Camila Meza with Aaron Goldberg
Unsilent: Songs of Change
Greenwich House Music School
Review by Brenda Repland
The last in the Uncharted series this year featured Camila Meza, with Aaron Goldberg (piano) and Norm Weisenberg (bass) in a program that included compositions by Latin Americans as well as some by Camila herself.
The New York Times has described her as 'A bright young singer and guitarist with an ear for music of both folkloric and pop intention. She is a graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Hailing from Santiago, Chile, she has had quite an effect on the New York jazz scene, appearing at most of the jazz clubs and international venues.
The title of this performance - Unsilent: Songs of Change – speaks to her desire to explore and exemplify those emotions and events that we all face. Some of her pieces were dedicated to women. One was “Comenzar de Nuevo” (start again) with a thrilling piano accompaniment.
Many of her songs reflected issues of South America: dictatorships, oppression, poverty. “I Like the Students,” by Violeta Parra expressed feelings that are quite current (praise for the students who rebel against injustice).
Perhaps the most moving and timely song of the evening came from Uruguay. The lyrics of “Movimiento” are ones we can all identify with nowadays. “I’m not from here. You’re not from here either. We’re from nowhere at all, but from everywhere a little.”
This trio plumbed the depths of emotion with absolutely exhilarating jazz.
Lynn Ahrens: A Lyric Life
Review by Brenda Repland
Lyrics & Lyricists at the 92nd Street Y, featured the Lyric Life of Lynn Ahrens this week.
Ragtime. Anastasia. Once on This Island. Schoolhouse Rock!
Lynn Ahrens’ lyrics are so smart, imaginative, tender and clever, they earned her the “triple crown” of Broadway awards — Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle. She shared stories about her career, and about being a lyricist in a world where few women have thrived.
Her lyrics covered the jolly to the sublime with every mood under the sun.
Both the singing company and the instrumentalists were well-matched for a great tribute to Ms. Ahrens’ lyrics (and varied composers). Every time “Alton Fitzgerald White let loose with his operatic bass-baritone, the audience swooned.
The highlights of the evening were the Schoolhouse Rock medley which was accompanied by a terrific banjo by Nate Brown; David Harris and the company in a rousing Streets of Dublin; a marvelous saxophone in Green Eggs and Ham; a powerful Back to Before with Nikki Renée Daniels; and How Lucky You Are by the entire company to close the show. But the showstopper for this reviewer was the music AND choreography of the Ragtime medley.
Lynn Ahrens, featured lyricist and host
Jason Danieley, director
Mary-Mitchell Campbell, music director
Michael Gacetta, co-music director
Nikki Renée Daniels
Alton Fitzgerald White
Aaron Heick, reeds
Cenovia Cummins, violin
Nate Brown, guitar
Pete Donovan, bass
Clint de Ganon, drums