March 28

Conversation With Diego Joaquin Ramirez & SULA

We’re looking forward to the final concert in our 2018 Jazz in Progress: The Next Faces of Jazz Series. We spoke with Diego Joaquin Ramirez of SULA about what audiences can expect to hear this Friday night at 7:30pm – read more below, and grab your tickets!

Tribeca PAC: Where does the band name “SULA” come from?

Diego: The word ‘SULA’ means ‘heart’ in the Yaqui Indian language. The Yaqui tribe is a Native American tribe that my family on my mothers side belong to. This name is sort of a reminder for me to always follow my own path and is a platform for us to experiment and express ourselves and our various influences that we draw from. I feel it also represents the process and pursuit of getting to know oneself as an artist and a human being.

Tribeca PAC: What do you like best about playing for New York audiences?

Diego: I think people in NYC are constantly being exposed to amazing live music and because of this have very high standards and can really appreciate what musicians are creating, especially improvised music. They will definitely engage with you and reciprocate the energy back to you during a performance. For me, it’s equally important to have a great audience as it is to have a great band and it’s that collaborative exchange of energy between us and the audience that I love. There’s also a variety of venues with different crowds here in NYC, like there are places with tons of musicians listening who can understand what you are doing and your influences, and then there are places with no musicians and people who may not be used to the style of music you are playing but will still engage. I really like this aspect of NYC because it keeps things fresh and challenges you as a performer on how you deliver your music and connect with all types of people.

Tribeca PAC: Who are your musical influences/inspirations?

Diego: There are so many to name from all types of music but some that come to mind are- Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Maurice Ravel, Herbie Hancock, Hermeto Pascoal, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, Kenny Garrett, Nancy Wilson, Betty Carter, The Meters, George Duke, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Cream, King Crimson, James Brown, Meshuggah, Aphex Twin, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, MF Doom, Madlib, Slum Village, Roy Ayers, and Oumou Sangare.. A lot of this is music I grew up around because my family members listened to it and I ended up getting into it that way. The jazz, world music, and 60’s/70’s stuff came from my parents, the hiphop/electronic influences came from my brothers and sisters, and the rock stuff came from my dad, sisters, and cousins. I was very influenced by the Latin music my father would play, especially this amazing documentary called ‘Calle 54’ which exposed me to many Latin greats such as Tito Puente, Michel Camilo, Paquito D’Rivera, Eliane Elias, Chucho Valdez and many others. I’m also really influenced by West African, Latin, and Indian percussion music.

Drummers I’m most influenced by are Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Zigaboo Modeliste, Bill Stewart, Jeff Tain Watts, Jack Dejohnette, Chris Dave, Karriem Riggins, Greg Hutchinson, Brian Blade, Paco Sery, Vinnie Colaiuta, Horacio El Negro Hernandez, Eric Harland, Dennis Chambers, Bernard Purdie, Steve Jordan, Ginger Baker, Bill Bruford, along with the incredible drummers I’ve gotten the opportunity to study with and get to know like Ralph Peterson Jr, Rodney Green, Nate Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Jamey Haddad.

Tribeca PAC: Who do you like out there making music now?

Diego: Some current groups/musicians who I haven’t mentioned above are Nicholas Payton, Chris Dave and The Drumhedz, Ronald Bruner Jr., Justin Brown and his group Nyeusi, Pedrito Martinez, Butcher Brown, Walter Smith, Ambrose Akinmusire, Robert Glasper, Jason Moran, Marc Cary, Knower, Laura Mvula, Karim Ziad, John Mayer Trio, Flying Lotus, Bilal, Knxwledge, Anderson .Paak, Mac Demarco, Kendrick Lamar, and of course all the incredible music I get to see on a regular basis in NYC such as The Lesson at Arlene’s Grocery and various bands at Smalls Jazz Club, Smoke Jazz Club, Fat Cat, and Zinc Bar. There are also some artists in Ireland, where I grew up, who are making great music such as Niwel Tsumbu, Loah, and Fehdah.

Tribeca PAC: What do you have coming up / what are you looking forward to in the spring?

