Nov

24

Roswell Rudd Roswell Rudd

with John Medeski, Steven Bernstein, Bob Dorough, Gary Lucas, Richard Hammond, Aaron Comess, Fay Victor, Beau Soleil avec Michael Doucet, Rolf Sturm, Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis & NYC Labor Chorus with Reggie Bennet

Sun November 24th, 2013

4:00PM

Main Space

Minimum Age: 18+

Doors Open: 3:00PM

Show Time: 4:00PM

Event Ticket: $25

Day of Show: $30

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free for members
event description event description

a Verna Gillis/ SOUNDSCAPE Production
Musical Director Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

 
**The proceeds from ticket sales will go towards assisting Roswell Rudd & his medical expenses**
 
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TABLE SEATING POLICY
Table seating for all seated shows is reserved exclusively for ticket holders who purchase “Table Seating” tickets. By purchasing a “Table Seating” ticket you agree to also purchase a minimum of two food and/or beverage items per person. Table seating is first come, first seated. Please arrive early for the best choice of available seats. Seating begins when doors open. Tables are communal so you may be seated with other patrons. We do not take table reservations.
 
A standing room area is available by the bar for all guests who purchase “Standing Room” tickets. Food and beverage can be purchased at the bar but there is no minimum purchase required in this area.
 
All tickets sales are final. No refund or credits.
 
PHOTO CREDIT: Alex Troesch

the artists the artists

11

Roswell Rudd

“Take any opportunity that presents itself to hear Roswell Rudd.” -The Village Voice / Shortlist / May 12, 2004
 
Roswell Rudd, 1935, aka THE INCREDIBLE HONK, is a musical wiz if ever a wiz there waz.
 
His musical range has expresssed itself in extraordinary musical collaborations and subsequent recordings with musicians from Mali (Toumani Diabate), Mongolia (Buryat Band), the great Puerto Rican cuatrista Yomo Toro, and the brilliant Cuban guitarist/singer David Oquendo. He has performed and recorded with all of the bands performing at this unique musical event.

 
In 2000 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in composition.
 
In August 2010 he was voted #1 in the Downbeat Critics Poll
 
In 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010 he was voted Trombonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.
 
ROSWELL RUDD (trombone), is proudly of the tradition that has given us such jazz trombone greats as Jack Teagarden , Kid Ory, J.J. Johnson, and Joseph Nanton. One of the most imaginative, stimulating players, Rudd is known for his work with groundbreaking groups and musicians like Herbie Nichols, the NEW YORK ART QUARTET, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Carla Bley, and Steve Lacy.
 
His trailblazing on the trombone has influenced an entire generation of trombonists who hear his extroverted gut bucket stylings as the modern incarnation of the New Orleans style. He has equally a passionate lyricism in the tradition of American folk songs and ballads.
 
Roswell Rudd has received international recognition as a performer, and for his compositions and arrangements ranging from large scale music dramas to instrumental jazz suites. His jazz operas BLUES FOR PLANET EARTH and GOLD RUSH have achieved cult status from their performances in the 1960’s.
 
From 1999 to the present have been his Soundscape years marked by his collaboration with Verna Gillis.

 

Rudd is one of the giants. His active playing force is to be greatly welcomed, with his larger-than-life individualism.
 
For complete discography and more information, please visit: Roswell Rudd official site

John Medeski

Keyboard master John Medeski thrives on the unpredictable, a trait that has kept his work with the trailblazing trio Medeski Martin & Wood (MMW) fresh and surprising for more than twenty years. With A Different Time, his first solo piano project, Medeski once again takes his sound in a completely unexpected direction – unexpected even to him.

“I had a more eclectic record in mind,” Medeski says. “I wanted to put out something that would be more representative of what my live solo concerts are like.”

