Wall to Wall – May 14, 2011 – Symphony Space
Yet another time I say “Yet another only-in-New York…” But that’s the case for the annual Wall-to-Wall extravaganza at Symphony Space. A general theme is chosen, and then a series (a smorgasbord, really) of performers step on stage to do their short sets, from 11 AM until midnightish. The pool of talent and interpreters in the NYC area is unsurpassed, plus special guests come from afar. Themes of past years that we’ve attended were Aaron Copland (he sat across the aisle from us for the opening “Fanfare for the Common Man” in pre-sketching 1980), Joni Mitchell (no, she didn’t show, in 2003) and Igor Stravinsky (not about to rise from the grave in 2006). This year’s theme was “Sonidos”.
We arrived unnecessarily early, but you can’t complain when street parking is so swiftly and decently located. One never knows how the turnout for such will be, and we’ve been shut out in the past, so we open the place, guaranteeing great seats. The first two acts were dance groups; though each had live music accompaniment, there was no sketching to be done, as the dancing was waaaay to compelling! I got working with Aurora & Zon del Barrio, getting each of the three singers during their featured song. Then Chilcano, derivative of NYU’s Jazz Department, which featured my first cahon (literally, “box”). Tono Vilchez also did some dancing on one of the numbers. Finished up with my first bandoneon, Daniel Binelli playing, among other works, a world premiere of his “New York Tango”.
I did not have my stalking game on, and circumstances beyond me ruled, so I only got 2 autographs. Oh well. By the time we left (around 3) there were still empty seats and no outside line was yet to materialize.