Tag Archives: Music

Day 1: Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Fernanda Paronetto

We had two priceless days with Siemens USA. We visited some of New York City’s major attractions to understand how Siemens actually helped build the city! So, tag along with me to see what “Siemens NYC’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour” was all about!

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour

It’s even hard to start writing about the amazing 2-day experience I had with Siemens a few weeks ago.

A couple of weeks back I was invited to participate in a priceless experience they had put together called “New York City’s Hidden Technology – A Behind the Scenes Tour”. I was immediately exited and curious, especially considering the name they chose for the project, ha!

We have millions of people visiting New York City during the year, over 60million to be more exact. Actually, in 2017 the number surpassed 62 million curious travelers and it keeps growing.

Most of you know about my indescribable passion for New York that I’ve clearly spoken about thousands of times before. And, the more I live here, the more I see the infinite stories and historical facts that together have built this tireless and sleepless city.

What people – not only travelers but also locals – don’t actually stop to think about, is “what is the real power that makes this perfect engine function throughout the city?” And, in obvious ways, enhances our experiences through the world-famous landmarks and historical attractions that symbolizes the Big Apple.

Siemen’s technology is literally scattered everywhere you can possibly think about. From the Statue of Liberty, the subway system, the Amtrak and the respected World Trade Center Memorial Fountains, to the ceilings at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the acoustics of Carnegie Hall and even, hidden within the top breweries that make your days eternally memorable experiences.

After all, in a digital area like the one we are living, people are craving these unforgettable moments to share with friends and family. Aren’t you?

So, let me start telling you what where we went and what I saw!


11am – Kickoff Brunch at The Trading Post

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour The Trading Post

We meet the entire group at a great spot I have never been to: The Trading Post.

It was great to meet the group, we all introduced ourselves, learned a bit more about Siemens and had a glimpse of what was about to happen during the day!

The itinerary sounded extremely exciting and up my alley, since I’m all about explore the “behind the scenes” spots and facts about New York!

Oh, and the food was fantastic!

I had the Aspargus Risotto with fava beans, English peas, goat cheese and soft poached hen’s egg, a refreshing salad and a trio of ice creams!

A great way to start the day!


12:30pm – World Trade Center Memorial Fountains

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour World Trade Memorial Fountains

Ok, so this place is quite special. We all know about the 9/11 event, how it impacted not only the lives of so many families out there that lost their loved ones, but also of an entire Nation.

It took years of very hard physical and emotional work to reconstruct that part of the city. And, World Trade Center Memorial Fountains, came out to be a beautiful homage to the lives that were lost.

Obviously the hardest part of it all, was not the physical exhaustion. It was being able to think and put together a project so beautifully and carefully thought for, that was able to truly and respectfully honor ever single life that was lost that day – from people in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the Stonycreek Township in Pennsylvania, to all passengers in the planes, the brave firefighters that fought through the smoke and law enforcement officers.

The project was led by Delta Fountains, experts in designing and manufacturing the most renowned fountains in the world. All the motorized pumps and totally integrated automation technology is by Siemens.

Joe Petry, President of Delta Fountains, talked to us about this monumental project.

Did you know that The World Trade Center Memorial Fountains are, today, the largest man-made waterfalls and reflecting pool in the entire world?

The fountains sit exactly where the towers were originally located and had phenomenal planning for it to be as perfect and precise as it is – mechanically and visually.

Here is the list of the most relevant and even curious facts that you should know about it:

  • Idea of the project was to reflect the absence of the lost souls
  • Fountains run 24h / day at a constant flow what is automated to monitor itself in an energy efficient way regardless of the weather
  • The recirculation systems are able to pump as much as 18,000 gallons of water at peak performance, every minute of every season
  • It’s intelligent enough to know the environmental conditions and understand if, for example, it needs to adjust the water in the system, not to over flow the pumps, in case it’s raining
  • The fall is 29-feet tall and had to be precisely planned to allow water to flow constantly, despite the weather conditions
  • The total drop – including the waterfall and the void in the center – add to 49-feet
  • The void is 40ft x 40ft
  • But, the water pool you can see, is only 1,5-foot deep
  • You can touch the sterilized water beneath the engraved names around the fountains
  • The stainless steel weir structure, designed by Delta Fountains was the most challenging. Through numerous testing, they found out that the weir structure needed to be exactly at 1/16th inch from each other, with an even water flow, over the entire 1,400 linear feet structure, to have the desired results
  • Water rises up peacefully, looks very still and fall perfectly into the fountain because of gaps in the stones
  • Sandy flowed in from the Hudson River, around the fountains, into the structure, causing over U$100 million in damages and flooding all the 9/11 artifacts in the Museum

Siemens cutting-edge automation technologies:

  • It offered high tech engineering, automation control and pump flow precision
  • 16 motorized pumps – controlled through Siemens VFD’s (Variable Frequency Drives) – regulates water passing through weirs. Their biggest challenge during the project was to figure out how to keep 600,000 gallons of water in each pool constantly flowing and crystal clear
  • The solution was the comprehensive Siemens SIMATIC S7-300 programmable controller solution, a first generation technology, that dramatically reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions
  • It’s controlled daily and remotely from Jacksonville, Florida, through the WinCC Flexible, an engineering software
  • The weather station, with PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controllers) monitors the wind temperature, velocity and pressure to control and even shut down the system, in case of extreme necessity
  • Its fully integrated diagnostic system monitored with HMI (Human Machine Interface), with touch-screens make advanced graphics to detail and oversee all details with precision and operating cost-savings
  • The sensors on it and the ability to have preventative maintenance make it electronically sustainable
  • Siemens has the greatest equipment in the market to integrate with the computer system, with 3-year warranty, sustainable practices and was a company clearly not focused only on making money, hence the success!

3:30pm – Carnegie Hall

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Fernanda Paronetto

The Carnegie Hall is one of the world’s most famous concert venue and in the words of many experts “It’s the #1.” It was founded back in April of 1891 – built by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and designed by the architect William Burnet Tuthill.

How did the idea to build the Hall come to life? Andrew Carnegie’s wife, Louise Whitfield, sang at the Oratorio Society and during their honeymoon, she asked Mr. Carnegie to build her a music hall as a wedding gift. And voilá! In no time, it was up and running beautifully!

Here, we were hosted by Richard Malenka, the Chief Administrative Officer and an “unofficial historian.” He is known for having super valuable and curious stories of Carnegie Hall and a priceless knowledge too.

Oh! One of the highlights was actually being able to go on stage at the Isaac Stern Auditorium, also known as the Main Hall. It’s considered the most prestigious concert stage in the US. Why? Because of the mix of acoustical quality/warmth and visual experience. The totality of the experience makes it one of the best.