Instead, A Different Time (out April 9 – the first release on Sony Classical’s newly-revived OKeh Records imprint) is a far more introspective, meditative collection than fans of MMW’s lively, groove-driven music might expect. Consisting mostly of Medeski’s own compositions and improvisations, with a familiar spiritual and a Willie Nelson song added into the mix, the album presents a different side of Medeski’s prodigious artistry, one which he was initially reluctant to display.

“In all honesty, it was a little scary to put this out because it’s so meditative and contemplative,” Medeski admits. “I know it’s not what anybody’s expecting, but it’s a side of me that exists. It’s really raw and open, stripped of all hipness. But it’s made me a little less afraid to just drop into the moment and play what’s coming to me as opposed to something that I know will work, something that I know is cool, something that I know will have a certain effect. The whole point is to get lost in the music.”

Not just a first for Medeski, A Different Time also marks the return of the historic OKeh label, once home for such jazz pioneers as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, King Oliver, and Sidney Bechet. Sony Classical has revived the label as an outlet for new jazz releases by artists like Medeski, Bill Frisell, David Sanborn, and Bob James, among others to be announced. “At this point,” Medeski says, “after everything that’s gone on in the music business, it’s exciting that Sony has come around to releasing new creative music again. I like the energy of being part of something new.”

While he’s become better known for a more buoyant, organ-centric approach that melds free-wheeling jazz with jam band eclecticism, Medeski says that sitting alone at a piano feels natural, returning him to his earliest experiences at the keyboard. “I grew up playing piano my whole life,” he says, “so it feels like home to me.” He began playing more solo concerts in recent years, and decided it was time to document that aspect of his playing.

The album was recorded at Waterfront Studios, producer Henry Hirsch’s recording studio built within a 19th-century church in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley. For his solo debut, Medeski wanted to aim for a sound quality that approached his personal “Holy Grail,” the recordings that classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein made for RCA Records. Hirsch shared his admiration for those sessions, so Medeski spent several days recording on Waterfront’s nine-foot Steinway piano.

But Hirsch also encouraged Medeski to try the studio’s other piano, a 1924 Gaveau – a French piano made in a pre-modern style, akin to Chopin’s preferred model, the Pleyel. The instrument, as it turned out, was a revelation and made a profound impact on the music that came to be A Different Time.

“The Gaveau required a very delicate, controlled touch,” Medeski explains. “It is much harder to get a good sound out of it than it is on a regular piano. You have to use a lot of control; touch makes a huge difference and when you play delicately you can get a lot of nuance and really make this instrument sing. I tried a lot of things that had never worked for me before, and when I went back and listened to all of the recordings, that stuff stuck out as the most unique.”

The entirety of A Different Time was recorded on the Gaveau, with minimal electronics in order to capture the instrument’s full dynamic range. The sessions were undertaken late at night, when outside noise was at a minimum and a more crepuscular mood settled over the church. As Medeski writes in his liner notes, he hopes that listeners approach the album in the same atmosphere, at a time “when social responsibilities are over, when the political questions of the day have been dealt with, when all gossip has come to an end, when all needs and wants have been put to momentary rest, when all plans have been made, when you are tired of words, and you are ready to yield to the sounds of these simple contemplations for the Gaveau.”

The album begins with the title track, a stark “spontaneous composition” improvised by Medeski at the Gaveau. The name has several connotations, evoking that night-time ambience but also harkening back to a time when records occupied a listener’s full attention, before the multifarious distractions of the modern world. “There was a time when people used to sit down and listen to music, when it wasn’t just the soundtrack to your life,” Medeski says. “I remember sitting in a room with a group of people, experiencing music together, at a time when we as human beings really got lost in the sound.”

A Different Time offers a sustained opportunity to become lost in Medeski’s deeply personal sound, presenting an intensely focused experience of keen emotional virtuosity. The selection ranges from the tender Willie Nelson ballad “I’m Falling in Love Again,” a piece which Medeski has long wanted to record and which finally found its best expression through the Gaveau; to “His Eye Is On the Sparrow,” a traditional spiritual that Medeski approaches with a lush reverence.