Diego: Besides my own group, I play in a few different projects that will have shows in the city and new music released in the coming months which I am very excited about! I play with trumpeter/composer Wayne Tucker (who also plays in SULA). We play at Arlo Soho every Friday night and during April we will be playing at Smalls Jazz Club and Bar Lunatico. Later on he will be releasing some new material we recorded in the summer which I’m excited to hear. Lately I have had the opportunity to work with the amazing pianist/composer Marc Cary and one of his current projects ‘The Harlem Sessions’, which will be starting a new residency at Smoke Jazz Club in April. I have also spent some time in the studio with this project and I’m really excited for this to be heard when its ready, which will be soon. Lastly, I recently recorded an album with a great young Israeli pianist Eitan Kenner which should be released later this year under the name ‘Kenner’ so be on the lookout for that! Please follow my Instagram(‘djrdrums’) for specific dates, weekly performances, and to keep updated on new music!

 

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March 15, 2018

Conversation With John Fugelsang

We spoke with our Art of Stand-Up headliner, John Fugelsang, about what inspires him. Read more with John below, and join us tomorrow night for a night of laughs, starting at 8pm! 

Tribeca PAC: Can you talk a little about your background, and what brought you to comedy and stand up?

John: My mother was a Catholic nun & my father was a Franciscan Brother.   Standup Comedy was an affordable alternative to the therapy I actually need.    I trained as an actor but the first time I saw George Carlin live he made me feel like I wasn’t alone in the world – it was amazing that an artist could do that.   I was running a dorm for NYU when I did my first open mic and was able to quit the dorm job 18 months later.

Tribeca PAC: Do you see any current or new trends in comedy culture that you’re excited about?

John: I’m delighted that women are killing it at every level of comedy; it’s upsetting exactly the right people.

Tribeca PAC: What do you like best about performing for New York audiences?

John: NYC audiences are the best.   I lived in LA for years as a political comic and it’s nice to come home to a place where club crowds know who the mayor is.   Crowds are always a mix of ideologies & cultures and sooner or later you will play to people from every state in the Union in NYC.

Tribeca PAC: Tell us more about your Sirius show, and/or any other projects you have coming up.

John: “Tell Me Everything” comes from an old Bob Dylan quote and our format is NPR-style interviews with newsmakers, authors & celebrities meets political call-in show meets comedian round-table.  Our guests have ranged from Brian Wilson to Mel Brooks to Nick Nolte to Akon to Bernie Sanders to Trent Lott to Ahsanti to Noel Gallagher to Regina King.   My sidekick is Frank Conniff of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ and our mission is to be as eclectic as possible.  Today we had Krysten Ritter, star of Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix, then a theologian on the early days of Christianity, then a Daily Beast writer on politics, then a segment on films about geniuses.   We try to have a different format every hour and SiriusXM is a great place to create.

Tribeca PAC: Who are a few of your favorite comedians working right now, and/or who are your comedy influences?

John: George Carlin changed my life the first time I saw him live; Bill Hicks & Richard Pryor as well.   I love Eddie Pepitone, Alonzo Bodden, Greg Proops, Judy Gold, Phoebe Robinson and about 200 other people.

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March 7, 2018

Person Place Thing: Randy Cohen and Woodie King Jr.

Yesterday, host Randy Cohen interviewed Award-winning theater director Woodie King, Jr.. Also, members of The Ebony Hillbillies performed throughout the evening. This show was taped and will be broadcast at a later date on public radio throughout the Northeast (WNYE, 91.5 FM in NYC). Up next – Tuesday, April 3rd at 7PM – NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston, who will pull double duty (interview and play piano).

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January 30, 2018

Interview with Akie Bermiss

We spoke with with New York native singer/songwriter Akie Bermiss, set to bring his unique blend of soul, jazz, and r&b to Tribeca PAC on February 16 at 8PM. Read more with Akie, check out some videos and grab your tickets!

TPAC: What can audiences expect to hear at one of your shows?

Akie: Soul. First and foremost, I consider my music to be soul music. I try to move people, both physically and emotionally. My music goes all over the map from jazz to r&b to tin-pan alley, but I hope all of it connects to each listener. I want each song to tell a story and each show to be a journey.

TPAC: Who are your musical influences / inspirations?

Akie: There are so many. But if I narrow it down to a few: Donny Hathaway, D’angelo, Stephen Sondheim, Bill Withers. I’m a big fan of Motown in general, not only of the performers, but the writers as well. But also, like anyone who has had any training in Jazz, I have a strong affinity for The Great American Songbook – writers like Gershwin, Porter, Arlen, etc. Finally, my first exposure to live music was growing up in the Baptist church and I feel like that is always going to have a strong influence on my work both as composer and a singer.

TPAC: What do you like best about playing for a New York audience?

