ARTISTRY & THE ARTIST: SEUNGHEE “SUNNY” LEE, WEDNESDAY at THE CELL

 

Seunghee Lee, “Sunny”

TICKETS FOR SEUNGHEE LEE ON MAY 16  CLICK HERE.

“Now here is a talent…  who has as warm, silvery, and woody a tone as anyone could imagine with fast and keen finger work to match… amazing expressive capabilities… positively lovely” – Review by Allmusic.com

Seunghee Lee is a multi-faceted musician, international recording artist, and musical entrepreneur, Seunghee (Sunny) brings a vivacious energy, an exquisite elegance and extraordinary precision to all her endeavors. Ms. Lee has been recognized by the Clarinet Magazine as “an uncompromising soloist, destined to be an upcoming contender of top stature”.

Sunny’s 2017-2018 season included a tour of northern Italy performing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto, visiting professorship at Yale School of Music, and a Sold-Out debut recital at Carnegie Hall. An advocate for exploring new ideas, embracing all musical genres, one of the greatest highlights was her collaboration with DEEPAK CHOPRA on his new album & book: HOME: Where Everyone is Welcome, a collection of thirty-four original poems and twelve songs inspired by a diverse group of immigrants.

Click here to listen to Sunny performing “Gabriel’s Oboe” with composer Andrea Morricone, who is also the composer of the “Love Theme” from Cinema Paradiso, which you can hear Sunny perform here.

Join us for, “Artistry & the Artist, a great night of music and storytelling.  TICKETS FOR SEUNGHEE LEE ON MAY 16  CLICK HERE.

“WOMEN WHO HAVE OVERCOME” at LEHMAN COLLEGE, MAY 10, 2018

Join Mala Waldron, Theresa Sareo, Connie Roberts and Charles R. Hale.    

On Thursday, May 10th, 12:30pm, Artists Without Walls, in conjunction with Lehman College’s City and Humanities Program, presents “Women Who Have Overcome,” a discussion with three women who, despite being presented with major obstacles at different points during their lives, have gone onto successful careers in the arts and education. 

Jazz pianist/vocalist Mala Waldron, poet Connie Roberts and singer/songwriter Theresa Sareo will be discussing their lives as well as sharing their talents with the audience. Charles R. Hale will moderate the event. Special thanks to Professor Joseph McElligott for sponsoring this program. 

The event will be held in the Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College. For directions to Lehman, click here

Photo montage by Mitch Traphagen. 

Theresa Sareo, Connie Roberts and Mala Waldron

BIGGER THAN LIFE….AFTER LIFE: JOHNNY HARTMAN, EVA CASSIDY AND ETTA JAMES

Bigger than life…after life.  

Johnny Hartman

A number of singers didn’t get the recognition they deserved in their lifetime for one reason or another. Johnny Hartman, the quintessential romantic balladeer, earned critical acclaim early in his career, but he wasn’t well known. He recorded a brilliant album with John Coltrane–“John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman”–in the mid-sixties, but it wasn’t until 1995, twelve years after his death that his reputation grew considerably. When the film “Bridges of Madison Country” was released in 1995, four of Hartman’s songs were featured. You might remember the scene in which Merryl Streep and Clint Eastwood danced in the kitchen.  They danced to Hartman singing “I See Your Face Before Me.”  Here it is…“I See Your Face Before Me.” 

Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy is another. Her recordings of a number of American Songbook classics are sublime. But Eva, who died of cancer in her thirties, received little recognition during her lifetime. Now, many of her recordings have become modern day standards. Here’s one of my favorites…Autumn Leaves. If you haven’t heard Eva sing this tune, you are in for a treat…beautifully sung with intense longing. 

 

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Etta James

And then there’s Etta James. A few of her songs were hits during her lifetime, including “At Last,” but she is only now getting the recognition she deserves. Listen and watch here  “I’d Rather Go Blind,” as Etta performs with Doctor John.  Etta was, in my opinion, an  underrated talent. No more. 

There’s a reason I feature Hartman, Cassidy’s “Autumn Leaves” and James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” in two of my shows, “Jazz in the City” and “Crossing Boroughs.”  They’re fabulous. 

 

 

 

GRATITUDE

Seven years ago I had very little contact with musicians, actors, writers…artists of all stripes. First I met author/historian Peter Quinn, then director/editor Martha Pinson and Professor Joe McElligott and from there I met one great artist after another. My life has been  immeasurably enriched by my acquaintance and collaborative work with each. I thank them all. 

