Author: Carter Smith

NEXT! Special Double Bill: Roosevelt Dime and Driftwood (4/26)

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue Hastings-on-Hudson Presents

Rooosevelt Dime and Driftwood

 

“Fantastic” -No Depression, on Roosevelt Dime

 

 

“There’s a reason people won’t let them off the stage” – The Syracuse New Times, on Driftwood

 

To listen to the music of Roosevelt Dime is to take a journey through American roots music. Inspired by Appalachian string bands, Memphis soul, New Orleans dixieland, and the musical melting pot of Brooklyn which they call home, the band has forged a sound they’ve come to call Steamboat Soul. After years of thrilling audiences at festivals and venues across the country, the band has fully captured the energy and musicianship of their live performance on Full Head of Steam (2014). Andrew Green (banjo, guitar) and Eben Pariser (electric bass, gutbucket bass) met at Oberlin College and continued their musical collaboration after settling in NYC. Tony Montalbano brought his distinctive drumming to the band shortly after, and Seth Paris (clarinet, saxophone) added his background in big band and west African brass music to fill out the diverse sound. The band developed by busking in the streets and subways, where they learned what it took to stop someone in their tracks, turn them from a stranger into a listener, from a listener into a sidewalk lindy-hopper. Roosevelt Dime has recently been featured in The Philadelphia Folk Fest, Musikfest, No Depression, On Your Radar with WFUV’s John Platt, and official showcases at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis 2011, and Toronto 2013.

From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/roots music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette. But the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely. “We started off playing rock in high school. Then studying jazz and classical music in college. Then we dove headfirst into folk and bluegrass. At some point I guess we kind of met in the middle”, says guitarist/songwriter Dan Forsyth. Drawing on aspects of everything from 0ld-time recordings to 1960’s R&B, the music is crafted to serve the songs. With fast-growing audiences singing along at live shows, it’s easy to tell the primary focus is on song. “We recognized early on that one of our strongest points was songwriting. The greatest songs transcend genre and time and this was one of the motivating ideas behind the band at the start”, says banjo player/songwriter Joe Kollar. Trading lead vocals between Forsyth, Kollar and violinist Claire Byrne, the group’s stage dynamics are as captivating as the songs. “I give so much of myself when I play because I deem it necessary in order to do the music justice”, says Byrne, whose violin-shredding performances galvanize fans. Songs or shredding, “There’s a reason people won’t let them off the stage”, says Jess Novak from The Syracuse New Times.

Eventbrite - Roosevelt Dime and Driftwood Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

About Common Ground

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Common Ground Community Concerts is a producer of two music series in Westchester County, New York — the long-standing Common Ground Coffeehouse  at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester at 25 Old Jackson Avenue, outside of Hastings-on-Hudson NY and  Common Ground @ South Church, held at South Presbyterian Church, 343 Broadway,  in Dobbs Ferry, NY. On occasion, we produce concerts in other locations, as well.

All Common Ground locations are wheelchair accessible.

Common Ground was founded as an effort to build community and to support regional and national musicians and other artists. Since 2005, Common Ground has used its profits to operate the Common Ground Microcredit Fund. The fund raised has raised over $25,000 for local, regional and global community groups and organizations that provide either much needed social services or work toward progressive, nonviolent social change. For more information on Common Ground’s social justice mission, and to learn more about the Common Ground Microcredit Fund, please click here.

Now preparing for our 11th year, Common Ground has hosted such beloved national and regional artists as Steve Forbert, John Hammond, Eliza GilkysonEllis Paul, Red Molly,  Chris Smither, Andy Statman, Susan Werner, and many more. For many years, Common Ground was a regular stop on the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s Annual Most Wanted Preview Tour. In addition to traditional and modern folk artists and singer-songwriters, we frequently feature other musical genres, such as jazz, blues, cajun-zydeco, popular song, and even the occasional evening of avant garde gamelan music!

Upcoming Concerts

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Our Spring 2014 Season At A Glance


COMMON GROUND COFFEEHOUSE
@ The First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson NY
4/26, 7:30 pm: Roosevelt Dime and Driftwood
5/31, 7:30 pm: Blind Boy Paxton and Mamie Minch

COMMON GROUND @SOUTH CHURCH
@ South Presbyterian Church
343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry NY
5/3, 7:30 pm: Ron Vincent Quartet with Ron Vincent, Mark Morganelli, Jay Azzolina and the RiverArts Jazz Ensemble

 

Saturday, May 3, 7:30 pm: Ron Vincent Trio, w/special guests Mark Morganelli, RiverArts Jazz Ensemble

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Common Ground @ South Church
343 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry NY

presents

The Ron Vincent Trio

w/special guests Mark Morganelli, RiverArts Jazz Ensemble

ronvincent trio

Common Ground is proud to present an evening of jazz with The Ron Vincent Trio, with The RiverArts Jazz Ensemble, and special guest Mark Morganelli.

