Sunday, September 26, 2010

Roosevelt Island Fall for Arts Festival Performing Artists

Fall for the Arts Festival Performing Arts
The music and poetry lineup for the Roosevelt Island Fall for Arts Festival, 11am-5pm Saturday, Oct. 2nd is awesome and it's free. Headlining is wildly popular electric pop due Hank and Cupcakes (12:30 pm). With Hank on the bass and Cupcakes on the drums, the duo landed in Brooklyn from Israel two years ago and having been lighting up a storm with their mesmerizing sound. (I'm performing at the festival.)

Poets Rock RIVAA 3 (11am-4pm) features some very cool New York poetry and music - Jane Ormerod, David Lawton, Ocean Vuong, Brant Lyon, Elizabeth Harrington, Erica Miriam Fabri and Mike Marcellino, singer songwriters Chris Fuller, Stacy Rock and Sweet Soubrette and Indie rock band Bellow with Rob Gomez at Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main St.

Sharon Stern – 11:15
Naomi Imbrogno – 11:45
Erica Miriam Fabri - Noon
David Lawton – 12:15
Ann Settel – 12:30
Jane Ormerod – 12:45
Fran Bolinder/Catherine Hogan – 1
Carol Tanjutco -1:15
Elizabeth Harrington – 1:30
Brant Lyon – 1:45
Ocean Vuong – 2
Mike Marcellino – 2:15
Bellow and Rob Gomez (Indie pop band) – 2:30
Stacy Rock and Sweet Soubrette (singer songwriters) – 3pm
Chris Fuller (singer songwriter) – 3:45

Roosevelt Island is an beautiful and historic island in the East River, across from Manhattan. The festival is outdoors and indoors with Imagination Station interactive arts, magic and storytelling for kids all day and food. There's even a performance of “Oedipus Rex” by Faux-Real Theatre Company (2pm) outdoors at Roosevelt Landings Amphitheater, 540 Main Street.

The festival is sponsored by Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.  For further information contact Erica Wilder at 212-832-4540 ext 349 or visit the RIOC website

Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation

Festival performing artists

 Photo by Alan Lugo

Hank and Cupcakes
When Hank & Cupcakes take the stage, their infectious energy dominates the room, generating a fierce groove that immediately has the crowd up and moving. First time fans may find themselves scrutinizing the stage, looking in vain for the guitar player that seems to be filling out the band's sound, but it's just Hank & Cupcakes.

Since arriving in Brooklyn from Israel a little more than a year ago, Hank and Cupcakes have captivated New York with an explosive show noted for its simmering sexuality, irresistible dance pulse, and hard to pigeonhole sound. “If I had to define it, I’d call the music experimental minimalist pop,” Hank says. “We’re trying to make pop music without having a pop sound.” Taking the best from all worlds, Hank & Cupcakes have managed to create a new hybrid of music. Tours de force cross between The Ting Tings and Yeah Yeah Yeah's, rock without guitars, pop without synthesizers.    

Hank and Cupcakes were determined to capture that live vibe when they recorded their new self- titled EP. They enlisted Grammy award winning producer Mark B. Christensen of Engine Room Audio. “We tracked the bass and drums live,” Mark explains, “then added vocals and layers of bass to get a fuller sound.” 

Hank and Cupcakes, kicks off with “Ain’t No Love” a stripped down new wave disco track with an effervescent bass line and simple, driving drum pattern. Hank’s percolating bass and melody lines weave in and out of the mix as Cupcakes lays down a bedrock backbeat that's solid enough to build a skyscraper on while wailing out the tough lyric with a soulfulness suited to an R&B diva.
Cupcakes grew up commuting between Australia and Israel. “I studied classical piano for about six years. When one of my teachers taught me how to accompany myself, I started making up songs.” Cupcakes still composes on piano, but had a musical shift at age 18. “A friend took me to a gathering of African drummers on the beach in Tel Aviv. I was hypnotized and started learning percussion.” Cupcakes took drum classes, but formal training was too restricting. “I got the basics and then took it from there.” Hank was born in Jerusalem. “I grew up doing art. When I heard the Beatles, I listened to them for two years exclusively and picked up the bass. I like the low frequencies" Hank laughs "and never wanted to front a band. I guess it’s just my personality.”

