MIHO HAZAMA and M UNIT at THE CELL: A CHARLES R. HALE PRODUCTION, NOV. 9, 2017

We’re thrilled to announce that the next show in our series, “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song,” features Tokyo born composer Miho Hazama, one of New York’s most astounding young talents, at The Cell Theatre, November 9, 2017, 7:30pm. Lauded in Downbeat as one of “25 for the Future”, Miho is quickly establishing herself as a force of nature on the world’s stage. With her masterful understanding of harmony and orchestration, Miho developed her signature ensemble “m_unit”, utilizing a veritable who’s who of young innovators hailing from all over the world. It is no easy feat to assert yourself in the highly skilled and competitive jazz world. However, m_unit’s riveting performances to packed adoring audiences at venues such as the Jazz Standard, Blue Note NYC and Tokyo, Dizzy’s Club Coca-cola, and the Jazz Gallery show the world that Miho is here to stay.

Now having two full length releases on Sunnyside Records, Miho has written for and expertly showcased the abilities of guest artists such as Joshua Redman, Stefon Harris, Steve Wilson, and Gil Goldstein, to name a few. Furthermore, each album was carefully overseen by Miho’s musical mentor and jazz composition powerhouse, Jim McNeely. Upon reviewing 2012 debut recording Journey to Journey, JazzTimes describes m_unit as a “…classy large ensemble that keeps the listener guessing and enchanted…something is always lurking and ready to pounce; then skitter away again.” After the release of m_unit’s sophomore recording Time River, All About Jazz had this to say: “At a time when orchestral jazz is either ultra- polished, exceedingly high brow, or a pedestrian pandering to sentimental tastes of yore, Hazama’s boldly organic and singularly exciting collective is a breath of fresh air. Her uncanny ability to remain intellectually stimulating and vibrantly spirited is what makes her work singularly innovative.” m_unit continues to drive towards the future with a scrappy determination and aesthetic that is both beautiful and undeniably sincere.

Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets pleas click here

The Cell is located at 338 West 23rd St, NYC. The doors and the bar open at 6:45pm. The show begins at 7:30.

 

 

CHARLES R. HALE at LEHMAN COLLEGE: BRINGING HISTORY, MUSIC and STORIES to LIFE

Charles R. Hale will be presenting “Bringing History, Music and Stories to Life in a Digital World,” at Lehman College on Thursday, September 7th, 12:30pm, in the Studio Theatre at Lehman College in the Bronx. This is a free event. 

For directions, to the Studio Theatre, which is located in the Speech and Theatre Building on the Lower Level at Lehman College, click here.  

 

ANNETTE HOMANN AND FRIENDS: A MEMORABLE EVENING

With the next show in the Charles R. Hale Productions series, “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song,” slated for November, Charles certainly wanted to create a show that would not only be heard — but felt — among the full-house audience at the cell theatre on Aug. 23. It had to be something lasting.  From Jobim and Gershwin to Rolling in the Deep and Milonga de Angel, from John Legend and Alanis Morrisette to Ashokan Farewell and Chega de Saudade….the show succeeded in too many ways to count.

The event was planned around a return visit of violinist extraordinaire Annette Homann, an early Artists Without Walls’ member. After twelve years in New York City, Annette has returned to her native Germany where she is finding tremendous success as a performing artist in Berlin.  Invited to perform with Annette were bassist Danny Weller, guitarist Shu Nakamura and Charles’s Artists Without Walls co-founder, singer Niamh Hyland. All are of extraordinary talent in their own rights. Together? Charles created something truly remarkable.

“When I was thinking of a theme for tonight’s event I thought, ‘We have great musicians, who can play anything so let’s just make great music.’ And that’s what we aimed for tonight. Many genres and accomplished musicians who can perform it all,” Charles said.

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“It’s very nice to see you back in America, Annette.”