AKie: I’m born-and-raised in New York City, so I just love playing for the home crowd. That said, NYC audiences will eat you alive if you don’t bring it and I appreciate that too. There is no better place in the world to cut your teeth as a musician. If you can get a crowd of hip, cool, detached, and “over-it” New Yorkers to get excited, no situation is insurmountable!

TPAC: As a Brooklyn-based artist – tell what your favorite restaurant is in Brooklyn for a pre-show meal!

Akie: When I was growing up, Brooklyn was a place rife with diners and I’m still a big fan of a diner hang. I usually hit up George’s on Coney Island Avenue or Sunset Park Diner, if I have the time. Actually, that’s usually my post–show meal. But I like to camp out at a table, drink a bottomless cup of coffee, and work my way through a thick fantasy or sci-fi novel. Any time of day, come to think of it.

TPAC: What do you have coming up, personally or professionally?

Akie: I just released an EP called #basedonatruestory and a video to go along with the song Knowher(e). I’m putting together material to record a full-length album in the Spring, and generally looking to take this show on the road with my trio. It’s very likely I’ll be out and about during the summer playing keys with a great band called Lake Street Dive. And, personally, my cat is turning 12 this year and we’ll probably have a pretty knock-down, drag-out party with just the two of us, some ruby port wine and some catnip.

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February 5, 2018

Interview with AMP Trio

We’re excited to present AMP Trio Featuring Tahira Clayton this week at TPAC, part of our new series, Jazz in Progress: The Next Faces of Jazz. AMP Trio are the winners of the 2017 DCJazzPrix – read more about this exciting, up-and-coming band, and see them this Saturday, February 10 at 7:30pm!

 

Matt Young

TPAC: How long have you been playing together, and how did you meet?

Matt: We’ve been playing together for about 7-8 years. We all met while attending the University of North Texas and have been going strong since.

TPAC: Who are your musical influences / inspirations?

Matt: It’s an endless list, but recently I’ve really been inspired by a producer out of LA who goes by MNDSGN and the pianist, Tigran Hamasyan.

TPAC: What do you like best about playing for a New York audience?

MAtt: My favorite part about a NYC audience is that it can be the most diverse group of people under one roof at any given moment. People ranging from the most studious and experienced listeners to those who operate totally outside of a life in jazz or music. It’s an honor to tell our story to any who are open to hearing it.

TPAC: Tell us more about the DC Jazz Fest – was it your first time there? Were you nervous? How did you prepare for the competition?

Matt: It was personally my first time at the festival and I had a blast! It was great to hang with the fellow musicians who participated in the DCJazzPrix at well as meet the people at the festival who are behind such a well-designed organization.

TPAC: We had some pre-show jitters but one could say that we’ve been preparing for that performance since we met years ago. The beauty of having a band is that you can rely on each other to elevate the moment. We share a similar goal as music-makers and the competition slot felt like another chance to do our thing.

TPAC: What do you have coming up, personally or professionally?

Matt: As a band, we have some performances coming up across the country: Dazzle Jazz Club in Denver (as well as a clinic at Denver University), our return slot for the D.C. Jazz Festival and a DCJazzPrix performance, as well as some other hits in NYC. I recently returned from a two-week stint as a guest artist and educator with the Patrick Lui Big Band in Hong Kong. Our time together capped off with a live televised performance on Radio Television Hong Kong. In May, I’ll be on the road in Mexico with Ryan Hagler (bass professor at USFQ College of Music in Quito, Ecuador) and Roberto Verastegui (pianist and keyboardist I met while working with Bob Belden and Animation). I’m also working on the follow up release to my first record, Headspace.

Perrin Grace

TPAC: How long have you been playing together, and how did you meet?

Perrin: We’ve been playing together since 2010, starting out as the rhythm section of the Denton, TX band Sky Window. I believe our first gig as AMP Trio was at a bar in Dallas, TX making up hip-hop tracks on the fly for a couple M.C.s to rhyme over. As fun as it was we quickly hopped over to our current path of making records of original music and touring.

TPAC: Who are your musical influences / inspirations?

Perrin: We have a massive variety of influences between the four of us, Linkin Park, Rush, Pat Metheny, Carmen McRae, Thundercat! But if you want to know a bit more we just published a blog post that goes into some detail about how we were influenced by other piano trios. Here’s the link

TPAC: What do you like best about playing for a New York audience?

