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,…

Hagoromo

What a week of BAM-tastic choral music, live music and dance! It is a privilege to attend such amazing Next Wave Festival performances. For as many shows as I attend, I miss so much (but until we have clones — heaven forbid — I will never be able to experience as many cultural events as…

Rise Again Concert

. What a way to end a work week! Three friends and I attended a concert at First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn which is home to First Acoustics, a terrific music series that is now in its 8th season. This concert (co-sponsored by First Acoustics and People’s Voice Cafe), was in celebration of the new songbook…

tUnE-yArDs at Celebrate Brooklyn

Last night was the end of the regular season at Celebrate Brooklyn. Willie Nelson and Old Crow Medicine Show will play next week for one of their benefit concerts, but I will be picnicking in the park outside the gates because the show is sold out. Fun, but not the same as being there, so I…

A Prairie Home Companion: America the Beautiful Tour

I have fond memories of being a child in the ’70s, lounging on pillows on the floor with my family in a darkened room. Don’t be alarmed! We were listening to A Prairie Home Companion — and somehow, listening in the dark made it easier to imagine what we were hearing. It’s a tradition I…

Taylor Mac: The 20th Century Abridged

I hate arriving at events late, but every once in a while it just can’t be avoided. I arrived at Taylor Mac’s show last night at Celebrate Brooklyn several songs in, and I am sure I missed a delightful beginning. That said, what a performance! It was grand! It was touching! It was hilarious! It…

Punch Brothers & Sarah Jarosz at Celebrate Brooklyn

It was a dark and stormy night … but the show went on! I was so excited to see the Punch Brothers last night that I went to Celebrate Brooklyn after work, despite the threat of rain. All through Sarah Jarosz’s terrific set, the weather seemed to hold. Maybe a few sprinkles but nothing much…

Lucinda Williams at Celebrate Brooklyn

Was it my imagination, or was Lucinda Williams at Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park last night just a little bit “off”? A friend and I braved the on-and-off rain to be there, but it felt like Lucinda herself was not there — at least not at the beginning. Her speech — the few times she did speak…

Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival

For over 15 years I have volunteered at this wonderful music and environmental festival. The staff and volunteers are like a second family. The mission of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater — the brainchild of Pete Seeger back in 1969 — is to preserve and protect the Hudson River and its communities, and to inspire, educate,…