The mosaic above, which was created by Mitch Traphagen, features fifty artists with whom I have collaborated…past, present and a number with whom I am working on a future project. 

If you hover your mouse over the page, a name will appear…click on the image, you’ll be taken to the website or featured work of each person…well, almost every person. 

Thank you all for adding so much to my life. 

CELEBRATING our TWENTY-FIFTH PERFORMANCE of “JAZZ IN THE CITY”

Once a month for the past two years, the David Raleigh Quartet and I have taken our audience on a journey…a musical journey, incorporating story and song. Our performance at the Duplex, in Greenwich Village, this past Thursday was our twenty-fifth performance of “Jazz in the City.” In addition to the Duplex, the show has been performed in New York City at The Cell, Lehman College, The American Irish Historical Society and the Triad.  

The show 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 like the Village Vanguard where Miles, Mingus and Monk performed and venues that are long gone, such as 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.

I grew up listening to music of the sixties: The Ronettes, from uptown, the Crystals, from Jamaica, Queens, where I was born, Dion and Belmonts from the Bronx and the New York stylings of the Drifters. But there were always two radios on in my house: One in my room and the other wherever my mother was. My mother listened to WNEW, a station that showcased the tunes of Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer and George Gershwin.  Thus, I learned about and came to love the wonderful and enduring music of the “American Songbook.”

And how fortunate am I to be performing with four incredible musicians, David Raleigh, Tony Carfora, Danny Weller and Daniel Glass. What a wonderful experience. You can come out and share the experience at our next show at THE DUPLEX , in Greenwich Village in NYC on June 21, 7pm. For tickets and additional information CLICK HERE

Photos by Mitch Traphagen.

Danny Weller and Daniel Glass

 

David Raleigh, Tony Carfora and Danny Weller

 

David Raleigh, Tony Carfora and Danny Weller

 

Charles R. Hale

 

David Raleigh

 

Danny Weller

Tony Carfora and Danny Weller

CHARLES R. HALE PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS: “THOROUGHLY NEW YORK”

From top left: Miho Hazama, Nicole Zuraitis, Sunny Lee, Charles R. Hale. From bottom left: David S. Goldman and Yuri Juarez

Charles R. Hale Productions’ series “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song.” was both an exciting and succesful experience. Each of the seven shows filled The Cell theatre and consistently offered superior performances to appreciative audiences.

This year’s series, “Thoroughly New York” is set and our performers and I are looking forward to rewarding our audience with another great season of top-notch entertainment, in a great setting–The Cell–at a very reasonable price. The “New York” performers are Seunghee Lee, Yuri Juarez and the Afroperuano Group, Miho Hazama and m_unit, the Nicole Zuraitis Quartet and David S. Goldman and Charles R. Hale.

Clarinetist Seunghee Lee/”Sunny” is a multi-faceted musician, international recording artist, and musical entrepreneur, Seunghee brings a vivacious energy, an exquisite elegance and extraordinary precision to all her endeavors.  Of Sunny, Allmusic.com said, “Now here is a talent… who has as warm, silvery, and woody a tone as anyone could imagine with fast and keen finger work to match… amazing expressive capabilities… positively lovely” May 16, 7:30pm. Tickets are on sale now at $25 if purchased in advance– click here.  Tickets are $30 at the door. 

Yuri Juarez has performed in a number of shows written by Charles R. Hale, including, “The Musical History of the Lower East,”” New York: A Shining Mosaic” and Yuri appeared with his Afroperuano band in last year’s series “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song.” Yuri and his band are proof that the music of Peru is fast occupying a prominent part of the world stage. If you haven’t heard these musicians perform you are in for a great treat. Yuri and the members of his band are internationally acclaimed and their shows are nothing short of fabulous. June 13, 7:30pm

Tokyo born composer Miho Hazama, one of New York’s most astounding young talents, will be performing with her signature ensemble “m_unit.” 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. Her masterful understanding of harmony and orchestration combined with a who’s who of musicians results in riveting performances to packed adoring audiences at venues such as the Jazz Standard, Blue Note NYC and Tokyo, Dizzy’s Club Coca-cola, the Jazz Gallery and wowed the crowd at The Cell last year, as part of CRH Pro’s series “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song.” July 12, 8:00pm

