The David Amram Septet plus pianist Dave Keyes and special guests kick off this year’s Village Trip and are joined by Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars at this family friendly, outdoor street party. Food, fun, furry friends and games for children of all ages – it’s all happening on Eighth Street as we herald our fourth neighborhood festival.
Celebrate the Jack Kerouac centenary with the world premiere of David Amram’s Ah, Let’s Go Back to the Village, a chamber music composition commissioned by The Village Trip and based on text from Kerouac’s book Lonesome Traveler. Tilted Axes – twenty electric guitars – kick off this unique guitar extravaganza. There follows a program of South American guitar music, and twenty classical guitarists wrap up, joining David Amram, who will jam on his score for the Robert Frank film Pull My Daisy.
Musically as important as Beethoven,
Yet not regarded as such at all
So wrote Jack Kerouac in the 240th chorus of Mexico City Blues, speaking of Charlie “Bird” Parker, whom he regarded as the perfect musician. But Jack’s love of jazz did not diminish his great love for classical music and his knowledge of it. His innate musicianship, of course explains the music of his prose, and his ability to improvise words to music, as he did with his old friend David Amram. The program will include works by J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Amram performed by a group of distinguished musicians: pianist Yoshiko Kline, saxophonist Ken Radnofsky, and violist Consuelo Sherba.
A unique and intimate cabaret – featuring the Grammy-garlanded Janis Siegel with baritone Michael Kelly, Jamie Bernstein and The Manhattan Transfer's long-time musical director Yaron Gershovsky on keyboards – is a glorious celebration of songs such as “Ohio,” “Pass the Football,” and “One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man,” plus more.
Apologies, but we have had to postpone this event due to Covid.
In the New York Times, Paul Griffiths described Cygnus as an "enterprising and supple group featuring guitars, strings and woodwinds in pairs….” Composer Allison Loggins-Hull’s latest work, 7th Ave. S. calls for an electric guitar, bridging into the psychedelic sound-world of Greenwich Village, and telling her Village Stories in three movements.
Renowned soprano Leah Brzyski will join Cygnus for the premiere of Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon’s Gypsum, setting of poems by Diedre Huckaby.
Carman Moore riffs on “Cygnus” in Swans Across the Milky Way.
Jack Kerouac's legendary status as the leading voice of the Beat writers was cemented with his seminal work, On the Road. Published in 1957, the same year West Side Story debuted on Broadway and Sputnik launched into space. David Amram and Bobby Sanabria will perform jazz and Latin classics of the 1950s that influenced Kerouac and an entire generation. The show will also include brief readings from On the Road with music, just as Kerouac and Amram pioneered jazz-poetry in New York in 1957.
Pianist Marc Peloquin performs music of the great American composer and long-time resident of the West Village, David Del Tredici, as part of his 85th birthday celebration. Also included on the program will be works by composers affiliated with Del Tredici, including Robert Helps and Dennis Tobenski.
A recording of the livestream is available to buy.
A diverse cast including Stephanie Berry, Kevin Corrigan, John Doman, Marsha Mason, Dael Orlandersmith, Mercedes Ruehl, Jose Rivera, and John Ventimiglia read excerpts from Jack Kerouac’s classic novel accompanied by a jazz quartet led by the legendary David Amram and directed by David Deblinger. Produced in collaboration with HB Studio.
Greenwich Village has been home to some of America’s greatest creative minds – poets, composers, innovators, iconoclasts, and free-thinkers. Sopranos Sharon Harms and Adriana Valdes join pianists Joan Forsyth, Cathy Kautsky, Gavin Cappon and the Village Guitar Orchestra to perform songs by Henry Cowell, John Cage, Edna St Vincent Millay, Djuna Barnes, Robert Frost, Margaret Bonds, James Baldwin, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Tania Leon and Willa Cather. Exciting new settings by composers William Anderson, Nehemiah Luckett, Jonathon Dawe, Kitty Brazelton and Gavin Cappon enliven the program.
Nine-time Grammy winner and founding member of The Manhattan Transfer, Janis Siegel, waxes rhapsodic about her beloved city in song and word. She will be assisted by two master musicians, John di Martino on piano and Boris Koslov on bass. The songs are diverse, romantic, bittersweet, vintage, modern, and full of heart and history, just like New York City itself.
Geographically and spiritually, Washington Square has always been the center of the Village. Bohemia’s beating heart. A place to gather, whether to protest or just hang out, often with a guitar. The now-traditional Village Trip concert in the Park, headlined this year by Grammy-winning local heroes The Klezmatics, celebrates Greenwich Village as “a state of mind with no boundaries.”