Summation Dance Company at Baryshnikov Arts Center

January 23rd, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
February 4, 2011 7:30 pmtoFebruary 5, 2011 7:30 pm

Summation Dance Company presents the World Premiere of its first evening-length work KEEP YOUR FEATHERS DRY at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W. 37th Street, at 7:30 pm on February 4-5, 2011. Tickets are $20 ($12 for students) and are available at SmartTix or 212-868-4444.

KEEP YOUR FEATHERS DRY explores the emotional burdens of heartbreak complicated by war. The dancers represent fragmented thoughts and distorted emotions as they navigate their way through the incomprehensible. The piece is choreographed by Sumi Clements and produced by Taryn Vander Hoop. The music includes the works of Moby, Four Tet, and Blockhead.

Dancers: Sumi Clements, Angela Curotto, Cat DeAngelis, Sarah Holmes, Allie Lochary, Julie McMillan, Erin Okayama, Kristin Schwab, Yohta Tsagri, Taryn Vander Hoop and Kelsey Berry (Apprentice).

Summation Dance Company, founded by Sumi Clements and Taryn Vander Hoop, is a New York City based modern dance company creating exciting, innovative, and highly physical work. The mission of Summation is to find the beauty in struggle, the humor in the mundane, and the grace in humanity.

Soprano Amy Conn with Newberry Consort and eighth blackbird

January 21st, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
February 5, 2011 7:30 pmtoFebruary 13, 2011 7:30 pm

Chicago-based soprano Amy Conn will appear in Bach’s Cantata 152 “Tritt auf den Glaubensbahn” as part of the Grace Lutheran Church Bach Cantata Vespers Series with the Newberry Consort and Douglas Anderson, Baritone. The concert will take place at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division Street, in River Forest, IL, on Sunday, January 30th 4pm.

The following week, Ms. Conn will sing Steven Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians with chamber ensemble eighth blackbird at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago ave., on Saturday February 5th, 7:30pm (sold out) & 10pm.

Finally, on February 13 at 2pm, Amy will perform “Men and Women in Love,” a solo recital with Shannon McGinnis, pian;  featuring music of Clara Schumann, Germaine Tailleferre, Robert Kritz and Enrique Granados. The recital will take place at the Wilmette Public Library Auditorium, 1242 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, IL. Admission is free.

Soprano Amy Conn is known for her pure tone, communicative warmth and musical intelligence. Amy appears on both the concert and theater stage in music of many periods, with a special love for baroque repertoire. Ms. Conn has soloed with Music of the Baroque, Baroque Band, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Elgin Choral Union and Symphony, Chorus Angelorum, North Shore Choral Society, Lutheran Choir of Chicago and Bach Chamber Choir. She is a former long time member of Chicago a cappella. Stage appearances include lead roles in Acis and Galatea, The Turn of the Screw, Yeomen of the Guard and The Pirates of Penzance. In 2010, she made her debut with Chicago Opera Theater, covering the role of Isifile in Cavalli’s Giasone.

Singer-songwriter “Pistol” Pete Sturman at NYC’s Dixon Place

January 21st, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 26, 2011
7:30 pm

Singer/songwriter “Pistol” Pete Sturman performs live at New York’s Dixon Place (in the Lounge), Wednesday, January 26 at 7:30pm. Dixon Place is located at 161-A Chrystie St. (bet. Rivington & Delancey) in Manhattan

Sturman will be singing new originals from his solo EP True Stories, classics from the Pistol Pete & Popgun Paul songbook and other surprises. Special guest performers, to be announced, will join him.

With over 200 original songs, Pete Sturman is a quirky singer-songwriter who once achieved a smidgen of notoriety as half of the unambiguously gay music duo Pistol Pete & Popgun Paul. Pete’s 4-song EP True Stories features “Wasn’t Plannin’ on Leavin’” – an evacuation account that has tickled and touched audiences. His live show mixes new songs with such crowd-pleasers as “What If God Was a Homo”, “Superfag” and the oft-requested “Anal Anthem”.

Pete and Paul met in New Orleans in 1993 – Pete was a punky-folkie with a Master’s Degree in English. Paul Cowgill could be found busking on the streets of the French Quarter and telling stories of his days as a teenage drag queen and Pentecostal church pianist. Spending almost as much time on their costumes as on their music, they developed a loyal following in New Orleans before recording two CDs and taking their show to cities and towns all over the U.S. The duo combined old-time country, blues and gospel traditions, presented with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude and an ironic light-heartedness. After Katrina, Pete moved to New York City, where he has been performing as a solo artist at venues such as The Duplex, Dixon Place, CBGB’s Gallery, Nuyorican Poet’s Café, 6th Street Community Center, and Julius’. His songs were recently featured in a workshop of The Thing About It, a musical presented by Southern Rep Theatre, and occasionally he gets back to New Orleans for a musical reunion with Popgun Paul.

