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.

Microsoft Word - The Life and Legacy of John Steptoe most update  Microsoft Word - The Life and Legacy of John Steptoe most update

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 and don’t forget to get your tickets! smarttix-buy_026

Kerry Coddett

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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!

Tribeca PAC: Where can we find you online/on social media?

Kerry: Almost everything you need to know about me can be found on KerryCoddett.com.
For daily updates, I’m always goofing off on social media at Facebook.com/KerryCoddett, and @Overfab on Twitter and IG.

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Carole Montgomery

Carol 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

Tribeca PAC: Where can we find you online/on social media?

Carole:
carolemontgomery.com
@nationalmom on twitter and instgram

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Leighann Lord

leighannlord

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?

Leighann: I like playing New York shows because of the savvy and diversity of the audiences and the ample free on the street parking.

Tribeca PAC: Where can we find you online/on social media?

Leighann:
Website
Twitter – @LeighannLord
Facebook
Instagram
Comedy Album on iTunes

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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 and join us. smarttix-buy_026

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.

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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.

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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 (http://musicalbeats.net/) about his upcoming performance on Friday, December 9 at 8:00pm. Read more about his musical style, influences, and more.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Tribeca PAC: What do you have coming up next?

Yuki: APAP show case at Salvatore Capezio Theater, in NY, January 7 & 8th 2017.

 

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