Sunday, December 28, 2008

Voco will bring in the new year on 1/10/09

Stompin’ rebel-harmony with cello & banjo: Original songs steeped in Appalachia & Eastern Europe.

Moira Smiley & VOCO sing powerful, emotional music with lush harmony and the delicious vaudevillian combo of cello, accordion and banjo. Sprinkled throughout their songs are rompin'stompin' body percussion sets - always a show-stopping pleasure. Voted #1 a cappella band in the U.S., the four members of VOCO create post-folk, improvisation-built songs while digging into old Americana and Eastern European sounds. Original music and new fruits from the old songs... Americana to Bartók, ethereal and gritty."

Voco (Moira, Jess, Jessica and Christine) will be appearing in the Jenkins House Concert Series on January 10, 2009. Details and directions will be given at the time of your reservation. Please RSVP

For further information visit their websites: and

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Our lucky day, Sometymes Why will appear on December 13th

Kristin Andreassen & Ruth Ungar Merenda & Aoife O'Donovan

Sometymes Why is a mesmerizing trio of modern-day sirens. Their vocal intensity, sparse arrangements, and passionate lyricism whirl into the air and cut a cyclone's path through the heart. Aoife, Ruth and Kristin have honed their recipe for ruthless tenderness with utter disregard for conformity or convention. Their songs tell the secret tales of our own lives and beg us to believe in the power of revelation. Please contact Sandy for concert details

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Chris and Edgar at Carnegie Hall

Congratulations to Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer on their Carnegie Hall debut. The spirit of Bach was smiling last Wednesday night as these musical road warriors carried his legacy into the 21st century. Their original tunes were informed by Bach and ranged from lyrical to pyrotechnic-Rabbit Cake being my favorite. The duo was joined by special guest, violinist, Mark O'Connor. All of us at the concert burst with pride for our friends Chris and Edgar.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand on November 7th

The Jenkins Family first met Andrew VanNorstrand at Jay Ungar's Ashokan camp where he was on the teaching staff. When we listened to his CD we knew he and his brother were destined to play at 26 West 89th Street. Between the two of them, Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand play more than a dozen instruments. It may sound overly ambitious, but it all comes together into a seamless blend of jazz, Scandinavia, Irish melodies, Cajun rhythms, and bluegrass. Vocally, the brothers' voices blend as only siblings can. The more familiar you become with the artistry of this quietly powerful duo, the more layers you'll discover within the complexities of their music.

If you are interested in joining us, please send me an email at and we will communicate about the details.

Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand are definitely a force to be reckoned with in the acoustic music world. JK [Bluegrass Unlimited – November 2007 Issue]

When it comes to just about every form of acoustic folk music imaginable, it's hard to identify anybody better at playing this great stuff than New York State's own Andrew & Noah VanNorstrand. These two brothers are fun, talented, and, above all great showmen!
Bill Knowlton, Bluegrass Ramble, WCNY-FM: Syracuse, NY

The VanNorstrands plant their feet firmly in the musical traditions of North America, Ireland, and Scandinavia, but their musical imaginations soar, creating melodies and harmonies that are lyrical, exciting, and original. This is music that really makes me sit up and take notice -- and smile.
Susan Conger, performer, composer, and teacher

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Matt & Brittany will open our 6th Season on October 4th

Matt Brown and Brittany Haas sing and play a variety of music on fiddle, banjo,
and guitar. As a duo, their focus is on traditional Appalachian music, but they
are comfortable in a range of other folk styles including Cape Breton, Irish,
Cajun, and Swedish.

Matt Brown grew up surrounded by Appalachian music, and has studied with some
of the best musicians in the genre including Bruce Molsky, Ginny Hawker, Dirk Powell,
and Bruce Greene. He has performed with Rhythm in Shoes, David Holt, Alice
Gerrard, Flynn Cohen, and has made guest appearances with Tim O'Brien, Uncle
Earl, and Crooked Still. He met Stephanie Jenkins while teaching at Ashokan's
Southern Week and soon thereafter befriended the entire family.

A student of the great Appalachian fiddler Bruce Molsky, Brittany also studied with
Darol Anger and then became a charter member of his ensemble Republic Of Strings.
She has played all over the world with many musical organizations including
Alasdair's Scottish Fiddle Project, Tony Trischka, her sister Natalie Haas, and the
Republic. She currently is playing fiddle with Crooked Still. Brittany is an instructor at
Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Conferences and is currently studying Music and
Biological Sciences at Princeton University.

