Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches CD Release Concert
185 Orchard St.
New York, NY, 10002
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 7:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches
New York City’s Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches are likely the only band infusing elements of Gullah-Geechee culture with folk traditions, New Orleans influences, and music from the 1920s. Their brand new album, Very Next Thing, includes 10 songs.
Gullah-Geechee was developed by Africans on the islands and coasts of Georgia and South Carolina centuries ago. They introduced traditional instruments (banjo, fiddle) and novel playing styles. Drums were banned—so they used their hands, feet, stick, and mouths to create drum sounds. This strong influence on the band gives a distinct sound. Dr. David Pleasant plays 8 out of 10 songs on percussion that have Gullah influence. David is an esteemed African-American culture bearer. He uses his body, voice, and a drum set made of tambourines.
"This powerful and strong influence for our band brings spiritual energy to our shows," says Nick Russo. "My musical life has always been surrounded by an eclectic combination of unique musicians and scenes. So naturally, my own band has been a melting pot of many different cultures, genres, instruments, and sounds!"
Nick Russo leads the charge as bandleader and composer. He plays banjo, resonator, and guitar. Russo had the honor to play with Sir Paul McCartneywhile performing at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s home. Nick has performed on ABC’s “Good Morning America" and appears in the Sam Mendes film “Away We Go.”
Percussionist and composer, Dr. David Pleasant has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Cecil Taylor, and many others. He has also performed on Nickelodeon, TED talks, ABC with Ted Koppel, Broadway, and around the world.
Betina Hershey (vocals, guitar) has appeared as a principal dancer in Disney's Enchanted and Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts. Hershey performed on international and national tours of Broadway shows including “West Side Story” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
Rounding out the band is Miles Griffith. His non-traditional use of the voice as a percussive instrument, combined with an uncanny harmonic sense makes a singular force in the ensemble. He has performed with Max Roach, Reggie Workman, Paul Simon, and others. He played the lead role in Wynton Marsalis' jazz oratorio ''Blood On The Fields,'' which premiered at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.
GA Seated || Please note, there is a two drink minimum in the room.