WAYWORDS AND MEANSIGNS: Chris contributes to one of the epic music & literature projects of recent memory. The brainchild of Derek Pyle, Waywords and Meansigns brings together dozens of composers to musicalize passages of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. Chris's excerpt alone is 25 minutes long. The latest edition, including Chris's track, releases on May 4. A mind-boggling collective effort, check it out at the link above. (Art: Robert Barry)
New York, NY
CHRIS RAEL performs at LaMaMa remembrance of JOHN VACCARO: On May 6, I'll perform in this tribute to dear friend John Vaccaro, visionary founder of the Play-House of the Ridiculous. John literally changed the world! I'll perform the song I wrote for him years ago, Tripping With Wanda (John was Wanda). Penny Arcade will moderate a panel on John & the Play-House, and Ruby Lynn Reyner will also perform. 4-6 pm on a Saturday afternoon; it's free. If you knew & loved him as we did, please come.
Brooklyn, NY 11206
CHURCH OF BETTY & Collapsible Shoulder at SILENT BARN. COB reunites at the invitation of Chris Cochrane & Collapsible Shoulder. Excited! Check back for more details closer to date.
New York, NY 10003
CHURCH OF BETTY at the LIBERTY CIRCUS, Theater 80 St. Marks. We will appear with poet Alan Kaufman and friends when the Circus passes through New York. Save the date, this will be special. Many more details to follow, please check back closer to date
Silver Spring, MD 20910
EYEWITNESS BLUES at DC Blues Society: Chris rejoins old friends Barry & Amy Brady, with whom he played in the AV Band in the early '80s, for this rare performance in his home town. Much looking forward!
CHRIS & VLADA at Compass Spring Fling - Chris & Vlada perform at winter social for son Sasha's school. Open to the public. Multicultural duo power! G train to Classon or Bedford-Nostrand, C train to Franklin Ave (Photo: Zen)
Brooklyn, NY 11225
CHRIS & VLADA at Lefferts House for Brooklyn Public Library. Lefferts House is within Prospect Park. Chris & Vlada will open and close this guided conversation program on the meaning of 'home'. The setting will be a back yard fire, should be nice. (Photo: Zen)
CHRIS & VLADA at Clive & Heather's Soiree Series. We're looking forward to playing at our friends' salon-style gathering in their lovely Crown Heights, Brooklyn home. This is a private free event, so no address online. But if you're interested in coming, message me on Facebook. (Photo: Zen)
New York, NY
CHURCH OF BETTY Unplugged at Theresa Byrnes's TACTICAL STREAM, Theresa Byrnes Gallery, East Village. Rima, Claire & I will open the evening's festivities with a rendition of Endure. Will be a beautiful gathering; stop by. (Art: Theresa Byrnes)
New York, NY 10009
CHURCH OF BETTY at St. MARK's POETRY PROJECT 43rd Annual New Years Day Marathon. Our favorite way to kick off the new year. Chris will be joined by Rima, Claire & Marlon at 11 pm. Other performers this year include Penny Arcade, Justin Vivian Bond, Steve Earle, John Giorno, Thurston Moore, Eileen Myles, Reno, Elliott Sharp, Tammy Faye Starlight & many dozens more. (Photo: Marc Nasdor)
VLADA TOMOVA & CHRIS RAEL at Andrea Clearfield's Main Line Salon, Wynnewood, PA: Chris & Vlada perform again for dear friend Andrea Clearfield's salon series in greater Philly. Joined by Philly violist extraordinaire Elizabeth Jaffe. (Photo: Andrea Clearfield)
New York, NY 10009
CHRIS RAEL VIDEO EXTRAVAGANZA at LE PETIT VERSAILLES: An evening of invigorating free video in this beautiful Lower East Side community art garden. The program unfolds in 3 parts:
Church of Betty Swirled World - Chris invited several of NYC's finest videographers to make videos of songs from COB's 2015 release Swirled World. The videographers shot the band performing live and in the studio, then shared the footage for their individual songs. The result: 5 utterly distinct videos thematically linked by the shared performance vid. Each song feels like a journey to a completely different place with the same people. Videos by Jasmine Hirst, Steve Zehentner, Joan Grossman, Eric Wallach and Chris Rael (25 min)
Wish You Were Here - A few recent, short travel and music videos by Chris, including Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, the cafe and street musicians of old Havana, and music videos of Balkan chanteuse Vlada Tomova with the great Bulgarian group Balkansky and a haunting, soulful video of contemporary folk duo Dubl Handi, shot in Brooklyn and the Catskills (20 min)
Far Away Home - In 2004, Chris and Penny Arcade explored northeastern New Mexico in search of Chris's family roots. They discovered a whole world of Spanish-American family he'd never known. Chris assembled this piece almost entirely from Penny's home movies of the journey. The outcome is both charming and compelling as the audience experiences the discoveries unfolding along with the protagonists. Screened at the Truth Or Consequences Film Festival, Far Away Home makes its NYC premiere under the stars at the magical garden (45 min) Please join us!