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Guests on Stage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Stage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall History
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Performers
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Weill Music Room
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Weill Music Room Guests
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Vintage
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Rooftop
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Rooftop Guests
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Beatles 1st Show
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Carnegie Hall Archive Room
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Now, here are the top curiosities about the place that called my attention:

  • The fluke!!! Andrew Carnegie hired the architect William B. Tuthill to travel world and build a totally different music hall, from what he’d seen. It ended up being more an Opera house than concert hall. The Fluke: Tuthill never actually built a concert hall!
  • Carnegie Hall boasts its fantastic 165,000 square feet, 3 auditoriums and over 3,600 seats
  • They host up to 700 concerts and 700,000 visitors a year. WOW, right!?
  • Names like Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, The Beatles, Igor Stravinsky, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas, Caetano Veloso, Luciano Pavarotti and others have been on stage
  • The building was fully redesigned thinking about technology mixed with sustainability
  • The unique acoustics is a driving force and it’s important to maintain it and to keep the high levels and quality

Siemens was part of the project to modernize the building and is their technological partner, responsible for implementing fire safety, electronic security and building automation. The project not only modernized this historical landmark, but also make it more energy efficient.

Plus, Richard said something super important: “Tech is serving the institution well when it is invisible.” And this is exactly what Siemens has done!

Because of this brilliant partnership, Carnegie Hall has been awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification, 1 point from Gold.

Siemens cutting-edge automation technologies at work here:

  • They’ve installed sensors outside to have a more responsive and immediate response and had to learn how to problem solve the reality of working on a landmark structure and implement a contemporary technology
  • The security system (Siemens SiPass access control), ensures the highest security for guests, staff and talent inside the building
  • The Fire and Life Safety System’s precision and velocity guarantee the emergency control system to immediately activate the fire door closure, elevator management and air handlers
  • The Centralized Control manages the ventilation, air conditioning and heating in one platform, permitting even being remotely controlled, if desired. The system keeps track and analyzes any necessary electrical repair and maintenance
  • The challenges revolved around working on a landmarked building, that restricts countless interventions
  • Now, the 125+ year old landmark is utilizing the next-gen tech found in brand new buildings throughout NYC!

Siemens was able to bring Carnegie Hall into the 21st Century!

Read more.


7pm – Bateaux New York Dining Cruise

Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Manhattan
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Statue of Liberty
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Menu
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Guests
Curiosities City Secrets Siemens BTSNYC Tour Bateaux NY Dining Cruise Tables
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To end this fantastic day, with some of the most amazing experiences and priceless knowledge, we headed to Chelsea Piers for a boat-dinner!

The Bateaux New York Dining Cruise was a great experience and way to end the day. But, the interesting information about it, is that the route passes very close to Lady Liberty! To be very honest, I always thought it was a bit too touristy, and it still is, but it’s worth experiencing it once in your life!

And, this is where Siemens comes into play again! They told us that back in 2012, Siemens technology was chosen as the perfect solution to be part of the Life Safety Upgrade Program, led by the U.S. National Park Service, for the Statue of Liberty.

The purpose was to upgrade not only the Statue of Liberty’s emergency rescue elevator, but also the engineering framework called Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) Portal software. In addition, they also used Siemens safety PLC’s – safety modules and comfort panels to ensure redundancy or operations!

As said above, the best type of tech, is the invisible one. And, once again, Siemens showed us how they are part of New York City’s engine!

Here is more on the TIA Portal, in case you’re still curious: 

The TIA Portal allows automation processes to be designed optimally and efficiently from a single computer screen. This ground-breaking innovation shortens the engineering cycle, saves commissioning time, and reduces maintenance costs and TCO (total cost of ownership).

The Life Safety project included the need to upgrade both the safety and function of the 30-year old obsolete rescue elevator which had reached the end of its useful life. The new rescue elevator is a special purpose personnel machine that uses innovative technology to enhance safety and reliability making the system more user friendly. The TIA portal brings efficiency and reliability to the project by allowing and integrated work platform to manage the world class Siemens Safety PLC and Comfort Panel hardware, which make up the heart of the safety rated elevator controller.

The elevator is designed and intended for emergency personnel, not public use, giving EMTs, firefighters, and other service personnel access to the Statue when someone in distress needs to be reached and retrieved. The system includes the Siemens Fail Safe Safety CPU, various digital inputs and outputs, and the Siemens’ HMI comfort panel, all of which were designed and commissioned using TIA Portal. The project also uses PROFIBUS communication protocols and PROFINET industrial Ethernet.

Read more.


As I mentioned, this was a 2-day experience, so take a look what Day 2 looked like!

We started at the Arthur Ashe Stadium where the US Open is currently happening. Then, we headed for tasting and lunch at the Other Half Brewery in Brooklyn. Finally, we finished our day at LO3, a young NY company working on the Brooklyn Microgrid project with a blockchain enabled transactive energy platform!


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Hashtag: #SiemensInnovates

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Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

Pianos: From Punk & Alternative Rock to New Wave and DJs

Nightlife Bars Pianos Manhattan Façade

A friend of mine told me about Pianos and how diverse are the bands playing there. Punk Rock, Alternative Rock, New Wave… but also a Dj playing Pop/Dance musics! You’ll love it!

Nightlife Bars Pianos Manhattan Façade

Pianos is the perfect combination of bar food and live music in the trendy Lower East Side nabe.

Pianos is a Bar/Club that features live music, Djs and also offers a variety of cocktails and tasty standard bar food. It’s spread in 2 floors, with a back room on the main floor and an upstairs lounge. From the outside you don’t realize how awesome the place is.

As soon as you step inside you feel like you’re in a basement, because of the brick walls and wooden ceiling beams. Come on, that’s pretty cool. It’s so NYC! And, you’ll find a pretty trendy, modern crowd there.

Now, let talk about the name. Is it a piano bar? Does it actually have a piano? The answer is: nope. Pianos used to be a store that sold pianos, and the new owners decided to keep the name and the old sign: New & Used, Bought & Sold. No doubts it keeps the place more mysterious and interesting.

A friend of mine told me about the venue and how diverse the bands that play there were. Punk Rock, Alternative Rock, New Wave… but also a Dj playing Pop/Dance musics.

Well, I love New Wave! So, I checked out their website and chose the date that suited me best. I chose a day that a Punk Rock/New Wave band would be performing and invited a group of friends. We were all excited for the upcoming adventure!

The day to visit Pianos finally arrived. Hooray!

Nightlife Bars Pianos Manhattan Side Saddle

We arrived at Pianos in time to have some food. The staff was great. The bar menu was nice, with options of salads, burgers, fries… and we ordered different appetizers so we would share everything among ourselves. We were able to taste several dishes and everything was delicious.