“Ran” is another tune for which Medeski has long sought the proper context, the album’s sole through-composed piece. The wistful “Otis,” which closes the album, was originally recorded on Notes From the Underground, MMW’s 1992 debut album. The sing-song “Waiting at the Gate” dates back even further, to a musical Medeski wrote in his teens. “It’s just a little tune that I wrote when I was a kid and never played for anybody,” Medeski laughs. “Ever.”

The heart-breakingly gorgeous “Luz Marina” was written for Mama Kia, the founder of an orphanage in Peru who passed away in 2010. Luz Marina was the name of her first adopted child, who died at a tender age. Medeski sought to depict Mama Kia’s inspirational and generous spirit through the piece. The final two pieces are both improvisations: “Graveyard Fields,” which shares the deceptively morbid name of a bucolic area in North Carolina, and the darkly tinged “Lacrima,” more aptly named for the Italian word for “tear.”

The fact that he didn’t try out the Gaveau until he thought he’d already gotten a full album in the can took a considerable amount of pressure off of Medeski’s shoulders, opening him up to the more naked, vulnerable sound of the album.

“I was just playing music,” he says. It was just about dealing with the instrument and the room and making the music that felt good. I just got lost in the sound, and that’s really the ultimate goal anytime you sit down to play.”
 
read more at johnmedeski.com/

Steven Bernstein

Steven Bernstein official site

Steven Bernstein is a trumpeter/slide trumpeter, bandleader, arranger, and composer who lives outside of musical convention. He has released four critically acclaimed CDs; Diaspora Soul, Diaspora Blues (featuring the Sam Rivers trio), Diaspora Hollywood, andDiaspora Suite. All four are on John Zorn’s Tzadik label.

His band Sexmob has been together since 1995 touring the world, winning numerous awards, and has had their music featured on MTV, Saturday Night Live and NPR. Sexotica, recorded for Thirsty Ear’s Blue series, was nominated for a Grammy in 2006. Their most recent CD, Sex Mob Plays Fellini was released in 2013.

His nine-piece ensemble, the Millennial Territory Orchestra, has released two CDs, MTO Vol 1 and We Are MTO. Their latest CD, MTO Plays Sly, features Bernie Worrell, Vernon Reid, Antony, Martha Wainwright, Dean Bowman, Sandra St. Victor and Shilpa Ray. MTO was formed in 1999 for a series of Midnight shows at Tonic, and spent a year and a half long residency at the Jazz Standard. Bernstein also arranged and co-produced Baby Loves Jazz, featuring vocalists Sharon Jones and Babi Floyd, along with keyboard master John Medeski. The CD is available on Verve records.

Bernstein’s newest project is Butler/Bernstein & the Hot 9, a collaboration with the brilliant New Orleans pianist Henry Butler. Their debut recording, Viper Drag, was released in May 2014 on the new Impulse! record label.

Bernstein was the musical director for I’m Your Man, a documentary on Leonard Cohen that focuses on a tribute concert held at the Sydney Opera house, released by Lions Gate films in spring 2006. He was the musical director for the live sequences in the 2009 Bill Withers documentary Still Bill. Other DVDreleases include Solos, originally a Canadian Television program featuring solo performances by musicians including Andrew Hill, Joe Lovano, and John Scofield, as well as Lou Reed’s Berlin (directed by Julian Schnabel) and Levon Helm Ramble at The Ryman. Bernstein was also the subject of a feature entitled “Creative Spaces” on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and was interviewed by Terry Gross onNPR in 2002.

Since November 2004 Bernstein has been a member of the Levon Helm band, playing at the Midnight Rambles in Levon’s home in Woodstock. Bernstein wrote horn arrangements for Levon Helm’s Grammy winning 2009 recording Electric Dirt and 2011’s Ramble at the Ryman, as well as Bill Frissel’s Grammy winning 2004 recording Unspeakable. Other arranging credits include Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, Marianne Faithfull, Elton John, and Marvin Pontiac.