CHRIS & VLADA in SOFIA: Performance with Vlada's Bulgarian band in Sofia, Bulgaria. At Casa de Cuba, we will certainly play some Sephardic songs
New York, NY 10012
ACKER AWARDS CEREMONY at Howl! Happening: Chris will receive the Acker Award for outstanding contributions to the avant grade arts community in defiance of convention. He is deeply honored! Many other artists in all disciplines will also be recognized. A wonderful event for the Downtown arts community, come on down! (Art: Clayton Patterson)
New York, NY
CHOKHER BALI, a play by Partha Chatterjee, based on the Rabindranath Tagore novel, at Barnard College. Thurs 3/3 @8pm; Fri 3/4 @8pm; Sat 3/5 @2pm & 8pm. The English language premiere of Chokher Bali [Sand in My Eye], based on the classic novel by Rabindranath Tagore, dramatized and translated by Partha Chatterjee, directed by internationally renowned playwright and director Mahesh Dattani, and dramaturged by Assistant Professor Shayoni Mitra. A compelling account of marriage and widowhood, and a meditiation on feminine desire and agency, told against the backdrop of the rapidly modernizing bhadralok, or gentlemanly class, of late 19th century Calcutta. MUSIC BY DEEP SINGH, CHRIS RAEL & BILL BUCHEN
CHRIS & VLADA live at the BULGARIAN CONSULATE, HAVANA CUBA: We'll comp anyone from Brooklyn who makes it down ;)
New York, NY 10003
CHURCH OF BETTY at ST MARKS POETRY PROJECT. Betty is delighted to return to this annual Downtown community event welcoming the new year. This year Chris, Marlon & Rima will perform Paella, their rousing anthem to global community. The event goes all day and long into the night; the trio is scheduled to appear between 6 and 7 pm. This is a fundraiser for St Marks Poetry Project; ticket price to come. (Photo: Vlada Tomova)
Raelian Cabaret resurfaces at The Living Room, featuring your singing MC STEW throughout the night, the great ESZTER BALINT at 8:45 & CHURCH OF BETTY at 10. Also appearing with Stew: the angelic Carol Lipnik, who performed in the Fringe production of Chris's musical ARABY in 2011. This night promises to be the stuff of legend; need we say more? Don't miss it! TICKETS HERE (Art: Chris Rael)
Chris & Vlada at ANDREA CLEARFIELD's SALON, Philadelphia: We are excited to return to this delightful and engaged community of music loving Philadelphians. It's a city rich in art and culture; Andrea's salon is a beacon event there. Tonight Chris and Vlada will be joined by two of Philly's finest bowed string players: violinist Elizabeth Kaderabek and violist Elizabeth Jaffe. Attendance is by invitation only. If you would like to come, please click the web link for more information. (Photo: John Hayes)
Chris will appear in STEW's new show examining composer Richard Wagner at the Kennedy Center. Chris will play sitar, possibly in lederhosen. Have the stomach for that? Then buy tix here
Brooklyn, NY 11238
CHURCH OF BETTY at PROSPECT HEIGHTS MUSIC FESTIVAL at the Branded Saloon. Tonight we will be a quartet with Claire de Brunner on bassoon, Chris Cochrane on guitar, Brian Geltner on drums & Chris Rael singing & playing. We'll bring a little Brooklyn Soul.
New York, NY 10016
HELP NEPAL Benefit Concert for Nepalese Earthquake Victims: Indra Tamang presents Debbie Harry, Penny Arcade & Chris Rael, Felice Rosser & Faith, Tammy Faye Starlight and other stellar performers, including a number of renowned Nepalese artists. The quake struck home for Chris, who spent substantial time in Nepal in the late '80s/early '90s. He is pleased to support this most worthy cause.
