Thursday, September 3, 2015

Roots Reggae: High Hopes Band, Treehouse! and Kiwi in New York City September 16 & 18 2015

From a media release:

High Hopes Band w/ Treehouse! - American Roots Reggae Triple Header; High Hopes Band, Treehouse!, & Kiwi in Harlem Sept. 16th
Modern American Roots Reggae Triple Bill: Boston's High Hopes Band alongside Myrtle Beach's Treehouse! and New Jersey's Kiwi group on tour

• September 16, 2015 at Silvana's Harlem (305 W116th)
• September 18, 2015 at Fontana's NYC (105 Eldridge Street)

NEW YORK CITY - The High Hopes Band, New England’s premiere modern roots reggae band, is pleased to announce their 2015 East Coast “Forever Love” Tour in support of their Forever Love album release.  Voted as 2015’s Best in State of Massachusetts, by the New England Music Awards (NEMA) in April of this year, the High Hopes Band brings their unique sound and experience on the road in the continental U.S.  Known in the U.S. Virgin Islands for their tireless shows and schedules, they hope to add to their already quickly grown nationwide fan base.

The High Hopes Band band released their self entitled EP in 2013.  In September of 2014, they dropped their debut album “Forever Love,” spending 2 weeks in the Itunes top 100 all-time reggae albums chart, reaching as high as 30.  All recorded work can be heard on the majority of streaming music services in the industry, including Spotify & Pandora.

High Hopes Band - Suckah (live) from Greg Story on Vimeo.

Reggae Jam Rock trio, TreeHouse! brings  new depths of rhythms, themes and other elements on tour from their third studio album, Lifted.

The Myrtle Beach, South Carolina based band is set to tour most 2015 throughout the East Coast, Mid-Atlantic, and the USVI. These road warriors perform hundreds of shows a year and intend to keep this pace strong for the new release.

"Lifted" features a balance of the band's older styles with a range of newer influences. At the request of fans, TreeHouse! dug into their stock pile of songs to record some highly anticipated older live jams including "Follow Your Calling", "Que Sera (It is What it Is)" & "Just Another Day". The first single release from the album is "Look into the Stars", a collaboration with Zach Fowler, from fellow South Carolina Reggae Rock band, Sun-Dried Vibes

Full of textured "ear candy", pulling from influences like 311, Bob Marley, Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, SOJA, and The Dirty Heads, TreeHouse! invites fans to sit back and enjoy an energetic roller coaster, smoothly riding through a distinct range of emotions incorporated through saxophone, trumpet, keys, didgeridoo, percussion, and even group karate!  Join the band in its unique style to create a sound that is both familiar and refreshing. Get “Lifted”!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Persian Indie Pop Star Rana Mansour Debut CD release party and concert September 12 2015 in Toronto

From a media release:

Persian Indie Pop Star Rana Mansour Debut CD release party and concert
w/ Erwin Khachikian, Siavash Sadr Mahdavi and Mahsa Ghassemi
Revival Bar, 783 College Street West, Toronto
Saturday, September 12, 2015 @ 7:00-10:00 pm

• Also available at Pegah & Superkhorak
Album out September 10, 2015

TORONTO – Link Music Lab and Karmandan Productions proudly present indie-Persian sensation RANA MANSOUR in concert at Revival Bar in Toronto, to release her self-titled debut album. On Saturday, September 12, Rana will be performing her compelling, Persian pop tunes alongside fellow musicians Erwin Khachikian, Siavash Sadr Mahdavi and Mahsa Ghassemi.

Rana Mansour is an Iranian-American artist who has appeared on major international TV networks and programs (Bravo, VH1, BBC, VOA, and Manoto TV). Her single, “Shohare Pooldar” (Rich Husband) from her debut album, has been an instant hit in the indie-Persian music scene. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and producer Erwin Khachikian – who is a member of Serj Tankian’s (System Of A Down) solo project and creator of the unconventional Persian rock group Karmandan – and has produced and toured with numerous Persian artists since the mid 90’s.