What can I say about those mozzarella sticks? They were damn good! I don’t drink alcohol, but my friends ordered some beautiful cocktails. According to them, they were really good too. We had a great time eating and chatting, but we were ready for more. We bought tickets for the main room, in the back of the bar.

There was a stage in the room, and I was thrilled! The room was not too big and not too small. It had enough space to bring everybody together to enjoy the good vibes. We danced and laughed for hours. The band was amazing! It was like a journey into the 70’, 80’ and 90’s.

For a couple of hours I felt like I was an old school New Yorker. The one I grew up watching in movies. Ahhh, music is ageless, isn’t it?

Time to check out the second floor. The upstairs lounge was free!

Nightlife Bars Pianos Manhattan High Waisted

The DJ was spinning eclectic dance music. We hit the dance floor one more time. If I could describe the experience in one word, I would repeat it 3 times: Fun, fun, fun! What a night!

If you are not into Punk Rock like I am, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect rhythm for you. You can always check their website and see the calendar of upcoming shows and DJs. Tickets are affordable and the bands are truly talented. Most of them of national expression.

I just caught myself humming a song by Billy Idol I had the pleasure to listen to that night:

“…Dancing with myself, oh oh dancing with myself…”.

So why don’t you go there and dance with yourself as well, and with a group of friends? Make sure to arrive early, otherwise you might have to wait outside, in a long line.

Don’t forget your ID and go hit the dance floor. Don’t forget to share your photos with us, we’d love to see them!

If you enjoy these types of spots, you’ll also love Rockwood Music Hall that is just a few blocks from Pianos, as well as Brooklyn Steel for bigger shows and last, Sofar Sounds, if you’re into private music gigs in secret spots around town!

Hours: Open daily 2pm – 4am

Location: 158 Ludlow Street

https://www.pianosnyc.com


Text by our ContributorRafaela Azevedo
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pianos NYC

Sofar Sounds NYC #5, This Time In Bushwick

Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Ze Luis Oliveira

This is already the 5th Sofar Sounds NYC we’ve co-hosted and curated in New York City! For this night, we put together a pretty eclectic list of musicians!!! Take a look below to see how the night went!

Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Stage
Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Moto Spirit Whiskey
Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Guests
Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Moto Spirit
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I can’t believe we’ve already co-hosted and curated 5 amazing Sofar Sounds event in New York! I truly love they guys and everything they do!

This one was at a super cool spot in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn that I adore exploring!

Wait! You’ve never heard of Sofar Sounds?

Well, they are “bringing the magic back to live music. Amazing artists in intimate spaces, performing stripped-back sets to carefully curated audiences. Please, arrive on time, stay to the end. Sit down, settle in and just listen. You’re gonna love it.”

In New York City alone, they host over 100 events per month and they are present in over 300 cities worldwide!

It’s a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) type of event, so you can bring your own Booze! So feel free to bring Wine, Beer, or whatever makes you happy!

You can read more about how they started!

Oh! And we have a special Promo-Code that allows you to skip the line and guarantees you instant access when purchasing tickets! The code is: BTSNYC-8493B. (Code might change every now and then, so reach out if it doesn’t work!) You can use it at any Sofar show you’d like to go, not only the ones we host!

Now, let us tell you about the last show we did! We had 3 fantastic bands performing and an amazing, off the beaten path spot! See below:


Zé Luis Oliveira

Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Ze Luis Oliveira

Zé Luis Oliveira is a renowned Brazilian composer, saxophonist, flutist, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. His career is fantastic for he’s performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in the Brazilian music scene known worldwide like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Cazuza, Bebel Gilberto and Tania Maria.

He moved to NYC in 1990 and never moved back to Rio de Janeiro, his hometown. Furthermore, Zé received his Masters in Composition and Arranging from the super famous Juilliard School, in NYC.

In 2015, he launched The Atelier Music Studio, in Long Island City, a highly effective multipurpose workspace.

And still, he holds 4 Grammy nominations: 3 for Best Contemporary World Music Album and 1 for Best Latin Pop Album.

We wrote a great post about his musical journey!

http://www.zeluis.com


Natalie Hart

Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Natalie Hart

Natalie Hart is another friend of mine – yes, I have awesome friends, lol – that I’ve had the honor to have perform at a Sofar Sounds curated by us! Her energy and her style, just drove the crowd wide and crazy in love with her!

Natalie was born in Dallas Texas and her contact with music started even before being born.

She told us that: “My musical influences stem back to my love for the dramatique and the singular, unmistakable voices of the classic female vocalists of the 1940s.”

And still, that her inspirations come from big names like Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan.

She is days from debuting an album called “Curtains”, that was literally 5-yeas in the making, we’re pretty excited for that!

In addition, if you want to go to her launch party, be sure to guarantee your ticket(s), before it gets sold out!

https://nataliehart.bandzoogle.com


Frank Bell

Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Frank Bell

Last, but certainly not least, Frank Bell really got the crowd going with his folky, neo-soul acoustic rock!

He’s a Sofar Sounds veteran, a singer, a songwriter and, according to him, a foodie and a picture taker!

Originally a classically-trained cellist, Frank later expanded his instrumental arsenal as a way to further express himself as an artist.

He’s been featured everywhere from MTV and the Sundance Film Festival, to Times Square NYE Concert. In addition, he’s an official Music Brand Ambassador for Skype which since has led to his participation on a panel at TED 2014!

Take a look at his website, or follow him on social media, to know where he’ll be performing next!

https://www.frankbell.net


Venue: Moto Spirits Distillery

Our Experts Recaps Sofar Sounds Bushwick Cheers

Moto Spirits Distillery not only was an amazing place to host our Sofar Sounds curated night, but they really engaged with the guests!

They briefly talked about their whiskey and actually gave a small sample for everyone that night, with a great group toast!

“Small batch, rice-based whiskeys and specialty spirits discovered during motorcycle trips around the world. Handcrafted in America’s first rice whiskey distillery, adventurous spirits inspired by travel and made in Brooklyn, New York.”

Take a look at their website below to see where you can find and purchase their whiskeys!

Location: 93 Forrest Street, Brooklyn

http://motospirits.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Michelson for Sofar Sounds NYC

Zé Luis Oliveira: A Grammy Nominated Multi-Talented Musician

Culture Music Ze Luis Oliveira Saxaphone Thumbnail

Zé Luis Oliveira is a Grammy nominated multi-talented musician that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and becoming friends with! His journey is amazing and we’re now working on some pretty awesome projects together!

Culture Music Ze Luis Oliveira Saxaphone

A while back, I was invited by Zé Luis Oliveira to visit the Atelier Music Studio in LIC (Long Island City) – his music studio!

What!?!? You’ve never heard of Zé Luis? Well, you should! Let us help you out!