Hexes and Heroes: Meredith Miller and Erica Mott @ Links Hall

January 19th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
January 28, 2011toJanuary 30, 2011

In Hexes and Heroes, playing at Chicago’s Links Hall from January 28 through 30, Erica Mott and Meredith Miller provide a double bill of movement, puppetry, and song deconstructing romantic notions, death and heroicism.

In “I Wish You Love: A Puppetry Songbook,” Meredith Miller presents new works in her signature style of cabaret puppetry creating intimate, atmospheric world of timeless love and loss.

Erica will present new works in progress from her explorations into the body’s relationship with technology and machinery and the complicated relationship between the female body, war, and notions of victory. Erica is a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab artist and will be presenting works as part of her year of inquiry into the complexities of female bodies in labor and war.

January 28-30: Fri & Sat at 8pm / Sun at 7pm / Tickets $8

“Streetcar Journey” Showcases Soundtrack to 1951 Film Classic

January 18th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
February 5, 2011
8:00 pm


Pianist Chie Sato Roden & chamber jazz ensemble Fire in July celebrate the release of their CD “Streetcar Journey,” featuring the music of beloved American film composer Alex North (1910-1991) and his magnificent, jazz-inflected score to the 1951 classic “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The concert takes place on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 8:00 pm at the Tenri Cultural Institute, located in New York’s Greenwich Village on the ground floor of 43A West 13th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Admission is free. Call 646-338-7456 for more information.

The performance will feature Chie Sato Roden, piano, and Fire in July: (Jody Redhage cello, voice, compositions, arrangements; Alan Ferber trombone, compositions; Ken Thomson clarinet, bass clarinet; Tom Beckham vibraphone; Fred Kennedy drums & percussion)

Sample Streaming Tracks:

Streetcar, written by Alex North: 

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Blanche, written by Alex North: 

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Flowers for the Dead, written by Alex North: 

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Lust, written by Alex North: 

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Sometimes there’s God so quickly, by Jody Redhage and Fire in July: 

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North Rampart, written by Alan Ferber: 

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More About the Project:

Chie Sato Roden, a passionate proponent of new American and Japanese solo piano repertoire, was investigating potential new pieces to program when she happened upon a 30 minute suite of sequences from Alex North’s “Streetcar” film score, arranged for solo piano by North himself. Roden fell in love with the suite of nine sequences—this was moody and evocative music, in turn languid and gritty, and remarkable as the first major film music to pull heavily on the jazz sounds of the south. Roden formulated a vision to expand the 30-minute solo suite to an evening-length performance of varied textures and instrumental colors, by having arrangements of the solo piano sequences made for chamber ensemble, as well as commissioning original compositions inspired by North’s film score and Tennessee Williams’ play as interludes between the North movements. Roden, and composers Alan Ferber and Jody Redhage have worked together to collaboratively create the concert-length project Streetcar Journey, performed live as a multi-media event with projected still images from the classic movie starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. Evoking in turn lazy southern afternoons and languid romance, versus the grit, intensity, and struggle of urban and industrial life in the mid-twentieth century deep south, Streetcar Journey celebrates the genius of one of America’s most beloved playwrights and one of America’s most beloved film score composers, re-imagined through the lens of 21st century chamber jazz performance.

Chie Sato Roden, who “pushes contemporary music beyond the confines of a restricted genre” (Japanese music critic, Yuji Numata), received the Ibla Contemporary Performance Award in 1998 and she now serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Ibla Foundation. She has issued two CDs, featuring the works of contemporary Japanese and American composers, under the ALM label in Japan.

Called an “adventurous cello songstress” by Time Out NY, and now a member of Grammy nominated Esperanza Spalding’s band, Jody Redhage (cellist, composer, and vocalist) has a passion for setting 20th and 21st century American poetry into art song, and she principally composes for her ensemble Fire in July.  Redhage’s compositions meld the detail and finesse of chamber music with the energy and drive of jazz improvisation and more popular genres. With tinges of Medieval chanson and hints of Weill, Redhage creates a captivating blend of genres that comes across as her unique voice.

Known internationally as a jazz trombonist and composer, Alan Ferber is a member of the Asphalt Orchestra and leads four of his own ensembles: the Nonet, Nonet with Strings, his Big Band, and a Quartet. His new recording, Chamber Songs received four stars in Downbeat and was included in their “Best of 2010″ list. Alan has recorded and toured with a vast array of artists including Charlie Hunter, Don Byron, Kenny Wheeler, Sufjan Stevens, and Toshiko Akiyoshi, and is on faculty at the Peabody Conservatory and Montclair State University.