Makor, a cultural center in New York, is hosting its second Bluegrass Film & Music Festival next month, and I thought you might be interested in spreading the word – a press release is attached. And if you find yourself in New York, please consider this an invitation.
Media contact: Meryl Wheeler, 212.413.8841, mwheeler@92Y.org
MAKOR, just off mainstream
[A program of the 92nd Street Y]
35 West 67th Street (CPW + Columbus)
THE SECOND ANNUAL
BLUEGRASS FILM + MUSIC FESTIVAL
Tue, Wed, Sat + Sun, February 15, 16, 18, + 19
Documentaries, Discussion, and Bluegrass from around the U.S.
New York, NY, January 19, 2006 – Bluegrass - one of America’s indigenous (and traditionally rural) music styles - returns to Gotham as Makor presents its second annual BLUEGRASS FILM + MUSIC FESTIVAL, featuring a variety of documentaries, discussion and music on Tue, Wed, Sat and Sun February 15, 16, 18 and 19. Newsday called last year’s inaugural Festival – the first bluegrass festival in New York - “a vital event.”
The films document bluegrass pioneers such as RALPH STANLEY and THE CARTER FAMILY as well as current performers and the close-knit fan community. A discussion of the current bluegrass scene follows the screening of BLUEGRASS JOURNEY.
The musical performances feature some of NYC best homegrown bluegrass musicians: MARGOT LEVERETT AND THE KLEZMER MOUNTAIN BOYS pair bluegrass with klezmer, TONY TRISCHKA performs virtuoso banjo and ASTROGRASS does a special show for children. Brooklyn’s COBBLE HILLBILLIES are also on hand for a return engagement.
BLUEGRASS FILM + MUSIC FESTIVAL
Schedule of Events
WED FEB 15 - FILM
7:30 PM / $9
THE RALPH STANLEY STORY (2001)
For more than 50 years, Ralph Stanley’s banjo playing, haunting tenor voice and tradition-inspired repertoire have epitomized old-time bluegrass music. This documentary explores Stanley’s musical roots in Virginia, the early days of The Stanley Brothers and his decision to continue after the untimely death of his brother, Carter.
[Director: Herb E. Smith. Runtime: 82 min. DOCUMENTARY]
WED FEB 15 - MUSIC
$8 PM / $15 (1/2 price with purchase of film ticket)
OLD SCHOOL FREIGHT TRAIN / MARGOT LEVERETT & THE KLEZMER MOUNTAIN BOYS
Charlottesville, VA-based OLD SCHOOL FREIGHT TRAIN blends jazz, Latin, Celtic, bluegrass and pop into an original acoustic mix. Their most recent CD, Run, was produced by mandolin master David Grisman, for his Acoustic Disc label, and includes an acoustic version of Steve Wonder’s “Superstition” and their interpretation of Randy Newman’s “Louisiana 1927,” in addition to 10 originals. The KLEZMER MOUNTAIN BOYS, led by clarinetist MARGOT LEVERETT, bring the klezmer and bluegrass worlds together, interweaving these styles to create a rich musical tapestry. They blend the haunting beauty of a lost Russian melody with an Appalachian waltz and create irresistible dance medleys of reels and bulgars.
THU FEB 16 - FILM
7:30 PM / $15
BLUEGRASS JOURNEY (2003)
This documentary celebrates the virtuoso artistry in contemporary American bluegrass music along with its devoted fans. Performances by bluegrass luminaries - including the Del McCoury Band, Peter Rowan, Tim O’Brien, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Rhonda Vincent and Nickel Creek - create an indelible impression and explain the genre’s recent popularity. Features a Q&A with filmmakers Ruth Oxenberg and Rob Schumer, moderated by Matt Winters of WKCR-FM, following the screening.
[Directors: Ruth Oxenberg and Rob Schumer. Runtime: 86 min. DOCUMENTARY]
THU FEB 16 - MUSIC
8 PM / $15 (1/2 price with purchase of film ticket)
THE LONESOME SISTERS
***“Crystalline harmonies and mournful tunes…” (Boston Globe)
THE LONESOME SISTERS - Sarah Hawker and Debra Clifford - are known for their hard-hitting, old-time country and mountain harmonies and a repertoire of classic tragedy and heartache. They have performed with the Levon Helm Band, Tony Trischka, Mike Marshall and Darol Anger, and at such prestigious venues as the Newport Folk Festival and NYC’s Merkin Hall. This is their first gig at Makor.
