Frank’s Picks: May


Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Deeply Inspired

Saturday, May 4, 2019, 5pm

The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, Purchase, New York

The antidote to the blues and bad news is good music. It opens the heart and lifts the spirit, and what could be better than a string ensemble for the mind and soul? Here comes the incredible Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. This concert is affordable and will let you get home on time for dinner. “Deeply Inspired” features composers from four eras and four cultures for this rare program:

SCHUBERT Sonatina No. 3 in G Minor for Violin and Piano, D. 408, Op. 137, No. 3
BARBER Dover Beach for Voice and String Quartet, Op. 3
ARENSKY Quartet No. 2 in A Minor for Violin, Viola, and Two Cellos, Op. 35
BLOCH Quintet No. 1 for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello

Yunpeng Wang, baritone
Michael Brown, piano
Kristin Lee, violin
Danbi Um, violin
Matthew Lipman, viola
Nicholas Canellakis, cello
David Finckel, cello


An Evening with Bruce Cockburn & Leo Kottke

Thursday, May 9, 2019, 8pm

Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, New York

It would be no overstatement to claim that these two masterful musicians are giants in their genre. Canadian Bruce Cockburn has been one of the most prolific and poignant singer-songwriters, fearlessly socio-political and, yet, musically inspiring. He is an acoustic guitar virtuoso admired by guitarists, a musician’s musician. As a songwriter, he has crafted impressive songs with a wide-ranging thematic including human rights, environmental issues, politics, always with a globalist perspective. His 1994 album Dart to the Heart stands as one of the finest albums of the era, brilliantly showcasing his prowess as singer/songwriter. The all-instrumental collection Speechless (2005) aptly validates his standing as a superb acoustic guitarist. Still in his prime, he has produced over 25 albums over his career spanning over 50 years. Acoustic fingerpicker and slide guitarist Leo Kottke has also had a five-decade-long career. His unique and esoteric polyphonic guitar styling was unveiled in 1969 in the stunning album 6- and 12-String Guitar on John Fahey’s Takoma record label. Throughout his career, he has blended various influences into an amalgam that draws from blues, folk, jazz, Spanish and Classical. He has defined his own voice as “geese farts on a muggy day” and he is not far off with that self-deprecating acknowledgment, but actually he’s a pretty good singer but mostly he’s a fine guitarist. This promises to be a fascinating Thursday evening.


KT Tunstall, with Doe Paoro

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 7pm

Daryl’s House

130 NY-22 Pawling, NY 12564

For one of the hottest shows in May, Westchester music fans will have to take a short trip straight up north 684 to Rt.22 in Pawling to Daryl Hall’s famous club in Pawling, where the old Towne Crier Café used to be. Miraculously, tickets to the exciting Scottish pop-rock sensation on a rare US tour are still available. Rock fans will recall her catchy songs “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See.” The sultry, sassy singer honed her chops busking and by now she is a multi-million selling, Grammy-and-Mercury- nominated artist. She actually attended the Kent School, a private prep academy in Connecticut. Tunstall had been picked by Daryl Hall for his Daryl’s House TV series, available on YouTube, and now she is coming to the club. KT Tunstall appears in the perfect pairing along with the art-pop singer/songwriter Doe Paoro, who is a brilliant new voice. She is originally from Syracuse, New York and now resides in Los Angeles. This unique young singer’s presence is a special treat a soon she will rise to great fame. Her artistic and literary music transcends genres and limitations, at once deeply enriching and cerebral, yet accessible. Both of these powerful young women will light your fuse, both are creatively potent and poetic, and we are privileged to see them in such an intimate venue. This is one you will talk about for months to come.


Oleta Adams

Saturday, May 18, 2019, 8pm

The Emelin Theater, Mamaroneck, New York

Fans of old-fashioned soul and smooth R&B will rejoice as the grand diva Oleta Adams plays Westchester. The singer/pianist is internationally renowned and has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards. She is sometimes labeled as “urban contemporary” but when it comes down to it all just means “soul music.” The New York Times has described the timbre of Adams’ voice as “a hybrid of Roberta Flack, Patti Austin and Brenda Russell with a more pronounced gospel edge.” Adams first demonstrated her budding vocal gifts in the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church where her father served as minister. By the time she was eleven, she was directing and accompanying four choirs, having already established herself as a piano prodigy. Her performances, like all of soul music, is rooted in gospel and heavily drenched in jazz. Her career started when she was discovered playing in a hotel lounge by the English band Tears for Fears. They asked her to join the band and the rest is history. By 1990 the beautiful chanteuse went solo and by now she is widely considered to be one of the most delightful soul/R&B singers of our time. Nothing wrong with today’s new R&B, but there is nothing as good as the old soul.

Also worth seeing, not far away:

Steve Earle & The Dukes at The Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT

Monday, May 13, 2019 at 8pm

Frank Matheis is an award-winning music journalist, author and radio producer with an eclectic musical taste that covers the gamut of music from Americana to Zydeco, from Jazz to World Music. He is a regular contributor to Living Blues magazine and other music publications, and the publisher of His radio documentaries have been heard on three continents in three languages.

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