Kingston’s Music Community Thrives

By Rebecca Martin

The musicians living in the city of Kingston is really astounding. Artists such as  Tony Levin, Gail Ann Dorsey, Larry Grenadier, Peter Wetzler, Vicente Archer, Peggy Stern and many more all call Kingston home.  It's fitting that series such as the one we're posting today are sprouting up here at home.  Follow this LINK to watch their last series performance.

Hope you can make this one. 

LVanHart Presents
Jazz @ WallSpace

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Meet the Artists at 7p ~ Music at 8p
Music for ALL Ages!
323 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401
For Reservations: 845-338-8700
Tickets: $15 (Plus a $10 drink minimum)

LVanHart Presents Jazz @ WallSpace will host its’ second concert on Wednesday, August 18th. After a very successful first performance, we look forward to presentring the talents of Helen Sung (piano), Carolyn Leonhart (vocals) and Rich Syracuse (bass).

Winner of the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition, pianist Helen Sung has been called "one of the brightest emerging stars in jazz today". As an Asian-American artist and composer, she challenges stereotypes with a compelling, unique voice informed by her virtuosity in classical, jazz, & popular music. For this performance she joins forces with vocalist Carolyn Leonhart and a local favorite on bass, Rich Syracuse. Sung has been steadily gaining respect as a fine composer and arranger, in addition to her reputation as a fine pianist. For Jazz @ WallSpace,
she has prepared a program of smart arrangements of jazz standards, duo and trio arrangements of Chick Corea’s “Children’s Songs,” as well as original material from all three performers.

A native of Houston, Texas, Sung attended its High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). She initially aspired to be a classical pianist but was bitten by the jazz bug (specifically by Tommy Flanagan's solo on Charlie Parker's Confirmation) while studying at the University of Texas at Austin. She switched to jazz and was soon after
accepted into the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (@ the New England Conservatory in Boston).

Helen presently lives in New York City, and has gone on to work with such jazz masters as Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson, Buster Williams, Wayne Shorter, Steve Turre, Steve Wilson, T.S.Monk, and Macarthur Fellow Regina Carter. She appears frequently with the Mingus Big Band and is a current member of Clark Terry’s "Big
Badd" Big Band. She was also a featured performer on PBS' In Performance at the White House for the Monk Institute’s 20th Anniversary Celebration.

Sung is also a budding bandleader and has been featured on Marian McPartland’s acclaimed Piano Jazz show, NPR’s JazzSet w/Dee Dee Bridgewater, and XM Radio’s In the Swing Seat w/Wynton Marsalis. Sung's band has headlined at the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, Fontana Chamber Arts Summer Festival, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Jazz Lucca Donna Festival (Italy), Kalisz International Jazz Piano Festival (Poland), Bern Jazz Festival, Tri-C Jazz Festival (Cleveland), Vermont Mozart Festival, the American Jazz Museum’s Blue Room, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and New York City’s finest jazz venues. She was recently invited to perform at the Aspen
Institute’s ‘Aspen Ideas Festival,’ where she also represented the arts community on a panel on Arts and Social Issues.

Carolyn Leonhart has been surrounded by music her entire life. Born into a family of musicians, Carolyn was singing as soon as she could talk. As a young child she traveled with her father, noted bassist Jay Leonhart, to gigs and watched him accompany legends like Sarah Vaughn, Mel Torme, and Peggy Lee. On her own, she listened to recordings of Vaughn, Carmen McRae, and Johnny Hartman as well as Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, and Steely Dan. She attended the University of Rochester, where she earned a degree in Comparative Religion. While at college, she spent much time at the nearby Eastman School of Music, singing with jazz ensembles, big bands, and studio orchestras. While working toward her degree, she also completed two solo CDs for the Japanese record label, Toshiba EMI, one of which included young jazz stars Joshua Redman, Jesse Davis, Christian McBride, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith. And in her senior year of college, Carolyn was the recipient of The Downbeat Magazine  Award for the Best College Jazz Vocalist. After college, Carolyn returned to New York City and shortly thereafter won third place in the Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition.

Carolyn is no stranger to mixing things up musically, from performing with the hip- hop group The Real Live Show, writing songs for dance remixes with the group Liquid Solution, and touring as the lead singer in the electronica/lounge project Wax Poetic. The bar had already been set high for Carolyn, who has worked as lead back-up vocalist with Steely Dan through eight years, three world tours, two albums, and four Grammy’s. Since 2000 she has been performing regularly with her jazz group and started the Sunday Vocalists Series at New York City's Smoke Jazz Club.