Stacy Rock
As a singer/songwriter, Stacy has toured the country several times playing hundreds of shows in support of her debut album, One Way Home. She has been compared to a baffling variety of artists including Tom Waits, Feist, Jeff Buckley, Regina Spektor, Aimee Mann, Stevie Nicks and even Queen. Gabriel Levitt of Brooklyn’s Jezebel Music wrote that her live performances are “unequivocally enchanting”. She is a two time award winner of the AscapPlus Award for accomplishments as a songwriter and was the resident piano player at NYC's Monkey Bar for 2 years. Also an actress, Stacy received a BFA in Acting from Boston University and moved on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. A few of her acting credits include shows at Barington Stage Company, North Shore Music Theater, The Voice of America Theater with Bill Pulman and Boston Playwrights Theater. She has starred in several films including the indie hit, "Murder Party", released by Magnolia Pictures 

Stacy Rock

Sweet Soubrette

Sweet Soubrette features the vocals and ukulele playing of NYC’s Ellia Bisker, whose original dark love songs are wickedly captivating, with clever wordplay and a sound like Regina Spektor meets the Magnetic Fields. Catchy melodies and a sultry vibe make Sweet Soubrette dangerously seductive. She is backed by a band of classically trained musicians (including a drummer who is a professional circus musician). Together they create melodic, witty songs that are by turns seductive, funny, and tragic.

Jane Ormerod
Jane Ormerod is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Recreational Vehicles on Fire (Three Rooms Press, 2009), the chapbook 11 Films (Modern Metrics, 2008), and the spoken word CD Nashville Invades Manhattan. Born on the south coast of England, she now lives in New York City.

A regular on the New York poetry and spoken word circuit, readings have included The Knitting Factory, The Bowery Poetry Club, (Le) Poisson Rouge, The Cornelia Street Cafe, Galapagos Art Space, and The Stone. She also performs extensively across the United States and beyond - San Francisco to Portland, Boston, Philadelphia, Syracuse, Salt Lake City, Canada, Ireland, Britain, and The Netherlands to name just a few places.
“One of the most imaginative, persistent poetry visionaries… (Jane’s) signature style is beyond belief—moving lightspeed with an astoundingly unique beat and the ability to communicate with complete command of language,” - Daniel Yaryan, producer of the San Francisco poetry series "Sparring With Beatnik Ghosts."

Erica Miriam Fabri 
Erica Miriam Fabri is the author of Dialect of a Skirt, a collection of poetry published by Hanging Loose Press (November 2009).

She is a writer and performer and a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and received her MFA in Poetry from The New School.

Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and magazines including: New York Quarterly, Texas Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Hanging Loose Magazine, Good Foot Magazine, Paper Street and more.

She has performed and facilitated workshops and seminars at: Cooper Union School of the Arts, New York University, Columbia University, Penn State University, The Brooklyn Public Library, Poet’s House, The Fortune Society, The Robin Hood Foundation, and the PEN Prison Writing Program. She has worked on projects as a writer, editor and performance director for The New York Knicks, HBO and Nickelodeon Television.

She is also a spoken word mentor and curriculum writer for Urban Word NYC, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing spoken word, poetry and hip-hop arts to inner-city teens.

She has been awarded a writer’s residency at the Omega Institute and has been a featured and/or visiting poet and performer for numerous art festivals and numerous outreach programs including drug rehabilitation centers, prisons and hospitals. Her first book, Dialect of a Skirt, was included on the list for: The Best Books of 2009 at and made the Small Press Distribution’s Best-Seller list for June 2010.

She currently teaches Performance Poetry at Pace University, Creative Writing at The School of Visual Arts and a variety of Poetry courses at Baruch College and Hunter College of The City University of New York (CUNY).

She reads and performs solo, as well as with the hybrid music and poetry duo “The Robin and the Lady Poet” with muscian, Robin Andre. (click here for The Robin and the Lady Poet Website)

She adores everything that is bright, colorful and sparkling and her true love is her home, New York City.

 Photo by Oz Charles

David Lawton
David Lawton was a finalist for the 2010 Arts & Letters Prize for Poetry. He has a poem in the current Uphook Press anthology hell strung and crooked. And he has been very busy appearing as the epic hero in Rick Mullin's Huncke from Seven Towers Publications. See him feature at the Perch Cafe in Brooklyn on October 12th and the Beat Hour at Bowery Poetry Club on October 17th.