The album tracks were all handpicked by Erwin and Rana (a few even written by Erwin himself) and carefully chosen to match her taste and class. The result of Rana’s pioneering dedication, focus, and consistency, is an innovative offering that clearly sets her apart amongst Iranian-American musicians. She has clearly made her mark on the Persian scene as a leading artist.

The duo has collaborated on an all-English project called THE ANIMATES. The band’s sound has an 80’s pop familiarity with a current feel, based around Rana’s strong and emotive vocals.

Currently Erwin and Rana are booked this fall in US, Canada, and Europe in various venues to promote Rana’s debut album release and THE ANIMATES project.

More artist links:
Facebook Event Page:
Twitter: @RanaMusic

Sunday, August 30, 2015

David Arquette Stars on Stage as Sherlock Holmes October 27 - November 8 2015 in Toronto & US Tour

From a media release:

David Arquette to star on stage as
Sherlock Holmes 
In late Canadian playwright Greg Kramer’s version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s tales
October 27 – November 8, 2015
Toronto, ON | Ed Mirvish Theatre

Tickets on sale now at at

Other dates/venues:
October 15 – 18
Los Angeles, CA | Ricardo Montalban Theater
Tickets on Sale at August 31

November 17 – 22
Washington, DC | Warner Theatre
Tickets on Sale at August 31

November 23 – 29
Chicago, IL | Oriental Theatre
Tickets on Sale at and September 25

Toronto, ON –Starvox Entertainment announced today it has signed David Arquette (Scream, Friends) to play the title role in an original adaptation of Sherlock Holmes inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tales by the late Canadian playwright, Greg Kramer. Sherlock Holmes premiered in Montreal in 2013 in a sold-out, critically acclaimed production at The Segal Centre directed by Andrew Shaver, who will remount the show for a North American tour, playing Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre from October 27 to November 8, 2015.

Joining Arquette in the nine person cast as the detective’s faithful associate and biographer Dr. John Watson, is rising star Michael Trevino, best known for his six seasons as Tyler Lockwood on television’s The Vampire Diaries and as the same character in the spin-off series The Originals.

"I am beyond excited to play one of the most loved characters in all literature, stage and screen,” says Arquette. “Some may think I'm an odd choice. I am. I'm odd but thankfully so is he."

The stage production of Sherlock Holmes was the recipient of five prestigious Montreal English Theatre Awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Director. The Segal Centre commissioned multi-talented, British-born Montreal-based writer, director and actor Kramer to pen this fresh new take on Conan Doyle’s stories of the legendary detective. The playwright was also supposed to play Scotland Yard detective Lestrade in the original Montreal production, but tragically, Kramer passed away on the eve of rehearsals.

Andrew Shaver, one of Canada’s most exciting young directors, known for his work with the innovative SideMart Theatrical Grocery (Trad, Haunted Hillbilly, Gordon) and assignments with Des McAnuff for the Stratford Festival, brings his ironic and kinesthetic vision to the production.

Produced by Starvox Entertainment in association with June Entertainment, Sherlock Holmes premiers in Toronto after a six-performance preview mounting in Los Angeles before kicking off a multi-city U.S. tour including stops in Washington, DC and Chicago, with subsequent cities planned into 2016.

“This production’s frequent laugh-out-loud, melodramatic mysteries and sometimes nightmarish moments proved irresistible, and I knew within ten minutes of the curtain going up that I wanted to produce the show for an extended commercial life after Montreal,” said Starvox producer Corey Ross. "The Steampunk costumes and brilliant set design -- featuring projections on metal scrims -- give the production a distinct modern edge, yet all the while, it remains quintessentially Sherlock Holmes. It’s both timeless and contemporary and audiences will enjoy the way it slyly hints at current events and today’s political culture."

