LUBA MASON: TRIANGLE–MAGICAL PERFORMANCE at THE CELL

“What a fantastic evening. Many thanks to Charles for wrapping up the season with this performance. Luba was terrific as was her accompaniment by both on the bass Luques Curtis/and vibraphone Felipe Fournier. Luba has a range in both her voice and music that made this an incredible evening.” Vince Nauheimer

“I had the incredible good fortune of seeing Luba Mason and her remarkable band perform twice on Thursday — once at Lehman College, thanks to Professor Joseph McElligott  and then later at the cell theatre in Manhattan thanks to Charles R. Hale and Charles R. Hale Productions. I can honestly still hear her voice. Stunning is too small of a word.” Mitch Traphagen

“Spectacular show this evening. Thank you Charles R. Hale Productions for bringing Luba Mason to the stage and to the attention of those who have not heard her live or in such an intimate setting with her trio. She is a true talent, with a singularly unique style of singing – heartclutching nuance and an extraordinary vocal range. Looking forward to hearing more from Luba and her wonderful trio!” Vera Hoar

“The “Luba Mason: Triangle,” including Luba, Felipe Fournier/vibes and Luques Curtis/bass proved to be a tightly knit trio whose fabulous music was enhanced by Luba’s witty, tender storytelling, perfectly reflecting the title of the series, “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song.'” Charles R. Hale

Photos by Mitch Traphagen

Luba Mason, Luques Curtis /bass, Felipe Fournier/vibes

Luba Mason

Luba Mason and Luques Curtis

Luba Mason and Felipe Fournier

Luba Mason

Luques Curtis

Felipe Fournier 

Charles R. Hale, Luba Mason, Luques Curtis and Felipe Fournier.

 

CHARLES R. HALE PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS “LUBA MASON: TRIANGLE”

On December 7th, 7:30pm, Charles R. Hale Productions will present its final show in the series, “New Yorkers: Together in Story and Song.” The featured artist will be the enormously talented singer and actor Luba Mason. Luba, a native New Yorker born in Astoria, Queens and first generation American of Slovak descent, is a classically trained singer, pianist, dancer and actor who was nominated for the prestigious 2015 Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel theater awards as “Best Featured Actress in a Musical.” Luba also has an impressive Broadway pedigree, in no small part due to her stunning vocal range and extraordinary versatility as a performer.

Luba has headlined at Vibrato and the Cinegrill in L.A., Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Feinstein’s, Birdland, B.B. Kings, Iridium and the Metropolitan Room in NYC. In 2015 Luba and her husband, Ruben Blades, performed together on stage at Radio City Music Hall in Paul Simon’s sold out benefit for the Children’s Health Fund’s 25th Anniversary alongside Mr. Simon, Edie Brickell, Sting, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and numerous other luminaries. Last November, Luba joined her husband at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis and his band in one of the highlights of the evening, Otis Blackwell’s “Fever”.

The show will be performed at The Cell Theatre, 338 West 23rd Street. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by clicking here .

Luba will be performing with Felipe Fournier/vibes and Luques Curtis/bass.

“A voice as big and rich as a star-filled sky.” – Jazz Times
“A Broadway veteran and omnivorous singer.” Billboard
“A force of nature. She goes deep and we want to dive with her.” Huffington Post

 

 

MIHO HAZAMA and M_UNIT: PHOTOS by MITCH TRAPHAGEN

Comments after Miho Hazama and M_Unit’s performance at The Cell, Thursday, November 9. All photos by Mitch Traphagen:

“A performance worthy of Carnegie Hall (and almost as full a house). A wonderful musical evening…jazz meets chamber music” Jo Migdal

“Great music! Glad that I witnessed the night!” Shu Nakamura

“A truly great show! Fresh, vibrant, sweet, shadowy. Good work, Charlie…thanks for producing another home run.” Gary Ryan

“What a fine, memorable evening of new music at The Cell tonight. Thank you, Miho and the m_unit, for your awe-inspiring artistry and vitality and for championing creativity and musical possibility. Also, special thanks and gratitude to Charles R. Hale for his curatorial brilliance!” Vera Hoar

“Nothing like having a front row seat for a fabulous live performance. Congratulations to Miho Hazama and the M_ Unit. I had the feeling that the audience were all guests at Charles’s personal concert.” Tom Myles

“Great job of creating and implementing this project, Charles! Each performance was fantastic and added to the musical knowledge of every member of each audience. Thank you.” Vinnie Nauheimer

 

Miho Hazama

Andy Gravish

Miho Hazama

Tomo Akaboshi

“Blue Forest”

John Lowery

Meaghan Burke

Charles R. Hale and “M_Unit”

Andrew Gutauskas

Dave Pietro

Brilliant Performance!

 

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.

—–

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

America/Bernstein–Alexander A. Wu and Annette Homann

—–

Danny Weller and Shu Nakamura (with Annette Homann)

—–

Billy Jean — Annette Homann and Shu Nakamura

—–

Autumn Leaves/Mercer — Niamh Hyland and Annette Homann

—– 

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

—–

Ashokan Farewell — Annette Homann and Shu Nakamura

—–

Fascinating Rhythm — Alexander Wu

—–

Milonga de Angel/Piazzolla– Annette Homann and Alexander Wu

—–

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

—–

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

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.

 

 

 

 

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.