Zé is a renowned Brazilian composer, saxophonist, flutist, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. His career is fantastic for he’s performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in the Brazilian music scene known worldwide like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Cazuza, Bebel Gilberto and Tania Maria.

I recently told him that I participated in a super cool tour with Siemens, showing how they helped build our NYC and that I had gone on stage at the Carnegie Hall (empty, of course), he said, “Super cool, Fê! I’ve actually played there around 5 times!” Hahaha! How cool is that!?

He moved to NYC in 1990 and never moved back to Rio de Janeiro, his hometown. Furthermore, Zé received his Masters in Composition and Arranging from the super famous Juilliard School, in NYC.

Then, in 2013, Zé Luis started producing and recording an amazing project called Trade Winds. It’s a series of music collaborations with NYC bassist and composer Matt Geraghty, that travel along the historic triangle trade route, exploring the history and evolution of music through improvised compositions. In addition, Trade Winds builds collectives of premier musicians in coastal cities looking to reveal a common footprint of music, rhythm and culture.

In 2015, he launched The Atelier Music Studio, in Long Island City, a highly effective multipurpose workspace.

Culture Music Ze Luis Oliveira Band

Plus, Zé wrote and produced music featured in the Cannes Film Festival, TriBeCa Film Festival and in films like Rio, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner, Monster-in-Law with Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda and A Raisin in the Sun with Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad and Sanaa Lathan.

And still, he holds 4 Grammy nominations: 3 for Best Contemporary World Music Album and 1 for Best Latin Pop Album.

Phiuf!!! What a journey right? But, believe it or not, that’s not even 10% of what he’s actually done! You can take a look at his website below to know more!

In addition, he’s partnered up with us at Behind the Scenes NYC, so stay tuned to see how we’ll be shaking the streets of NY with him! Oh! He is also the creative mind behind the music featured on our YouTube intro video!!!! It was an honor, since he produced it exclusively for us!!!

And, if you haven’t SUBSCRIBED to our channel yet, what are ou waiting for!? So, come explore New York off the beaten path with me!

Plus, take a look to see a few pictures of secret music gig curated by us, called Sofar Sounds, where Zé Luis performed! By the end of his shows, guests were going crazy and clapping loudly!!!

Culture Music Ze Luis Oliveira The Atelier Music Studio

Studio’s Location: 27-28 Thomson Av. Suite WS2

Follow him on:

Facebook: /TheAtelierMusicStudio
Instagram: @ZeLuisMusic
Search his Hashtag: #TheAtelierMusicStudio

www.zeluis.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rebecca Michelson for Sofar Sounds NYC and The Atelier Music Studio

Fê is our Founder & CEO! She’s Brazilian (Yup! Not a New Yorker!), but her indescribable passion and curiosity for NY makes her a New Yorker by heart. Fê worked in companies like Kimberly Clark, Quintessentially, Vogue Brazil and Iguatemi Group, and after 12 years of working for these fantastic companies, she decided to go solo and move to NYC!
She lives in Brooklyn since April of ’15 and has been tirelessly working on BTSNYC, working with huge companies on corporate projects, practicing her Arhatic Yoga meditations, finding time for gym and friends! Phiuf!

Must-See Jazz Spots in Harlem

Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Fernanda Paronetto Ze Luis Oliveira

We visited and shot a pretty cool YouTube video at a few of the must-see Jazz spots in Harlem with a super special guest: Zé Luis Oliveira. Come explore these fantastic spots with us!

Harlem is a neighborhood that is constantly growing and new businesses are opening all the time. Real Estate is also booming and prices are going up!

But, it’s also known for being the best neighborhood if you’re into true Jazz. Why? Because some of the most traditional jazz spots, where world-famous musicians have performed, are hidden throughout the streets.

I decided to invite an extremely special guest to host this YouTube video with me! Zé Luis Oliveira that is not only an amazing musician, but is also a composer, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. Zé carries a few Grammy nominations too and knows absolutely everything about the Jazz scene. So, it was impossible to not invite him!

We had a musical chat with him at 3 different-style must-see Jazz spots in Harlem: Minton’s Playhouse, Shrine Harlem and Paris Blues. 


Minton’s Playhouse

Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Mintons Playhouse Band
Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Mintons Playhouse Stage Tables
Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Mintons Playhouse Tables
Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Mintons Playhouse The Cecil Steakhouse Façade
Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Mintons Playhouse The Cecil Steakhouse Seating
Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Mintons Playhouse The Cecil Steakhouse
Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Mintons Playhouse The Cecil Steakhouse Dish
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So, Henry Minton founded Minton’s Playhouse in 1938, but did you know that he was a tenor saxophonist, just like our guest, Zé Luis? Yup! Plus, all the big names like Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald have played there.

In the 1940’s when the bebop jazz style was created, musicians gathered for musical sessions at Minton’s to play and record. On the video above, Zé told us a bit about the bebop, so check it out!

As they say: “The energy and spirit of the Playhouse are a unique and a perfect way to continue your already festive evening. Minton’s Playhouse is home to only the exceptional musicians who will sweep you away with outstanding performances. The highest quality music with the highest quality service and drinks in a fun, one of a kind establishment.”

Oh! Minton’s is not only a great place for Jazz nights, but they also have a restaurant called The Cecil Steakhouse.

So, go there for dinner, before the show!

Hours: Daily from 6pm – 12am

Location: 206 West 118th Street

http://mintonsharlem.com


Shrine

Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Shrine

The Shrine, is a bit different from the other spots we visited, since it a modern/contemporary world music and Jazz venue. It opened only in 2007 as a multimedia arts and culture venue.

“We are dedicated to art and culture in all mediums: film, theater, dance, and live music. Shrine World Music Venue’s mission is to establish a positive creative atmosphere for both artists and audiences from all backgrounds.”

They host mostly great emerging artists and musicians, that are not only focused in Jazz, but also rhythms and styles, like funk! But, they also have some amazing established artists every now and them!

They are considered one of the top 10 jazz spots to visit in NYC, so be sure to go and check it out!

Hours:
Sunday – Friday: 4pm – 4am
Saturday: 3pm – 4am

Location: 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd

https://www.shrinenyc.com


Paris Blues

Nightlife Bars Jazz Spots Harlem Paris Blues Samuel Hargress

We finished off in grand style! We were hosted at Paris Blues by the super well-known owner, Sam! It was truly an honor to meet and have a great musical talk with him!

Paris Blues, in the heart of Harlem and founded by Samuel Hargress Jr, or Sam like I mentioned, back in 1968. They have Jazz 7 nights a week, no cover, free food and great drinks, right?

People go there to listen not only to the super traditional 20’s Jazz, but also to some rhythms of the 90’s funk!

They have a full bar, so you’ll be sure to enjoy every single moment and every single music, with your favorite drink beside you! Have fun!

