Brooks Williams is a genre defying guitarist singer songwriter. It’s roots. It’s acoustic. He walks the line between blues and Americana, but there’s a bit of jazz and rockabilly thrown in for good measure. Imagine Doc Watson, Willie Nelson, Lonnie Johnson and Blind Boy Fuller sitting in a bar having a jam – and you’re just about there!
He’s the proverbial triple threat: playing a fiery guitar, commanding a rich and silky voice, and writing hook-laden songs. He is one of the most diverse and entertaining performers on the acoustic roots music scene and is ranked one of the world’s Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists.
A road warrior, in the truest sense, Williams has toured throughout the world including the USA, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Turkey, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Africa. Appearances include Shrewsbury Folk Festival and Cropredy Festival in England, New Bedford Folk Festival in Massachusetts, Celtic Connections in Scotland, and Uncle Calvin’s in Texas. Over the years he has shared the stage with such music luminaries as Taj Mahal, Eddi Reader, Shawn Colvin and Chris Smither, to name but a few.
With 20 albums to his name, including his 2013 favourite New Everything, Williams’ music has featured on the BBC, RTE (Ireland), CBC (Canada) and NPR (USA) and has charted on the FOLKDJ stations. He can also be heard on Satellite and Internet radio throughout the world. WUMB-FM radio in Boston USA voted him one of their Top 100 Artists.
“Deft, tasteful guitar chops.” –Rolling Stone
“I’ve known Brooks for many years. He’s a lovely player, a lovely singer, and a great writer and a lovely man. The real thing” –Martin Simpson
Brooks Williams performs “Belfast Blues”:
OPENING THE SHOW: Singer-songwriter Annika Bennett has written scores of songs and performed extensively throughout the greater New York metropolitan region. Her songwriting is fresh-sounding and original, drawing upon a wide diversity of musical influences – exemplifying a level of craftsmanship and depth of wisdom that belie her youth.
17-year-old Annika has performed at at Birdland, The Bitter End, The Knitting Factory, and other venues on a regular basis. In March 2014, Annika`s performance of her song “Fallout” won radio WNYC’s Battle of the Boroughs for Queens.
Whether Guy Davis is appearing on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” or nationally syndicated radio programs such as Garrison Keillor’s, “A Prairie Home Campanion”, “Mountain Stage” or David Dye’s,“World Café”, in front of 15,000 people on the Main Stage of a major festival, or teaching an intimate gathering of students at a Music Camp, Guy feels the instinctive desire to give each listener his ‘all’.
His ‘all’ is the Blues.
His influences are as varied as the days. Musically, he enjoyed such great blues musicians as Blind Willie McTell (and his way of story telling), Skip James, Manse Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotton, and Buddy Guy, among others. It was through Taj Mahal that he found his way to the old time blues. He also loved such diverse musicians as Fats Waller and Harry Belafonte.
Throughout his life, Davis has had overlapping interests in music and acting. Early acting roles included a lead role in the film “Beat Street” opposite Rae Dawn Chong and on television as ‘Dr. Josh Hall’ on “One Life to Live”. He made his Broadway musical debut in 1991 in the Zora Neale Hurston/Langston Hughes collaboration “Mulebone”, which featured the music of Taj Mahal. In 1993 he performed Off-Broadway as legendary blues player Robert Johnson in “Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil”. Davis also performed with his parents, the late actors/writers Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, in “Two Hah Hahs and a Homeboy”, staged at the Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ in the spring of 1995.
Guy Davis interview and performance of “As Long As You Get It Done”:
Guy Davis performs “Things About Coming My Way”:
Opening the show will be jazz vocalist Wendy Martin. From studying music at the University of New Orleans to performing with her band in New York City, music has always been in Wendy’s life. Her first record purchase was “The Real…Billie Holiday” which ultimately let her to study jazz vocals in New Orleans. Her 12 years down south included jazz vocal performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, a starring role in a musical at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, and leading her own band at the world-famous Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. She eventually made her way to New York City and continued performing and songwriting, including sold out shows at the Blue Note Jazz Club and performing with her rock band “Aunt Slammie.”
Wendy Martin performs “Jo Jo’s Dilemma”:
Wendy Martin performs “I’ll Fly Away”:
Rye Brook resident Julie Corbalis has been performing around New York since 1996 and has just released her sixth album, “What’s Up With This Heart?” She has had the opportunity to share the stage with a number of well-established musical acts such as Colin Hay (Men at Work), Amy Correia, Mickey Hart, Jeffrey Gaines, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Julie’s band includes the very talented group of Fred Gillen Jr., Matt Turk, Gary Schreiner, Jeff Eyrich and John Madden. They will be performing the new album in its entirety and then play a 2nd set of their favorite rock sing-a-long classics. Bryan Gordon will open the show.
