Westchester Fall Arts Preview: Music


September 20, 21

The Knights with the Joshua Redman Quartet and The Knights with Gil Shaham

Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts


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(914) 232-1252; www.caramoor.org

Caramoor continues its outdoor music series into the fall with two distinct concerts featuring The Knights, a New York City-based “orchestral collective.” (Don’t call it an orchestra.) On September 20, they’ll be backing the Joshua Redman Quartet for an innovative program of jazz music that goes from timeless standards to Brazilian tango. The next night is more classical, with Avery Fischer Prize-winning violinist Gil Shaham joining The Knights for an evening of works by DvoÅ™ák and Prokofiev. Both concerts take place in the gorgeous Venetian Theater. 

Czech Philharmonic

By Vaclav Jirasek

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November 15

Czech Philharmonic 

The Performing Arts Center, Purchase 

(914) 251-6200; www.artscenter.org

Yeah, you can say the Czech Philharmonic started off with a bang: Antonín DvoÅ™ák himself conducted the opening performance in 1896. Now, almost 120 years later, they’re still going strong, and they’ll make a stop at The Performing Arts Center during one of their rare visits to the United States. The program includes works by JanáÄek, Liszt, and, of course, DvoÅ™ák.

October 19 and December 21

Westchester Philharmonic

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The Performing Arts Center, Purchase

(914) 682-3707; www.westchesterphil.org

There are some new faces over at the Westchester Philharmonic: Principal Conductors Jaime Laredo and Ted Sperling have hopped aboard for the 2014-2015 season. Meet Laredo on October 19, when he’ll lead his former student, violinist Bella Hristova, through Tchaikovsky’s “Concerto for Violin.” Composer Gabriela Frank will also be on-hand for a pre-show talk, and the Philharmonic will perform her “Elegía Andina.” Then, on December 21, Sperling makes his debut at the Winter Pops! Concert, featuring the songs of Frank Loesser. You might want to bring the kids: Frozen’s Santino Fontana—he played Prince Hans—is a guest vocalist. 

October 26

“Fancies, Follies, and Alchemy”

Copland House at Merestead, Mount Kisco

(914) 788-4659; www.coplandhouse.org

Music and poetry often go hand-in-hand, and Copland House at Merestead presents them both in one program. First, Westchester poet and former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins presents two of his poems set to music: “Another Reason I Don’t Keep a Gun,” with music by Tom Cipullo, and “The Invention of the Saxophone,” with music by Pierre Jalbert. The program continues with Andrew Norman and his “Garden of Follies” for saxophone and piano, and then finishes up with Jalbert’s piano quartet, “Secret Alchemy.”  Cipullo, Jalbert, and Norman have all been Copland House resident composers, so consider it a homecoming performance. 

Country, Jazz, Folk, Rock & Pop

September 14

Travis Tritt

Paramount Hudson Valley, Peekskill

(914) 739-0039; www.paramounthudsonvalley.com

Just because we’re New Yorkers doesn’t mean that we can’t have a little bit of a twang to us. Then again, Travis Tritt puts a soulful spin on country music, especially on his most recent album, The Calm After… Tritt brings his heartfelt style to the Paramount, where he might even convert some of the non-country fans out there. 

September 19 – 21 

Steely Dan

The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester

(914) 937-4126; www.thecapitoltheatre.com

Back by popular demand—and back again, and back one more time—is Steely Dan. Demand for tickets has been so high, the band had to book three back-to-back nights at The Capitol Theatre. And why wouldn’t they be so popular? They’ve earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their unique jazz-rock sound, and it’s hard to get songs like “Reelin’ in the Years” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” out of your head once you hear them.

September 24

Emmylou Harris

Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown

(914) 631-3390; tarrytownmusichall.org

At 67 years old and after four decades in music, Emmylou Harris is still winning Grammy awards. This year, she brought home her 13th statue, for Old Yellow Moon (a collaboration with Rodney Crowell), which won Best Americana Album. With a career that long and decorated, she’ll have plenty to draw upon for her upcoming gig at the Tarrytown Music Hall.

October 24

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Performing Arts Center, Purchase

(914) 251-6200; www.artscenter.org

It’s nowhere near Mardi Gras, but it might feel like it when the Preservation Hall Jazz Band brings their Big Easy sound to Purchase. And they’ll be joined by one whopper of a special guest: Allen Toussaint himself will sit in on the piano. The concert takes place at Purchase College, but you’ll feel like you’re off somewhere in the French Quarter.

November 7, 8

“And the Tony Award Goes To…”

Emelin Theatre, Mamaroneck

(914) 698-0098; www.emelin.org

We love going to Broadway—but hate the traffic hassles and the expense of parking in the City. That’s why we always appreciate it when Broadway comes to us. Great White Way stars Shelly Burch (Nine) and John Treacy Egan (Nice Work If You Can Get It) host an evening of Tony-winning musical numbers, up to and including this year’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. No MetroCard needed. 

Jimmy Eat World

October 17

Jimmy Eat World

The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester (914) 937-4126; www.thecapitoltheatre.com

If you can remember back to the beginning of this century, there was a moment when Jimmy Eat World’s song “The Middle”—with its promise that “everything will be just fine”—was the go-to, pick-me-up soundtrack for gloomy days. Since then, the band has continued to bring about sunnier times with their poppy rock albums—including their most recent, Damage—and you can stop by for a quick mood-lifter when they come to The Capitol Theatre.

If you snagged a ticket to Caramoor’s American Roots Music Festival this summer, you were likely blown away by Hastings-on-Hudson-based singer/songwriter Matt Turk. Turk’s new album, Cold Revival, comes out on October 7, and you can see him perform songs from it on September 27 at the Upstream Gallery in Hastings-on-Hudson (914-674-8548). But he’s not the only talent in town. We asked Turk whom he listens to when he wants to hear some local music.

Westchester’s American Pinup (www.americanpinup.net) blends surf rock, punk, and pop, creating a sound that is wild and seductive. Fronted with raspy attitude by Lauren Wolf, their songs are sticky and their live show can be exuberant.

The alt-country rock ’n’ roll band Hot Rod Pacer (www.reverbnation.com/hotrodpacer) features the songwriting team of Fred Gillen Jr. of Peekskill and Jim Keyes of Irvington. Their sound is a blend of Steve Miller Band, Cracker, and a dash of AC/DC. They recently opened for Merle Haggard at the Tarrytown Music Hall.  

Fronted by Yonkers’ George Gierer, South County (www.reverbnation.com/southcountyny) plays folkabilly/Americana and serves pulled pork and bourbon at many of their shows. Gierer is devoted to tradition and his songs are excellent, evocative of The Felice Brothers and things far older. The band is like a slightly loose wagon wheel that somehow keeps on, like a sort of dusty Lumineers. 

Dobbs Ferry’s Chris Conte (www.chriscontemusic.com) sings sweetly like Tony Bennett and Chet Baker and plays upright bass beautifully. You can hear him every other week in Hastings-on-Hudson at The Mill. 

Judy Kass (www.judykass music.com) is getting some radio attention from her version of “Details” by the late, beloved Rob Morsberger. Her recording Better Things is a great Sunday-morning listen on the mellower side of folky/early-’70s/femme singer/songwriter. 

For more on Matt Turk, visit www.turktunes.com. 

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