Along with Matt and Brittany, The New Lost Faculty Ramblers will also perform at the start of each set. Please reserve a seat early for this special concert; Details will be provided with your reservation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vote for Punch Brothers

Following the Cubs in Tampa game tonight on ESPN, see the Punch Brothers, featuring Chris Thile, play their rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Punch Brothers and eight other popular musical artists are competing in the Battle of the Bands over the next month. Even though the game is in Florida, every vote counts!! The winners will be announced on July 13th. Good luck boys! If you don't win it's a shame!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sara Caswell at Symphony Space

Jazz Violinist, Sara Caswell, will perform in a String Theory Series Concert at Symphony Space this Friday, May 23, 2008 at 7:30pm. She will appear with Jon Cowherd on piano, Ike Sturm on bass and Ted Poor on drums and special guests Gene Bertoncini on guitar and Sara's sister, Rachel Caswell, vocalist. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door the day of the performance.
Sara and Ike did their first Jenkins House Concert in February 2008 and plan to return sometime next year. Now that our season has wrapped up, we hope you will support our friend Sara at her upcoming show. Symphony Space is located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street in New York.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Fantastic Finish-New Old Stock brings our house concert season to a close

A perfect ending to our house concert season, New Old Stock played to a full house following Cassie and Chris' surprise guest appearance, holding to our tradition of a Jenkins' family member opening each house concert for the past five years.
It's difficult to label New Old Stock because they're at the forefront of a new acoustic music genre which has been emerging around the country over the past 20 years or so. Their instrumental repertoire includes complex and finely detailed arrangements of original tunes for fiddle, cello, 5 string banjo and hammered dulcimer. The fiddle and hammered dulcimer often shared a chromatic line played in unison, which was woven in and out of undulating time changes. Their sound is grounded in tradition and artistically sophisticated, not what the titles of their tunes might suggest-Itchy Spoon, Acorn Stomp written by fiddler and audience member, Kimber Ludiker, and Panda & Critter. Originally from California and Washington states, band members, Tristan(cello and fiddle), Tashina(fiddle) Clarridge & Wes Corbett(banjo), have all recently moved to the Boston area, while Simon Chrisman, on hammered dulcimer, resides near Seattle. Tristan will be travelling internationally this summer with Aoife O'Donovan, a past JHC artist, lead singer of Crooked Still.
Many thanks go out to all of you who have supported out house concert series over the past five years. We'll keep on hosting if you keep on showing up for our once a month musical gatherings. Look for a listing of next season's performers starting in September. Laurel Masse will return sometime in October and the New Lost Faculty Ramblers will be hosting a night of their own.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Chris Thile and Fred Newman on Prairie Home Companion April 12th

Two friends of the Jenkins House Concerts, Chris Thile and Fred Newman, will be featured on Prairie Home Companion this Saturday. The show is presently broadcasting from Town Hall in New York City.

New Old Stock on May 3rd

On May 3rd, The Clarridges & New Old Stock will present an evening of music. New Old Stock is a powerful, creative force at the forefront of the emerging New Acoustic music scene.

The quartet combines the unique sounds of hammered dulcimer virtuoso Simon Chrisman and banjoist Wesley Corbett with the inimitable sound of brother-sister fiddle duo Tristan and Tashina Clarridge. Tristan, an inventive cellist and 4-time Grand National Fiddle Champion, currently tours with Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings and has appeared with Cape Breton fiddle phenomenon Natalie MacMaster. In 2008, he will tour internationally with Crooked Still whose lead singer, Aoife O'Donovan appeared at our last house concert. His sister Tashina, the 2005 Grand National Fiddle Champion, has toured with Mark O’Connor and performed at Carnegie Hall as part of Grammy-winning bassist Edgar Meyer's Young Artists program. Since starting the banjo at age 16, 21-year-old Wesley Corbett has appeared with the David Grisman Quintet, Matt Glaser, and Crooked still, recently opened for Tony Rice as part of the Lincoln Meyers String Alliance, and currently tours with North Carolina’s bluegrass sensation the Biscuit Burners. Wesley’s longtime musical collaborator, hammered dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman, has performed at Seattle's Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Central jazz band, opened for Bill Frisell, and at 16 was invited to be a scholarship guest artist at the Augusta Heritage Festival in West Virginia.

Along with New Old Stock, The New Lost Faculty Ramblers will also perform at the start of each set. Please reserve a seat early for this special concert; Details will be provided with your reservation.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What a Swell Party It Was!

Laura Cortese returned for her fifth Jenkins House Concert last night for a solo show, accompanied by Aoife O'Donovan on electric guitar, glockenspiel and vocals. Laura featured many original songs from her latest CD release, "Bad Year:Single". She also included tunes that showcased her well-honed Scottish fiddle style. Laura's comfort with a house concert audience is undeniable, but don't underestimate her ability to switch over to a more rock driven repetoire. Laura and Aoife, along with their house mate and friend Kristen Andreassen will be coming to Arlene's Grocery in two weeks, on April 8th. Laura also tours with Uncle Earl on acoustic bass and vocals, and Aoife is the lead singer for Crooked Still. Look for them both this summer at many bluegrass festivals around the country including, Grey Fox in it's new location in Greene County, NY.
Thanks Laura and Aoife for a very special Friday night concert, and thanks for sharing the stage with Reid. You two made a lot of music. David swears it's the best one yet!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Laura Cortese Returns on March 28

