Friday, August 5, 2011

Jazz@ Tudor City Greens

That Summer Wind Sinatra sang of is in the air again in Gotham.  There's a cool breeze at night and the sultry sounds of Jazz have invaded Tudor City.  But not to worry we have a distance of souls to acquaint.  Come gather, come all, we are having ourselves a music free-fall!  It's Jazz in the Park in Tudor City and it's such a blessing having this each year.  Raissa Katona Bennett is the executive producer of The Concerts at Tudor City Greens.  Each year they put on multiple shows with different themes.  This weeks theme was: 
Swingin' on the MOON!!!  
and it was FREE!
This is Raissa Katona Bennett, producer/singer/coordinator/neighbor/dog-walker of Brandy and Otie/actress/wife of a doctor extraordinaire!  Oh yeah I failed to mention she was "Christine Daae" in Phantom of the Opera, Chess on BROADWAY!!! Also she's made appearances at Feinstein's, the Metropolitan Room, Laurie Beechman Theatre, Iridium, Supper Club, Rainbow Room, 88's and the Oak Room at the Algonquin...oh yeah Radio City Music Hall too! WOW! That's a purdy BIG deal where I come from.  What about you? Plus she's awesome and has a wonderful, caring personality.  She's a tough Italian Lady though who won't take no crap, but she's as sweet as homemade apple-pie.  I've known her for years as we've been neighbors for about 6.  She is the 2011 MAC Award winner of Outstanding Host and 2010 Bistro Award Winner for producing The Concerts at Tudor City Greens. 
√ her out here:

The show was amazing and had a multitude of featured artists ranging from multi-talented piano players to bistro singers on the Lower East Side.  We had a guitarist that sounded like Santana and a seasoned cabaret performer who's even done it in Paris. 
 This group of people really do a GREAT deal for Tudor City Greens and it does not go unrecognized.  We greatly appreciate all that you do for our parks in the area and thank you for all of the events and activities, it's great having access to them in this concrete-jungle we call home.  
Special Thanks to the Tudor City Greens, INC. Officers:
Roland Peracca, President
David Reiff, Vice President
Mary Frances Shaughnessy, 1st Vice President
Christopher Sale, Co-Director of Activities
Suzanne Simonelli, Co-Director of Activities
Anne Stoddard, Secretary
Marcia Thompson, Treasurer
last but certainly not least STEVE-the-Gardner, who cleans up everyone's garbage and rakes the walkways everyday.  Thank you Steve.

As you can see there was an excellent turn-out.  All the seats were filled and so were everyone's ear-drums....

This is Dr. Garrett Bennett, who's apparently a pretty good sound man too; AKA Raissa's better half, (nah just kidding) this is her husband and he was nice enough to let me get right behind him to photograph the artists.  The entire event went off without a hitch and sounded balanced and well thought out.
This is the crooner.  If you look closely you can actually see Raissa reacting to her amazing voice in the backgound center.  When Gabrielle Stravelli opens her mouth angels fly out...not really but the girl sounded heavenly.. She was divine and I encourage you all to √ her out here:
She plays a brunch gig from 12-4 at Le Pescadeux at 90 Thompson St. on Sundays right here in the heart of Manhattan.  I can't wait to go check her out again! 
Terese Genecco was seriously channeling some Don Henley here.  The girl could flat out play the heck out of the drums and sing at the same time.  I don't know about you but I can't hardly walk and chew-gum at the same time. In fact, I don't chew gum anymore b/c of it.  Anyway, Terese is currently the star of "the longest running nightclub act on Broadway" at The Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.  Genecco and her Tropicana Girls appear there on the last Tuesday of every month with her 8-piece *little BIG band* √ here out here:

 BELT it OUT Sister! She sounded GREAT!  The incomparable
John DeMarco was the lead singer for the Follis Bergere in Paris then took his show to Las Vegas for 2 years.  He is a top cabaret singer known throughout all of Manhattan and is a 2 time MAC Award winner, one for Best Jazz Vocalist and the other for Best Jazz Album. 
 John DeMarco doin' his thang'
It ain't nothin' but a chicken wang on a strang'
Make me happy like the Lune~
I wanna go swingin' on the MOON!!! 
 Dr. Bennett gave me all access to the show.  He let me knell behind the scenes so-to-speak.  Here is Sean Harkness on the guitar who's an amazing accompanist and artist.  Mr. Harkness has 5 records, won 2 awards, and you can √ more of him out here.
Play us a song Mr. Piano Man! Play us a song tonight.  
'Cause we're all in the mood for a melody.  And you got us feelin' alright! 
 This is Mr. Dan Furman and he just might be a Country Boy too! He's from Old Hickory, Tennessee and has been playing the piano since age 6.  Also, he's part of the Primordial Jazz Funket based right here in Manhattan.  His full-length musical, "RIP!" was just featured at the Midtown International Theatre Festival.  √ Dan the Man out here:

All in all it was an amazing, tranquil, laid-back jazz filled night with crooners echoing the rhythm of the beat..... and it made us step to our feet.  City Belle even joined me and we snuck away in the corner of the park so we could sneak a kiss.....


until next time, 

Country Boy  

Here's a video of Sean Harkness courtesy of MDK Global Design Studios.
(press like on Facehook'd)


  1. Awesome!!!Great pics!!

  2. Thanks for the great pictures and the excellent run down of the events at Tudor City Greens last week! You're the best, Country Boy! We'll see you there again next month! XO Terese Genecco (drummer/singer/swinger) ;-)

  3. Hi CB-CB! Thanks SO much for the shout out in your wonderful blog! Glad you enjoyed the concert. :)
    - Gabrielle Stravelli

  4. Thank you everyone for enjoying the JAZZ!!!


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