When Maureen Henesey (of Mere Mortals), Eddie Zacholl (of The Z- Bones) and Dann Mather (of Entourage) come together, the result is music full of rich harmonies and easy bluegrass instrumentations including fiddle, banjo and guitar. The combination makes their name, The Easy Ramblers, all the more appropriate. On Thursday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. they’ll bring their folk-bent tunes to Jazz Central, 441 E. Washington St., for a CD release party celebrating their indie debut Easy Does It. Tickets are $7 at the door and $5 in advance from and are available by calling 372-1085.
Formed in 2010, the trio performs a collection of originals and covers from artists including Gillian Welch, Allison Kraus and Peter Rowan. On Thursday, they’ll also be joined by some of Syracuse’s finest including Tim Herron, Mark Allnatt, Scott Ebner and Joe Davoli, all who helped contribute various instrumentals to the new CD.
Easy Does It will also be available at Armory Square’s Sound Garden, 310 W. Jefferson St., following the release party. For more information, contact Henesey at 372-1085 or visit www.theeasyramblers.com.
Jazzy Christmas, Take 3
Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble, The New York Voices, return to Syracuse after more than 10 years for the third annual Jazz Christmas Concert. Darmon Meader, Peter Eldridge, Kim Nazarian and Lauren Kinhan will bring their pipes along with an instrumental trio, piano, bass and drums, to ring in the holidays with a Christmas repertoire to benefit the Dunbar Association.
The event, co-presented by the Dunbar Association and Syracuse Jazz Fest, in association with WAER- FM 88.3, is set for the Palace Theatre, 2384 James St., on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 8 p.m. Previous artists include Freddy Cole in 2009 and Spyro Gyra in 2010. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Nov. 5, at 10 a.m. at Sound Garden, 310 W. Jefferson St. Tickets are priced at $25 and $35 with a special $50 ticket available that also includes a pre-show reception.
In 2010, the event was a near sell out and event organizers are expecting the same interest and turnout this year, all of which helps raise funds and spread awareness of the Dunbar Association’s 14 community service programs. Louella Williams, interim director of the Dunbar Association, spoke at a press conference for the event on Nov. 1. “Last year we raised $10,000 which was above and beyond the cost of the event. The year before we raised between $3,000 and $4,000 and that was only because we were just getting started the first year. Each year we’re building. We expect to make much more this year with your help.”
Dunbar Association board president Steve Williams also emphasized the importance of community support at this time specifically as the organization recently lost their funding from the United Way. The association benefits both youth and seniors and services 193 teens in the “Each One Teach One” program, between 125 and 150 seniors at any given time and supplies 400 families through their emergency food pantry.
“This auspicious event helps support these programs, and ensures the programs of the Dunbar Association can maintain their legacy and rich history,” Williams said.
Event producer and Jazz Fest founder Frank Malfitano was proud to announce the 2011 act and his support for the association as well, “For over 100 years Dunbar has been doing lifesaving work for seniors and youth,” he said. “We’re honored and privileged to present some of the greatest acts.”
For more information on the event or to reserve tickets, call 506-8592.
The seven-piece ensemble known as The Nu-Utopians, created and led by Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step and Tom Dean of Devonsquare, will bring their interpretations of John Lennon’s compositions to the Auburn Public Theater, 8 Exchange St., Auburn, on Friday, Nov. 4, 8 p.m. Their live show, full of three-part harmonies and a slew of instruments including acoustic, electric and bass guitars, cello, violin, mandola, accordion, harmonica and percussion brings Lennon’s legacy to life in a whole new way. Mixing both Beatles and solo Lennon tunes, often in mini-medleys, the arrangements help to inspire new meaning in old lyrics. Tickets are $23 for adults, $12 for students with ID. Call 253-6669 for details.
—Compiled by Jessica Novak