NewsAfter a busy December, I’ve been taking a little time off from performing to write, practice and do some personal work at home. I find myself working on a political song, not usually my thing, but my feelings about the current situation are finding an outlet in this way. I hope you won’t mind my sharing a few thoughts with you.
It seems to me the discrepancy between the popular vote and the outcome of the election has grown to alarming proportions; (two point six MILLION more people voted for the candidate who was deemed the loser by the Electoral College,) and to many of us, the result is frightening.
I hope it’s not too late to start a discussion about reforming an electoral system that was created for a nation with a much smaller population, in a world where heads of state were determined by bloodlines and/or military conquest, and the idea of giving the common man the task of selecting a national leader was too radical, even for the “sons of liberty.” Hamilton came up with the idea that the people elect a committee of men whose judgment they trusted, to elect the president. They were entrusted to do two things: support the will of the people and prevent a person who was unfit for office from becoming president. Neither of those things is accomplished by the current system, and the disproportion between the weight of a vote in a heavily populated state and a vote in a lightly populated state is staggering. I feel in my heart, the time for change is now (if not sooner!) Please, let's make America a DEMOCRACY!!!
Thanks for listening! Next time, more music news . . .
About Cecilia Kirtland
With the best singer-songwriters, there is always some element of those who have gone before, combined with elements so innovative, the result is clearly their own. Cecilia Kirtland’s latest release, “Heart Like a Buick”, proves her to be such an artist, (for those who didn’t already know!) Her previous solo release, “Small Comfort”, and a duo holiday album “Songs of the Season” with Robin Greenstein, garnered critical acclaim, as well as local and global airplay.
The musical odyssey begins in early childhood with the sounds of Mozart, and Bach that filled the family home, along with Latin American folk music, a few popular Broadway shows and a smattering of other things. It finds itself at maturity in music with a much more obvious connection to blues, soul and pop music, but owes something to everything that came before, including an adolescent interest in the traditional music of the Appalachians, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Mississippi John Hurt, all the folk singers and singer-songwriters of the day, British Invasion, classic blues and r & b, and the influences will probably never end. The result is music that is unique and personal, and comes first from the heart and personal experience, and secondarily from all the musical heroes.
Born in Manhattan, and raised on Long Island, Cecilia expressed an interest in playing music at the tender age of four. She started with piano lessons at five, but succumbed to the lure of the guitar at age ten. A Chilean friend of her mother's, (her Mom being also from Chile), first showed her a few chords on the guitar and taught her a couple of Hispanic songs. Left to her own devices, the repertoire expanded to include Baez, Beatles, etc. She eventually got formal training at The Guitar Workshop in Roslyn, NY, and studied with its founder, the late Kent Sidon, who taught her classical guitar technique and its application to other kinds of music. A decade or so later, she had the great good fortune to find Jim Carson, who helped her develop her vocal gifts.
While in high school, she appeared on CBS-TV's "Camera 3" with folk legend Jean Ritchie, later contributing background vocals to Ritchie's "None But One" (Sire Records), which was awarded "Best Folk Album of the Year" by Rolling Stone Magazine. She played at NYC's bicentennial celebrations at South Street Seaport, and opened shows for Buzzy Linhart, Dr. John, Kenny Rankin, and Tom Paxton among others. For upcoming shows, see CALENDAR page; for what the critics have to say, see REVIEWS.
Saturday, December 10, 5:45 - 7:30 pm
Soulstice Sisters featuring Cecilia Kirtland, Maag Stanley & Martha Trachtenberg
Holiday Gallery Opening @ The Heckscher Museum of Art
2 Prime Ave, Huntington, NY 11743 631 351-3250
Sunday, December 11, 2-3 pm
@ Lindenhurst Memorial Library
1 Lee Avenue Lindenhurst, NY 11757 631-957-7755
Wednesday, December 14th, 1:45 - 2:45 pm
Cecilia Kirtland (solo)
Heckscher Museum of Art
2 Prime Ave, Huntington, NY 11743 631 351-3250
Friday, December 16th, 7:30 pm -
Holiday Revue featuring Cecilia Kirtland,
Ray Lambiase Band and the Welldiggers
Page One Restaurant, Glen Cove, NY
A My Fathers Place Production
Live online stream at: www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsOfMyFathersPlace/
Reviews“. . .she approaches each song as if it were a precious jewel capable of yielding previously
unrecognized shades of meaning and color. . .
Singing in a voice of considerable range and varied texture, she manages to communicate the
lyrical essence of a song in a way that is rare even among today’s best-known performers.
. . . a sure-handed guitarist who brings crisp technique and a sophisticated ear to her stark,
Miss Kirtland seemed able to obliterate all previous renditions from the listeners mind, at least for
the duration of her personalized treatment. People appeared to be listening, not for any particular
song, but for the interpretation she brought to it.
Many were clearly moved.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES
“. . . soulful & sophisticated . . .music that is at once rich with rhythm and funk, yet soothing to the ears and soul . . . bending and coaxing notes to suit herself, and, of course, her delighted audience . . . she succeeds in such a diversity of selections because of a truly personal style.”
“Throughout Heart Like a Buick and Small Comfort, I am reminded that sometimes comparisons are not needed--- in fact, should not even be attempted. Some musicians stand on their own . . . I listen to Kirtland's music . . . with an ease and an immense amount of respect . . . the work is deserving of mention and at moments, mind-blowing.” Frank O. Gutch Jr, Rockandreprise.net
“. . .a solid singer, songwriter and soloist who obviously loves her craft. . .a true and honest
July 18, 2011, Eisenhower Park
Annual Benefit for Long Island Cares, an organization that fights hunger on Long Island, founded by Harry Chapin. Benefit organized & hosted by Stuart Markus. Photos by Bob Berkowitz. Group shots in left column: Frank Walker, Cecilia Kirtland, Janet Leto, Joanne Amante, Debra Lynne & Martha Trachtenberg. Right column, first and third pics: Dianne Garristo, Martha Ttrachtenberg, Joanne Amante, CK, Debra Lynne, Janet Leto and Ellen Dumlao. Second shot: Frank Walker.
November 29, 2010, "Songs of the Season"
Duo with Robin Greenstein, CD Release Show at Mirelle's, Westbury, NY. Photos by Howard Marks. Left column, first pic: RG, Lora Kendall, CK, second: Steve Finklenstein, RG, Mike Nugent, third: RG, Mike Nugent, CK, fourth: Sue Klied. right column, first: Rob Stein, second: RG & CK, third: Sue Klied, Steve Finkelstein, RG, Lora Kendall, Mike Nugent, Ken "the Rocket" Korb, CK, (last, stage after show).
August 9, 2010, Eisenhower Park
Benefit for Long Island Cares, Cecilia with Eric Udel on bass. Pics 1, 2 & 4 by Bob Berkowitz, 3 & 5 by John Aalto.
Collaborations & Friends
Left column, top to bottom, first: Maag Stanley, Lesley Zimei & CK, the trio that laid the groundwork for Cemaara. Second: Ramona Spooney. When Lesley left the trio to pursue other things, Ramona filled the vacancy & Cemaara was born. Third: Soul Twist. Tom Derenzo, Larry Ketchell, Pat Ambrosio, and Tommy Santoriello, with friends ("Soul Chicks") Anna Corona & CK. Right column, top to bottom: The Other Shoe, "Musicians for Haiti", benefit at Mirelle's, The Other Shoe at the Songbox.
Click on the images below to download them in high resolution.