Brooklyn, NY 11249
CHURCH OF BETTY & PUGWASH at the LIVING ROOM: Chris Rael, Brian Geltner, Rima Fand, Marlon Cherry, Claire de Brunner, Chris Cochrane & Pinky Weitzman celebrate the release of Swirled World, Church of Betty's first CD in almost 12 years! A thrilling night at the new Living Room featuring Betty in hyperdrive plus the mind-bogglingly great Irish band Pugwash - in Chris's opinion the heirs apparent to the Beatles & XTC. See Chris's blog about Pugwash's recent debut show in New York on this site's Blog page. The show of the year! 7-10 pm, only $15. TICKETS HERE (Photo: Julia Gorbach)
New York, NY 10009
PENNY ARCADE & CHRIS RAEL at ST MARKS POETRY PROJECT New Years Day Marathon. Chris will accompany Penny's performance, channeling Van Morrison. (Video still: Steve Zehentner)
Brooklyn, New York
THE LAZARUS ROSE at BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY: Church of Betty Globestra will perform The Lazarus Rose, its program of contemporary world arrangements of centuries-old Sephardic songs, at the Dweck Center in the Brooklyn Public Library at 7 pm. The lineup will feature Rael on multiple instruments, Vlada Tomova voice, Rima Fand violin, Pinky Weitzman viola, Claire de Brunner bassoon, Marlon Cherry bass & Nacho Arimany percussion. Everybody sings. Free to the public! (Photo: Julia Gorbach)
New York, NY 10001
STEW & THE NEGRO PROBLEM at LINCOLN CENTER: Chris rides again with Stew and his gang of musically deft merry pranksters at Lincoln Center Out of Doors. TNP will double-bill with Camille A. Brown and Dancers. (Photo: Lisa Philp)
BALKAN TALES in the Bulgarian Spring Project at the Europa Roots Festival, a spectacular private event in San Diego. Chris will play bass with Vlada Tomova's Balkan Tales, also featuring Kyle Sanna on guitar, Emilia Simeonov on violin & Brad Dutz on percussion.
New York, NY 10013
THE LAST WALTZ LIVE at the HIGHLINE BALLROOM: This charity-raising event recreates The Band's famous The Last Waltz concert, immortalized in the Scorsese film. A host of New York-based performers will sing the songs from the original concert, which were done by Dylan, Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, etc. Chris has been invited to perform Neil Young's Helpless. Also appearing will be singers from the Zen Tricksters, Hot Tuna, and New Riders of the Purple Sage. This event raises money for Music in Common. Looking forward!
Brooklyn, NY 11215
CHURCH OF BETTY at BARBES, Raelian Cabaret with VLADA TOMOVA's BULGARIAN VOICES TRIO and SOOZEE HWANG & the RELASTICS. Tonight Church of Betty will consist of Rael, Marlon Cherry (bass), Susan Hwang (accordion), Claire de Brunner (bassoon), Maria Jeffers (cello), Pinky Weitzman (viola), Gregor Kitzis (violin) & Adam Maalouf (world hand percussion). Vlada @7, Soozee @7:30, Betty @8:15 (Photo: Vlada Tomova)
New York, NY 10019
THE NEW STEW REVIEW at 54 BELOW, the supper club in the cellar of Studio 54. Chris is in for another round with Stew of Passing Strange & his very fun band. Click "54 Below" above for tix
Montauk, New York 11954
VLADA TOMOVA & CHRIS RAEL at MONTAUK LIBRARY: Vlada & Chris will perform at the Montauk Public Library in memory of Mr. George Hadjipopov, aka "Bulgarian George" of Montauk. (Photo: Leela Rupa)
Brooklyn, New York
CHURCH OF BETTY GLOBESTRA at the NEW YORK SEPHARDIC MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Globestra officially launches its new CD The Lazarus Rose at the Knitting Factory for the New York Sephardic Music Festival. We are billing with a great & compelling group: Rashanim, with Jon Madof guitar, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz bass, Mathias Künzli drums & percussion. Click here for tickets
New York, NY 10002
CHURCH OF BETTY at the LIVING ROOM: Betty returns for one last furious half-hour commemorating the swan song weekend of the Ludlow Street location of the Living Room, our beloved haunt & musical home for 15 years. Chris will be joined by a flood of special guests including Marlon Cherry, Brian Geltner, Chris Cochrane, Kenny Siegal, Gwen Snyder & Pinky Weitzman. Betty at 11:15, bookended by Pinky's Not Waving But Drowning at 10:30 & Gwen's Blueberry at midnight. (Photo: Rick Jungers)
Burlington, VT 05401