In 1992, musical iconoclast Hal Willner produced the eponymous debut CD by Spanish Fly, a cooperative trio with Bernstein, slide guitarist Dave Tronzo and tubaist Marcus Rojas, and they have been collaborating ever since.

Bernstein has worked as musical director on many Hal Willner projects, including tributes to Leonard Cohen, Doc Pomus, Nino Rota, Shel Silverstein and Harold Arlen, and created the music for Robert Altman’s film Kansas City. He was also the musical director for the touring version of the Kansas City band, which included David “Fathead” Newman, Henry Butler, Don Byron, James Carter, Christian McBride, and Nicholas Payton.

During his 10 years as a member of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards he arranged the music for Get Shorty, Clay Pigeons, Fishing With John and many more film, television and commercial projects with Mr. Lurie.

For composer/Foetus mastermind Jim Thirwell, Bernstein arranged Steroid Maximus to be performed live by a 21 piece ensemble.

Bernstein’s work as a composer includes the documentaries Keep the River On Your Right andBalloonhat, Nickelodeon’s hit TV show The Backyardigans (including an ANNIE nomination for his score to “International Super Spy”), live scores to silent Laurel & Hardy films, theatre scores for Mae West’s Sex and Trouble in Paradise, dance pieces for Alvin Ailey, Body Vox, the Donald Byrd Dance Company, the Flying Karamazov Brothers and the San Francisco Ballet, and commercial jingles.

Bernstein has played trumpet with a diverse group of artists including My Morning Jacket, Linda Ronstadt, David Murray, David Berger, Digable Planets, Sting, Medeski Martin and Wood, Courtney Love, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Don Byron and Mocean Worker.

Awards include:
*DOWNBEAT CRITICS POLL 2006 (#1 Rising Star Arranger, #4 Rising Star Trumpeter)
*DOWNBEAT CRITICS POLL 2005 (#1 Rising Star Arranger)
*DOWNBEAT CRITICS POLL 2004 (#1 Arranger, #2 Big Band – Millennial Territory Orchestra)
*JAZZ JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION 2003 (Rare Brass)
*DOWNBEAT CRITICS POLL 2002 (Sex Mob #1 Beyond Group, #1 Acoustic Jazz Group)

Photo Credit: Harald Krichel

Bob Dorough

BOB DOROUGH, born in Arkansas and “raised” in Texas, immediately fell in love with music upon joining the Plainview Texas High School Band. He served three years in a Special Services Army Band Unit, gaining much professional experience as arranger, clarinetist, saxophonist, pianist, and entertainer (1943-45).
 
After earning a Bachelor Of Music degree at the University of North Texas (1949), he made a bee-line for New York City where he took classes at Columbia University and immersed himself in the volatile jazz scene then taking place there -the BeBop revolution.
 
In 1952 he turned his back on the academic scene to devote himself to jazz performance, specializing in piano/vocals. After years of accompanying, conducting, arranging, and playing, he made his first recording as a leader (1956) for the Bethlehem label….DEVIL MAY CARE, having written the title tune three years earlier.
 
He is known as “the only singer to record with Miles Davis”. While this may not be 100% true, he did record two vocals with Davis, in 1962, “Nothing Like You” and “Blue Xmas,” both of which he composed. Davis also recorded an instrumental version of Bob’s classic song, “Devil May Care,” that same year.
 
In 1971 he received a commission to “set the multiplication tables to music.” This led to a small industry, being the beginning of ABC-TV’s SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK, Saturday morning cartoons that entertained and instructed unsuspecting children during the years 1973-1985. The impact of this media exposure was unpredictably immense. The show came back for another five years in the 90’s and is now enjoying its 30th anniversary with a DVD edition of the entire, five-subject series, for which Dorough worked as the Musical Director.
 
In 1995 he signed a contract with the prestigious jazz label -Blue Note Records – and has done three CDs for them (“Right On My Way Home,” “Too Much Coffee Man” and “Who‘s On First”).
 