10 PM / $15
THE STRINGDUSTERS (1/2 price with purchase of film ticket)
THE STRINGDUSTERS are one of the most talented and creative new bands on the bluegrass scene. The Nashville-based band is steeped in both the tradition of bluegrass vocal harmony and the progressive edge of instrumental music, with a wealth of original songs that helps to set them apart.
SAT FEB 18 - FILM
7:30 PM / $9 (for both films)
SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE (1985)
HAZEL DICKENS: IT’S HARD TO TELL THE SINGER FROM THE SONG (2002)
During the 1920s and ’30s, the records and radio shows of A.P. Carter, his wife, Sara, and his sister-in-law Maybelle spread the music of the southern mountains and earned the Carter family international fame. SUNNY SIDE OF LIFE celebrates the legacy of this country music dynasty. [Directors: Scott Faulkner, Anthony Slone and Jack Wright. Runtime: 58 min. DOCUMENTARY]
From the West Virginia coalfields to the factories of Baltimore, Hazel Dickens has lived the songs she sings. View an intimate portrait of this pioneering woman in bluegrass and hardcore country, featuring interviews with Dickens and other musicians interwoven with archival footage and recent performances. [Director: Mimi Pickering. Runtime: 60 min. DOCUMENTARY]
SAT FEB 18 - MUSIC
8 PM / $15 (1/2 price with purchase of film ticket)
TONY TRISCHKA’S ‘WORLD TURNING’ / THE COBBLE HILLBILLIES
***“If jazzman Thelonious Monk had ever played the banjo, he would have probably sounded like Tony Trischka” (Bluegrass Unlimited)
***“It’s difficult to believe that Tony Trischka has the same number of fingers as anyone else.” (Alternative Press)
With his command of various banjo styles, distinctive writing and a fearless approach, TONY TRISCHKA is one of the most creative and imaginative banjo players today. His new project, “World Turning,” is a musical history of the banjo in America, with a nod to its African roots. Six friends from such far-flung locales as Quebec, St. Louis, North Carolina, Oregon and Chicago found themselves in Brooklyn and founded the COBBLE HILLBILLIES (named for one of the borough’s neighborhoods, Cobble Hill) in 2003. Along with more traditional bluegrass topics such as riverboat captains and lost lovers, the Cobble Hillbillies also sing about more urban subjects, like the F train.
SUN FEB 19 - MUSIC
1 PM / $12 / SPECIAL CHILDREN’S SHOW
Brooklyn-based ASTROGRASS’ kids show is an interactive, captivating performance featuring a quirky mix of bluegrass, folk, and humor. Highlights of the show include dance contests set to high-energy fiddle hoedowns, musical interpretations of the poetry of Shel Silverstein, and sing-alongs to some beloved favorites. The band and audience also explore the art of songwriting, with kids providing lyrical content for an original song that gets completed by the end of the show.
About the 92nd Street Y
MAKOR, a program of the 92nd Street Y, offers New Yorkers in their 20s and 30s opportunities for exploration and connection within an environment committed to Jewish pluralism, cultural innovation and intellectual excellence. Programs range from cutting-edge music performances, independent and foreign film screenings and art and photo exhibits to workshops, talks and classes on a variety of topics including Jewish culture. Through professional networking and community service initiatives Makor (Hebrew for "source") also provides opportunities to connect and create community. Events take place in the club-like atmosphere of a beautifully refurbished double brownstone at 35 West 67th Street, one of New York's landmark blocks.
Founded in 1874 by a group of visionary Jewish leaders, the 92nd Street Y has grown into a wide-ranging cultural and community center serving people of all races, faiths and backgrounds. The 92nd Street Y’s mission is to enrich the lives of the over 300,000 people who visit each year -- both in person and through Live from NY’s 92nd Street Y!, the Y’s satellite broadcast program. The organization’s East Side headquarters and West Side outpost, Makor, offer comprehensive performing arts, film and spoken word events; courses in the humanities, arts and Jewish education; activities and workshops for children, teenagers and parents; and health and fitness programs for people of every age. Committed to making its programs available to everyone, the 92nd Street Y awards over $1 million in scholarships annually and reaches out to 6,000 public school children each year through subsidized arts education programs. For more information, visit this link