Audiences worldwide have been enchanted by the seismic talent of inspired jazz vocalist, keyboard player and songwriter Nicole Zuraitis who blends bountiful songwriting skills, an effervescent presence and dazzling vocals in a consummate package that has thrilled audiences. Nicole is the 2016 New York City Songwriting Competition Coffee Music Project Winner, 2015 second runner-up in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and the 2014 Herb Albert ASCAP Young Composer Awards Winner. Nicole has headlined the Blue Note (NYC) and maintains residencies at the 55 Bar (every second Thursday of the month), Rockwood Music Hall (with the Dan Pugach Nonet), and Redeye Grill. August 14, 7:30pm

David S. Goldman is a world-traveled singer-songwriter who performs in many genres, including blues, folk, pop-jazz, and the romance and other foreign languages. He has appeared at Tarrytown Music Hall, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Irvington Town Hall Theatre, etc. and recently did a reading of his original work at Deepak Chopra’s CD and book release.  Charles R. Hale has written a number of  “New York” centric shows that blend imagery and performance art to create uniquely New York experiences. His historically-themed shows, including “Crossing Boroughs” which was recently performed at the Museum of the City of New York, incorporate story, music, imagery and dance.  David and Charles share a great love for the family “characters” who came before them and the New York neighborhoods they inhabited. Using music and story, a central part of each of their lives, Charles and David re-create the stories of their family’s lives, some sad, some uproarious. November 19, 7:30

A very big thank you to our Executive Producers, Chris Grygon and Michael Fletcher, Gail and Joe McElligott, John Moran, Tom Myles and Lisa Sullivan for once again making another great series possible.

Tickets in advance of each show are $25. CLICK HERE for Seunghee Lee’s show. Ticket links for the remainders of the shows will be added shortly. A subscription to all five performances is $90, which is a 28% discount CLICK HERE

 

 

 

A GREAT FIRST YEAR: THANK YOU TO ALL THE PERFORMERS, PRODUCERS and FRIENDS

Charles R. Hale Productions’ first year has been a very rewarding one. In addition to performing my show “Jazz in the City: The New York Connection” fifteen times in a number of locations including The Cell, Lehman College, the American Irish Historical Society,  Triad and The Duplex, the series “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song,” headlined by Niamh Hyland, Miho Hazama and JP Jofre, Harriet Stubbs, Yuri Juarez, Annette Homann, Miho Hazama and M Unit, and Luba Mason was also a great success. Each of seven shows filled The Cell theatre and consistently offered superior performances to appreciative audiences.

Thank you’s abound: Thank you to the producers: Michael Fletcher, Joseph McElligott, John Moran, Tom Myles and Lisa Sullivan. Thank you to the subscribers who purchased tickets to all the shows. Thank you to Mitch Traphagen for graphics, photos and website assistance. Thank you to Alexander Wu for his special performance with Annette Homann and research assistance. Thank you to bassist Danny Weller who appeared  in both Niamh Hyland and Annette Homann’s show. (Danny is also the bass player in “Jazz in the City: The New York Connection.) Thank you to Vera Maura for her photos and never-ending support. Thank you to The Cell, particularly Sulei, Macenzie and Brian for all you do. And thank you to all the performers and their music-making friends. 

We’re looking forward to great 2018.

NEW SHOW! “CROSSING BOROUGHS” JANUARY 28, 2018

 
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“New York’s boroughs…where it was fancy on Delancey, stickball reigned supreme and nylon stockings were a hit. Where kids danced to doo-wop, spent Saturday afternoons at Loews…where there used to be a ballpark.
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“Right this way ladies and gentlemen…hurry, hurry, hurry into the pubs and clubs of yesteryear. Hold onto your hat…crossing bridges, boroughs and waterways will be the ride of a lifetime. Step right up.”
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“Crossing Boroughs,” an Artists Without Walls’ production, and part of Origin Theatre Company’s First Irish Festival, will be performed on January 28, 3pm at The Museum of the City of New York.

“Crossing Boroughs” was written by Charles R. Hale and stars Niamh Hyland along with Jack O’Connell, Laura Neese, Jonathan Matthews, David J Raleigh, Shirazette Tinnin, Maya Kornfeld, Mary Ann McSweeney and Shu Nakamura.

Charles R. Hale/Narrator.
Niamh Hyland/Music Director.
Mitch Traphagen/Graphics and Images

For tix and info CLICK HERE

New Show! Crossing Boroughs January 28, 2018

 

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