Now residing in Pennsylvania, he has received honors from that state (the Governor’s Artist of the Year Award) and from his native state (the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame.) In 2002 his trio was chosen to represent the State Department and Kennedy Center, as an Ambassador of Jazz and Blues. The one-month tour saw them play some 22 workshops and concerts in thirteen cities in six different countries.
 
Currently recording on Arbors, Candid and his own label, Bob Dorough continues to perform, often for children too, in Jazz Clubs and Schools, wherever he can.

Gary Lucas

A world class guitar hero, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and composer, an international recording artist with over 20 acclaimed solo albums to date, and a soundtrack composer for film and television, GARY LUCAS is on the move in 2013.
 
Gary starts the year with a bang headlining the famed Paradiso in Amsterdam Feb. 17th with “The World of Captain Beefheart”, a gala concert featuring the 60 piece Metropole Orchestra and legendary Nona Hendryx. The show will go out live on producer Co de Kloet’s national Dutch Radio 6 program “Co Live”, and will be filmed for broadcast later this year. In Oct. 2013 Gary is coming to BAM’s new Fisher Space in Brooklyn for two nights with the expanded concert version of his celebrated album of 30’s Chinese pop, “The Edge of Heaven”. Featuring Gary, his band, and two female vocalists from Shanghai, the project received standing ovations in June 2011 at both the 64th Holland Festival in Amsterdam and the Nijmegen MusicMeeting.
 
In 2012 Gary was profiled in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune to coincide with the release of his supergroup Gods and Monsters’ studio album “The Ordeal of Civility” (Knitting Factory), produced by Jerry Harrison which is receiving rave reviews—4 Stars in MOJO and named one of the Best of the Year in Rock’s Backpages. He released a vinyl only album in the Czech Republic “Gary Lucas Plays Bohemian Classics” (Faust Records) featuring his solo acoustic arrangements of Dvorak and other Czech classical composers. Last year he embarked on a European solo tour selling out Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall two nights in a row with his Captain Beefheart Symposium, performing his live score for Spanish “Dracula” at the annual music festival of Bilbao Spain, recording with Bryan Ferry in London, performing solo in Portugal where he was profiled on the cover of two national newspapers, and finishing in Paris where he was profiled in the French left paper Politis. That year Gary performed at the Grammy Museum in LA as part of their “Great Guitar” Series which further bolstered his credentials as “one of the best and most original guitarists in America” (Rolling Stone). Gary was also dubbed “one of the world’s greatest guitar players” by HITS Magazine.
 
Gary just wrapped recording the debut album of his psychedelic dance music project Wild Rumpus with his partner Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy, and their latest 12 inch vinyl single “Cloudhopping” sold-out its first pressing in one week. He recently premiered his new live solo guitar score for Luis Bunuel’s “El Angel Exterminador” at the 33rd Havana Film Festival and rocked the 48th New York Film Festival with the US premiere of his Spanish “Dracula” project performing his original solo guitar score live to accompany a screening of the legendary 1931 film.
 
In the last few years, Gary Lucas made successful performing debuts in China, Cuba, the Canary Islands, Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico alongside his usual non-stop touring in Europe and North America, and is coming to BAM’s new Fisher Space in Brooklyn in Oct. 2013 for two nights with the expanded concert version of his celebrated album of 30’s Chinese pop, “The Edge of Heaven”. Featuring Gary, his band, and two female vocalists from Shanghai, the project received standing ovations in June 2011 at both the 64th Holland Festival in Amsterdam and the Nijmegen MusicMeeting. His recent album, “Rishte” (Harmonia Mundi), a blues/raga collaboration with Indian vocalist Najma Akhtar, made #4 on the World Music Charts Europe and the pair garnered a 5 star review in The Financial Times for their live show and an ovation at WOMAD Los Palmas. He released his first ever coloured vinyl single “Music for the Eden Project” on 5nakefork Records last year to acclaim which has been used as the soundtrack for UK visual artist Paul McGowan’s installation at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
 
