New York City Labor Chorus

  The right song at the right moment can change history.” — Pete Seeger Just days after what has probably been the most contentious election in my lifetime, I was gifted with a ticket to go hear my friend’s mom sing in the New York City Labor Chorus. There was no place I would rather have…

New York Philharmonic, Violent Femmes & Carnegie Hall

It’s all in a weekend, from the high to the low to the high again — in terms of culture, that is — and I guess, in terms of my mood, too. Confused? Sure you are. Bear with me. The weekend began with the first of three intensive rehearsals in Manhattan with visiting choral conductor, Alex…

Green-Wood Cemetery Memorial Day Concert

Tradition dictates that if certain friends and I are in town, we amble over to Green-Wood Cemetery for their wonderful, old-fashioned Memorial Day concert. This year it was their 18th. The ISO Symphonic Band — under the direction of Brian P. Worsdale — conducts. There are always talented guest vocalists. Even the wild green parrots…

Park Slope Singers Spring 2016 Concerts

I am a member of this chorus and we would be honored to have you attend our upcoming concerts the weekend of June 4th and June 5th! We are under the incredibly talented direction of Dusty Francis. You can find out more about us here!

A Season of Beautiful Music

April showers bring not only May flowers — or more showers, as the case has been this spring — but they also bring beautiful music. Actually, more music than I can keep up with. But until I have a cultural clone to help me with the wealth of performances I wish I could attend at any given time, I…

Winter/Spring 2016 Cultural Highlights

I try very hard to keep up with this blog, but sometimes life gets in the way. In my case, very often it’s a wealth of cultural outings crowding out my writing time. (Not a bad problem to have, I admit!) Before the spring turns to summer, I want to note some of the rich…

John Prine & Iris Dement

My folk music club friend and I found ourselves in the last row of seats in the gorgeous Kings Theater in Brooklyn on April 8th — a Friday evening. This is a venue in the grand tradition of old movie houses. There is literally not a bad seat in the house. The strangely beautiful voice…

Rebecca Lazier with Dan Trueman: There Might Be Others

I had the privilege of witnessing a one-of-a-kind dance/music performance Thursday evening at New York Live Arts. Literally. What I saw that evening will never happen again in exactly the same way. Intrigued? Choreographer Rebecca Lazier, along with composer Dan Trueman, created a dance/music piece entitled There Might Be Others. It was inspired by Terry…

The Spinning Wheel Festival, Part II

It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I attended my last event as part of the fabulous Spinning Wheel Festival last night at BRIC — joy because this was an incredible experience and sadness because it is nearly over. (The first two events I attended are reviewed here.) This two-week multimedia festival was…

The Spinning Wheel Festival, Part I

Dig it, man! On Friday night at BRIC, I was thrilled to attend the opening of both the interactive exhibition and the multimedia performance of The Spinning Wheel, based on the life of steve ben israel and The Living Theater.  The Spinning Wheel Festival was brilliantly conceived by steve’s son, hip hop theater artist Baba Israel….

Steel Hammer

“He laid down his hammer and he died. Lord, Lord. He laid down his hammer and he died.” I have had Pete Seeger’s voice singing his version of the folk song, John Henry, racing through my head like a runaway train ever since I left Steel Hammer — a collaboration between composer, Julia Wolfe, and SITI Company….

Jean Ritchie Memorial Concert

Last night I spent over three hours at a tribute to Jean Ritchie, the “Mother of Folk,” who passed away on June 1 this year. The tribute was sponsored by the Folk Music Society of NY (FMSNY), and was organized by folk musician Dan Schatz. Jean’s two sons, Jon and Peter Pickow were in attendance,…