Hours: Daily from 12pm – 3am

Location: 2021 7th Avenue

https://parisbluesharlem.webs.com


If you enjoyed this post and the video we did, but still haven’t subscribed to our channel, be sure to do so! We post a new video on Mondays, at 10am!

Take a look at one of my favorite restaurants in New York, this one obviously located in Harlem! It’s truly a hidden gem and worth the trip!!!


VideographyRenata Meirelles 
Photo Credits: Renata Meirelles and courtesy of  the venues
BeautyLeila Soldeira
Styling:
 Érika Mesentier and Camilla Adão

New York City For Girls That Like Girls

Nightlife Bars New York City For Girls That Like Girls Illustration Freepik

New York is definitely the best city for everyone, regardless of your race, color, sex, religious creed, origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, age, etc! Take a look at what a New York City for girls that like girls looks like!

Nightlife Bars New York City For Girls That Like Girls Couple Freepik

New York is one the best cities in the world to go out, right?

So, we decided to ask the help of our lovely friends Ashley Custer and Kristin Heckler, founder of Uprooted Flower Truck to give us a hand! Oh, we’ve written about them a while back, besides shooting a fantastic YouTube video.

They put together the best list of places in New York for girls that like girls, so check the out below!


#1 Ginger’s Bar

“Ginger’s Bar in Park Slope is the only lesbian bar in Brooklyn. They have Happy Hour every day and such a local, friendly feel. There is also Henrietta Hudson and Cubbyhole in Manhattan.”

Location: 363 5th Avenue

https://www.facebook.com/Gingersbar

#2 Dixon Place

“Dixon Place is a theater space that offers Queer Culture Celebration each July. It’s the longest running, annual LGBTQ festival in the world!”

Location: 161A Chrystie Street

http://dixonplace.org

#3 Misster

“Misster, at The Woods is a Lesbian LGBT dance party every Wednesday.”

Location: 48 South 4th Street

www.thewoodsbk.com

#4 PAT at Union Pool

“This is a monthly queer event in Brooklyn with a very open, fun environment! There are multiple DJs and it’s set in a former pool supply store.”

Location: 484 Union Avenue

www.union-pool.com

#5 Drom

“Hot Rabbit at Drom is a girl party every other Friday.”

Location: 85 Avenue A

www.dromnyc.com

#6 House of Yes

“This venue is recommended by some of our favorite freelancers! We’ve made custom crowns for their epic parties and plan to go for Ashley’s upcoming 30th birthday. We’ve heard SUCH great things about this queer friendly space.” Read more about House of Yes.

Location: 2 Wyckoff Avenue

https://houseofyes.org

Nightlife Bars House of Yes Party Night

#7 Marie’s Crisis

“It’s not exactly a queer space but the percentage is often high! Kristin loves coming here to sing along to her favorite Broadway tunes with live piano players.” Read more about Marie’s Crisis.

Location: 59 Grove Street

https://twitter.com/mariescrisis

#8 La Mama

“One of the classic East Village experimental theaters that’s been around for over 50 years. They often have queer content but their Squirts annual program features all queer performances.”

Location: 66 E 4th Street

http://lamama.org

#9 Bad Habit at Lot 45

“Bad Habit at Lot 45 Bushwick is on Saturdays, once a month. It’s an LGBT Dance Party!”

Location: 411 Troutman Street

www.lot45bushwick.com

#10 NYC Dyke Bar Takeover

“Dyke Bar Takeover hosts countless events all over the city at different days and times. As they explain – a group of artists and activists dedicated to creating and supporting Queer space for self-identified womyn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Womyn-born_womyn, transgender and non-binary people of all races.”

Facebook

#11 GO Magazine

“GO Magazine is based in NYC and writes about all things lesbian. We love their lez (a.k.a. lesbian) perspective when it comes to everything from health to motherhood to culture. I’m proud to have them represent our community!”

http://gomag.com

#12 Dancing with Her

“Not an NYC business but a new major crush for Uprooted. The magazine focuses on modern lesbian weddings exclusively and we love their Instagram! We are getting married in October and love seeing this representation in the wedding market. Plus, it’s run by a lesbian couple as well.”

https://dancingwithher.com


Thank you Ashley and Kristin for the great tips and we wish you, in advance, all the love in your upcoming marriage!

We will soon post about Boys That Like Boys, so stay tuned!!!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of House of Yes, Heart image created by Freepik, Background vector created by Vectorpocket – Freepik.com

Alexia Bomtempo: Chasing Storms and Stars

Curiosities Insider Interviews Alexia Bomtempo Flying Hair

Brazilian-American singer and songwriter Alexia Bomtempo recently released her 3rd album and has been part of New York’s music scene. Come read about her arrival in NYC, the challenges, the new album, some of her top NYC secret spots and more!

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The Brazilian singer and song writer, Alexia Bomtempo, just released her 3rd album and has been part of the best of New York’s music scene.

The new album, calling “Chasing Storms and Stars”, reflects a self-exploration of her identity and experiments with her surroundings over the past years.

After growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she now calls New York City her “home”. Lucky us!

Moreover, she performs in some of the best venues around the city, so be sure to check out her website to see where you can find her and have a taste of her fantastic music.

The upcoming show will be this Thursday – November 9th, at 8pm, at Symphony Space, one of the best sounding rooms in Manhattan.

www.alexiabomtempo.com


1) Tell us a bit about how you started your career, when/where was your first contact with music and when this gift came to life?

I had quite the distinctive childhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My dad used to be a concert promoter and I grew up going to shows and experiencing that magical atmosphere behind the scenes.

So, while my friends were busy doing the normal things that kids do, I was going out to see legends like Baden Powell and Gilberto Gil.

Being exposed to music on this level as a child was very powerful and I knew then that I wanted to follow an artistic path. Later on, after studying classical voice in the U.S., I decided to move back to Rio and pursue a career in music.

I was very lucky to work with Brazilian music icon Dadi, who produced my first album (and became a great friend).

2) Why did you decide to leave Rio de Janeiro in 2013 and move to NYC?

After releasing my sophomore album “I Just Happen to Be Here”, a collection of English songs written by Caetano Veloso during his 1969-71 exile in London, I was invited to perform at “Brasil Summerfest” in NYC.

I was looking for a change of scenery and the borderless approach to music that New York has to offer really motivated me.

So, I moved here with a one-way ticket and one big suitcase – within a few weeks, I knew that the city would be my home.

3) Upon arrival, which were the biggest challenges you faced? Did something happen differently than what you had expected?

I arrived excited about exploring and open to new possibilities. Furthermore, I was looking forward to experimenting with my music and was fortunate to quickly fall into the East Village Nublu scene, which offered me the chance be exposed to many different genres and that significantly affected the way that I view and make my own music today.

