Tag Archive | "entertainment"

Friday Night Dance Parties for the Public

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Dance parties in Southampton Friday night. Photo courtesy of Hamptons Dance Authority.

Dance parties in Southampton Friday night. Photo courtesy of Hamptons Dance Authority.

By Tessa Raebeck

Hamptons Dance Authority invites the public to come warm up with the cold with a Friday night dance party. All you need is some stamina and a desire to leave it all on the dance floor. The music will include genres and styles for every taste. Munchies and soft drinks are included, and dancers are welcome to bring their own alcoholic beverages.

The dance party will be Friday, March 21 and Friday, March 28 from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Dancers can pay $10 for the night or $35 for the month. The first five to arrive will get in for half price. Hamptons Dance Authority is located at 425 County Road 39A, Lower Level Suite 1 in Southampton. For more information, call 283-1488 or visit hamptonsdance.com.

Chasing the Beast: Local Band The Montauk Project to Release First Full-Length Album

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The Montauk Project, Chris Wood, Mark Schiavoni, Jasper Conroy and Jack Marshall, performs at Swallow East in Montauk on Friday, February 28. Photo by Ian Cooke.

The Montauk Project, Chris Wood, Mark Schiavoni, Jasper Conroy and Jack Marshall, performs at Swallow East in Montauk on Friday, February 28. Photo by Ian Cooke.

By Tessa Raebeck

Despite the hype surrounding Montauk as an ever-growing tourist/hipster destination and the tendency of audiences and critics alike to judge a band by its members’ hair length rather than its sound, The Montauk Project remains dedicated to one thing first and foremost: making good music.

Started as a jam band by three friends, with a few local gigs and a Facebook page, The Montauk Project has grown steadily in the three years since; this month, the homegrown band is purchasing its first tour van, releasing its first full-length album and performing at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, one of the world’s largest music festivals.

The group formed in early 2011 when longtime friends Jasper Conroy, Matty Liot and Mark Schiavoni started jamming at Mr. Conroy’s house, a bungalow overflowing with instruments, surfboards and local vagabonds just a few blocks from Ditch Plains beach in Montauk. Chris Wood joined shortly thereafter and, when Mr. Liot left the group in 2012, The Montauk Project solidified its current line-up: Mr. Wood on bass, Mr. Conroy on drums, Mr. Schiavoni on vocals and Jack Marshall on electric guitar.

The band is decidedly homegrown. As they drive to Mr. Conroy’s house to practice, the band members can see the Montauk radar tower, where the conspiracy theorists say the government conducted secret time-travel experiments as part of the “Montauk Project.” Mr. Schiavoni, of Sag Harbor, and Mr. Conroy have been playing music together since high school. Mr. Marshall is the grandson of John Marshall, the namesake of East Hampton’s elementary school and “a local icon,” as Mr. Schiavoni puts it. Mr. Wood grew up playing in Montauk on his father’s fishing boat, the Sylvia S, which was docked nearby when the band performed at Swallow East last Friday.

After Mr. Marshall, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, joined last year, The Montauk Project continued its evolution from a jam band to a heavier, more cohesive sound, although its sound remains in constant development.

“We still jump around a lot with our sound,” Mr. Marshall said before the show Friday. “We definitely kind of have more of an idea of what we want to do, but at the same time, we’re still kind of venturing.”

“Still developing,” adds Mr. Schiavoni, as Mr. Marshall says a song they recently wrote surprised the band with its natural departure from their other music. Having yet to decide on a name, the group simply calls the song, which they premiered on Friday, “New Jam.”

The Montauk Project will release its first full-length album, “Belly of the Beast,” on March 25. Unable to pinpoint a specific genre, the band created its own term for The Montauk Project sound: “beach grunge.”

“We have sort of this ’90s nostalgia thing, but it’s not so depressing. We don’t do heroin, you know, it’s not like we’re Nirvana,” explained Mr. Schiavoni. “So, the beach, I think, adds a little light. We’re not grunge ’cause we really aren’t grunge—Jack [Marshall] showered today. He smells like shampoo, he smells great right now.”