Perrin: It’s incredible how aware New York audiences are. They’re the ultimate reflection of musical energy, serious about having a good time and relentless if the service isn’t delivered. They make it easy to cut through the fluff and prolong the moments of performer/audience connection.

TPAC: Tell us more about the DC Jazz Fest – was it your first time there? Were you nervous? How did you prepare for the competition?

Perrin: This was my first time and it was so much fun! We were taken care of so well that it really made it easy for us to get down to business. Fortunately we had been on the road in Japan as a trio for a couple of weeks prior to the DCJP and we felt comfortable that the magic would present itself in our set. I think it did!

TPAC: What do you have coming up, personally or professionally?

Perrin: I know everyone in the group is preparing for their own upcoming releases. Matt has a beautiful EP in the works, Addison will be releasing his third album which he made in Switzerland and Tahira is releasing her first record as a leader this summer/fall. I’m in the very early stages of planning a my first full-length record as a leader as well but I imagine it won’t be released for a couple of years.

Addison Frei

TPAC: How long have you been playing together, and how did you meet?

Addison: I met Perrin within my first few weeks at North Texas in the fall of 2010 and met Matt shortly thereafter. We initially played in a fusion band led by fellow classmate Jordan Gheen called Sky Window, and from there participated in several school ensembles. We played a few coffee shop trio gigs in Denton and realized there was much more to explore together as a group!

TPAC: Who are your musical influences / inspirations?

Addison: Certainly a challenge to narrow the list, but Perrin and I have spent many hours listening to Brad Mehldau together. His compositions and playing certainly have a big influence on me. I’m also inspired by pianists like Teddy Wilson, Art Tatum and Hank Jones just to mention a few.

TPAC: What do you like best about playing for a New York audience?

Addison: Playing in New York is always exciting because the audiences have a high bar. When you consider all the entertainment options in the city, the level of responsibility to deliver a compelling performance is significant! That being said, we always strive to put our best foot forward no matter the location. There’s also a much greater chance of running into familiar faces in NYC, or finding mutual friends.

TPAC: Tell us more about the DC Jazz Fest – was it your first time there? Were you nervous? How did you prepare for the competition?

Addison: This was our first time at the DC Jazz Fest, though AMP Trio feat. Tahira Clayton had performed in the area earlier in the year at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival. We got together as a group to rehearse the flow of the set. Because they were all compositions we had played before, our focus was primarily on transitions and making sure that we captured the strengths of the group while creating a balanced musical statement. There were probably a few nerves, but it was also extremely exciting to see our friends perform on the same stage.

TPAC: What do you have coming up, personally or professionally?

Addison: In addition to all that’s ahead with AMP Trio this year, I’m completing my first year in the Artist Diploma program at Juilliard and am excited to perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai with our ensemble later this spring. This April I’m releasing a new trio album on TCB Records and look forward to commemorating that with solo concerts in Geneva, at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and at Birds Eye (Basel) in July.

 

December 4, 2017

The Best Way to Enjoy Tribeca PAC’s 2017-18 Family Theater Season is with a 10Club!

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November 18, 2017

Tribeca PAC PSA: Pet Safety During the Holidays – Advice from our Neighbors

On November 18th, as part of the ‘Velveteen Rabbit’ pre-show, Dr. Jennifer Berg of Tribeca Veterinary Wellness talked briefly before the show about pet safety during the holidays. Check out the video if you missed it – and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving for your whole family, including your pets!

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November 11, 2017

A DATE WITH IAN VENERACION AND SPECIAL GUESTS BELA PADILLA & DENISE LAUREL, originally Nov. 11, will be postponed to a later TBD date.

Dear Patron,

We would like to inform you that we are postponing the show, A DATE WITH IAN VENERACION AND SPECIAL GUESTS BELA PADILLA & DENISE LAUREL on Saturday, November 11, 2017. The event will be rescheduled to another date in early 2018. Please watch the announcements on the new date on HaloHalo USA’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/halohalousainc/

If you have purchased a ticket for the show by phone or online through BMCC Tribeca PAC, a full refund of the face value of the ticket has been issued to your credit card. Please note: Your November 11th ticket will NOT be valid for the rescheduled date. If you have questions regarding your refund status, please contact Ticketing Services at (212) 220-1460 or tickets.tribecapac.org.

For any information regarding the show, please contact the producer of this event at [email protected]

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November 1, 2017

Interview With Acclaimed Pianist and Composer Robin Spielberg

 

We spoke with acclaimed pianist and composer Robin Spielberg, who joins us for her concert here on Saturday, November 4 at 8pm. Read more with Robin below, and grab your tickets to this special event!

