April at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall


unnamedTROY, NEW YORK  –  The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall has an excited schedule of performances for the month of April.  From storytelling with Selected Shorts, to a full band performance with Melissa Etheridge, to jazz at our 37th Annual Gala with theBranford Marsalis Quartet and Kurt Elling, there are many not-to-be-missed performances!


Selected Shorts  –  Sunday, April 9, 2017, 3 PM     Tickets: $25

The hit public radio series returns to the Troy Music Hall with an afternoon of spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers, performed by stars of the stage and screen. Host Sonia Manzano (Sesame Street), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), and Jim True-Frost (The Wire) perform moving and comical stories about chance encounters, love, loss, and new beginnings all playing into the theme of Lovers and Strangers.

Sonia Manzano is known to millions as Maria on Sesame Street, a character she played from 1971 to 2015, and has earned fifteen Emmy Awards as a writer for the show. Her theater credits include The Exonerated; Love, Loss, and What I Wore; and the original production of Godspell. She is the author of the picture books No Dogs Allowed!, A Box Full of Kittens, and Miracle on 133rd Street, as well as the middle grade novel The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano and her memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

Michael Urie starred in the Off-Broadway one-man show Buyer & Cellar, for which he received the Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, LA Theatre Critics, and the Clarence Derwent Awards, and in The Temperamentals, for which he received the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actor. Additional stage credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Cherry Orchard, and Angels in America, On screen, he played Marc St. James on Ugly Betty, and has appeared on Modern Family, The Good Wife, Hot in Cleveland, and Youngers. Urie co-directed the documentary Thank You for Judging and directed the film He’s Way More Famous Than You, the Web series What’s Your Emergency, and is also the co-host of Cocktails a& Classics on Logo TV.

Jim True-Frost is most known for his portrayal of Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski on all five seasons of HBO’s The Wire. Most recently, he was a series regular on NBC’sAmerican Odyssey and Hostages on CBS. He portrayed Eliot Ness on Boardwalk Empire, and additional television credits include Treme, Elementary, The Good Wife, CSI Miami, the mini-series Benjamin Franklin, and dozens more. On film he has been seen in The Conspirator, Off the Map, Affliction, and The Hudsucker Proxy. True-Frost is a member of The Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago, where he received the Joseph Jefferson Award for his performance in Killers. He has appeared on Broadway in The Rivals; Buried Child; Philadelphia, Here I Come!; The Grapes of Wrath; and August, Osage County. Jim is a resident of Syracuse, New York, with his wife and two children.

Dada press 1 Dave Douglas & Frank Woeste, DADA PEOPLE, Featuring Yasushi Yakamura & Clarence Penn  –  Thursday, April 13, 2017, 7:30 PM    Tickets: Pay What You Will

DADA PEOPLE is an exciting amalgam of improvisation and compositional ideas stemming from the surrealist and Dada artists.  French pianist Frank Woeste collaborated with American trumpeter Dave Douglas on new repertoire for a jazz quartet, with trumpet, bass, piano, and drums. The project is inspired by the life and work of Man Ray and his colleagues in the Dada and Surrealist movements of the 20th century.

Perhaps no single artist embodies Dada’s slippery juxtapositions quite like Man Ray. Both French and American, commercial and avant-garde, Jewish by birth and mysterious by design, Man Ray epitomized the conflicting personae and attitudes that have come to define so much of the modern art world of the last century. Bridging the Atlantic through support from the French American Jazz Exchange, Douglas and Woeste explore those concepts through a 21st century lens, realized by a stellar quartet rounded out by bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Clarence Penn.

Influenced by Ray’s works known as “readymades,” which were pieces created out of ordinary, everyday objects, the Dada People project includes new compositions by Douglas and Woeste and was recorded for Greenleaf Music in 2015. The CD was released in 2016.

New Black Violin Hi Ressmall Black Violin, Thursday, April 20, 7:30 PM    Tickets: $39, $34, $29, $20

Black Violin works hard, but makes it all look like play… Sometimes they play with the intense seriousness of orchestral soloists; at others they fiddle as if at a hoedown; at still others they strum the violin and viola like guitars.” – New York Times

Black Violin is the blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music. Live, they are accompanied by their incredible band, featuring ace turntable whiz DJ SPS and a drummer. Named one of the hottest bands at SXSW in 2013, Black Violin was invited to perform at Bonnaroo and returned to SXSW this year to standing room only crowds.

Since starting Black Violin a decade ago Wil Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester have performed an average of 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries as far away as Dubai, Prague and South Africa, while appearing at official NFL celebrations for three Super Bowls and last year’s U.S. Open in Forest Hills with Jordin Sparks. Their groundbreaking collaboration has seen them play their music for everybody from the troops in Iraq to both the official President’s Inaugural Ball and the Kids Inaugural in Washington, DC, where Barack Obama himself gave each a hearty hand-shake.  Individually and together, Black Violin has collaborated with the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin and The Eagles.

 An Intimate Solo/Acoustic Listening Performance by Citizen Cope  –  Friday, April 21, 2017, 8 PM      Tickets $46, $36

“Rawness improbably balanced by a mixture of danger and delicacy,” says one Rolling Stone writer, “is what gives Citizen Cope his edge. As a singer, songwriter and producer, he stands alone—an artist immune to corruption.”