Maybe, the biggest challenge was understanding that, if you’re going to be here as an artist, you have to commit to the pace of the city. Everyday life can be challenging and finding a routine that works for you is key.

4) How would you describe NYC’s music scene when talking about emerging bands that dream in spreading their music?

Being a musician in NYC forces you to go deeper into the meaning behind the art you make. The city has certainly driven me to be more resilient and focused – and that pressure is a beautiful thing.

And, the level of talent all around is inspiring and requires that you find what makes you stand out as an artist.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Alexia Bomtempo Standing

5) I’m sure there are many, but which are some of the bands that you’re most inspired by?

Mutantes, Radiohead, Caetano Veloso, Dinah Washington, Jon Brion, Blossom Dearie, Gal Costa… and the list goes on.

6) How would you describe your music style?

Cinematic dream pop with a tropical indie rock twist.

7) Tell us about your new album “Chasing Storms and Stars”? What’s the main theme around it? How was the process and challenges of creating, writing and composing it?

This is the third album of my career, but my first American release. It’s inspired by the massive changes in my life that have taken place in the 5 years since my last album came out.

Shortly after I relocated from Rio de Janeiro to New York I was offered a performance residency in Tokyo. So, I completely immersed myself in Japanese culture. I spent much time alone, reflecting on memories and experimenting with new melodies.

This lonesome state of mind inspired me to write and, for the first time, I felt the freedom and independence as an artist to make my own voice more prominent in what I was creating. I had always been a bit self-conscious about writing, especially having started out in Rio as a singer of Brazilian Popular Music, where historically, female vocalists didn’t write most of their material.

This album made me explore my identity and experiment with my surroundings. The collaboration with Jake Owen (my partner in music and in life) is an essential element to the album.

From the writing process to the final product, he challenged me to work hard and believe in my potential to create.

8) Do you already have a favorite song?

I go through phases where there is always one song that sticks out the most. Recently it has been “Mexico”.

Jake and I wrote this song during a road trip through West Texas. I had never seen that part of the country and was very moved by the desert, the sky, the open roads…

The landscape had a serious affect on how the song came about. The “murder ballad” tradition of the place we were in led us to explore different themes.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Alexia Bomtempo

9) This is your 3rd album. What’s new and different about it, in relation to the first two? How have you grown from the first albums?

My first two Brazilian releases were heavily influenced by Bossa Nova and Brazilian Popular Music.

For “Chasing Storms and Stars”, I have written or co-written all the songs, except for one cover. Jake is a Texas-born, Brooklyn-based producer and heavily influenced by music of the southern United States.

With our contrasting backgrounds we managed to piece together a mixture of sounds incorporating cinematic strings, Brazilian percussion, electric guitars, and psychedelic keyboards.

We took the work we started in Brooklyn and finished it in Austin, with veteran producer and engineer David Boyle.

10) Where can people find your album to buy? Any upcoming shows that we can share so people have a chance to see you Live?

The new album is available on all digital platforms and the vinyl record can be purchased on my website, along with some cool merchandise: www.alexiabomtempo.com

My next New York performance is part of the “LatiNew” concert series. It celebrates the synergy between the Latin and Brazilian music communities. The show is on Thursday, November 9, at 8pm, at Symphony Space, one of the best sounding rooms in Manhattan.

So, for tickets, click here.

11) What are some of your favorite, off-the-beaten-track spots in New York?

Restaurant: Gennaro
“A hidden gem on the Upper West Side. The best Italian food I’ve had in the city. A local favorite!”
Location: 665 Amsterdam Avenue
www.gennaronyc.com

Bar: Bell Book & Candle
“The bar at Bell Book & Candle feels like a friend’s living room. Sunday nights are particularly special where talented singer/songwriter Alfonso Velez holds down his weekly residency.”
Location: 141 West 10th Street
www.facebook.com/BBCNYC

Live Music Venue: Berlin
“Berlin is my favorite hangout for local musicians. It’s an easy going and seems to recapture the old spirit of the East Village.”
Location: 25 Avenue A
www.berlinundera.com

Park: Riverside Park
“I love biking through the park and taking in the river views.”
www.nycgovparks.org

Museum: Whitney Museum
“There is always a new piece that absolutely blows my mind.”
Location: 99 Gansevoort Street
https://whitney.org


Thank you, Alexia, for being part of our Insider Interviews and for sharing with us these exciting stories about your journey, career and favorite NY spots!

We are exited to see your show on November 9th!

7 Best Places in Long Island City for Art Lovers

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best Places For Art Lovers LIC Sculpture Center Hand

You’ve done Museum Mile, hit up the Chelsea galleries on a Thursday, and perused the sidewalk art in SoHo. So, for your next art fix, head to Queens’ Long Island City for a less touristy roster of artsy offerings. See the 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers.

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best Places For Art Lovers LIC MoMA PS1 Façade

We are huge fans of Queens and we love exploring this beautiful Borough. It’s the largest Borough in size, but loses to Brooklyn regarding the total population. Yes, Brooklyn wins! Almost 50{c8399be91965ff06a5fa23750b49beaf0bc09e4b1c94b50d52f75c5d1635bbfd} of the neighborhood are foreigners which is an astounding number right?

We just love this diversity and everything that comes with it! Different cultures, styles, fashion, accents, languages, points of view, music, art. It’s all so inspiring!

Diane Pham and Dana Schutz, from 6sqft have put together the 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers. The neighborhood is also know as LIC – short and intimate.

And, just because you’re crossing into Queens, don’t think you’ll be sacrificing any creativity or imprimatur.

From world-famous contemporary art collections to smaller spots like a workspace dedicated to figurative drawing.


Noguchi Museum

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It’s not uncommon for a museum to be dedicated to a specific artist, but it is rare for it to be designed and established by the artist himself, in this case Japanese American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi.

In 1985, his Noguchi Museum opened, displaying what he considered the most representative examples of his life’s work and becoming the catalyst for change in the neighborhood.

In addition, a decade earlier, the artist had purchased a small photogravure plant and gas station across from his studio and filled it with his sculptures, architectural models, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs.

After a major 2004 renovation, the museum now features two floors of indoor exhibition space, indoor-outdoor galleries, and an outdoor sculpture garden. So, temporary exhibits are now part of the programming, and these explore Noguchi’s influence on contemporary culture.

Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 6pm
Closed Mondays & Tuesday

Location: 9-01 33rd Road

http://www.noguchi.org 


Socrates Sculpture Park

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A block away from the Noguchi Museum is the Socrates Sculpture Park, a waterfront park and public art museum.

The location was previously an abandoned landfill and illegal dumpsite, but in 1986 a group of local artists and residents, headed up by artist Mark di Suvero, transformed the four-acre site into a public sculpture museum.