“Very pleasant,” added Mr. Wood.

The Montauk Project's Mark Schiavoni. Photo by Ian Cooke.

The Montauk Project’s Mark Schiavoni. Photo by Ian Cooke.

Although The Montauk Project doesn’t clearly fit into a specific genre, “our sound from the beginning to the end of a set is pretty collected, it’s solid, there’s consistency,” Mr. Schiavoni said.

“It’s boring,” the front man said of albums that have a song followed by another just like it, “and I think in a generation where everyone has what I call IPod ADD—where you have to listen to shuffle, people can’t listen to an album—I think it’s very important to have diversity in your album and in your set.”

“I think when you listen to the majority of legendary rock bands that you think about, like Led Zeppelin or even more recently, the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers, they all have that kind of thing,” added Mr. Marshall. “If you listen to different albums from any of those guys, they jump around—but they can get away with it because when you listen to any of their songs, you don’t have to question, is that this band? You know.”

The Montauk Project was invited to perform at SXSW—the largest music festival of its kind in the world—on March 12 and was able to raise enough money at the concert Friday to help the guys purchase their first tour van, which will take them to Austin.

“Everything is a new experience,” Mr. Schiavoni said. “In a way, out here, it’s definitely more comfortable. So when we go to an unfamiliar place, you never know who’s listening, so you kind of have to stay on your feet. It can be a little more unnerving. But then again, you never know who’s listening in Montauk…. So it almost doesn’t matter, you have to play on your feet wherever you are.”

“We’re also going to the biggest music festival in the world, so it’s every single major player in every music department is there, so you can get more exposure,” added Mr. Conroy.

From answering questions to crafting their songs, the group works as a collective. The creative process usually begins with an idea from one member that is then filled out by the rest in collaboration. “The Beast,” the title track to the new album, begins with the lyrics, “Fortune tells if a man is well, but the rage in his eyes shows his other self. But keep it clean, your destiny, as you go out to sea to chase the beast.”

“We have a pretty nice bond with each other where we can all kind of feel out, all right, you’re doing this, and then we all kind of seem—after a couple tries—to get something right away. It’s kind of cool to me, to have a good connection with everybody and so you [can] jump on something.”

“Yeah,” agreed Mr. Wood. “It’s like an unspoken connection. You just kind of start grooving out of nowhere and it just works.”

The Montauk Project will perform at The Stephen Talkhouse, 161 Main Street in Amagansett, on Saturday, March 8, at 8 p.m. For more information and upcoming shows, visit their website.

The Roaring ’20s are Back at Suffolk Theater Anniversary Gala

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2014 Gala InviteBy Tessa Raebeck

Celebrating its anniversary, the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead hosts a ‘20s dance party, asking guests to “take a step back in time to celebrate the evolution of jazz” with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Grab your flapper dresses and bowler hats; the theater encourages guests to “dress in your ‘20s best” for the gala, starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1.

Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks act and perform on HBO’s hit series “Boardwalk Empire,” appeared in the Martin Scorsese film “The Aviator,” and are frequent players both in film soundtracks and onscreen. Well-known on the jazz festival circuit, the band specializes in 1920’s and 1930’s jazz and is highly regarded as one of the genre’s preeminent acts. Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks won a Grammy in 2012 for their contribution to “Boardwalk Empire.”

Before the music, which begins at 8 p.m., guests are invited to come early for cocktails and a dinner with a special “Gala Menu” at 6:30, 7 or 7:30 p.m. Guests will have the option to purchase dinner at an additional price after they are seated.

Following the “big band sound” of Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, at 10 p.m. a DJ will entertain in the Deco Lounge at the After Hours Speakeasy Party.

Tickets to the gala and speakeasy party are $45, not including dinner. The prix fixe dinner is $35 (not including tax and gratuity). Those who wish to attend only the After Hours Speakeasy Party can buy tickets for $10 beginning at 10 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit suffolktheater.com or call the box office at 631.727.4343.

