We’re getting excited about our American Roots Music Festival coming up in June and thought it would be a good time to share some aspects about the genre. While the concept of American Roots Music may seem clear just by the title, there is so much more to the genre than its descriptors.
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Original Source: Daily Voice
by Tom Renner
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Organizations, community groups and individual supporters of the arts in Westchester were honored on Friday, April 4, at the 37th Annual Arts Award Luncheon hosted by ArtsWestchester at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown.
Originally Published on No Depression
By Easy Ed
This is a tale with two moving parts. First, a twenty-two year old young woman becomes so good, so fast…and delivers two sets of impeccable and improbable American roots music last night that it just might be as good as it gets. And for the second part of this story, she performs this magical musical feat at a simple house concert with two old friends from four years of summer music camp. Well, maybe not quite your usual house concert, but by description and definition a house concert nevertheless.
by Steven Blier
As Sondheim wrote in Company, “Today is for Amy.” At Caramoor, that meant giving Amy Burton time to have leisurely one-on-one sessions with each cast member. After lunch we worked on the spoken continuity and then we “hit the low spots”—i.e., rehearsed all the numbers that needed special review. The day started at 10:30 and wound down at 7 PM—time well spent.
It is a little bit of an adjustment—and an act of trust—to let someone else come into the rehearsal process at the end of the week and make adjustments to the work you’ve begun. But Amy is family, and she made a tremendous contributio Read more
A day of highs and lows. In the morning we had some visitors—a small cadre of Caramoor donors and board members, and also the General Director of Caramoor, Jeff Haydon. He’s the fellow who took over Michael’s old job, and I admit I have a soft spot for him. He’s a very decent guy with wonderful energy, and things always seem to shine a little brighter when he’s around. I like it when Jeff comes to rehearsal because none of us are afraid to do real work (i.e., screw up) in his presence, yet our hearts remain light and buoyant. Jeff always makes me feel talented and worthy and I appreciate that so much. He and the other visitors, including the appropriately named Vivian Song, were a sensational audience and the cast gave some of their best performances so far. Olivia suddenly morphed into a Brazilian sex-kitten in “Nenê,” Theo brilliantly channeled Noël Coward in an amazingly stylish rendition of “Uncle Harry,” Miles poured out vocal gold in his Grieg song, and Annie stopped time with “Calling You.” By the time we went into lunch Michael and I were feeling that all wa
1. Our genius guest teacher, Amy Burton
2. The many moods of Theo Hoffman
3. Leann Osterkamp, with the world at her feet
4. The many moods of Theo Hoffman, part duex
5. Les Grands from ages: with two men I adore
Photos by Steven Blier
Caramoor’s extraordinary Music Room – the literal and figurative center of Walter and Lucie Rosens’ life together – displays much of the Renaissance art Walter collected during the early 20th century. Before the home was opened to the public some 40 years ago, each object in the room was inventoried and cataloged. During that documentation process, Caramoor’s administrators, guided by Anne Bigelow Stern, the Rosens’ only daughter, learned a great deal about the objects and the couple who devoted their lives to the appreciation of music.
Despite such an exhaustive documentation – thousands of art objects and furnishings are spread throughout the 25,000-square-foot mansion – Caramoor administrators are still uncovering new material.
Both Lucie and Walter left extensive files of correspondence, diaries, receipts,
The third day is the sweet spot. The pressure of the performance isn’t really upon us yet, the group numbers are on their feet (or, in one case, on its butt, since the cast is seated for it), the guest teacher hasn’t arrived, and it’s just the family, workin’ away on songs. Salient features of the day:
(1) We had a morning visit from about twenty students from a nearby high school, all of them members of their school chorus. They were amazingly attentive, asked a lot of good questions, and gently kicked all of us into performance mode. Sure, they were watching us rehearse, and we let them see us change keys, talk about vibrato, place vowels, fix problems. But inevitably you don’t rehearse the same way when you have an audience—you have to deliver Read more
The first day is always the honeymoon; and on the second day I can see what the week’s work is going to be about. These singers all have such fertile imaginations that they are sometimes bombarded with thoughts, ideas, images, impulses. They’re gifted and young, and they are still building the wiring to handle their own artistic electricity. Their capabilities are enormous. Some singers would be daunted by the eight languages in “Ports of Call”; others would need to be shown the subtleties of melody and style. At Caramoor, though, everyone has a tremendous instinct for music, and no one has raised Read more
By Steven Blier, Artistic Director, mentor and pianist
Today was the first day of the 2014 Vocal Rising Stars program at Caramoor—the sixth season NYFOS and Caramoor have collaborated on this project. Every year has its own distinctive atmosphere, like the unique timbre of an instrument or the tantalizing aroma of something in the oven. Our cast is a bit younger than usual—just a few years, really, but for people in their twenties the age difference is significant. One of our singers, Annie Rosen, has sung in opera houses overseas, but the other three—soprano Olivia Betzen, tenor Miles Mykkanen, and baritone Theo Hoffman—are just entering the professional world. Theo is still an undergraduate (he’s the youngest we’ve ever had in the program), and Olivia is fresh off the boat—she moved to New York about six weeks ago Read more