Tribeca PAC: Hi Robin. Nice to meet you! Tell us a little about your personal style and inspiration in your music.

Robin: I believe that live performances are all about audience engagement. I enjoy sharing stories, humor and experiences that are relatable and entertaining. My music is very melodic and often stir memories in the listener. My compositions are a musical soundtrack to my diary and when I share them, people are listening to a “musical memoir.”

Tribeca PAC: What excites you artistically right now? Any favorite performers /performances?

Robin: There are some extraordinary singers/performers out there right now. I have tickets for Springsteen’s Broadway show in December, and have been a fan for decades. I think that artists like Pink! and Lady Gaga are doing very interesting and entertaining shows and have found ways to engage audiences that are truly exciting. I also enjoy smaller, quieter shows with just a singer/songwriter and a guitar. I just finished voting in the first round of the Grammy Awards and listened to hundreds of hours of amazing music that no one has ever heard of…there is truly some wonderful quality work out there.

Tribeca PAC: What can audiences expect to hear or experience at one of your shows?

Robin: I will be premiering some new “concert films” which are beautiful visuals that perfectly accompany several pieces and give the audience insight as to what inspired the compositions. As one audience member from last night’s show in Ohio put it, “expect to laugh a little, cry a little, and feel a whole lot better than you did coming in.”

Tribeca PAC: What do you enjoy most about touring?

Robin: I have friends spread out all over the country and it seems that everywhere I go is a chance to re-connect. Just last night former neighbors of mine (here in PA) came to a show in OH where they now live. I also just love playing piano more than anything else in the world, so sharing music with people and making meaningful connections brings me so much joy. I hear from people after the show that they’ve been listening to my music for years and were so happy that I finally came to their home town. I also hear from people what my music has meant to them and of course, that is lovely. My music has often been the soundtrack to many life cycle events.

Tribeca PAC: Why are you excited to perform for a New York crowd?

Robin: New York will always be “home” for me. I grew up in Maplewood, NJ and lived in Manhattan for 9 years and in Montclair for 15 afterward. I am an NYU/Tisch School of the Arts grad, so coming to New York is like coming home. It just feels good.

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May 3, 2017

John Steptoe’s Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters – An African Tale will be presented Saturday, May 13 at 1:30PM. We caught up with Bweela Steptoe, who is the daughter of the late author and illustrator, John Steptoe, and the model for the two daughters in the story. Bweela will be in attendance on May 13 and will greet the audience following the performance.

Tribeca PAC: What is the message of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, and what do you think families will take away from the show?

Bweela: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters message is simple: Good always wins over evil! When you deal with any situation in a negative manner you will always get negative results. When you have good intent and are positive about a situation you will always win! Besides receiving this wonderful message families will also leave the theater with an energetic fun loving memory of a classic fairy tale told from an authentic African cultural perspective.

Tribeca PAC: Tell us a little about your involvement with and relationship to the story.

Bweela: I am Bweela Steptoe, the daughter of the award winning author and illustrator John Steptoe. My father used me as the model for both sisters in the story when I was 12 years old. So I posed as both Manyara and Nyasha from photographs he took of me. Some of those pictures were taken in Central Park with a sheet wrapped around me.

Tribeca PAC: Why do you think making the book into a play might help audiences understand the story better?

Bweela: Well, the book has been in print for 30 years. It has a very large following. Having the play as well as the book helps to create a larger audience as well as bring the book to life in a whole other way. The play keeps you engaged with live performers, live music that you will probably hum long after the play is over, a beautiful set and an opportunity to interact with the characters. You might see things you missed in the book and for those who are not familiar with the book will now be interested in the book because the story was executed so well as a play.

Tribeca PAC: Do you have a background as an artist or performer?

Bweela: I’m sure if you asked my father this question about me he would defiantly say yes! Referring to me as a young child. I can say I was truly a performer. Yes, I am an artist. But not a professional performer! Both of my parents are artists so I inherited the skill as well. I design clothing incorporating a lot of patchwork to create texture and hand painting the fabric to give it a one of a kind uniqueness. Creating wearable art.

Tribeca PAC: What are you looking forward to this Spring/Summer?

Bweela: I’m looking forward to ending the nation wide tour with the Dallas Children’s Theater in Dallas this July with my twin daughters who are away in college right now. I will also be focusing on the John Lewis Steptoe Cultural Center, a non for profit origination that I have created to bring art to the neighborhood children in the same sprit that my father once did and presenting the Bweela Steptoe 2018 Spring Collection to the Fashion world this fall.

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March 8, 2017

We caught up with the very talented Kerry Coddett, Carole Montgomery and Leighann Lord, who are performing here this Friday along with Lori Sommer.

Check out our conversations with these very funny ladies.

Kerry Coddett

Tribeca PAC: What’s the role of comedy in our current climate?

Kerry: The role of comedy now is the role that comedy has always had, which is to tell the truth in a way that serves as a panacea for life’s ills. Life has always been hard; it hasn’t just gotten difficult since Election Day. So although people are particularly frustrated right now, the truth is that we’ve always needed comedy desperately, and we always will.

Tribeca PAC: Who are your biggest comedic influences? And/or which comics do you love to watch?

Kerry: Growing up I admired different comics for different reasons; Whoopi for her storytelling skills, Jim Carrey’s gift for physical comedy, Chris Rock for his unapologetic perspective. Currently, my absolute favorite comics to watch are Bill Burr, CK, Roy Wood Jr., Jim Jefferies, Pat Brown, and Michelle Wolf. Honorable mentions to up-and-comers, Tanael Joachim and Sam Jay. They are simply brilliant.

Tribeca PAC: What do you like about playing New York shows?

Kerry: There’s so much diversity in NYC, from the people in the audience to the kinds of shows you can do. The NYC comedy scene is a mixed bag of improv, sketch, stand up, storytelling, and variety shows. You can do stand up in a comedy club or in someone’s apartment. I love how random it all is! Also, I’m from Brooklyn, so I love welcoming people to my city (in an authentic way.)

Tribeca PAC: What do you have coming up and/or what are you excited about in 2017?

Kerry: I’m excited about my new podcast, called “Call You In;” I’ll be in Caroline’s Comedy Madness competition, and I’m really pumped about pilot season because there are so many great comedies being developed right now!

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Carole Montgomery

Tribeca PAC: What’s the role of comedy in our current climate?

Carole: Whenever there is uncertainty in day to day living, comedy provides a much needed release.

Tribeca PAC: Who are your biggest comedic influences? And/or which comics do you love to watch?

Carole: Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Freddie Prinze and the Marx Brothers.
Anytime I need a pick me up I watch a Marx Brothers movie.

Tribeca PAC: What do you like about playing New York shows?

Carole: New Yorkers have seen it all and heard it all and they’re also the brightest.
Next to military bases, they are my favorite audiences.

Tribeca PAC: What do you have coming up and/or what are you excited about in 2017?

Carole: I am looking forward to producing more comedy television specials and directing more solo shows along with recording my own hour long TV special in the fall.
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Leighann Lord

Tribeca PAC: What do you have coming up and/or what are you excited about in 2017?

Leighann: In 2017 I’m excited about a possible presidential impeachment, not being forced to apply for Canadian citizenship, and that March 31 is my Stand-up Comedy Anniversary and am commemorating it with my book, “RealWomen Do It Standing Up” available on Amazon.

Tribeca PAC: What’s the role of comedy in our current climate?

Leighann: The role of comedy in our current climate is what it always is: To Entertain.
A comedian’s job is to relieve the tension and stress of daily living by making people laugh.
We help them temporarily “forget” about their problems whether they be personal or political, real or imagined.

Tribeca PAC: Who are your biggest comedic influences?

Leighann: Aside from the voices in my head, my biggest comedic influences are my family and the current political climate.

Tribeca PAC: What do you like about playing New York shows?

 

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February 15, 2017

We are very excited to have vocalist Charenée Wade return to Tribeca PAC this Saturday, Feb. 18. Check out our conversation.

Tribeca PAC: How did you get involved with the Monk in Motion series?

Charenée: I have always been a fan at the TPAC series since I first performed there many years back. It is exciting to be able to bring a new project to the programming.
Tribeca PAC: How would you describe your sound and/or influences?

Charenée: Well, I can tell you about my first loves that brought me to the music…Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Phyllis Hyman, Betty Carter, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson…these artists had a great impact on my development and how I saw myself as a musician. At the moment, however, I feel as though I am expanding in a way that is unique to my experience as a whole. Product of my influences, but definitely shaped in my own vision.

charenee-wade-square
Tribeca PAC: What are you looking forward to in 2017?