Certain Moves Brings Smooth Jazz to the Wölffer Estate Vineyard

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Charles Certain of the band Certain Moves. Photo courtesy of Wolffer Estate Vineyard.

Charles Certain of the band Certain Moves. Photo courtesy of Wölffer Estate Vineyard.

By Tessa Raebeck

As part of its Candlelight Fridays series, the Wölffer Estate Vineyard presents local jazz band Certain Moves. With a wide range and soulful sound, Certain Moves will play in a cozy, café setting in the Winery Tasting Room on Sagg Road in Sagaponack.

Saxophone player and vocalist Charles Certain formed Certain Moves with bandmates Bill “Bang” Gaines (keys/vocals), Wayne Hart (bass/vocals), Randy London (drums/pans) and Abdul Zuhri (guitar/vocals).

The Southampton band plays all styles of music, specializing in smooth jazz, R&B, dance and funk. Certain Moves performs regularly at Wölffer and has played gigs in New York City and across Long Island. With both songs you love and original melodies, Certain Moves is a frequent at local festivals, known for their relaxing, soulful tunes.

Throughout the fall and winter, Wölffer hosts Candlelight Fridays, evenings of wine and jazz featuring New York musicians every Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Vineyard Tasting Room, 139 Sagg Road. There is no cover charge or reservations necessary.

For more information, call 631.537.5106 or visit wolffer.

Local Band on the Brink: The Montauk Project at 230 Elm

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The Montauk Project at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City (Photo by Ian Cooke).

The Montauk Project at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City (Photo by Ian Cooke).

By Tessa Raebeck

On the brink of releasing their first full-length album, The Montauk Project returns home this Saturday, February 15 with a concert at 230 Down in Southampton.

Since forming three years ago, the local, all-original rock band has been busy making a name for itself, playing frequent gigs on the East End, up-island and in New York City.

With the long hair of rock and roll and the laid back attitude of local surfers, the four band members are all East End natives in their mid-twenties. Sag Harbor’s Mark Schiavoni plays vocals and guitar, Jasper Conroy of Montauk is on the drums and adds vocals and bass player Chris Wood and lead guitar/vocalist Jack Marshall both come from East Hampton.

Mark Schiavoni of the Montauk Project (Photo by Ian Cooke).

Mark Schiavoni of the Montauk Project (Photo by Ian Cooke).

According to the band’s bio on the music site ReverbNation, The Montauk Project’s music “sounds like the beating wings of an immortal hummingbird flying through a war in heaven. Powerful, loud, eclectic, rock and roll.” Their musical influences include The Black Keys, Stone Temple Pilots and Blind Melon.

On March 25, the Montauk Project will unveil their first full-length album, “Belly of the Beast,” which will feature 10 original songs recorded at their home studio in Montauk, including the already released tracks “The Beast” and “Black as Night.”

The Montauk Project will perform Saturday, February 15 at 8 p.m. at 230 Down, located at 230 Elm Street in Southampton. For more information, visit themontaukprojectmusic.com.

“Winter of Content” Group Show at Ashawagh Hall in Springs

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By Tessa Raebeck

Starting Saturday, February 15 through Monday, February 17, Ashawagh Hall in Springs is hosting “Winter of Content,” an art show featuring the photography and painting of four East End artists, Kirsten Benfield, Rich Mothes, Jennifer Satinsky and Jerry Schwab.

A native of New Zealand, Kirsten Benfield now resides on the East End, where she uses the environment as inspiration for her local landscapes and season still lifes.

Rich Mothes grew up in East Hampton, leaving for college only to return to Southampton College for graduate studies. After 22 years in the tennis business, Mothes is now focusing solely on his artwork, experimenting with various styles and materials.

With a background in family portraiture, Jennifer Satinsky of Satin Sky Photo is now focusing her talent on fine art boudoir, with the goal of empowering clients to love their bodies through realistic yet classic photographs.

Painting “for the eyes and the soul,” Jerry Schwabe’s work primarily features serene beach scenes from local shores. A painter, photographer and sculptor, Schwabe has displayed his award-winning work in countless group shows and solo exhibitions, but “Winter of Content” marks the first time he will unveil his photography.

“Winter of Content” will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, February 17, with an opening reception Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Ashawagh Hall, 780 Springs-Fireplace Road in Springs.

Winterfest: Live on the Vine Brings Six Weekends of Wine and Music to the North Fork

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Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks Perform at the Live on the Vine Kick-off Event January 17 at the Suffolk Theater. Photo by Lenny Stucker.

Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks Perform at the Live on the Vine Kick-off Event January 17 at the Suffolk Theater. Photo by Lenny Stucker.

By Tessa Raebeck

Blues, soul, rock, jazz and country music are awakening the vineyards of the North Fork this winter as Winterfest: Live on the Vine combines over 100 musical performances with the natural beauty and exceptional wines of the East End.

Started as Jazz on the Vine in 2006, the annual six-week music festival returns this year as Live on the Vine, with a wider range of musicians, including many Grammy recipients and Grammy-nominated artists, performing at local hotels, restaurants, vineyard tasting rooms and other venues. Designed to stimulate local businesses – and entertain local residents – during the off-season, the festival offers countless specials on accommodations, restaurants and transportation for ticket holders, including ‘Winterfest Getaway’ package deals. Hopper Passes, new this year, allow festivalgoers to see multiple performances in a single day, weekend or throughout the entire festival, without paying separate entrance fees at each show.

Winterfest: Live on the Vine kicked off January 17 at the Suffolk Theater with a sold-out performance by blues-rock icon Johnny Winter. The music continues with multiple performances each day over six weekends, ending Saturday, March 22.

This Friday on Valentine’s Day, the Alexander Clough Trio, a jazz ensemble from Brooklyn, will play a free show at Bistro 72, a restaurant and lounge at Hotel Indigo in Riverhead from 7 to 10 p.m. Also in Riverhead at the Suffolk Theater, Myq Kaplan of Comedy Central’s show “Last Comic Standing” will present a stand-up routine, “Valentine’s Candlelight Comedy,” with dancing to follow.

Throughout the day on Saturday, February 15, 10 North Fork vineyards are hosting shows, with a performance by Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks at the Hotel Indigo Ballroom in Riverhead closing out the day. Another 10 concerts are scheduled for Sunday.

General Admission tickets for Winterfest: Live on the Vine cost $20 and include a glass of wine. Hopper passes do not include wine and are $30 for the day, $50 for the weekend or $200 for the entire six-week festival. For more information, visit liwinterfest.com.

Darius Yektai Brings Inspiration Found on Hilltop Fortress to Tripoli Gallery in Southampton

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By Tessa Raebeck

Darius Yektai, Church on Hill, 2013, Oil on linen (Courtesy Tripoli Gallery).

Darius Yektai, Church on Hill, 2013, Oil on linen (Courtesy Tripoli Gallery).

On Saturday, the Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art will unveil “Two Weeks in Umbria,” a series of 25 paintings by Sag Harbor artist Darius Yektai. The artist’s third show in the gallery, the exhibition features small paintings created over a two-week period in Montecastello di Vibio, a medieval hilltop fortress town in Umbria in central Italy.

Accustomed to working in his East End studio, Yektai used the seclusion of the small village to allow him to focus exclusively on painting. He hiked up and down the mountain, using the green, hilly landscape to paint “en plein air” in the summer sun.

“Fields laid on top of each other like bricks and mortar,” Yektai said, “so when you look at the landscape there’s a brickwork pattern. The landscape lends itself to abstraction.”

Yektai painted five to six paintings each day during the two-week period with no intention of having them be shown. The paintings have pencil marks and rough edges, “in adherence to their initial integrity and honesty,” according to a gallery press release. The seclusion and open setting of the space, as well as his desire to paint for himself, rather than for profit, lend to a sense of freedom and inhibition in the show that is sometimes rare in contemporary art.

Although he studied in California and Paris, Yektai’s work has been exhibited exclusively in New York and on the East End. His professional relationship with Tripoli Patterson, owner and director of the Tripoli Gallery, started in 2010 with his solo exhibition, “Not Everyone Gets a Unicorn. The artist returned to the gallery in 2013 with “On Country Ground.” He is featured in the permanent collection of Guild Hall in East Hampton and in private collections around the world.

“Two Weeks in Umbria” will be on display February 8 through March 17. The opening reception is Saturday, February 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art, located at 30A Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit tripoligallery.com or call 631.377.3715.

Eclectic Music in a Cafe Setting at “The Lounge” at the Parrish Art Museum

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Singer/songwriter Sophia Bastian (photo by Helena Kubicka de Braganza).

Singer/songwriter Sophia Bastian (photo by Helena Kubicka de Braganza).

By Tessa Raebeck

From folk music to Brazilian-infused Jazz, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill will resonate with tunes this winter during The Lounge, its new eclectic music series presenting an unconventional line up of accomplished singers and musicians in an intimate café setting.

Rather than a traditional auditorium style concert, the Lounge invites the audience to be part of the performance and hear the music up close and personal. The audience is encourages to enjoy drinks at café tables, set up alongside the musicians.

“The cozy atmosphere allows audiences to experience music in a cordial, living room-like setting.” says Andrea Grover, Curator of Special Projects at the Parrish who organized the event with Museum Events Associate Amy Kirwin.

The series kicked off January 31 to a sold out performance by Edith and Bennett, a husband/wife folk and roots music duo.

On Valentine’s Day, the soulful singer/songwriter Sophia Bastian will perform at the Lounge. A New York native, Bastian recently opened for the Grammy-award winning band The Roots. Guitarist Ben Cassorla accompanies Bastian’s strong, sultry voice. Truly contemporary, her original music blends classic soul, jazz, blues and hip-hop.

The third and last act of the series will be the frequent Parrish performer, Richie Siegler All-Star Quartet, on March 14. The organizer of last summer’s highly popular Jazz en Plein Air series at the Parrish, Richie Siegler is the founding director of Escola de Samba BOOM and plays “jazz shot through with Brazilian beats” with his quartet.

The Lounge performances are at 6 p.m. in the Lichtenstein Theater at the Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. Tickets include museum admission and are free for members and students and $10 for the general public. Space is limited. For more information, call 631.283.2118 or visit parrishart.org.

JDTLab Brings “The Family Room” to Guild Hall

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Playwright John J. Mullen (courtesy of Guild Hall).

Playwright John J. Mullen (courtesy of Guild Hall).

By Tessa Raebeck

As part of the JDTLab program, Guild Hall of East Hampton presents a free staged reading of “The Family Room,” a new play by first time playwright and longtime East Hampton resident John J. Mullen.

Steve Hamilton directs the play and also performs alongside Joseph Brondo, Lydia Franco Hodges, Ellen J. Myers and Julie King.

The play, which will be shown February 11, explores the complications of familial relationships and the power of childhood experiences, focusing on the relationship between siblings struggling to find forgiveness and reconciliation. Two sisters and a brother have been estranged for 30 years and are reunited in a hospital waiting room as their mother lies dying in the Intensive Care Unit.

Director and Actor Steve Hamilton (courtesy of Guild Hall).

Director and Actor Steve Hamilton (courtesy of Guild Hall).

“The Family Room” is “funny and hard-hitting,” according to Hamilton, who acted alongside Alec Baldwin on the John Drew stage at Guild Hall in “Equus” in 2010. Also serving as Mullen’s script coach for the play, Hamilton has worked on various projects in New York City and on the East End as an actor, director and producer. Most recently, he directed “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” which opened at John Drew in 2013.

The JDTLab program at Guild Hall provides “actively-engaged performing artists” with resources and guidance during the creative process.  Artists are selected to present a one-night showcase in collaboration with the Guild Hall team that is presented at John Drew free of charge.

The staged reading of “The Family Room” will be presented Tuesday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the John Drew Theater in the Dina Merrill Pavilion at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton. For more information, call 631.324.0806 or visit GuildHall.org