America/Bernstein–Alexander A. Wu and Annette Homann

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Danny Weller and Shu Nakamura (with Annette Homann)

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Billy Jean — Annette Homann and Shu Nakamura

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Autumn Leaves/Mercer — Niamh Hyland and Annette Homann

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Chega de Saudade— Annette Homann, Shu Nakamura and Danny Weller

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Ashokan Farewell — Annette Homann and Shu Nakamura

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Fascinating Rhythm — Alexander Wu

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Milonga de Angel/Piazzolla– Annette Homann and Alexander Wu

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Rolling in the Deep — Annette Homann, Niamh Hyland, Danny Weller, Shu Nakamura

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And in the end…. the show, entitled “Annette Homann and Friends: Versatile Virtuosos,” left the audience full of emotion, of joy, of incredulousness. It was a showcase of talent, love and goodwill as few shows can be. Audiences to Charles R. Hale Productions and AWoW shows are generous but also discriminating. This show, this unique collection of grace and love for both music and the spoken word, did not discriminate. The audience did not hold back. They gave the artists not one but two standing ovations. It was the way for them to give back, if even a little, for what they had just experienced; for the beautiful, remarkable respite from a sometimes confused world.

This show will stay with those fortunate enough to have attended. Such feelings rarely leave us.

One of two standing ovations.

Alexander Wu, Niamh Hyland, Annette Homann, Charles R. Hale, Danny Weller and Shu Nakamura

Charles R. Hale

Niamh Hyland and Alexander Wu

Annette Homann and Charles R. Hale

 

Photos by Vera Maura

CHARLES R. HALE in “JAZZ IN THE CITY” AT LEHMAN COLLEGE

Charles R. Hale | David Raleigh

Join David Raleigh and me at Lehman College this Thursday, November 29th, 12:30pm, for our 26th presentation of Jazz in the City: The New York Connection, a show that has been performed at The Cell, The Triad, The Duplex Cabaret and Piano Bar, The American Irish Historical Societyand Lehman College.

Jazz and the City features the stories and songs of the artists and composers who for the past 375 years have paid homage to city they call home. Many of their songs were popularized in New York’s venues such as the Village Vanguard where Miles, Mingus and Monk performed and venues that are long gone and Cafe Society where Billy Holiday debuted “Strange Fruit.” And then there are the stories and songs that I associate with New York through ancestral, familial and personal recollections.

And how fortunate am I to be performing with four incredible musicians, David, Tony Carfora, Danny Weller and Daniel Glass.

 

ANNETTE HOMANN: BACK IN THE APPLE

Annette Homann

The fifth in Charles R. Hale Productions’ series entitled “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song” will feature German-born violinist Annette Homann and will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 23 beginning at 7:30 p.m., at the cell theatre, 338 W. 23rd St., Manhattan. Homann, who is traveling from Berlin where she relocated to in 2016, will be joined by Hale’s co-founder of Artists Without Wall, County Leitrim native Niamh Hyland on vocals, Alexander A. Wu on piano, Shu Nakamura on guitar and Danny Weller on bass.

“These talented musicians will be crossing musical genres, presenting jazz, rock, classical, tango, Latin music and more,” Hale said.

For tickets go to annettehomann.brownpapertickets.com

AWoW members and supporters can type in “awow” for a discount.

Click here for the event link.

Annette Homann and company at the cell

YURI JUAREZ’S AFROPERUANO BAND at THE CELL THEATRE: PHOTOS by VERA HOAR

Yuri Juarez’s Afroperuano Band, which includes pianist Renato Diz, drummer Hector Morales, bass guitarist Moto Fukushima, cajon Freddy Huevito Lobaton Beltran and vocalist Sofia Tosello, performed in brilliant fashion at the fourth in Charles R. Hale Productions’ series’, “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song.

Here are photos from the event that were taken by Vera Hoar.

Yuri Juarez and Sofia Tosello

Sofia Tosello

 

Renato Diz, Freddy Huevito Lobaton Beltran, Moto Fukushima, Yuri Juarez, Hector Morales

Charles R. Hale

Martha Pinson and Hector Morales

John Moran and Friends

Freddy Huevito Lobaton Beltran

Hector Morales and Moto Fukushima

Renato Diz

 

MEMORIAL DAY and MY FATHER: A REFLECTION

As I wandered the city on this Memorial Day weekend I couldn’t help but notice it was Fleet Week, a tradition during which active military ships, recently deployed in overseas operations, dock in a variety of major cities for one week, including New York. Observing the sailors enjoying the city reminded me of my father.