Charenée: I am looking forward to making a new recording that has great positive impact.
Tribeca PAC: What do you like best about New York audiences and/or playing in New York?

Charenée: New York audiences are very honest. So, when they are having a good time, you know it. With all its grit and realness, movement and honesty. New York is home.
Tribeca PAC: Who are your favorite artists?

Charenée: Well, I just named my influences, they are also my favorites. If I were to add folks to that list, I would say Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Chaka Kahn, Abbey Lincoln, Marc Carey, Bilal, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, just to name a few….

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December 22, 2016
Interview with MICHAEL “BIG MIKE” LYNCHE

Michael “Big Mike” Lynche, formerly of “American Idol,” took a moment in this busy holiday season to speak with us about his upcoming concert at Tribeca PAC in January. Read more below.

Tribeca PAC: Tell us a little about your musical inspirations and/or influences?

Michael: My musical influences are really wide ranging, from Bonnie Rait to Earth Wind & Fire to Tupac to Boyz II Men, but I guess it all really traces back to my mom. She always had my brothers & sisters and I listening to something she thought was interesting. I probably took the most shine to the male soul singers like Al Green, Sam Cooke and Donny Hathaway.

Tribeca PAC: What did you learn from your experience with American Idol?

Michael: My experience on Idol was incredible! It was the biggest show on the planet so you’re working with the best in their fields from the producers to the stagehands. I learned how to be a true pro.

Tribeca PAC: What advice do you have for aspiring singers?

Michael: Find your own inner peace and confidence. You can’t rely on someone else to tell you “you’re worthy” and have any type of sanity.
Tribeca PAC: What can audiences expect to hear at your concert on the 6th?

Michael: Sweet soul music! I only know one way to do it and that is from my heart. I’m really proud of this show. I’ve been working on it the last 2 years and it’s in full bloom right now.

Tribeca PAC: What do you have coming up, and/or what is something you’re looking forward to in 2017?

Michael: I’ll be working with Byron Stripling and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in April. He’s the most popular guest artist with symphonies around the country and someone I really look up to. Really looking forward to sharing the stage.

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December 2, 2016
Interview with Ustad Shafat Khan

We spoke with upcoming TPAC performer Ustad Shafat Khan about his upcoming performance on Friday, December 9 at 8:00pm. Read more about his musical style, influences, and more.

TPAC: How would you describe your musical sound, and what can audiences expect to hear at your concert?

Khan: I play a combination of classical Indian compositions and my own compositions. The first half of the concert will feature Indian drumming and sitar, paying tribute to great masters with music that dates back to the 16th century. In the second half, I’ll play music from my new album, titled “Reflection and Praise.” We’ll also feature the poetry of Rumi.

TPAC: Who are your greatest influences and/or inspirations?

Khan: My relatives – my father and uncle – are legendary Indian musicians. They are the Bach and Beethoven of Indian classical music – I take a lot of inspiration from them. My uncle, Sahabdad Khan, invented the surbahar. I am very lucky to have them as mentors and teachers.

TPAC: What are some of your favorite memories as a performer?

Khan: I had my debut concert at age 11. Since then, I have played amazing venues like the Acropolis in Greece, and I have played for Presidents and Prime Ministers. Playing with Stevie Wonder at Bonnaroo was very special.

TPAC: How are you spending the holidays? Do you have any performances coming up?

Khan: I’m excited to spend time with my family, particularly my four year-old son! I’m also playing soon at the Ghandi Center in DC. I look forward to continuing to bring love and peace and build bridges between cultures and religions through my music.

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November 17, 2016
Interview with David S. Goldman

We spoke with David S. Goldman, who is bringing “A Musical History of the Lower East Side” to Tribeca PAC this Friday night, 11/18, at 8pm. Read below to learn more about David and what you can expect to hear on Friday.

Tribeca PAC: What can audiences expect to hear on November 18?

David: People will hear a mix of Irish, Latin, Yiddish, Opera, Italian lullabies and Jazz and Gospel music performed by some great, world traveled performers, all spiced with an historical narration of the history of the Lower East Side.

Tribeca PAC: What do you like about this kind of massive collaboration?

David: Being of mixed background myself and having grown up with a wide variety of International and American music, playing music with a group enriches the evening exponentially for both the performers and the audience.

Tribeca PAC: Why do you think representing different cultures through your music is important?

