Simple Minded Predators

Simple Minded Predators are (L to R) Rebekah Durham (fiddle, vocals), Miles Pittman (banjo, vocals), Bo DePena (guitar, vocals)

Simple Minded Predators are a group of players that are living in Brooklyn, though they are all originally from the South–Miles Pittman and Bo DePena are both singer/songwriters that met and jammed together and decided to add another when they met Rebekah Durham, a classically-trained violinist at a party, and as luck would have it, she also played really good fiddle music, and the group was born.

The group is still very much in its beginning stages, but please watch out for them and check out the music they do have available, it is really hot if you want to hear some great bluegrass and folk music. A clip from one of their gigs at Pete’s Candy Store that they recorded back in August (embedded on the bottom) is proof of this.
They are in the process of writing and recording their first CD.
The band had a few minutes to spare to speak with me via Skype Continue reading

Sybarite5

Sybarite5 are (L to R) Sami Merdinian (violin), Angela Pickett (viola), Louis Levitt (double bass), Sarah Whitney (violin) and Laura Metcalf (cello)

Chamber group Sybarite5 had a few minutes to talk to me about the Carnegie Hall debut they are about to have tonight at 7:30 PM (I believe tickets are still available) as well as those incredible arrangements of Radiohead songs they have been showcasing in concert. They also have a CD called Everything In Its Right Place that is available for download here on on the bottom link. Continue reading

Mohammed Fairouz

NY-based Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz had a few minutes to discuss his opera debut Sumedia’s Song (which you can purchase here on on the bottom link) and some very special New York premieres of his works, including New York Festival of Song’s commissioned premiere of A Prayer For The New Year on Dec. 4th at Merkin Hall, as well as some other recently performed pieces.

CM: Can you please talk about Sumedia’s Song? This is your first opera?

Mohammed: Sumeida’s Song is my first opera and I wrote most of it when I was fresh out of my teens. It’s based on a play from the 1950s by the great Arabic playwright Tawfiq al Hakim called Song of Death, which I adapted to create my opera. It struck me as an incredibly timely story since in the 2010’s, as I delivered Sumeida’s Song, a similar vibe was being emanated from Cairo and other corners of the Arab world that would eventually lead to the Arab Spring. Continue reading

Jenny Q. Chai ~ Reflections in Blue at LPR (A Review)

Reflections in Blue: Jenny Q. Chai at Le Poisson Rouge
Jenny Q. Chai, piano
Le Poisson Rouge, NYC
Sunday, Nov. 4th, 2012

Written by Scottie Roche

On Sunday, November 4th, I had the immense pleasure of leaving behind the troubles inflicted on New York City and much of the East Coast by Hurricane Sandy to be transported to that other realm we call Music, by way of Jenny Q Chai’s show at Le Poisson Rouge. Understandably, things had been tense of late with a pivotal national election looming and the city devastated by a storm that had left the very area of the concert’s venue in total darkness for a week — Le Poisson Rouge was without power until the night before the concert.

That the performance happened at all is a testament to the resilience of New York City and the perseverance of an endearing performer who though she had difficulty reaching NYC from China and had spent the last few nights sleeping on the couches of friends (which she assured us were very comfortable.) “The show must go on,” the old adage maintains. I’m glad it did. Continue reading

A Facebook Post From a Friend About The Election

Written by Scott Parker

So it’s all well and truly over. And thank God too. It’s a gooooood morning around here folks, and I am just bursting at the seams to ponder the lessons learned in this election.

1. AMERICA IS CHANGING. The far-right view of the stereotypical Conservative is no longer playing with the majority of Americans. Minorities have greater power and influence. Women have greater power and influence. Gay people have greater power and influence. These are not debatable points–they are reality. To deny these very simple truths would be to live your life with your eyes closed–it might be an easy thing to do, but it’s also self-deceptive. If you are a hard-right Republican, you would do yourself some good to look at the tide of change that is engulfing this country and move your view to the center. You don’t have to, but if you don’t, as we’ve seen, you’ll pay a big price.

2. POWERFUL INTEREST CANNOT BUY DEMOCRACY. Karl Rove persuaded a bunch of millionaires that if he gave them a whole lot of money, he would deliver Barack Obama on a silver platter. That didn’t happen. The GOP kept the House, but let’s think about this objectively–all that money to keep things just as they were? Republicans–at least the ones with the ability to be objective–realize that they were lucky to hold onto what they held onto. Continue reading

Jenny Q. Chai at LPR ~ Preview (NOTE: IT’S BACK ON)

“I believe it’s extremely important to get peoples’ spirits up. By playing no matter what. After all, I was lucky to make it from China. I think it’s important and good chance to show we are not going to be defeated by this condition.”~Jenny Q. Chai

In the aftermath of this past week’s Hurricane Sandy, lower Manhattan slowly has been getting power restored, and Le Poisson Rouge is one of many venues that are reopening. Pianist Jenny Q. Chai is going to be taking the stage yet again in her first NY appearance since her Carnegie Hall debut this past April.

The concert will take place on Sunday, November 4 at 7:30pm (doors at 6:30pm). Ms. Chai will perform works by Satie, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Scarlatti, Stroppa, and more. Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street in New York City. For more information or tickets ($15/$20), visit LePoissonRouge.com Continue reading