I think about my father on Memorial Day more than at any time during the year: He enlisted in the Navy on his seventeenth birthday, seventy-three years ago this week. He served in the Pacific, during WWII, and then as part of the occupying force in the year following the war. And he would have been ninety this Wednesday, May 30, one day before the “original” Memorial Day.

Like many veterans, my father didn’t talk much about his war experience. Every now and then there’d be a “war” story, but they were often humorous and usually post war stories: How he’d finagle extra coupons for beer at beer bashes on Okinawa or how he and his cousin met up in Okinawa–he was on another ship–commandeered a jeep and drove it into the ocean. Must’ve been after a beer bash, I’ve often thought, but I don’t remember the details.

A story’s details are often not that important
to great storytellers and they didn’t much matter to my father, nor to his listeners.  He’d begin with a
 “twinkle in his eye” smile. The ever present cigarette, punctuating his remarks. Delivering the punch line, pausing…and then…opening his eyes wide. Throwing his head back in laughter. Memorable laughter. You couldn’t help but laugh right along with him no matter how many times you’d heard the story, no matter how many times it’d changed.

He loved reliving the past, but only a small part of the past. There was little mention of his day-to-day life in the Navy. There were a few photos with notations on the back, but not much more. What was the experience of a teenager from Queens, thrust onto the world stage, in the midst of the greatest conflagration ever? I had no idea.


I study family history to get an understanding of the themes and moments that were my families and ancestors’ day-to-day existence. I wonder, how have the lives of those who have come before me influenced whom I have become? Historian Shelby Foote once said, “So you get that thing and you get the weather, you get the soil and you get the coloration of things; get the true feel of it.” I’d ask, “How do I get the true feel of my father’s experience? How do I breathe of my father’s space and time?”


A few years ago I was searching the Internet, looking for information on my father’s ship, the USS Antietam, an Essex-class aircraft carrier. As I searched the website I noticed a book called, “Occupying Force” by D. Charles Gossman. The author’s father, who like my father, was “Charlie” and was also seventeen when he joined the Navy, had served on the Antietam the very same twelve months my father had. Gosman’s diary chronicles visits to Japan, China, and numerous Pacific Islands, while recording reactions to operating dangers aboard the ship, tidal waves and typhoons. I now knew where my father was for the entire year he was on the Antietam. For the first time, I felt connected to my father’s experience. 

I remember my father telling me how he’d lived through a typhoon. But, thanks to Gossman’s diary, I learned that my father left out a major part of the story. On August 21, 1945 the USS Antietam was notified that it was one of the ships chosen to participate in the September 2nd surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay, certainly a great honor. Pride must’ve been running high aboard the Antietam as it set sail for Japan. But on August 24 the Antietam’s hull suffered structural damage during a typhoon–the storm my father had mentioned–and the ship was ordered to Guam for inspection. Repairs were initiated but they were pulled from the surrender ceremonies and redirected to Okinawa. My father had mentioned the typhoon but he never mentioned that he and his shipmates were to be part of the surrender ceremonies. I was incredulous when I learned this. Was this a major disappointment? Why hadn’t he told me? I’ll never know.

I’ve spent the weekend thinking of my father, his dreams, some realized, some dashed, imagining his life aboard the ship and I’ve been thinking of his stories, his smile and his laughter.

I wish I could hear a story, his laughter, one more time.

 

 

 

 

PIANO VIRTUSO HARRIET STUBBS at THE CELL by VINCENT NAUHEIMER

The following was written by Vincent Nauheimer:


In an ongoing effort to present multicultural artistry and international talent, Charles  R. Hale  Productions’ “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song” featured English pianist Harriet Stubbs at the Cell Theatre last Thursday. This was the third show of a six performance series.

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Ms. Stubbs, who was recognized as a child prodigy, has a well-deserved reputation and a lengthy repertoire of both individual and collaborative works. Her solo performance at the Cell Theatre last Thursday was at once riveting, nuanced and fresh, as she soared through four warhorses of the piano repertoire.

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Ms Stubbs opened the recital with the Bach-Busoni, Chaccone in D Minor. The Chaccone is regarded as one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s violin masterpieces;  Busoni’s piano transcription has long been recognized as a splendid interpretation of Bach’s work. Ms. Stubbs played this dramatic piece with the insight it deserves,  delighting the audience with her musicality and talent, accentuated by her intensity and expressiveness.

