Inspired Hudson Valley Music Making with Lisa's Pieces

Posted by tina@bongarbiz.com

Grammy-award winning fiddler and violinist, composer, singer and Broadway performing artist Lisa Gutkin epitomizes the spirit of the Hudson Valley’s musical making tradition of bringing together exceptional musicians in their own right — Mark Murphy, Michael Sassano, and Wayne Fugate — with fiddles, cellos, tenor guitars, mandolins and original vocal styles to create an immediate foot-stomping, Irish-y, Jewish-y, Bluegrass-y signature Hudson Valley musical event. “Lisa’s Pieces” debuts locally at the Falcon in Marlboro, NY on December 11th, at 8 p.m.

Reservations for the shows are available here —

Live at the Falcon, Marlboro, NY, December 11th at 8 p.m.' https://www.liveatthefalcon.com/reservations.'

Part of the concerts’ proceeds will be donated to the Hudson River Clearwater Sloop environmental action initiatives.

The forming of “Lisa’s Piece’s’’ is lore. Back in the ‘90s, backstage at Ben Freed's Muscoot Farm Bluegrass Festival, Mark Murphy, Wayne Fugate, Mike Sassano, and Lisa Gutkin gathered for a jam, intending to go their separate ways to their own bands once the spur-of-the-moment music-making was over. Instead, Lisa pulled out one of her quirky originals.

“The guys nailed it, and so came another song, and then a gypsy-ish one, and then one with an Irish twist,’’ says Lisa Gutkin. “We were on fire.’’ Ben Freed, the festival producer, came around to hear what the commotion was about, and the newly minted band was on the main stage 20 minutes later. “Lisa's Pieces,” a name that stuck through the years, returns to the Hudson Valley this December.

Lisa Gutkin is best known as the Grammy Award-winning violinist, singer and songwriter of the renowned Klezmatics, and for her score and performance in the Tony Award-winning play Indecent, by Paula Vogel. Gutkin began as a backup musician in the Fast Folk Collective with musicians such as Rod MacDonald and Christine Lavin. She went on to co-found the “downtown” Celtic band Whirligig, and an eclectic career performing Klezmer, blues, rock, traditional Irish and Appalachian music and more. She has co-authored songs with Anne Sexton, Maggie Dubris, and Woody Guthrie, performed and composed for Sex and the City, played in Sting’s musical The Last Ship, and is a MacDowell Fellow. Her first film score for Pearl Gluck’s Summer premiered at Lincoln Center in 2018.

Mark Murphy’s performances include NPR's Prairie Home Companion, Nashville Networks “Fire On The Mountain,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” David Dye's World Cafe and live performances with Pilobilus Dance Company and The Vanaver Caravan. With The Vanaver Caravan, Mark performed at the United Nations, and was filmed as part of the cast performing the historic dance and music recreation “Boston Fancy" which was inducted into the National Archives. Mark has recorded 8 albums and performs extensively with Guy Davis, and he played on Pete Seeger’s "Pete at 89" and "Rivertown Kids" recordings as well as The Okee Dokee Bros. "Can You Canoe" cd, all of which won Grammy Awards.

For over 35 years, Michael Sassano has delighted audiences with his fun-loving stage presence. As a founding member of the eclectic “Out to Lunch”, Michael honed his harmony chops, creating dynamic twin mandolin arrangements with bandmate Wayne Fugate. More recently, the nimble-fingered Sassano can be seen with his band “Too Blue” performing original, swing-infused bluegrass. He has performed with Byron Berline, Barry Mitterhoff, David Amram, Walt Michael & Co, Buddy Merriam & Backroads, Jon Sholle, Ben Freed’s American Idle, and Buddy Merriam’s Back Roads Mandolin.

Wayne Fugate’s playing combines emotion and intellect with technical precision. A founding member of the eclectic string band "Uncommon Ground", Wayne also performs and tours with “Mandolin Madness” featuring Barry Mitterhoff and “The New York Mandolin Ensemble”. Wayne was on stage on Broadway in Steve Martin and Edie Brikell's Tony-nominated musical "Bright Star" and on its National Tour. He has performed with Tony Trischka, Hazel Dickens, Kenny Kosek, Walt Michael & Co, Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, and banjo legend Bill Keith, and can be heard on the soundtracks of the Emmy nominated film "Home" and the Louis B. Mayer short film, "Respects".

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