The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York


August 5, 2011

‘Katonah Live’ seeks to promote local music scene


Among talented local performers, eighth-grader Amber Lewis performs a song at the “Rock for Relief” John Jay Middle School Charity Rock Concert for victims of the Joplin, Mo., tornado.

and R.J. MARX

A new coalition of groups seeking to bring live music to Katonah is forming, selecting a date for a musical kickoff in the hamlet. Conceived by Katonah’s Kelly Miller, the group, with the assistance of the Katonah Museum of Art, Caramoor and the Katonah Chamber of Commerce, will present its first day of concerts at this year’s Katonah Fall Festival, on Saturday, Sept. 24.

On Thursday night, supporters of the group gathered at NoKa Joe’s in Katonah for a community cocktail and fundraiser.

Jennifer Cook said the idea behind Katonah Live sprung from a suggestion by Ms. Miller that there should be live music and arts events in the hamlet. “Kelly is very connected with music, and wanted to put together a concert at the gazebo,” Ms. Cook said. “From the idea for a single concert arose discussion on a broader scale that Katonah should have these types of events on a regular basis. As those discussions picked up steam, we realized that in order to have this kind of entertainment and ‘scene’ in our community, we’d need to create a viable, long-term organization that helps bring music and arts to Katonah on an ongoing basis.”

Ms. Miller said that the idea originated with presenting music at the Katonah gazebo. But organizers discovered that the gazebo would prove problematic from a traffic perspective. She began a quest “to create a better venue for the community to gather to enjoy music where we live.”

Finding support and gaining expertise from civic groups in Katonah, Ms. Miller was able to team with the chamber to initiate the organization’s first date in September. She said that the chamber of commerce is covering insurance expenses.

As individuals started lending their support, ideas and energy to the proposal, it led to key groups and institutions around Katonah becoming involved. “Each of us wanted to be part of making this happen as individuals, but most of us are also affiliated with a group like the chamber, KVIS or the museum, so that led to even more support and momentum,” Ms. Cook said.

The Katonah Museum of Art has been instrumental in support, said Ms. Miller, providing expertise in setting up the organization’s fundraising mechanism; donors can go to and give via PayPal.

The event will include three young adult bands with local ties, and one teen group. These include the Folkadelics, managed by Fox Lane grad Katie Perratore; Pitch Blak Brass Band, a hip-hop fusion band led by Katonah’s Alison Shearer; and the Drew Bordeaux band, featuring 2006 Fox Lane grad Drew Bordeaux.

Hot in the Pocket, featuring John Jay students Cole Miller, 17, on guitar and vocals; Pete Miller on keyboards; trombonist Jeremy Sabath; Kevin Myers on drums; and Eugene Bisdikian, from Chappaqua, on bass, will also be on the bandstand in front of Peppino’s Restaurant on Sept. 24. Bands will be onstage from 3 to 7 p.m.

Ms. Miller said she is hopeful that it is the first of many concerts and events.

While August is traditionally a slow month, she said she is trying to receive donations and build support for the fledgling group. “We’re crushed on time,” she said. “Hopefully this will give us some idea of community interest, and get some kind of core support.

Since funding for all live concerts and other events will come entirely from contributions and sponsorships by local residents and businesses, Ms. Cook said a major part of Katonah Live’s mission will be fundraising. “It’s just a reality of these times and this economy that we need to raise money on our own and from a variety of residents and businesses, so that will be a big part of what we do,” Ms. Cook said.

The ultimate goal is to have a steady stream of music and art shows and other cultural events become part of the fabric of Katonah. “We all know those towns that have very cool concerts and art and other interesting programs that make it a special, hip place to live in, visit or hang out in,” Ms. Cook explained. “That’s the type of place we want Katonah to be.”

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