Thrilling, humorous, full of head-scratching crimes and dazzling deduction in the face of cunning evil, Sherlock Holmes takes theatergoers on a heart-stopping adventure through the opium dens, the muddy docklands and the gritty backstreets of London during the turn of the century, a time of great social and technological change.

The opium wars have ended. The Ripper has wreaked his havoc. Electricity is on the rise and Scotland Yard is in its infancy. Lord Neville St. John gives a moving speech in the House of Lords to ban opium and a vote on the matter is imminent. Meanwhile, Professor James Moriarty, notorious criminal kingpin, plots to thwart the upcoming opium vote. When a drowned body is discovered, and Lord Neville goes missing, Scotland Yard turns to “the world’s only consulting detective” and newest resident of 221-B Baker Street:  a certain Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes will be staged at The Ed Mirvish Theatre (244 Victoria St.) from October 27 to November 8 with performances Tuesday – Friday evenings at 8:00 pm., Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm.

Tickets range in price from $39.95 to $119.95 and are available online at beginning August 24.

Twitter: @Sherlocktour
Hashtag: #SherlockTO

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saxophonist & Composer Jon Irabagon Previews New CD Behind the Sky September 7 2015 at the Detroit Jazz Festival

From a media release:

Jon Irabagon Quartet
Monday, September 7, 2015 • 4:30pm • WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PYRAMID STAGE
Part of the Detroit Jazz Festival

Behind the Sky available for pre-order on Amazon UK

Saxophonist and composer Jon Irabagon previews his new CD Behind the Sky on Monday, September 7 at the Detroit Jazz Festival.  He's joined by pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Yasushi Nakamura, and drummer Rudy Royston, all featured on the album.

Check out the full schedule for the Detroit Jazz Festival here
Check out Jon's website for NYC & other East Coast shows in September & October

Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, has performed extensively as both a sideman and as a leader in an ever-expanding range of projects. Jon has studied under such divergent artists as Dave Liebman, Wynton Marsalis, Dick Oatts, Jason Moran and Victor Goines, and has performed and/or recorded with musical luminaries such as Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis, Bright Eyes, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Kenny Washington, Lou Reed, and Jenny Lewis. Jon has performed and done clinics and workshops all over the world, and performs regularly in New York City's top venues such as Birdland, the Jazz Standard, and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola.

In 2012, Irabagon launched his own record label Irabbagast Records with two simultaneous releases, both follow-ups to previous albums: I Don´t Hear Nothin´ but the Blues Volume 2: Appalachian Haze adds guitarist Mick Barr to the mix of Irabagon and Mike Pride and Outright!´s second album, Unhinged, features Ralph Alessi, Jacob Sacks, John Hebert and Tom Rainey along with several guests.

Behind the Sky marks Irabagon's eighth record as a leader, and features legendary trumpeter Tom Harrell. With Irabagon at his most straight-ahead, the CD's tunefulness and spirited, swinging attitude make it an ostensible follow-up to 2009's acclaimed The Observer (Concord Records). The CD will be released on September 15, 2015 on Irabbagast Records.  Also out that day is Irabagon's full-length experimental solo sopranino saxophone recording, Inaction Is An Action.

Preview the track One Wish:

UPDATE: Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal - Musique de Nuit (Six Degrees Records - September 4, 2015) - Pre-order Now & New Video

From a media release:

CD Release:
Midnight Music and Rooftop Freedom: Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal Deepen the Conversation on Musique de Nuit
(Six Degrees Records - September 4, 2015)

Check out the release announcement here

Musique de Nuit is available to pre-order:

Amazon Canada
Musique FNAC (France)
Amazon UK
iTunes (France)

Here's a taste - a new video featuring a track from the album called Passa Quatro:

PROOF by David Auburn on Stage at 4th Street Theatre New York City September 2-13 2015

From a media release:

by David Auburn
directed by Johanna Day
featuring Lolita Foster*, Nafessa Monroe*,
Alejandro Rodriguez*, and Count Stovall*

Strictly Limited Engagement
September 2 – September 13, 2015

Performances Wednesday through Sunday at 7:30 pm
4th Street Theatre - 83 East 4th Street, First Floor, NYC 10013
Tickets: $18 General admission

Click here to purchase tickets or
• visit and

Lolita Foster of Orange Is The New Black (OITNB) and Broadway veteran Count Stovall lead a multi-ethnic production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Obie winner and Tony Nominee, Johanna Day, directs.

