Sean Harkness and his Unusual Suspects On At Chelsea Table & Stage Saturday June 18th
Guitarist Sean Harkness and his Unusual Suspects play this Saturday at NYC’s newest musical spot Chelsea Table & Stage located in the Hilton Fashion District Hotel on 26th street.
For the Berklee-schooled Harkness, who has played with the likes of Kathleen Turner, Nona Hendryx, Tom Wopat, Lucie Arnaz, Leslie Uggams, Christine Andreas and most recently Ann Kittredge – this will be another opportunity to see his Unusual Suspects – Etienne Stadwjk, John Lenis and Clint de Ganon.
Their most recent appearance at Birdland resulted in a sold-out house and began a terrific word of mouth campaign on the show.
Harkness and the group released an EP that night, entitled Just What I Needed and featured the tracks “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Reminiscing,” “People Are Strange” and “Just What I Needed/Good Times Roll.”
A former-artist on Will Ackerman’s celebrated Windham Hill Records -now available through SONY Music/Legacy; Harkness has performed at some of the most prestigious halls around town and the county including the Blue Note, 55 Bar, Smoke, Small’s, Mezzrow, the Jazz Standard, Iridium, Feinstein’s, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall; BAM; Edison Ballroom, Mile’s Café, the Metropolitan Room, St. Nick’s, Top Of The Rock at Rockefeller Center, The Cutting Room and most recently at Birdland.
With influences as diverse as John Scofield, Jeff Beck and Robby Krieger, Harkness is gearing up for his own above-the-line success with his revolving collective of the best players around with his Sean Harkness & the Unusual Suspects group.
Harkness is quick to point out that the “(the) show is a choice of songs from my childhood. They’re not necessarily the proscribed ‘covers’ one would expect from a tribute or cover band as they range from The Carpenters to The Who – these are the songs that came on the school bus AM radio. Songs that moved me to learn music. I’m just interpreting them through the lens of 40+ years’ experience as a pro guitarist.”
Harkness has also appeared in New York’s premiere jazz venues including the Blue Note, 55 Bar, Smoke, Small’s, Mezzrow, the Jazz Standard, Iridium, Feinstein’s, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall; BAM; Edison Ballroom, Mile’s Café, the Metropolitan Room, St. Nick’s, Top Of The Rock at Rockefeller Center, The Cutting Room and Birdland.
He’s also become a critic’s favorite: from The Observer’s Rex Reed; to Broadwaywayworld.com, which said “With bandleader Harkness at the helm, The Unusual Suspects were this year’s rock band of cabaret. Rock, pop, blues, country and a lot of other genres of music that once didn’t quite fit the cabaret mold are now welcome in the small venue rooms and The Unusual Suspects can play all of those types of music, and more.”
Adds Harkness, “One of the things that sets me apart from other guitarists in NYC is that I work with so many different people. Different styles/genres, skill/experience levels, and demographics. From theatre queens to Blues artists, movie stars to folk singers, Broadway divas to jazz snobs, and everything else on the spectrum. Most people find a niche and work it. If I have a ‘niche’, it is as the guy who can bring anything to life with heart and authenticity. And mostly with vocalists. Something about the way I interact with vocalists makes me a trusted name when they want to bring it to life … and that everyone I work with is every bit as much an Influence on my musicianship as George Benson, Duane Allman, or Eddie Van Halen.”
With eight solo records already in the marketplace (including his Windham Hill Aloft CD), Harkness and his hand-picked ensemble are planning a full album before the fall.
Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For June
The summer nights bring excitement to the clubs and cabarets. Here are picks for June.
92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 6/1: Music Icons: Graham Nash in Conversation with Anthony DeCurtis; 6/2 and 4: California Dreamin’: Jessica Vosk Sings the Songwriters of Laurel Canyon; 6/12: A New York Evening Celebrating Peggy Lee and 6/16: Focus Features’ Asteroid City: Bryan Cranston in Conversation with MTV’s Josh Horowitz.
Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; Every Saturday at 7pm Eric Comstock with Sean Smith (Bass) & special guest Barbara Fasano (Voice); 6/5, 12 and 26: Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks in the Theater;Billy Stritch & Gabrielle Stravelli “Mel and Ella Swing!”; 6/6 – 10: Stacey Kent; 6/8: Phillip Officer: “Second Time Around” in the Theater; 6/12: The Brat Pack and 6/19: Natalie Douglas: “Freedom Songs: Juneteenth Jubilee”
Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. until 6-10: Sutton Foster; 6/13 – 17: Mira Sorvino and 6/20 – 24 Megan Hilty.
Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St.
Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 6/4: Reeve Carney; 6/7: Nicolas King; 6/26: Samantha Pauly and 6/27: Marieann Meringolo.
Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 6/3: Tim Di Pasqua and 6/16: Tanya Moberly
Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street. 6/11: Songbook Sundays Fats Waller
The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas. 6/9: Jason Tiemann Quartet
54 Below: 254 West 54 St. 6/1 -4: Clint Holmes: Between the Moon and New York City- The Songs of Peter Allen, feat. Nikki Renée Daniels!; 6/5: Charles Strouse’s 95th Birthday Show! Feat. Stephen Schwartz & more; 6/6: Hands on a Hardbody 10th Anniversary Reunion Concert; 6/8 and 10: Jenn Colella: Out and Proud; 6/12, 14 – 17: Joe Iconis & Family, feat. Lauren Marcus & more!; 6/13:Jeff Harnar & Alex Rybeck: Our 40th Anniversary Songbook; 6/21 – 25: Shaun Cassidy: The Magic of a Midnight Skyand 6/29 – 7/1: Amber Gray
Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St. 6/9: The Manhattan Transfer 50th Anniversary & Final World Tour w/ Special Guest The Diva Jazz Orchestra; 6/23 and 24: Sergio Mendes and 6/26: Broadway Sings Lady Gaga
The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 6/3: Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers; 6/6: PAGEBOY with Elliot Page and 6/12: Irish Repertory Theatre Gala 2023 | All My Loving The Lyrics Of Paul McCartney
Broadway’s Samantha Pauly and Reeve Carney Come To Chelsea Table and Stage
On May 29th catch Samantha Pauly for Memorial Day. Best known for originating the role of Katherine Howard in Broadway’s smash hit SIX the Musical, and her captivating performance as Eva Peron in Jamie Lloyd’s critically acclaimed revival of Evita on London’s West End, Samantha Pauly has carefully crafted an evening that reflects the last few years of her life. Join this Grammy nominee and Drama Desk Award winner as she revisits some career highlights, Broadway classics, pop/rock favorites, and all the fun stuff in between.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actor Reeve Carneyreturns to Chelsea Table + Stage June 4th to perform a night of music honoring the artistry of the legendary rock n’ roll supergroup Led Zeppelin. Carney is best known for his portrayal of Dorian Grayin on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, Riff Raff in Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Reimagining, as well as originating the role of Peter Parker in Julie Taymor/U2’s Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark. He is currently starring in the Broadway blockbuster, Hadestown. Reeve Carney delivers a one-man-show cabaret that feels more like an invitation-only after-party than a traditional concert performance. Don’t miss this special performance from one of Broadway’s leading actors!
My View: It’s Richard Jay-Alexander’s Birthday!
If there’s anyone who deserves to be featured in TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLES, on this particular day, May 24, it would be this guy, Richard Jay-Alexander. Born in 1953, today he turns 70 years old, here in New York City. He has walked these city streets more than most, as he pursued and has enjoyed a 49 year career, working on Broadway, in most theaters, clubs and majestic musical institutions, such as Carnegie Hall and The MET. He’s touched many, many lives and has a passion for this business that continues to burn and just this past Sunday, he helmed a thrilling evening, celebrating BroadwayWorld.com‘s 20th Anniversary, at midtown’s historic Sony Hall. On the eve of his birthday, he attended his favorite Tuesday night happening, Susie Mosher’s The LINEUP at Birdland Theatre, and treated the audience to a couple stories, observations on this important birthday and then, with Billy Stritch at the piano, John Miller on Bass and Clint De Canon on drums, performed a moving and heartfelt (THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Richard clearly has a gift and a passion for the stage and for music and we are all the better for it, on the receiving end.
Happy Birthday, Young Man! Here’s to many more.
My View: A Glamorous Celebrity Filled Night With Lorna Dallas at The Laurie Beechman Theatre
It was a celebrity filled audience last night and the glamor of Manhattan Cabaret nightlife was in abundance for Lorna Dallas and her show at the Laurie Beechman Theatre titled “Glamorous Nights and Rainy Days
Ms. Dallas returned to New York City with a wonderful new show. This was Ms. Dallas’ first appearance in this town since she performed at the Bistro awards prior to the lockdown of 2020. The three years respite has done nothing to dim the luster of Ms Dallas’ exceptional instrument. She stayed in fine voice all evening long. But she is more than just an excellent vocalist. She is also a compelling actress. Her show, skillfully crafted by director Barry Kleinbort, and sensitively accompanied by one of this city’s best musical directors, Christopher Denny, was a joy from start to finish. The star studded audience at the Laurie Beechman theater responded heartily to every one of Lorna’s numbers. Evening high points ran the gamut, from standards like “I Have Dreamed,” to “When the Sun Comes Out;” from an hilarious “By Strauss” by the Gershwin’s to a dramatic “Silent Spring” by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. She also premiered a new song written especially for her by Ann Hampton Callaway and Amanda McBroom, “In My Dreams,” which wowed the savvy New York crowd. Hopefully, Lorna Dallas will return to these shores on a more regular basis. Three years is too long a wait for this powerful soprano’s next appearance..
My View: David Yazbek and Norbert Leo Butz at 54 Below
Tony, Grammy, and Emmy award winning composer/writer/musician David Yazbek and his band were on the stage of 54 Below last night playing some of his new songs from an upcoming album. They also played some great music from the Yazbek songbook and from his Broadway musicals.
In addition to being an award winning composer and lyricist David Yazbek is a formidable pianist possessing a fearless technique generating an extraordinary combination of intoxicating melodious dissonance. . A highlight of the evening for me was when he displayed his unique harmonic and rhythmic pianistic concepts on the Great American Songbook Standard “Over The Rainbow”. Norbert Leo Butz also starred in the the 54 evening titled “David Yazbek and The Bludgeoneers” and he brought the house to it’s feet with the “Dirty Rotten Medley”
The Band: Javier Diaz (Percussion), Tony Orbach (Sax), Sam Sadigursky (Clarinet), Dean Sharenow (Drums), Chris Tordini (Bass), Paul Vercesi (Sax)
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