Common Ground

About Common Ground

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Common Ground Community Concerts is the producer the long-standing Common Ground Coffeehouse  at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester at 25 Old Jackson Avenue, outside of Hastings-on-Hudson NY. 
On occasion, we also present concerts at historic Irvington Town Hall Theater at 85 Main Street in Irvington NY and partner with community groups and non-profits to 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 Richard Shindell, 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!

Saturday, November 22, 7:30: Matt Turk & Friends – The Acoustic Music of Jerry Garcia and Old and in the Way

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

Matt Turk & Friends

The Acoustic Music of Jerry Garcia and Old and in the Way

with Matt Turk, mandolin/vocals, Deni Bonet, fiddle/vocals,
Adam Roberts, bass,  Ayodele Maakheru, banjo and Boo Reiners, guitar

Matt Turk can’t remember the circumstances of horse trading that landed him a cassette copy of Old and in the Way, the seminal record by Jerry Garcia (banjo), David Grisman (mandolin), Vassar Clements (violin), Peter Rowan (guitar), and John Kahn (bass) in his hands. It’s fitting somehow that soon after the legendary Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY reopened, with its bar auspiciously named, “Garcia’s,” that Matt would gather a group of fellow virtuoso musician friends for to celebrate the legacy of Old and in the Way and other acoustic music by Garcia with a residency at Garcia’s in August 2013. The core band is Turk mandolin/vocals, Deni Bonet on fiddle/vocals, Adam Roberts on bass, and Ayodele Maakheru on banjo. Turk, whose mandolin teacher, Hot Tuna’s Barry Mitterhoff also played with Peter Rowan. writes: “We did our best to get enough tunes together with everyone to fill a couple of long sets each night. We changed up the set lists a bit every week, covering a lot of bluegrass, pulling out some traditional stuff like Bill Monroe as well as a few classics. Add to that several tracks from the Pizza Tapes, a handful of Grateful Dead songs and it was a real fun mix. We threw in some Dylan, The Band, JJ Cale and anything we could that we knew Jerry had covered… and he did more than a lot! We honored the high lonesome sound and his love of it as best we could. The audiences were very enthusiastic and kept coming back for more.”

It is with great pleasure that Common Ground welcomes this stellar group, joined by the great Boo Reiners on guitar, to our stage for their first Rivertowns performace. Tickets are expected to go fast, so we recommend that you reserve in advance!

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

Eventbrite - Matt Turk & Friends: The Acoustic Music of Jerry Garcia and Old and in the Way

Saturday, December 6, 8 pm: The Andy Statman Trio

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Common Ground Community Concerts
Irvington Town Hall Theater
85 Main St, Irvington, NY


The Andy Statman Trio

“Andy Statman, clarinet and mandolin virtuoso, is an American visionary” — The New Yorker

” … One of the most important Jewish creative artists of the postwar era.” — The Jerusalem Post

Bill Monroe and John Coltrane poured into one person… He plays all those just great crazy jazz kind of licks, but with the heart and fire of Bill Monroe … I don’t know anyone else that approaches the mandolin the way he does.” —Ricky Skaggs, NPR

Had there been a planetarium in 19th century Galicia, or a kosher deli in Depression-era Kentucky, Andy Statman’s music might have been playing in the background. Meandering through time, geography and culture, the man and his inimitable hybrid sound move freely among the before, the after, and the present.

Andy Statman, one of his generation’s premier mandolinists and clarinetists, thinks of his compositions and performances as “spontaneous American-roots music and personal, prayerful hasidic music, by way of avant-garde jazz.” This modest man takes for granted that a performer might embody several worlds in his art, and seems humbled by the fact that his music, like his story, is extraordinary.

It’s a story Andy Statman rewrites with his trio every time they perform: “We’re creating an experience between the audience and us,” with their unconstrained meditations on hasidic music and groove-driven explorations of American-roots music. Statman’s long-time collaborators are bassist Jim Whitney and percussionist Larry Eagle. “At a certain point,”says Statman, “we’re just talking, just having a three-way conversation.” This “conversation” changes each time they take the stage, with no melody sounding quite the same as it did before. A totally un-self conscious performer, Andy Statman leaves audiences elated and at times mystified, having experienced a musical performance unlike any other.

In addition to the Andy Statman Trio, Jim Whitney appears in many musical worlds as a bassist. He is an original member of the jazz-bluegrass fusion group The Wayfaring Strangers, and has performed with such acting stars as Meryl Streep, John Goodman and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a member of the group Parabola, under the direction of composer/conductor Carter Burwell. He has appeared with jazz notables Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell and Alan Dawson, and has worked with bluegrass luminaries Richard Greene, Tim O’Brien, David Grisman and Darol Anger. Also a proficient electric bass player, he appears in the country-rock group Miller’s Farm, and is a member of singer/pianist Debbie Deane’s soul and groove trio. Jim has toured extensively, having performed in Europe, Japan, Singapore, Israel, Central America, New Zealand, Canada, and much of the U.S.

Drummer and percussionist Larry Eagle keeps his musical portfolio diversified.  He’s a founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s Sessions Band (which won a Grammy for traditional folk music), and played on R&B/Soul artist John Legend’s Grammy-winning second album.  He’s played on a Blues Grammy nominee (with Odetta), a Country & Western Grammy nominee (with Andy) and recorded albums with bluegrass superstar Ricky Skaggs and powerful jazz/soul singer Lizz Wright.  Larry has performed on The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Good Morning America, PBS, the BBC and an ice-breaking Baltic Sea ferry out of Naantali, Finland.

Advance – $35 – VIP (First four rows Center Orchestra);  $25 – Rest of orchestra, balcony, boxes 3-6; $15 – Slightly obstructed viewing seats including box seats 1-2
At the Door Sales – $38 – VIP (First four rows Center Orchestra); $28 – All other seats (Rest of orchestra, balcony, box);  $18 –  Slightly obstructed seats including 1st box seats 1-2