greene. Continue reading

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Sufi rocker Salman Ahmad fights polio and oppression with music

Salman Ahmad (Photo by Chris Ramirez)

Salman Ahmad (Photo by Chris Ramirez)

Salman Ahmad was born in Pakistan, but he developed his love of rock and roll during the formative teen years he spent in Tappan, New York, a town in southern Rockland County.

Today, a quarter century after founding the multi-million selling band Junoon in Pakistan, where he returned in his late teens, he’s still making music. Now, more than ever, it’s in service to his humanitarian spirit as much as to his Rockland-born rock and roll heart.

I had the chance to speak with Ahmad by Skype the other day about his life and work.

Though music is his life, he’s also a trained physician. Right now, he’s back in Pakistan, using his celebrity, and a bit of his medial savvy, in the battle to eradicate polio there.

But all the while, he’s looking over his shoulder, because, while he’s a Muslim like most in his homeland, he’s a known target for extremists who don’t like the Western influence he brings with him.

Go here.to read the whole interview, done for The Journal News/lohud.com.

 

 

WIN TICKETS to see legendary Brazilian Sixties psychedelic band Os Mutantes at LPR — the band’s only US show this year

Os Mutantes 1968: Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee, and Sérgio Dias Baptista.

Os Mutantes 1968: Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee, and Sérgio Dias Baptista.

One Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? reader has a treat in store: A free pair of  tickets to see Brazilian psychedelic rock band Os Mutantes at Manhattan’s (le) poisson rouge.

It’s the band’s only U.S. date this year, and thanks to the wonderful folks at LPR, I have a pair to give away. Read through to the jump to learn how to enter.

Os Mutantes has been a favorite of mine for some years, although I knew nothing about the band in its heyday. Email and the Internet have helped me learn a lot about what was going elsewhere in the world while I was growing up hearing the Beatles on the radio.

Brothers Arnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Baptista Dias joined forces in 1966 with singer Rita Lee to form a band that became a key part of  the wildly experimental Tropicália movement in their homeland.

Here’s Os Mutantes’ debut album from 1968. It still sounds remarkable after all these years.

TICKET ENTRY INFO AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading

John Cohen: ‘I’m drowning in my past’

John Cohen  (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)

John Cohen (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)

I got the chance recently to spend an hour or so talking to John Cohen, one of the legendary figures of the musical and artistic scene of Greenwich Village in the 1960s, for The Journal News/lohud.com.

Cohen, the founder of the New Lost City Ramblers is still making music — now with a trio of much younger musical traditionalists in the Down Hill Strugglers — promoting his documentary films, working creating a cultural center in his hometown of Putnam Valley, New York, and preparing to start painting again.

The 82-year-old says he has explored so many ways of expressing his creativity over the years that “I’m drowning in my past.”

Check out the full interview online at lohud.com by tapping or clicking here. Or pick up a copy of the Tuesday, March 10, edition of The Journal News.

The Feelies perform on the silver screen and live in Westchester County

The Feeles perform as The Willies in Jonathan Demme's 1986 movie "Something Wild."

The Feelies perform as The Willies in Jonathan Demme’s 1986 movie “Something Wild.”

Music and film fans will get a rare opportunity to see some time travel at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, N.Y., on Sunday, June 1, when The Feelies take the stage.

The band is booked at the celebrated film center as part of “Something Wild: The Films of Jonathan Demme,” a festival that runs through June 11 to celebrate the director (and longtime Feelies fan) of “Something Wild,” “Stop Making Sense,” “Storefront Hitchcock,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Philadelphia,” and many, many more.

The Feelies are taking the stage after a screening of Demme’s dark 1986 romcom (did that conflation even exist back then?) “Something Wild.” The truly wacky movie about two good-hearted, but not exactly honest, people (Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels) searching for truth and love, features The Feelies (playing The Willies in the movie), along with a superbly curated soundtrack of pop songs from the era. Continue reading

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion bring Wassaic Way to Saturday’s Wassaic Festival

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion at Wilco's Solid Sound Festival in 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion at Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival in 2011. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion are making a Hudson Valley appearance on Saturday, Aug. 3 at the all-free Wassaic Festival in Dutchess County, which starts today and runs through Sunday (Aug. 2-4).

There’s something nice about hitting the namesake town in the early stages of touring their latest album, the seriously charming Wassaic Way. The husband-and-wife-duo (she’s daughter of Arlo Guthrie and granddaughter of Woody Guthrie) are really proud of the self-released album (which is to be released Aug. 6) they made with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone.

Stay tuned for a full interview with the creative couple. But for now, I just wanted to alert you to their gig coming Saturday. I’ve never been to the Wassaic Project, a center that aims to create context for art making and strengthening local community by increasing social and cultural capital through inspiration, promotion and creation of contemporary visual and performing art. It’s at the very last stop on Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem Line. This is the sixth year for the festival, a free, three-day event featuring art, music, dance, and community featuring over 100 artists, 25 bands, film screenings, dance performances and more.

If you go

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion perform at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug 3.,  on the Luther Barn Stage. The Wassaic Festival began today (Aug. 2)  with various art events. Music and dance start around 6 p.m. This wrap up Sunday with a community breakfast, kids events and more music.

The Wassaic Project is at The Maxon Mills,  37 Furnace Bank Road , Wassaic, NY 12592. It’s in walking distance of the Wassaic Metro-North station with connections from Grand Central Terminal. ADMISSION IS FREE, but tickets are required for some events. Check the full schedule here.

Bangin’ it up at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival

To call Mark Stewart a guitarist would be a disservice. The multi-talented redhead leads participants at MASS MoCA in making some noise with some of his homemade tubes during the 2010 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. (Photo © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

It’s a disservice to call Mark Stewart a guitarist. He leads a group at MASS MoCA in making some noise with some of his homemade tubes during the 2010 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. (Photo © 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

18 days of fantastic summer music in the Berkshires

Today’s subject: MASS MoCA.

I’ve written a lot lately about the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, especially in the last month or two because of Wilco’s splendid Solid Sound Festival, held on the museum campus in North Adams, Mass., in late June.

When Wilco announced the inaugural Solid Sound back in 2010, I pretty much knew it would be great because I had already seen MASS MoCA host many, many editions of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival — colloquially known at Banglewood.

If you’ve been a regular reader of Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone?, you already know something about the Bang on a Can program. This summer’s program is the 12th annual festival on the beautiful industrial MASS MoCA grounds.

But maybe you’re not a musician, or at least not one who wants to participate in the festival. How does this matter to you?

Rain on the MASS MoCA campus. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

Rain on the MASS MoCA campus. (Photo © 2011, Steven P. Marsh)

That’s easy. Festival participants do their learning in public, putting on recitals six days a week and participating in a public Marathon concert on the final day. There’s also a performance of Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe‘s Steel Hammer, a full-length piece that weaves together the many variations of the John Henry folk legend.

So there’s plenty of professional-quality entertainment  for people who are just interested in listening and looking at some modern art. (Click through to the jump for schedule and ticketing information.)

Continue reading