Ron Vincent is a veteran of the New York City jazz scene. Working often as a sideman, Ron has recorded for labels such as GRP, Concord and Palmetto records, the latter where he has been producer as well as co-producer for a number of projects.Ron was a member of the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and Mr. Mulligan’s Re-Birth of the Cool Tentet from 1989 until Mr. Mulligan’s passing in 1996. He recorded four CD’s with Mr. Mulligan and has also recorded with Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Randy Brecker, Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Charlap, John Lewis, and Slide Hampton to name a few. Ron has appeared with such notables as Art Farmer, John McNeil, Karrin Allyson, Jimmy Heath, Rob McConnell, Clark Terry, Rufus Reid and Dr. Billy Taylor. As a leader, his trio and quartet are active in the U.S. and Europe. As a jazz artist/educator for Sabian Cymbals, Ron has presented workshops at over 80 Colleges and Universities and has been on the faculty of the Jamie Aebersold Jazz Camps and the Stanford Jazz Camp.

Grammy nominated guitarist/composter Jay Azzolina has been part of the New York Jazz scene for the past three decades. Jay’s associations include Michael Urbaniak, Herbie Mann, Jaco Pastorius, Harvie S, Spyro Gyra, Dave Samuels, Kenny Werner, Chuck Mangione, Ron McClure, John Abercrombie, Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, The Westchester Jazz Orchestra and John Patitucci. Jay has also been a recurring accompanist for singers Michael Franks, Donna Summer, Rickie Lee Jones, Manhattan Transfer and Sheila Jordan. As a leader Jay has recorded four CD’s of original compositions with some of the most influential players in Jazz including, Chris Potter, Adam Nussbaum, Larry Goldings, Gary Versace, John Patitucci, Tim Ries and Greg Hutchinson. Jay continues to write and perform vigorously while maintaining a strong commitment to teaching and lecturing at Manhattanville College.

Bassist Dean Johnson has been busy freelancing with a wide variety of artists in the Northeast, and has had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and numerous tours of Europe, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and Israel. Some of the eclectic array of artists Dean has been and continues to be involved with over that time include: Dave Liebman, Lee Konitz, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Phil Woods, Grover Washington, Dave Grusin, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Samuels, Paul McCandless, Art Farmer, Bill Frisell, and vocalists Sheila Jordan, Jackie and Roy, Mark Murphy, Carol Sloane and Helen Merrill. Gerry Mulligan however is Dean’s most prominent association. Dean spent over 10 years with Mr. Mulligan until his passing in 1996 in a variety of musical situations including the Quartet, Nonet, Big Band, and with symphony orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

As a trumpeter and flugelhornist, Mark Morganelli performed at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival, the 1992 & 1994 Syracuse Jazz Festivals, the Du Maurier Downtown Toronto Jazz Festival, JVC/NY and Saratoga Jazz Festivals, several tours of Italy, many concerts and festivals in Europe, Japan, Brazil and the Caribbean, and hosted nightly jam sessions aboard QE2 to the Newport Jazz Festival from 1996-99. He continues to perform with his Jazz Forum All-Stars around the region and has released “My Romance,” his fourth CD as leader.

The RiverArts Jazz Ensemble formed two years ago under the direction of RA board member/jazz artist Ron Vincent and pianist/composer/arranger Nancy Kennedy. Students have learned the music of great composers such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. Using the repertoire from America’s Classical Music as a springboard, the ensemble members experience improvising in jazz, latin, funk, and pop styles. Since its inception the group has performed at Cabrini Nursing Home, Andrus Nursing Home, Dobbs Ferry Waterfront Concert Series and a handful of private affairs. RiverArts Jazz Ensemble members are, Jack Cattabiani, on bass and piano, Lucas Saur on bass and cello, Leah Alligood on flute and piccolo, Meena Chen on guitar and Zak Armacost on drums.

Tickets: $15 in advance, $18 at the door

Eventbrite - Ron Vincent Trio, w/special guests Mark Morganelli, RiverArts Jazz Ensemble

Saturday, April 26th, 7:30: Roosevelt Dime and Driftwood

Posted on Updated on

Common Ground Coffeehouse
at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue Hastings-on-Hudson Presents

Rooosevelt Dime and Driftwood


“Fantastic” -No Depression, on Roosevelt Dime



“There’s a reason people won’t let them off the stage” – The Syracuse New Times, on Driftwood


To listen to the music of Roosevelt Dime is to take a journey through American roots music. Inspired by Appalachian string bands, Memphis soul, New Orleans dixieland, and the musical melting pot of Brooklyn which they call home, the band has forged a sound they’ve come to call Steamboat Soul. After years of thrilling audiences at festivals and venues across the country, the band has fully captured the energy and musicianship of their live performance on Full Head of Steam (2014). Andrew Green (banjo, guitar) and Eben Pariser (electric bass, gutbucket bass) met at Oberlin College and continued their musical collaboration after settling in NYC. Tony Montalbano brought his distinctive drumming to the band shortly after, and Seth Paris (clarinet, saxophone) added his background in big band and west African brass music to fill out the diverse sound. The band developed by busking in the streets and subways, where they learned what it took to stop someone in their tracks, turn them from a stranger into a listener, from a listener into a sidewalk lindy-hopper. Roosevelt Dime has recently been featured in The Philadelphia Folk Fest, Musikfest, No Depression, On Your Radar with WFUV’s John Platt, and official showcases at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis 2011, and Toronto 2013.