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Ms. Stubbs followed the Chaccone with Alexander Scriabin’s Sonata No. 2, Op 19, one of Scriabin’s most popular works. Scriabin’s sonatas are known as technically difficult works and Ms Stubbs was up to the task, bringing her vast technical skills to the piece, while capturing the very distinctive “voice” of Scriabin’s music.

Ms Stubbs final work of the first section of the program was Frederic Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2, which composer Robert Schumann compared to a Byronic poem, “so overflowing with tenderness, boldness, love and contempt.”  Ms. Stubbs successfully articulated the full range of Byron’s emotions.

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After a short intermission, Ms Stubbs performed the Dante Sonata/Fantasia Quasi Sonata by Franz Liszt. During the piece, commonly believed to be based on Dante’s Inferno, Ms. Stubbs took the audience on a musical journey, deftly navigating the works emotional highs and lows, which served to highlight her prolific talent. The rousing work induced a well deserved standing ovation from the audience.

Photos by Tom Myles and Mitch Traphagen

 

NEW YORKERS TOGETHER in STORY and SONG: NIAMH HYLAND and BAND RAISE the ROOF at THE CELL

The first Charles R. Hale Productions performance of six shows for the 2017 Spring / Summer season “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song” was an unqualified success with a sold-out house and an emotional, impassioned performance by Niamh Hyland and her band, featuring Ado Coker, Ron Negro, Traci Robinson-Greene, Danny Weller, Sybil Scoby and Shu Nakamura.

A glimpse of a remarkable, memorable evening at the cell. Photos by Mitch Traphagen

Niamh Hyland

Nick Garr welcomes the audience and introduces the band.

Niamh Hyland

Shu Nakamura

Shu Nakamura

Ron Negro

Ron Negro

Ado Coker

Ado Coker

Danny Weller

Danny Weller and Niamh Hyland

Traci Robinson-Greene and Sybil Scoby

Traci Robinson-Greene and Sybil Scoby

Niamh Hyland

Niamh Hyland

Closing the show on an amazing up note.

The performers at Niamh Hyland’s show at The Cell. From left: Ado Coker, Ron Negro, Traci Robinson-Greene, Danny Weller, Niamh, Sybil Scoby and Shu Nakamura.

A SPECIAL EVENING with NIAMH HYLAND on MARCH 30

Niamh Hyland

Join us at the cell theatre on March 30 for a very special evening: An Evening With Niamh Hyland.

Niamh has the voice and the stage presence to hold every audience in her hand. She has the indefinable “It” — something so special, and so very rare. The opportunity to see her perform live is indeed an incredible experience — and one that will leave you feeling better about…well, everything.

Click here for tickets

Niamh toured globally as the lead singer of the original rock band Lily Sparks. Her notable band and solo performances include The Ourland Festival at Lincoln Center, Wheelan’s in Dublin, Webster Hall and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. One of her recent performances was at the BMCC Tribeca in Charles R. Hale’s “Musical History of the Lower East Side.”

Niamh’s love of the arts and her desire to help others find and reach their potential motivated her to co-found Artists Without Walls with Charles R. Hale. Recently, Niamh was invited to speak at TedxStormont in Belfast, Ireland, her topic: “Resurrecting Your Dreams”

This will be the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Niamh’s debut in a full length, full concert performance in New York City. She will be performing with pianist Ado Coker, guitarist Shu Nakamura, and other spectacular musicians. The performance will take place at The Cell, which is located at 338 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.

Niamh Hyland in concert at the cell theatre. Charles R Hale Productions Spring / Summer 2017 Season. Tickets now on sale.

The doors and the bar open at 6:45. Ms. Hyland will take that stage at 7:30.

Niamh Hyland is the first performer in the Charles R. Hale Productions season of New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song.

Click here for more event information.

Series Concert Dates:

  • March 30: Niamh Hyland/Ireland
  • April 20: Miho Hazama/Japan and JP Jofree/Argentina
  • May 18: Harriet Stubbs/England
  • July 20: Yuri Juarez/Peru and his AfroPeruvian Band
  • August 23: Annette Homann/Germany, Alexander Wu/China and Yuri Juarez/Peru
  • September: To be announced