NEW YORK CITY - Casting is now complete for Quick Silver Theater Company (QST) and Classics in Color’s (CIC) co-production of PROOF. Broadway veteran Count Stovall will play Robert. Lolita Foster (OITNB) will play Catherine. Nafeesa Monroe, co-producer of PROOF, will play Claire. Alejandro Rodriguez, QST core company member, will play Hal. Johanna Day – OBIE winner and Tony nominated for role in Broadway's PROOF - will make her directorial debut with this production.

QST intends to reveal a new perspective of this Pulitzer Prize winning play. Without altering the text in any way and casting PROOF with actors of color, a conversation is generated that speaks to the issues of gender and racial privilege in global mathematics programs.

Catherine, a young woman relegated to caring for her father who suffers from mental illness, doubts her own sanity when faced with questions surrounding a mathematical proof discovered in her possession. Has she inherited her father’s mathematical genius as well as his mental instability? All is brought to light in this sexy and intriguing mathematical journey.

The all-female creative team includes costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Jennifer Reiser set designer Perrine Villemur and sound designer Iman Hinton.

Founded by Nefessa Monroe, Classics in Color is a theatre company committed to representing all colors on stage, especially in the classics. Through its work the company hopes to demystify the classics and create accessible theatre to which we all can relate. CIC wants all people to be able to see themselves on stage; to feel included.

The mission of Quick Silver Theater Company is to produce theater that invigorates, educates and generates conversations. QST will cast its productions with actors that reflect the community at large. In doing so, the playwright’s work will, in turn, connect with a much larger and more diverse audience. Quick Silver Theater Company was founded by Tyrone Mitchell Henderson and Lizan Mitchell. It is an ensemble company of thirteen theater artists based in the NYC Metro area.

For more information about the QST and CIC production of PROOF, contact Tyrone Henderson at (646) 505-8385 or Or visit the websites of either theater company: and

*Member Actors' Equity. 
This production is an Equity Approved Showcase.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tix Running Out for The Public Theater's New York Premiere of Eclipsed by Danai Gurira - Starring Lupita Nyong'o

From a media release:


Featuring Academy Award Winner
Lupita Nyong’o
Directed by Liesl Tommy

Performances Begin Tuesday, September 29 to November 8, 2015 For Strictly Limited Engagement

Get your tickets quick before they sell out!

NEW YORK CITY – The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) announced that the New York premiere of ECLIPSED, written by Danai Gurira, has been added to the 2015-16 downtown season. Making her New York stage debut, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o will play “The Girl” in this powerful story of survival and resilience, directed by Obie Award winner Liesl Tommy. ECLIPSED begins previews at The Public Theater Tuesday, September 29 and runs through Sunday, November 8, with an official press opening on Wednesday, October 14.

“Danai Gurira has written a brilliant play, ripped from the headlines, that looks at the terrible conflicts in post-colonial Africa with an eye that is both incisive and deeply compassionate,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “A feminist reading of the Liberian Civil War, a war that was ended by women, Eclipsed is both heart-breaking and profoundly life-affirming. We are delighted to welcome the extraordinary Lupita Nyong’o to The Public in this vitally important play.”

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) comes to The Public in the New York premiere of ECLIPSED, the stunning, deeply moving play by award-winning Zimbabwean-American Playwright/Actress, Danai Gurira (co-author of In the Continuum and Michonne on AMC's hit series "The Walking Dead"). Amid the chaos of the Liberian Civil War, the captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community – until the balance of their lives is upset by the arrival of a new girl. Drawing on reserves of wit and compassion, ECLIPSED reveals distinct women who must discover their own means of survival in this deeply felt portrait of women finding and testing their own strength in a hostile world of horrors not of their own making. South African born Liesl Tommy (Appropriate and The Public’s The Good Negro) directs this magnificent story of survival and resilience.