Dubbed “The Thinking Man’s Guitar Hero” by The New Yorker, “The world’s most popular avant-rock guitarist” by The Independent (UK), “One of the 100 Greatest Living Guitarists” (Classic Rock), “Legendary Leftfield guitarist” by The Guardian (UK), “Guitarist of 1000 Ideas” by The New York Times, “a true axe God” by Melody Maker, and “One of the five best guitarists in the world” by the national Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny, the British world music magazine fRoots recently described Gary Lucas as “without question, the most innovative and challenging guitarist playing today.” Rolling Stone’s David Fricke wrote: “Gary Lucas is one of the best and most original guitarists in America…a modern guitar miracle.” Best-selling author/producer Dan Levitin (“This Is Your Brain On Music”) recently cited Gary as “the greatest living electric guitarist”.
 
Gary Lucas tours the world relentlessly both solo and with several different ensembles, including his longtime band Gods and Monsters, whose ranks once included the late singer Jeff Buckley. Gary co-wrote two of Jeff Buckley’s most famous hits, “Grace” and “Mojo Pin”, which opened Jeff’s double platinum Sony album “Grace”, which MOJO magazine named the #1 Modern Classic Rock Album. Their early collaborations can also be heard on the Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas album “Songs to No One”, which charted internationally with worldwide sales approaching 100,000. Other notable Lucas albums include his recently reissued 2001 album “The Edge of Heaven”, an album of Gary’s lush arrangements of 30’s Chinese pop songs, which made #1 on the World Music charts and received rave reviews around the world. To date he has released over 20 acclaimed albums in multiple genres, and performed in over 40 countries.
 
Gary Lucas makes his home in NYC.
 
One of the best and most original guitarists in America…a modern guitar miracle” –Rolling Stone
 
The Thinking Man’s Guitarist…an A-List musician” –The New Yorker
 

Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond is an electric and acoustic bassist, composer, producer and author based in New York City. Born in Dargaville, New Zealand, he moved to Auckland at age 18 and quickly became one of the most in-demand bassists, performing and recording with New Zealand’s top artists. Moving to Boston at age 22, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance on Acoustic Bass, and went on to attend Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Jazz/Commercial music.
 
Equally versatile on acoustic and electric bass, and across a broad range of musical genres, he has performed with an array of artists including Carlos Santana, Gavin DeGraw, Danny Kortchmar, Bob Moses, Louis Bellson, Luciana Souza and Mose Allison. Currently touring with Joan Osborne, Richard has also toured as bassist with Erasure, The East Village Opera Company, Angelique Kidjo, Jonatha Brooke, Dar Williams, Marshall Crenshaw, Chiara Civello, Shannon McNally, and Jim Campilongo.
 
He maintains a busy recording schedule, working with artists such as Raul Midon, Nellie MacKay, and Marion Raven, and legendary producers Arif Mardin, Neil Dorfsman, Kevin Killen, and Rob Fraboni. He has also recorded on several major motion picture soundtracks including: Rumor Has It, Paramount’s The Marc Pease Experience, Disney’s Enchanted, and Ridley Scott’s, American Gangster.
 
Richard has also worked as composer/producer on several national advertising campaigns, and regularly co-writes with several songwriting teams. In addition to being co-author of “Teach Yourself Visually Bass Guitar”, he has also worked as an instructor for the National Guitar Workshop and as a clinician for Berklee College of Music.

Aaron Comess

To date, drummer Aaron Comess, a founding member of the Grammy nominated, ten million plus album selling band Spin Doctors, has played on, written on and/or produced over two hundred albums with an acclaimed and diverse roster of artists such as, Joan Osborne, Bilal, Rachael Yamagata, New York Electric Piano, Isaac Hayes, James Maddock, Marc Cohn and Chris Whitley to name a few.