Guests have the option of a self-guided tour or a guided tour, and the organization also offers a farmers market, seasonal outdoor film screenings, and activities such as yoga, capoeira, tai chi, and kayaking and canoeing.

And, throughout the year there are plenty of performances, ranging from dance to theater to opera. Plus, it’s free and open every day of the year.

Hours: 365 days a year from 9am to sunset

Location: 32-01 Vernon Blvd

http://socratessculpturepark.org


Sculpture Center

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NYC has plenty places to see contemporary art, but this is the only such museum dedicated to contemporary sculpture.

The Sculpture Center moved to its current location in a former trolley repair shop in 2002, and today this building serves as a sculptural piece in itself.

Artist and designer Maya Lin handled the initial redesign and just a few years ago, Andrew Berman Architects expanded and renovated the building, adding an enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions and events.

Furthermore, unlike many institutions, the Sculpture Center is a non-collecting museum, meaning every year you’ll get to see a fresh batch of experimental, innovative exhibits.

They commission new work, as well as present exhibits by emerging and established artists and also have a series of free public programs and events such as artist talks, open studio days, and film screenings.

Hours:
Thursday – Monday: 11am – 6pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 44-19 Purves Street

www.sculpture-center.org


Fisher Landau Center for Art

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Adaptive reuse is a theme when it comes to the locations of LIC arts institutions and the Fisher Landau Center for Art is no exception, housed in a former parachute harness factory.

Designed by the late English architect Max Gordon, the modern museum (which offers free admission) houses the 1,500-work contemporary art collection of Emily Fisher Landau.

Moreover, these includes the work of some of the past 50 years’ most influential artists, like Andy Warhol, Kiki Smith, Glenn Ligon, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Jenny Holzer, and Robert Mapplethorpe, many of whom she supported early in their careers.

Also, on display is Ms. Landau’s 150-piece collection of mid-century furniture designer Warren McArthur, as well as a rotating exhibit series.

Hours:
Thursday – Monday, 12pm – 5pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 38-27 30th Street

www.flcart.org


Eleventh Street Arts

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Eleventh Street Arts veers from the modern to the traditional, presenting new works of drawings, paintings, and sculptures that invoke, challenge, and celebrate classical tradition.

Also unique is the fact that its exhibitions are curated by artists who lend their own interpretation to a specific style or theme such as still life, nudes, or architecture.

In addition, Eleventh Street Arts offers a chamber music series, from Chiaroscuro to Bach, and sponsors a resident chamber music artist.

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: By appointment only.

Location: 46-06 11th Street

www.eleventhstreetarts.com 


Grand Central Atelier

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Adjacent to Eleventh Street Arts is the Grand Central Atelier, a collaborative workspace dedicated to figurative drawing, painting, and sculpture.

In addition to exhibitions, concerts, lectures, concerts related to this study, the organization provides rigorous training and open sketch nights, as well as artistic competitions and fellowships.

So, those interested in more formal study of the traditional art form can enroll in a full-time program that lasts up to four years.

In addition, the shorter, one-day workshops and classes, ranges in topic from self-portrait and foundations of figure drawing, to still life to the classical architecture methods of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

Hours:
By appointment only.
Wednesday evenings – 5:30pm
Friday afternoons – 12:30pm

Location: 46-06 11th Street

http://grandcentralatelier.org


MoMA PS1

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MoMA PS1 became an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art in 2000. But, it’s actually one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the nation.

They’re located in an abandoned 19th-century public school building, which they often transform into site-specific works. The most well-known of which, may be their annual summer Warm Up. There, a winning entrant turns the open-air courtyard into a temporary, environmentally focused installation that accompanies a music series.

Satisfying their commitment to displaying the world’s most experimental art, past retrospectives have included Mike Kelley, Franz West, and Gordon Matta-Clark.

So, be sure to see light artist James Turrell’s permanent installation “Meeting,” one of his famed skyspaces. Plus, other long-term installations by Sol LeWitt, Cecily Brown, Alan Saret, and Richard Serra.

Hours:
Thursday – Monday: 12pm – 6pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 22-25 Jackson Avenue

http://momaps1.org


Lastly, if you are loving the idea of heading out into Long Island City, in Queens to explore these 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers, but prefer going with a guide, contact us! Our experts can provide art specialists to help you around.

Plus, we work a lot with Corporate groups of all sizes, so let our experts cater a fantastic experience for your team or your clients.

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Scott Hoffmann for MoMa PS1; Nicholas Knight/©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, NY/ARS; Kyle Knodell for Sculpture Center, Kelly Akashi for Sculpture Center; Mariana Hernandez-Rivera for Grande Central Atelier; and all museums & galleries.

The Big Takeover Band is literally taking over New York City!

Insider Interviews The Big Takeover Band Show

Our Founder, , recently went to a Sofar Sounds event, hosted at a super cool spot in Bushwick, called Honey’s. There, she saw a fantastic show by The Big Takeover Band and understood “why” they are taking over New York City!

Insider Interviews The Big Takeover Band Show

If you’ve never heard of Sofar Sounds, they host the most exclusive, secret and intimate music gigs in over 300 cites all over the Globe!

“Bringing the magic back to live music. Amazing artists in intimate spaces, performing stripped-back sets to carefully curated audiences. Sit down, settle in and just listen. You’re gonna love it.”

This event is BYOB (bring.your.own.bottle), so you can bring your own Booze! So feel free to bring Wine, Beer, or whatever makes you happy!

During the night at Honey’s, three bands performed for around 25 minutes each. The place is amazing, with an additional space containing a tasting room with wine barrels by Enlightenment Wines. That’s where the event was hosted. Super cool!

At this last event that Fê went, the last band was The Big Takeover Band! She fell completely in love with their music, the style, the vibe and decided to interview them!

The Band:
Nee Nee Rushie – Vocals | Rob Kissner – Bass | Kerry Shaw – Guitar | Andy Vogt – Trombone | Chas Montrose – Sax | Batu Attila – Drums.

Insider Interviews The Big Takeover Band Sofar Sounds NYC
Sofar Sounds NYC event, hosted at Honey’s, in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

So, take a look below to see what they are all about:

1) Lets start with how the band started. Being from the Hudson Valley, how did the band come about?

When I moved to New York from Jamaica to go to college, I met Rob Kissner (bass) and Sam Tritto  (original drummer) in New Paltz. We became friendly and realized we had a common love for Jamaican music.

We eventually formed a reggae band with the best guitar player in town (Jonny Monster) and Sam’s cousin, Andrew Vogt (trombone). Andrew soon brought Chas Montrose (sax) on board. They were old buddies who grew up together.