Many of you have asked when Laura will be back. Well, after a phone call last week, I can finally say that she will be back soon, on Friday, March 28th. This will be Laura's fourth concert in our living room where she has appeared with various groups over the past five years, including the infamous Jolly Bankers, and The Fab Four Fiddlers. This time Laura will appear solo, accompanied on glockenspiel, guitar and piano by Crooked Still's lead singer, Aoife O'Donovan. Laura is on tour following the release of her latest CD,"Bad Year:Single" Please note that we are having the concert on a Friday night, instead of our usual Sat. night, and the concert will begin at 7:30, with the door opening at 7:00. Reserve a seat at; Details and directions will be given at the time of your reservation.
Check Laura's website for more information about her upcoming tour.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chris and Punch Brothers on Jay Leno this Friday 2/29

Chris and The Punch Brothers will be appearing on Jay Leno this Friday night, leap year day 2008. After appearing in New York last week, he and the boys took off for a West Coast tour that has taken them from Seattle to L.A. Besides being on the road with his band, Chris is currently working on a recording project with Edgar Meyer and they will be on tour together later this year.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sara Caswell Burns Down the House-But Beautifully!

The Sara Caswell Trio, including Ike Sturm on bass and Jesse Lewis on guitar, played to a very enthusiastic gathering of jazz lovers last Saturday night. Their extraordinary musicianship gave us a window into what their instruments could do in the right hands. Sara designed two perfect sets which included selections from the American Songbook as well as some of her own tunes. At the end of the evening, Sara generously shared her band with Ari Messenger, Jonathan Russell and Reid Jenkins for a blues finale. A great time was had by all! Please come back again Sara, Ike and Jesse!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Congratulations Punch Brothers!

With Central Park as a backdrop and a full lunar eclipse above, Punch Brothers, featuring Chris Thile, presented one of the most memorable evenings of music imaginable. The Allen Room, at Jazz at Lincoln Center, was the perfect setting for the band and an audience well acquainted with acoustic music. Chris' through-composed suite for five bluegrass instruments was the centerpiece of the concert and might have caught a few ears off guard, but was very warmly received. Some of our regular house concert patrons were treated to a preview performance of "The Blind Leaving the Blind," last March 16th, the night of the biggest snow event of 2007. The composition cannot be digested in one evening and invites the listener to return again and again- exactly the point of recorded music. Their new album, "Punch", which includes the four movement suite, was available after the show and will be released to the public on February 26th.
Stephen Holden of the New York Times, writes that the new genre is "an emerging style of what might be called American country-classical chamber music." We just call it "Chris Thile" music. Congratulations to Chris, Critter, Noam, Gabe and Greg from The Jenkins Family.

Today's New York TImes Review;

Listen to John Schaeffer's interview with Punch Brothers on WNYC,

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sara Caswell, Jazz Violinist, on February 23

Sara is an award-winning violinist who spent her formative years under the tutelage of internationally-renowned violin teacher, Josef Gingold. She began her violin studies at age 5 and has become a "brilliant world-class of the very best of the present generation of emerging young jazz stars," according to David Baker, music professor at Indiana University and director of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra. Her second album, But Beautiful, "makes a strong bid to place her at the forefront of jazz violinists."

Sara will be performing with her trio, including bassist, Ike Sturm and guitarist, Jesse Lewis. Please reserve a seat at Sandilion49@gmail. Details and directions will be given at the time of your reservation.

Please check Sara's website for further information;

Comments about Saturday's house concert

Thanks for the concert on Saturday night. I really liked the music and the atmosphere you've created there! --Elizabeth W.

Thanks for fitting me into the standing room only crowd. It's always so magical to hear music in your living room. The level of subtlety you can hear was impressive. I bought one of their CDs but it all sounded so much more intense in your house. You'd think that high tech sound studio equipment would deliver something with deeper texture but the intimate Jenkins concert hall is way better. --Cindy O.

I believe it was the most satisfying evening of music I've ever experienced. Your faculty band sounded great with those delicious harmonies, Richard and Rit, Stephanie, Reid, Cassie & Chris,...and then, the icing on the cake-VOCO! They've gotten so tight they breathe in in time. Bless you for generating such a wonderful event. --Richard F.

We were all blown away by the wonderful music in your home last night. We can't tell you how grateful we are to be included in this circle extending from Swans Island to New York and beyond. What can I say about Voco? I had to wipe tears away more than once. They should be famous. We'll work on that...Please pass on the gratitude for sharing your home and your music with us. --Mike W.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

Our 2008 house concert series will open with Moira Smiley and Voco on January 12th. The door will open at 7:30 and music will begin at 8:00. Please RSVP to to reserve a seat. We ask that you make a donation of $15, all of which goes to the guest performers. Please bring something tasty for the food and beverage buffet. Hope to see you here.

"Voco brings the energy of a street band, the risks of improvisation and the precision of a string quartet."

Stephanie at the Sidewalk Cafe

Steph J and Matt P., previously featured at several of our house concerts, will be performing original tunes at the SIdewalk Cafe on Sunday, January 13th at 8:00PM.