Fay Victor

In command, infectious, energetic and strong, Fay Victor hypnotizes audiences, whether singing a blues, sculpting a free piece, reinventing a Herbie Nichols tune with her own lyrics, or effortlessly improvising over the harmonies of a jazz standard or her own material. Victor’s lyrics speak of universal themes in story-driven ways, running the full gamut of human emotion in an original mix of traditional song forms and free improvisation – or “FreeSong” – that has become Victor’s trademark approach to improvised vocal music. The trademark transcends Victor’s own original music to include her valued contribution to esteemed ensembles featuring her unique vocal abilities, so unique in fact, that the ensembles Victor are now featured in, rarely, if ever, have vocalists in them.

Beau Soleil avec Michael Doucet

Since forming in 1975, Grammy winners BeauSoleil have claimed their undisputed role as the most esteemed Cajun group in music. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet take the rich Cajun traditions of Louisiana and artfully blend elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, blues and more into a satisfying musical recipe. From The Grand Ole Opry to Newport Folk, from concert hall to dance floor, the music of BeauSoleil continues to captivate audiences the world over.

Rolf Sturm

Ivan Rubenstein-Gillis

Born in New York City, Ivan grew up in small-town New Jersey and upstate New York. He played piano by ear as a child and began putting together lyrics and chord patterns when he was nine. Ivan taught himself guitar a few years later and became consumed with writing songs in high school. Since then he has written hundreds of songs and instrumental pieces, composed scores for dance and theater, recorded a number of CDs and played with great musicians in many styles. But his first love remains the folk-rock singer-songwriter tradition.
 
Ivan has performed at venues all around the northeast since the mid-1990s: concerts, recitals, festivals, dance, comedy and theatrical events, city parks, bars, hotels, cafes, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, fundraisers, rallies, protests, parades, bar and bat mitzvahs, summer camps, schools, churches, synagogues, radio stations, train stations, weddings and parties.
 
In addition to his folk-rock wanderings, Ivan has played in several “world music” ensembles (with trombone great Roswell Rudd, Fode Sissoko and others), and has accompanied a wide range of performers on guitar, piano, drums, bass, mandolin and vocals. He has also taught numerous classes in rock, folk and blues history and performance, as well as guitar and songwriting lessons to dozens of students of all ages and levels.

NYC Labor Chorus with Reggie Bennet

Organized labor, united with its community allies, is an irrepressible social force. This is the message of the New York City Labor Chorus. The Chorus, with 75 members representing over 20 local unions and District Councils, was founded in 1991 for the purpose of bringing the message of workers’ history and struggles for social and economic justice through song to people everywhere.
 
The Chorus has a national and international reputation as the premier multi-cultural and multi-generational labor chorus in the United States. It is a powerful cultural tool in the arsenal of workers. Wherever the struggle for people’s rights is being waged, the Chorus will be there.
 
We stand ready to perform on picket lines, at union conventions, union rallies and shop steward meetings, as well as at community events, churches, colleges, and schools.
 
Our repertoire represents the great legacy of U.S. labor music. The repertoire includes songs of labor struggles, protest, and social significance. It also includes a rich diversity of music from the cultures of all working people: songs in the gospel, jazz, classical and folk traditions.
 
In 1997, we travelled throughout Sweden. We were hosted by two Swedish unions, LO, a union of several million blue collar workers, and SAS, the Scandinavian Workers Song Association. The Chorus performed at a five day festival in Uddevalla, along with thousands of chorus members from throughout Scandinavia. The Chorus also sang at Carnegie Hall in 1998 as part of a Tribute to Paul Robeson; in 1992 at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park at the Roots of American Music festival, and is featured on the 1998 Peter, Paul and Mary album, “Around the Campfire.” Other performances include the 1992 Democratic Party National Convention, South Africa Solidarity Day and the International Workers Memorial Day at the United Nations, and annual performances in New York City’s Labor Day Parade.

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