Public Theater Member tickets can be accessed now. Single tickets, starting at $80, will be available beginning on Thursday, August 6. Tickets can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555,, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at Astor Place at 425 Lafayette Street. The Library at The Public is open nightly for food and drinks, beginning at 5:30 p.m., and Joe’s Pub at The Public continues to offer some of the best music in the city. Images features Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o & Liesl Tommy.

DANAI GURIRA (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright and actress. As a playwright, her works include In the Continuum (Obie Award, Outer Critics Award, Helen Hayes Award), Eclipsed (NAACP Award; Helen Hayes Award: Best New Play; Connecticut Critics Circle Award: Outstanding Production of a Play), and The Convert (six Ovation Awards, Los Angeles Outer Critics Award). Gurira’s newest play Familiar received its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2015 and will premiere in New York at Playwrights Horizons in February 2016. She is a recipient of the Whiting Award, a Hodder Fellow, and has been commissioned by Yale Rep, Center Theatre Group, Playwrights Horizons, and the Royal Court. She is currently developing a pilot for HBO. As an actor, she has appeared in the films The Visitor, Mother of George, she also played Isabella in The Public’s Measure for Measure (Actor’s Equity Callaway Award). She currently plays “Michonne” on AMC’s The Walking Dead. She holds an MFA from Tisch, NYU. She is the co-founder of Almasi Arts, which works to give access and opportunity to the African Dramatic Artist.

LIESL TOMMY (Director) is an award winning international theater director whose work for The Public includes The Good Negro and The Urban Retreat (Public Studio). Her World premieres include A Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl and Todd Almond; Kid Victory by John Kander and Greg Pierce; Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; Party People by Universes, The White Man – A Complex Declaration of Love by Joan Rang; Peggy Picket Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig; Eclipsed by Danai Gurira; A History of Light by Eisa Davis; Angela’s Mixtape by Eisa Davis; Bus and Family Ties. Tommy’s additional credits include award-winning re-interpretations of Les Miserables, Hamlet, A Raisin in the Sun, Piano Lesson, and Ma Raney’s Black Bottom as well as a four-city tour of Ruined. She has worked at DTC, California Shakespeare Theater, Centerstage, Sundance East Africa, Berkeley Rep., Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, and Huntington Theatre Company, among others. Tommy is Associate Director at Berkeley Rep, serves as a Program Associate at Sundance Institute Theatre Program and as an Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees. Tommy facilitated the inaugural Sundance East Africa Theater Director’s Lab in In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She’s earned an Obie award, Pioneer of the Arts Award, Lillian Hellman award, Alan Schneider award, the inaugural Susan Stroman Award, an NEA/TCG Directors Grant, and NYTW Casting/Directing Fellowship. She has taught or guest directed at Yale Rep, Juilliard, NYU, and Brown University. Tommy is an alum of Trinity Rep Conservatory and a native of Cape Town, South Africa.

LUPITA NYONG’O (The Girl) will next be seen in J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as the motion capture character “Maz Kanata”. The film will be released by Disney on December 18, 2015. She additionally just wrapped production in Uganda on Mira Nair’s The Queen of Katwe opposite David Oyelowo, and lends her voice to Jon Favreau’s upcoming Jungle Book as “Raksha,” set for release next April. Nyong’o made her feature debut in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, which earned her the Academy Award and SAG Award for “Best Supporting Actress”. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama's acting program, Nyongo's stage credits include playing Perdita in The Winter's Tale (Yale Repertory Theater),Sonya in Uncle Vanya, Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, as well as part of the cast in the original production of Michael Mitnick's Elijah.