Dug deep into the rich soil of American music, Cope’s roots are complex.  You may think of Bill Withers or Neil Young or John Lee Hooker or Van Morrison or Willie Nelson or Al Green. Yet, listening to Cope, you also may think of none of the above. You may not think at all, but rather feel a man exposing stories that haunt his heart.

He was born Clarence Greenwood, a child of the seventies, and his life journey is as singular as his art. He is the radically mashed-up product of Greenville, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; Vernon, Texas; Austin, Texas; Washington, DC; and Brooklyn, New York. These locations are felt everywhere in his stories. His sounds are southern rural, big sky lonely, concrete urban, and painfully romantic.  In the past nine years, he has produced four albums of depth and distinction, each a critical chapter in his search for a sound that paints an auditory American landscape in which despair wars with hope and hope, tied to love, is elusive.

Melissa Etheridge, M.E. Live   Sunday, April 23, 2017, 7:30 PM    Tickets: $79, $69, $59

Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988 with the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, which led to an appearance on the 1989 Grammy Awards show. For several years, her popularity grew around such memorable originals as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs” and “Ain’t It Heavy,” for which she won a Grammy® in 1992. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, Yes I Am (1993). The collection featured the massive hits, “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window,” a searing song of longing that brought Etheridge her second Grammy® Award for Best Female Rock Performance. In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest charting album, Your Little Secret, which was distinguished by the hit single, “I Want to Come Over.” Her astounding success that year led to Etheridge receiving the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996.

Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades. In February 2007, Melissa Etheridge celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the “Best Song” category at the Academy® Awards for “I Need to Wake Up,” written for the Al Gore documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. As a performer and songwriter, Etheridge has shown herself to be an artist who has never allowed “inconvenient truths” to keep her down. Earlier in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so. In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won. Despite losing her hair from chemotherapy, Etheridge appeared on the 2005 Grammy®telecast to sing “Piece of My Heart” in tribute to Janis Joplin. By doing so she gave hope to many women afflicted with the disease.

On October 7, Melissa Etheridge released Memphis Rock & Soul, her first album since 2014’s critically lauded This Is M.E. Recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis, the album has received stellar reviews from the likes of Entertainment Weekly, Parade, Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and more. Guitar World raved “the album is a triumphant application of Etheridge’s signature rasp and substantial guitar chops to this classic genre,” while Edge Media Network declared Melissa “is a singer who can fire it up like Janis Joplin, touch the heart like Elvis Presley and steam up the windows like her musical hero, Otis Redding.” The 12- track album features original material as well as interpretations of classic songs from the legendary Stax catalog, celebrating its artists and legacy and spotlighting the vital role Stax Records played in the Civil Rights Movement. Engineered by Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, son of famed music producer Willie Mitchell, the album and tour includes a number of top Memphis musicians, including the Hodges Brothers.

Branford Marsalis & Kurt Elling, pressBranford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling  –  Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:30 PM      Tickets $79, $69, $49, $29

The Branford Marsalis Quartet will be joined by guest-vocalist Kurt Elling in a singular collaboration of musical forces. The tight-knit working band featuring Marsalis on saxophones, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums rarely invites other musicians into the folds of their nearly telepathically cohesive unit, and Elling’s deep jazz vocabulary, technical versatility, and outstanding intonation will enable the band to perform a variety of material in new ways.

Energized by the artistic promise of this collaboration, the band members have all contributed new arrangements to perform with this special line-up and will be looking beyond the Great American Songbook. Although following the format of a standard jazz quartet with vocals, the collaboration between jazz’s most intense band and one of jazz’s foremost singer should prove to be anything but standard.

Branford Marsalis has stayed the course. From his early acclaim as a saxophonist bringing new energy and new audiences to jazz, he has refined and expanded his talents and his horizons as a musician, composer, bandleader and educator – a 21st Century mainstay of artistic excellence. “Marsalis told stories with his breath and body, conjuring canyon-deep reverberations, woodland piping, blues cries and seductive whispers from his instruments. And, like a great storyteller, he brought those effects into focus, making every note count, as he sprang delightful surprises and created a world in the round.” The New Orleans Times Picayune

GRAMMY® winner Kurt Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. He won the DownBeat Critics Poll for fourteen consecutive years and was named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times in that same span. Every one of Elling’s ten albums has been nominated for a GRAMMY®. “Since the mid-1990s, no singer in jazz has been as daring, dynamic or interesting as Kurt Elling. With his soaring vocal flights, his edgy lyrics and sense of being on a musical mission, he has come to embody the creative spirit in jazz.” Washington Post

This concert is part of our 37th Annual Gala celebration.  This year, the Hall honors Susan Scrimshaw, President, The Sage Colleges, for her dedication to the Music Hall and our community.  There will be pre-show and post-show events for this performance.  Sponsors and Honorary Committee Members will be invited to a reception where they can meet Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling.  For the best seats in the house, purchase a gala ticket or join the honorary committee!  For more information, please contact Maureen Neufeld, 518-273-8945, or maureen@troymusichall.org.

Single tickets are on sale now via phone, (518) 273-0038, in person, or online at www.troymusichall.org.   Tickets are available at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Box Office, 30 Second Street, Troy, Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.  More information on the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall and upcoming programs is available on the website at www.troymusichall.org.

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall has hosted performances by legions of world-renowned artists, from legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Isaac Stern, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Vladimir Horowitz, to the best on today’s contemporary music scene, including Joshua Bell, Andrew Bird, Steve Martin, Lyle Lovett, and John Prine and many others.

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