David: Our world is diversifying more and more every day, and musicians and other artists are at the forefront of bringing people together, which ultimately is what has to happen if this world is to thrive.

Tribeca PAC: What do you like best about performing in New York?

David: New York is simply one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the world; at any one moment one passes people of dozens of nationalities on a single city block. So when one performs music here, one always feels it will be understood, accepted and valued. New York City is a microcosm of the future world.

Tribeca PAC: What do you have coming up next?

David: I am working on a few different projects. I recently performed my ‘Songs of the American Spirit’ which featured songs that I felt captured the core values of the origin of our country and some of the history of our trials and tribulations. It came out of a reaction to the disturbing politics of the last decade in this country. One of the songs I used was my ‘Going To America’ which won Gold Prize in the 2015 Songwriters Association of Washington’s “Mid-Atlantic Songwriters Contest” in the Americana-Folk Rock Category. Here’s the link to the still photo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62-Ao9zK7hA

I am also working on my story of my two years in India years ago when I was in college, which will eventually be a multi-media project combining music, photos, spoken word, poetry, recorded street sounds and more….http://www.davidgoldman.com

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Interview with Yuki Hasegawa, Azul Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director.

October 31, 2016

Tribeca PAC is thrilled to host Azul Dance Theatre’s “Vision,” on November 11 and 12 at 7:30pm.  We spoke with Artistic Director Yuki Hasegawa about the company and their upcoming work. Check out our conversation.

Tribeca PAC: What can audiences expect to see/experience on November 11 and 12?

Yuki: The audience will experience an Asian flavor which was influenced from a Japanese traditional motif within the context of contemporary dance and music.We will utilize two kinds of traditional Japanese props: Japanese Noh theater Masks (have evil expressions) and the musical instruments, call Naruko clappers. The evil masks (call Hannya-Men in Japanese) represent the people’s fear and insecurity, so that the person who wears the mask is not evil, but s/he looks like an evil person because of their fear and insecurity. The other Japanese props, the instrumentals used for the summer festival, are Naruko clappers. They were originally the tools for preventing the rice from birds in the rice fields in the ancient society. (The sounds of Naruko was scared the birds away from the fields.) Nowadays, Naruko clappers are well known for the festival dance props, as they are used at the Yosakoi Festival which is one of the most famous festivals in Japan.

The theme of the dance is universal substance that conveying one’s self-battle against the fear and in security. Although this dance piece is abstract, some audiences might find the story because of the masks.
Tribeca PAC: What are some of your inspirations for VISION?

Yuki: My inspiration for Vision is two-fold. One is from my company members who have a diverse background. Many dancers of Azul Dance Theatre are from outside the US. Those young talented dancers’ positive energy and passion are truly my inspiration of creating the movements and inspiring me to live my life as an artist in NY. Without their support and corporation, I will not be able to complete this dance piece. Year by year, I started to realized that incorporating with the dancers will create more energy and inspiration to make the dance piece as a group, so that I am more aware of each dancer’s thoughts, feelings, and passions when I work on this company to create the dance piece.

My other inspiration is my life as an artist living in NYC. Through my process of understanding the people in NYC, I found the substantial theme as human on the earth.

Vision is my question and answer “what is the nature of the human beings,” through my everyday life living in a such a crazy city.

Since I moved to NY from Tokyo in 1998, I had to adjust every thing, such as language, behavior, foods, lifestyle, and so on. I lost my confidence, and I am always insecure, because I do not know how I can act like an American. However, I realized that I am not only person feeling insecurity. Recently, I realized that I am insecure not because I am a foreigner, but also I am a human. I believe in this way: People can act like an evil, because they do not have a confident, or they are afraid of somethings. I believe that fear and insecurity are the reason why the people become nasty and unkind, and more over, those negative energy causes the fights and conflicts.

Tribeca PAC: How is this piece different from previous pieces by Azul Dance Theatre?

Yuki: The costumes are more simple compared to the other pieces of Azul Dance. Since I wanted to expose pure movements of the dancers, in order to convey the theme, I picked the costumes which are simple and tight design.

This piece consists of serious theme and dark side compared to my other works in the past, as I tend to create the pieces which are cheerful and visually beautiful, and also were filled with lots of positive energy.
Tribeca PAC: What do you like best about performing in New York?

Yuki: Diverse audiences in NY has been truly inspiring me. Fortunately, we have had various opportunities to present our dance during the past few years, at the various types of venues, such as black box theaters, proscenium theater, and outside performances.