From the Binghamton, New York music scene comes Driftwood, a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/roots music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette. But the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely. “We started off playing rock in high school. Then studying jazz and classical music in college. Then we dove headfirst into folk and bluegrass. At some point I guess we kind of met in the middle”, says guitarist/songwriter Dan Forsyth. Drawing on aspects of everything from 0ld-time recordings to 1960’s R&B, the music is crafted to serve the songs. With fast-growing audiences singing along at live shows, it’s easy to tell the primary focus is on song. “We recognized early on that one of our strongest points was songwriting. The greatest songs transcend genre and time and this was one of the motivating ideas behind the band at the start”, says banjo player/songwriter Joe Kollar. Trading lead vocals between Forsyth, Kollar and violinist Claire Byrne, the group’s stage dynamics are as captivating as the songs. “I give so much of myself when I play because I deem it necessary in order to do the music justice”, says Byrne, whose violin-shredding performances galvanize fans. Songs or shredding, “There’s a reason people won’t let them off the stage”, says Jess Novak from The Syracuse New Times.

Eventbrite - Roosevelt Dime and Driftwood  Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Saturday, 5/31, 7:30 pm: “Blind Boy” Paxton and Mamie Minch

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Common Ground Coffeehouse
@ The First Unitarian Society of Westchester
25 Old Jackson Avenue,  Hastings-on-Hudson NY

presents

“Blind Boy” Paxton and Mamie Minch

Meet Jerron Paxton, a modern day songster, minstrel and bluesman.His name is Jerron (say Jer-Ron, giving it two distinct Rs) Paxton, but apparently you can call him “Blind Boy” if you want to. Jerron Paxton is truly the living embodiment of the true blues in the 21St Century, but he plays it all in the true songster tradition: ragtime, hokum, old-time, French reels, Appalachian mountain music and blues and more – and whatever he plays sounds great . The young bard was born in 1989, but his vast talent rivals the greatest in the genre. He is the whole package. He’s witty, fast rhyming, poetic, fun, exciting, wonderfully skilled as a musician and a fine singer, he is the continuation of a proud tradition, literally and figuratively.Jerron Paxton comes across not as a young man in his early twenties, but he impresses with incisive understanding and wisdom far beyond his age. “I am a songster. I am not limited to the blues. I sing and play ballads, banjo tunes, fiddle tunes, rags and more.” he told thecountryblues.com. “For me, music is not an academic experiment. I play it the way I feel like it, because it should be an expression of how I see things. I am just learning to have a good time so that the audience can have a good time. Music shouldn’t be forced. It’s upsetting to me that so much music is technique, just skill and not enough feeling. I am happy to play so that the audience feels like I am in their living room. I want people to be enjoying themselves.”Jerron Paxton has been blind since age 16,with peripheral vision problems that allow him some sight. He cannot drive and is legally blind, but has enough sight to get around and he can see enough to seem unaffected by his vision problems. The charismatic songster bluesman, reports that he hails from an African American Jewish family with mixed Creole /Choctaw Indian ancestry – transplanted Louisiana sharecroppers who moved to South Central Los Angeles, but Jerron now lives in Queens. In other words, he is a true American.

Sharing Jerron the bill with Jerron will be Mamie MInch. Mamie Minch first appeared in the NYC live music scene as an acoustic guitarist and singer with a voice and sensibility well beyond her years. One listen to her and you’ll understand- there is music you want to sing, and there is music you were meant to sing. Mamie found her voice in reviving -and writing- antique blues songs, even though whe’s now just over a quarter century old.

Minch’s father played fingerstyle guitar on his vintage Martin- he taught her the Mississippi John Hurt and Rev. Gary Davis songs that started her excitement about fingerstyle guitar and became her musical bedrock. She culled DIY aesthetic influences from her teenage exposure to punk and garage bands in her hometown in Delaware; she liked the parallel unself-conciousness in the approach of these musicians and traditional American folk musicians.

Around this time Mamie also started exploring Bessie Smith, Sarah Martin, and Memphis Minnie- their unabashed sensuality and the winking, confessional nature of their songs was to become a major influence in her performing and songwriting style. Upon coming to New York Mamie’s fascination with early recordings found a community of kindred spirits. Some of her first connections were with a group of 78 collectors who would throw listening parties for their rarest finds.

She shortly co-founded The Roulette Sisters, a popular all-woman retro quartet that performed originals and covers of blues, country tunes and early girl group harmony peices by the like of the Boswell and Andrews Sisters. She kept growing musically, spending a summer travelling through europe with an Italian anarchist street band, and busking extensively in New York City as part of Music Under New York.

Upon leaving the band in 2007 Mamie has been working on her own material as a songwriter and performer. She has played residencies at Brooklyn’s world music mecca Barbes and the 68 Jay Bar in Dumbo, and shared the stage with Dayna Kurtz, Jolie Holland, Bliss Blood, and loads of other talented friends. Her debut solo CD, the Razorburn Blues, is a limited edition handmade item.

Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Eventbrite - "Blind Boy" Paxton and Mamie Minch