We started playing out and writing songs and people really enjoyed them. We have had some line-up changes along the way, but we have never stopped. That was back in 2007.

2) Was there any local inspiration when you guys started?

New Paltz, where we met and started playing gigs, has a very rich music scene. There is always something interesting music-wise happening there.

When we started out, there were many bands that were playing to very excited people. So we were inspired not only by our peers that were creating independent and good music, but by the people who were so open and excited to hear and see independent artists.

3) The music is very unique, mixing a quite a few different genres. Which bands are the ones you most enjoy and also gather inspiration from?

We gather inspiration from most styles of Jamaican music. We look up to bands and artists from the 60’s and 70’s. And some current artists with the old soul: The Skatalites, The Specials, The Slackers, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Phyllis Dillon, Gregory Isaacs. Too many to mention, really.

4) Before writing a song, is there any ritual or maybe a place you go to be in silence? What are some things that people don’t really know about this creative process and how much work is put in it that you could share?

We always have something conceptualized before we meet and flush it out. It starts with a chord progression or a bass line. I put a vocal melody and lyrics on top of it and the rest of the band works their magic. No special place, no rituals. It comes to us and we play it.

5) You’ve played in over 700 show, throughout the past 10 years, which is simply amazing! I don’t believe that there is only 1 highlight in that timeline, so what were the most memorable moments or experiences that you guys had? Which show (or shows), would you love going back in time and experiencing again?

We love playing festivals in the summer time. That’s our favorite. This year we played Mountain Jam and we loved it. We enjoyed every festival that we have played!

Whenever we get the opportunity to open for a band that we look up to, we enjoy the hell out of it and always wish we can do it again.

We have shared the stage with many people we look up to like: Beres Hammond, Culture, The Wailers, The Skatalites, The Slackers, Eek-a-Mouse…

6) What’s the most exciting part of a show and of performing? The very beginning before going on stage? The middle when you see the crowd vibing with your song? The end, when you have massive applauses? Or another pivotal moment? 

I personally don’t enjoy the time before going on stage. Anytime that is spent not on stage or waiting to be on stage, is not fun for me.

The best part is the entire experience of being on stage from beginning to end. I love to sing, so if I’m singing, I’m happy. When I look out and see happy people, it makes it even better.

7) You are going on a new tour now to promote the “Silly Girl” album! What is the itinerary? What are you most looking forward too and what are some cool things you want to take from this tour? 

We are going to VA, NC, LA, TX, CO, CA and WA and we’re really look forward to it all! It will be amazing since we are going to get to see a lot of the country! We want to see the Grand Canyon, the desert and some wild horses.

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A few other fun questions regarding the Hudson Valley region:

8) What are your top 5 picks in the area of places to go and activities to do? In other words, here would you take your friends and family to explore away from the touristy scene?

We are so lucky to live in such a unique area of the country and love it here! We would recommend walking over the Hudson River (Walkway Over The Hudson), swimming in a water hole (so many all over!), hiking (countless hiking trails), visiting a farm for picking fruits or veggies, visiting a distillery, brewery or cidery.

9) Which are the best spots in New York (5 boroughs) to listen to the best music and upcoming bands?

We don’t get the time to listen to upcoming bands, unless we catch them before or after our set. Manhattan and Brooklyn never fails to have an eye catching act. We’ve seen some great bands at Rockwood Music Hall and The Shrine in Harlem.

Thank you Nee Nee (and band!) for participating in this interview! We are happy to show the world a bit of your story and fantastic work!

Here are 3 video clips of musics we love:

You can purchase there albums here, if you enjoyed the videos!

And, if you want to check them out or go to a show, take a look at their website to follow where they’ll be live next! As we mentioned, they are literally taking over New York City.

www.bigtakeoverband.com

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of The Big Takeover Band, Matthew Conde and Arius Photography

Dance ‘till the World Ends: Martha Graham, a Modern Dance Queen

Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham by Nycdanceproject

Our dear friend, contributor and famous Brazilian Singer, Aline Muniz, shares an amazing story and an event for those that like to dance, dance, dance! Get inspired by the Modern Dance Queen called Martha Graham.

Culture Music Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham by Danceinsoul
Photo Credit: Danceinsoul

If you enjoy Pop Music you probably know: Michael Jackson. If you like F1 Racing, you know: Michael Schumacher. And…if you like Modern Dance you need know another name that also starts with “M” and has revolutionized the craft of dancing.

She has made her mark in history, just like the two other “masters” I’ve mentioned above.

Her name is Martha Graham and, trust me, you really need to learn about her.

Born in 1894, in Allegheny, Pittsburgh, she became one of the most influential artists and choreographers of the 20th Century, and her work is a real beauty.

It doesn’t matter in what era we live in, it has been always of crucial importance for art mavens, like Martha, to make people access their feelings. Not only was Martha an expert in that, but she transformed modern dance, as well as disseminated it around the world.

Intensity, freedom, passion, anger…you can easily find it all in Graham’s movements and choreography. I guess that is the job of modern dance, right? To make the dancers and the audience focus on the core. The heart.

She urges us to refrain the shortness of breath and present the inner will to move freely using the breath in the same intensity and extension as a movement.

Contract and release”: two words that definitely rule her vocabulary.

Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham by Nycdanceproject
Photo Credit: Nycdanceproject

Since the launch of the “Martha Graham Dance Company” in 1926, they’ve been showcasing the best of the Contemporary Dance to world. From the classic masterworks to the new pieces from contemporary choreographers, the company brings to New York the “New York Season at The Joyce”, on February 14th – 26th and the “Graham Studio Series: Sacred/Profane Project”, on May 2nd and 3rd.

The Joyce theater will host it with the charm that only a specialized dance theater possesses.

In the heart of Chelsea, you’ll immerse yourself into the Modern Dance Queen’s World.

Culture Music Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham, the Joyce Theatre, by Grandlifehotels
Photo Credit: Grandlifehotels

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” ~ Martha Graham

INFOS ON THE SHOWS:

New York Season at The Joyce
When: February 14th – 26th
Where: The Joyce NYC, 175 Eighth Avenue, Chelsea
Tickets: Starts at $10

Check Joyce Theater’s website for further information.

and

Graham Studio Series: Sacred/Profane Project
When: May 2nd and 3rd
Where: Martha Graham Studio Theater – 55 Bethune Street, 11th Floor
Tickets: Starts at $25

Website, for further information.

If you need assistance to organize a great cultural itinerary during your trip to NYC, or for your company gathering, contact our experts to help you out!

Culture Music Modern Dance Queen Martha Graham by Lois-Greenfield
Photo Credit: Lois-Greenfield

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of danceinsoul, nycdanceproject, Lois-Greenfield and grandlifehotels

All the images used on this website are the property of BTSNYC or used with proper credit.
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