CHRIS RAEL & VLADA TOMOVA at NORTH END STUDIOS, Burlington, VT. A duet performance featuring Indian flavors, Sephardic Jewish songs, Balkan folk, and original compositions mashing up all of the above. (Photo: Leela Rupa)
Brooklyn, NY 11215
CHRIS RAEL EXPERIENCE at the BELL HOUSE: Chris will perform with Chris Cochrane & Brian Geltner at this Jan Kotik tribute concert organized by Babe the Blue Ox, a great band from the '90s that also worked with Jan, the original Church of Betty drummer. The incredible lineup includes Beekeeper, Ida, Life in a Blender, M Shanghai String Band, Morning Glories, Sportsman's Paradise & VPN. This will also be the release show for Babe's new album Guilty, their first in 15 years. Chris & co. play at 11 sharp, but come at 7 & enjoy the bliss all night long. The Bell House is one of Brooklyn's hottest new music clubs; come find out why. (Art: Sue Havens)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
CHURCH OF BETTY GLOBESTRA at JALOPY: The woody-acousticy-worldy Globestra returns for another spin, opening for dear old friends M Shanghai String Band at Jalopy, a magical, quaint old theater/music school in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The Globestra will consist of Rael & Singh, Bulgarian chanteuse Vlada Tomova, flamenco percussion star Nacho Arimany, scorching string players Emi Simeonov (violin), Pinky Weitzman (viola) & Gjilberta Lucaj (cello), bassoonist extraordinaire Claire de Brunner & our Rock of Gibralter, Marlon Cherry, on bass. We'll play a mix of COB-ified Sephardic songs from our upcoming release The Lazarus Rose and some COB chestnuts. M Shanghai is, put simply, a kickass great time you won't want to miss. It's a big night and well worth the excursion to Red Hook - come join us! (Photo: Dean Lance)
93.9 FM, 105.9 FM, New York
CHURCH OF BETTY GLOBESTRA on WNYC: The Globestra will perform in The Greene Space's Battle of the Boroughs, live on WNYC Radio 93.9 FM at 7 pm. We will play Adon Haselichot, a modern pan-global arrangement of a centuries-old Hebrew Sephardic song. Rael: sitar/voice, Deep Singh: tabla, Vlada Tomova: voice, Marlon Cherry: bass/voice, Emilia Simeonov: violin, Pinky Weitzman: viola, Gjilberta Lucaj: cello, Eric Fraser: bansuri flute.
New York, NY 10002
CHURCH OF BETTY at THE LIVING ROOM: Chris presents an evening of unforgettable music on this next-to-last Saturday night ever at The Living Room's current Ludlow Street location: Blueberry at 7, Not Waving But Drowning at 8, LD Beghtol & Co. at 9, Church of Betty at 10, The Ditty Committee at 11, and Clint Michigan at midnight. Church of Betty will play a set of brand new Rael compositions in preparation for the group's 2013 album. Tonight the group consists of Rael on sitar, 12-string & voice, Deep Singh on tabla, Marlon Cherry on guitar, Claire de Brunner on bassoon, Dan Asher on bass, and Brian Geltner on drums. (Artwork: Mason Brown & John Frazier)
CHURCH OF BETTY at DUMBO ARTS FESTIVAL: Church of Betty returns to Dumbo Arts, a scintillating outdoor art orgy for which Betty was one of the first acts when it started many moons ago. Chris Rael, Deep Singh, Claire de Brunner, Rima Fand, Jason Sypher & Brian Geltner will play a half-dozen brand new songs along with some Betty chestnuts, some well known and some obscure & fascinating. It's outside & it's free, what more could you want? The festival main stage is at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge; see this MAP. (Photo: Michael Roeder)
Brooklyn, New York 11225
VLADA TOMOVA'S BALKAN TALES at BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN: Chris joins Vlada Tomova's Balkan Tales on sitar, coloring the group's Balkan music with Indian sounds at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The Botanic Garden's Chile Pepper Festival is a wonderful outdoor NYC event; Church of Betty did it years ago. The Balkan dance scene will be out en force; if you haven't done it before, it's a lot of fun. A beautiful afternoon, don't miss it! (Photo: Leela Rupa)
New York, NY 10009
CHRIS RAEL at HOWL! FESTIVAL: Chris returns to the park where he arrived in NYC in 1986 to perform at this annual celebration of the East Village/Lower East Side's cultural heritage. Church of Betty power trio style at 1:30 pm in the band shell, featuring Marlon Cherry on bass & tabla-miester Deep Singh on drum kit!