BANDS AND OTHER PROJECTS
Uncommon Ground is on a mission to flex the boundaries of traditional music. On Uncommon Ground’s musical landscape, rock energy coexists peacefully with old-time mountain soul. Unmistakably traditional, backwoods melodies combine with hip, hard-hitting rhythms and high-wire solos intermingle with high, heavenly vocals. Bartok meets Bluegrass. Gypsy Jazz and Choro share the stage with a Celtic hornpipe. The resulting acoustic fusion can warp a time-tested traditional tune into a new fresh sound without sacrificing the authenticity of the original sources.
Uncommon Ground combines the classically trained talents of fiddle-phenom Rachel Handman and sub-sonic wizard Phil Helm with those of guitar guru Mike Kobetitsch and mandolin-master Wayne Fugate. Their technical precision, inspired creativity, warmth, good humor, and overall mercurial dazzle guarantee performances that are polished, never less than musically captivating, and directly involve the audience in the thrill of musical discovery.
In a never ending quest to establish the Mandolin as a worldwide dominant force among musical instruments, three longtime friends and mandolin masters have joined forces in forming the band “Mandolin Madness”, as a vehicle for winning converts to their cause.
Mandolin Madness features Barry Mitterhoff, Michael Sassano and Wayne Fugate – three mandolin players whose mandolinistic stylings are uniquely their own but who play together with a synergy that makes for a truly memorable string summit.
Mandolin Madness draws on all the voices of the mandolin family (mandolin, mandola, mando-cello and octave mandolin) to create a show that is mythical, magical, musical mandolin mayhem.
Back in the 90s, backstage at Ben Freed's Muscoot Farm Bluegrass Festival, Mark Murphy, Michael Sassano, Wayne Fugate, and Lisa Gutkin gathered for a jam.
The four were on fire, and when Ben came around to hear what the commotion was about, the newly minted band was on the main stage 20 minutes later. “Lisa's Pieces," a name that has stuck through the years, gathers occasionally to lovingly reform their impromptu band, with its foot stomping, Irish-y, Jewish-y, Bluegrass-y, special something that Lisa is so well known for.
Lisa Gutkin is the Grammy Award-winning violinist, singer and songwriter of the renowned Klezmatics, and composer of the score for the Tony Award winning play Indecent, by Paula Vogel.
The New York Mandolin Ensemble
The New York Mandolin Ensemble is one of the country’s premiere chamber orchestra groups using instruments of the Mandolin and Lute families (Mandolins, Mandola, Mando-Cello, Guitar and Bass).
Founded in 2007, the New York Mandolin Ensemble performs classical and contemporary compositions from around the world. The Ensemble’s mission is to promote the mandolin family of instruments to audiences by demonstrating that the scope of mandolin music expands far beyond its most popular framework within the folk and bluegrass worlds to include original compositions and arrangements, classical music, Brazilian choro, jazz and beautiful Neapolitan/Italian songs..
The New York Mandolin ensemble combines exceptional musicianship with carefully crafted arrangements of both new and old compositions. Together, they consistently create truly memorable performances that are guaranteed to provide pure, unadulterated pleasure for anyone who loves quality instrumental music.