Spend your spring equinox in Crawford Mansion enjoying an amazing lineup of classically-trained vocalists. Join Robin Clifford (Soprano), Rachel Weishoff (Mezzo Soprano), Matthew Cossack (Baritone), and Christopher Cooley (Pianist) in an afternoon of Opera and American classics. Program highlights include Verdi, Massanet, Mozart, Gershwin and Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Matthew Cossack, baritone, is a first year graduate Student at Mannes College. Recent roles include Belcore from L’Elisir D’amore with Mannes Opera, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with both Purchase Opera and New York Lyric Opera Theater, Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Father in Hänsel und Gretel as well Frank in Die Fledermaus. He has also performed with the Princeton Summer Festival in their production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Matthew is a student of Bonnie Hamilton.
Mezzo-Soprano Rachel Weishoff is a second year graduate student at SUNY Purchase. Representing the school, she won the National Opera Association’s 2014 Opera Scenes competition singing the role of Hänsel in a selection from Hänsel und Gretel. Upon hearing her performance, she was invited to sing in a Master Class conducted by the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Program’s Stephen Wadsworth entitled “Advanced Acting Techniques for Opera Singers”. She has performed the role of Hänsel, in its entirety, with Purchase Opera. Other roles performed with the company include include Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus). In NYC, she has performed in Chelsea Opera’s ensemble in their production of Tosca and selections of Rappaccini’s Daughter. During summer 2015, she performed in Central City Opera’s season as a Studio Artist. Ms. Weishoff was the 2014 selected Presser Scholar of Music at SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. She studies with Bonnie Hamilton.
Robin Clifford, soprano, is a graduate student in the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. She has previously appeared as Countess Almaviva in Purchase Opera’s 2015 production of Le Nozze di Figaro, the Witch in the Fall 2014 production of Hänsel und Gretel, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gretel in the 2013 production of Hänsel und Gretel, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and as Marie in an inserted scene from La Fille du Régiment in the 2012 production of Cendrillon. She has also appeared as Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Ännchen (Der Freischütz), and First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) in previous Italian and German Purchase Opera Scenes. Robin studies with Bonnie Hamilton.
Christopher Cooley has concertized with various instrumental and vocal soloists in five continents, as well as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. As a soloist, he has played with the University of Texas Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Florida, and the Musica Bella Orchestra of New York. As a collaborative pianist, he has served on the staff of Opera Lirica (Orvieto, Italy), Centro Studi Italiani (Urbania, Italy), Ibla Grand Prize Competition (Sicily) in which he was also a winner, the Austrian-American Mozart Academy (Austria), Opera Ischia (Forio, Italy), the Castleton Festival (Virginia), and the Piatigorsky Seminar for Cellists (L.A.). Since 2006, Mr. Cooley has collaborated regularly with soprano Lauren Flanigan on music written for her by composers from Stephen Schwartz to Thomas Pasatieri. They have performed together at numerous venues, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Café Sabarsky’s Cabaret series at the Neue Gallerie, the McCarter Theater in Princeton, and the George London Foundation Recital Series at the Morgan Library. Chris holds degrees from Florida State University, the University of Texas-Austin, and a doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music. He is also an accomplished composer, arranger, and orchestrator.
Matt Turk and C Lanzbom along with Clarence Ferrari, Russ Gottlieb and David Richards are “Deadgrass,” a unique quintet that interprets the music of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. The music they play shines a light on genius songwriting, performing and melodic vocals. The musicians of Deadgrass access the vast body of work that Garcia shared, developed and brought into this world. Deadgrass live shows stay true to the roots of the music while at the same time show the band’s originality and high level of musicianship.
Deadgrass cofounder Matt Turk is based in nearby Hastings-on-Hudson NY and is a veteran performer who has engaged audiences around the world. Web music authority All Music Guide calls Matt Turk “…an artist to be reckoned with.” Matt is a seasoned recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, eternal idealist and compassionate peace-loving realist. He has shared the stage with Pete Seeger and opened for Judy Collins, The Doobie Brothers, Fiona Apple, the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and more.
Grammy award winner C Lanzbom has spent years as a studio and touring guitarist. Well traveled in the Middle East, C has absorbed Israel-Arabic musical rhythms of the region, fusing these ancient tones with the rock-and-roll he grew up with along the Jersey shore. C’s performing, writing, engineering and producing credits include his own internationally acclaimed band Soulfarm, American Idol finalist Crystal Bowersox, Shlomo Carlbach, and Pete Seeger with Bruce Springsteen.
Schlango Doss is a high energy musical brew that hits the mark between rock and pop with a little dose of improv – imagine the Van Halen brothers hanging out with David Bowie to jam on Zep and Fleetwood Mac tunes…and you are headed in the right direction. The band consists of Rye Brook resident Dan Schloss, Glenn Schloss, and Eric De Picciotto, with some additional guests coming out to take it all to the next level.
Deadgrass performs “Catfish John”:
Deadgrass performs “Land of the Navaho”:
Schlango Doss performs “48 Secs in the Pocket”: