2009-08-07 / Columnists

Notes from the High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

And the rains came, and the lightening and thunder and hail and then a rainbow, but by that time we felt it would not be safe to proceed with the concert featuring Kenny Vance & The Planotones and so the concert has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 23.

Having arrived at the Riis Park Bathhouse at 4:00 p.m. we were ready to start preparing for the concert, the park personnel were there, the sound men were there to set up the microphones and then the first rain storm passed over us and the people who were already there to see the concert. We literally had to run under the portico of the bathhouse to keep dry.

Once that storm passed over, the sun came out again and we continued with our preparations and then the rain started again, only more so, and with tremendous thunder and all of a sudden, hail the size of your fingernail was jumping off the sidewalk. Once that stopped, we checked with weather sources and believed that further storms were on the way and so we thought it best to cancel and reset the concert. We didn't want anyone to get hurt by the lightening with all the electrical equipment to be set up. We're sorry if you came to the park and didn't find us, but that is the reason. Please remember that the concert has been reset for Sunday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Hopefully the sun will be shining on August 9 when we will be presenting The New York Klezmer Ensemble. This very interesting group of musicians has devoted its time and efforts to exploring, re-creating and performing traditional Klezmer music. Each of the musicians has separate musical careers that include performing classical music, popular music, Broadway shows, jazz, and teaching, but their love of Klezmer music has brought them together as The New York Klezmer Ensemble.

Many people think of Klezmer as Jewish music, but it is much more than that. It actually evolved from Hungarian, Rumanian and Eastern Europian music and from American Yiddish theatre. It is really a kind of folk music which has been taken from many different nations. It has great feeling as you listen to it. It can evoke sadness at one moment and another moment can be as lively as possible. Each piece of music will be explained before it is played to give the audience more of an understanding of what they are hearing.

The New York Klezmer Ensemble has delighted audiences around the world and was featured in the Neil Simon film "Brighton Beach Memoirs." So please come and join us on August 9 and let's hope for no rain.

Of course, we are looking forward to seeing everyone at our Fall Festival on September 12 and 13 and as I have said in prior columns, if you can volunteer your time to help at the Festival just let us know. We cannot do the Festival without volunteers so please let us know if you can give us a few hours either or both days.

Just to skip ahead a few months, we are planning a very special art show in November and as soon as we have more information I will pass it on.

Take care and I'll see you around the neighborhood.

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