Ocean Vuong
Born in 1988 in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong currently resides in New York City as an undergraduate English Major at Brooklyn College, CUNY. His poems have received an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Beatrice Dubin Rose Award, the Connecticut Poetry Society's Al Savard Award, as well as two Pushcart Prize nominations. His work appear in Word Riot, the Kartika Review, Lantern Review, SOFTBLOW, Asia Literary Review, and PANK among others. He enjoys practicing Zen Meditation and is an avid supporter of animal rights. 

Elizabeth Harrington
Elizabeth Harrington’s poems have appeared in The Hudson Review, Field, and Connecticut Review and other journals, and in an anthology about divorce. She was a winner of the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award. Her chapbook “Earth’s Milk” was first runner-up in the Main Street Rag Chapbook Poetry contest, and another chapbook, “The Quick and the Dead” won first prize and publication in this year’s Grayson Books Poetry Chapbook Competition. She has been featured or read at a number of venues in and around New York, including Cornelia Street Café, The Bowery, KGB Bar, The Knitting Factory, The Hudson Valley Writers Center, The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, and others. She lives in Tarrytown, New York, with one black cat.

Brant Lyon
Brant Lyon is a writer of poetry, prose and music. “A rose without thorns is not worth sniffing,” he believes, so says, “don’t stick your nose where it doesn’t belong,” though he has often done just that while driving a cab in NYC, eating a guinea pig below Machu Picchu, playing piano at Carnegie Hall, listening to hail beat the tin roof of a tea house in the Himalayas, and teaching himself Arabic to open a cyber café with his favorite Bedouin in the shadow of the Great Pyramids of Giza. He produces the ‘poemusic’ reading series, Hydrogen Jukebox in NYC, and co-edits Uphook Press, and also edits for BigcCityLit and Spiny Babbler (Nepal). 

Mike Marcellino 
Mike Marcellino, a Vietnam war correspondent and award winning journalist, continues to write stories and poems about people, places and things. Mike has added a twist, with musicians the stories become a unique blend of music and spoken word. He’s performed in New York City, Cleveland, Tulsa and Baltimore. His new recordings include New York City stories, Alphabet Coffeehouse and Flatbush, Amelia Earhart, soft silver wings, and The Walls of Fire. He surfs and writes about that too (Bondi Beach). His writing appears in Coventry Street Fair Anthology and Stain Glass Confessional II and online at Outsider Writers, Red Fez, Literary Fever and Universe of Poetry. Mike hosts Notebook Writer Blog Talk Radio show on writers and the arts. He is author of the popular Blog, The Point of the Whole Thing. 

Mike Marcellino

Bellow and Rob Gomez

Bellow began with Rob. He had written many songs that he was performing at solo gigs and open mic nights. He grew up in Queens, a fan of classic, moving songwriters like Eric Clapton, Freddy Johnston and others. In late summer 2005, he decided he really wanted a band, so he recorded himself, put up a website and put an ad in Craigslist. Rob works as an art director and designs the artwork for Bellow.

Next came Chris, who grew up in the UK and moved to NYC to begin work with a non-profit organization, working with individuals with developmental disabilities. He played in Lukas, a UK-based band, for 4 years. Chris also played briefly with User-friendly, a New York punk band, but it did not suit his musical preferences. After searching Craigslist, he found exactly what he was looking for. When he first played with Bellow, he instinctively knew it was where he should be, and Rob & Adil welcomed him with open arms and french kisses.

Last came Andrew, from NYU who met Bellow on Craigslist and joined in July 2007. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Andrew wanted to expand on the new musical influences he discovered in NYC and found the perfect opportunity with Bellow. When he’s not rockin’ out with Bellow, he continues to do some freelance work throughout the city.
We hope our songs resonate in you.

Chris Fuller

Chris Fuller's music covers a wide section of the Americana map, touching upon folk, blues, jazz, rock, country and Hawaiian.  His songs blend emotional melodies with literate storytelling, touching the mind, heart, and gut.  Chris performs live regularly in the New York City area in a variety of venues ranging from nightclubs to libraries.  He has been selected as an Artist in Residence by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and in 2007 he released the album Sangamon.  He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter and writes a new song every week. 

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