Rich Syracuse has been a mainstay on the New York area scene for more than two decades. For several years, he performed in the Nick Brignola Quartet playing clubs, festivals, and recording sessions. Besides his years with Brignola, he has performed with Mose Allison, Brubeck Brothers, Randy Brecker, Warren Bernhardt, Sumi Tonoka,
David Torn, Mike DeMicco, Peter Levin, Sam Morrison, Jimmy Cobb, Bernard Purdy, Adam Nussbaum, Jeff Siegel, Eddie Henderson, Jeff "Tain" Watts and several others. He has toured throughout Europe and Southern Africa. As well as touring, Rich is an in-demand Bassist throughout the northeast region of the USA. For the past 18 years,
Rich has been the Bassist for Pianist Lee Shaw.


Brand New Jazz Series in Kingston

On Monday, July 19th LVanHart Artist Productions and 323 Wall Street will debut a brand new jazz series in Kingston, NY.  The concert series will focus on the brightest talent on the jazz scene today.  Guest artists will be drawn from the wealth of local talent that is in our geographic region, as well as bringing in the best that the New York jazz scene has to offer. 

 Jazz @ WallSpace is fortunate to have Steve Wilson and Vic Juris coming from NYC, joining forces with two ‘locals,’ Jay Anderson from New Paltz, and Dennis Mackrel makes his home in Woodstock.  This quartet exemplifies the mission of Jazz @ WallSpace.   These four fabulous musicians have all played together in different configurations, but never in this quartet.  Wilson and Anderson currently tour together in Maria Schneider’s Orchestra.  Anderson and Mackrel have performed together with Chaka Khan and Maria Schneider, as well as local favorite, Betty MacDonald.  Juris has performed with Wilson, Anderson and Mackrel, with his own groups, with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, among others. 

For more, contact Laura Hartmann at

Neighboring Live Music Venue Falcon Arts in the New York Times

Photo credit: NY Times

Hands down, one of the best live music venues in the Hudson Valley is in Marlboro, NY. The New York Times thinks so, too. Way to go Tony Falco. Can we clone you?

Read all about it HERE, and check out their impressive music schedule. There is never a door charge. You pay what you can. A real community joint.

(Hey! Isn't that Kingston resident and jazz bassist Larry Grenadier up there on stage? Indeed it is....)

Help To Secure The Future Of The Rosendale Theatre

After 60 years, the family owned and operated "The Rosendale Theatre" is looking to sell the space. Last night, I received this information from the remarkable Amy Poux who is working with her collective to help raise the necessary funds to secure the space and keep it in operation as we all know and love it. An informative meeting will take place on Thursday, December 10th at 7:00pm at the Rosendale Recreation Center. The Rosendale Theatre Collective will explain what they are doing and talk about their plans for the future. All questions, ideas and expertise welcome.

She writes:

"The Rosendale Theatre is one of the few family-owned, single screen movie theatres still operating in the United States. In Particular, this theatre has a rich history of supporting independent filmmakers, artists and civil and human rights organizations worldwide. In addition to providing high quality art films, the theatre has been a community space used by organizations to fundraise, meet, inform, inspire and educate.

The sole responsibility for this gift to the community has rested on the Cacchio family for 60 years. They have now decided to sell the theatre.

A recently formed community group, currently called the Rosendale Theatre Collective, is negotiating with the Cacchio family to purchase the theatre. The Cacchio's asked to receive a binder in the amount of $20,000 by December 1st. They have now generously extended us another two weeks. So far, we've raised $10,000. Please consider making a donation and help us reach this goal! No amount is too small - or too large. Currently, the Rosendale Theatre Collective is fundraising under the fiscal umbrella of The Children's Media Project and donate through their site, indicating Rosendale Theatre Collective in your donation instructions. Or, make out a check to Children's Media Project. Please be sure to write "Rosendale Theatre Collective" in the memo space on your check.

Checks to:   Rosendale Theatre Collective    PO Box 250   Rosendale, NY.  12472

Thank you for joining us in this exciting and important project!  Please share this with anyone who loves the Rosendale Theatre!"

Current Board Members of the Rosendale Theatre Collective: F-Stop Fitzgerald, Ron Parenti, Nicole Quinn, Gale McGovern, Betty Greenwald, Fre Atlast, Ellen Sribnick, Beverly Keith, Amy Trompetter, Jan Melchior, Yuvai Scorer, Lisa Sterer, Abba Johnes, Dan Guenther, Dana Rudkoff, Livia Vanaver, Linda Park, Jane Hollinger, Marty Moltoris, Anissa Kapsales, Bill Brooks, Sophia Raab Downs, Laura Shaine, Bob Godwin, Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, Ali Gruber, Louis Torchio, Annette and Max Finestone, Carol Garfunkel, Jane Hollinger, Eve Waltermaurer, Jennifer Metzger, Ann Citron.