Featured October Events
Saturday, October 7th: Guitarist/Singer Niles Rivers
Get ready to embark on a musical journey that weaves together the rich tapestry of life stories, jazz, and soul as Niles Rivers takes center stage at the Velvet Note jazz club on Saturday, October 7th. Niles Rivers, a gifted guitarist, singer, and songwriter, has a story that begins in the heart of a Cleveland church, where his love for music was nurtured and blossomed.
A Musical Upbringing
Niles’ father, a pastor at the Cleveland church, introduced him and his older brother to the magic of jazz legends like Ahmad Jamal, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and John Pattitucci at a tender age. It was these luminaries who ignited the flame of inspiration in young Niles, who would later call them his “celebrities.” But Niles’ musical education was not limited to listening alone.
Growing up as the youngest of five children, he, along with his brother, was handed musical instruments by their father, tasked with the daily ritual of practice before they could venture outside. The living room of their home became a stage, with friends pressed up against the windows, captivated by the youthful virtuosos performing within.
The Jazz Combo Years
During high school, Niles Rivers found his passion for jazz further nurtured as he played double bass in his school’s jazz combo. The ensemble’s members wrote their own original music, bringing a fresh and innovative sound to the classic genre. Their performances, including regular appearances at assemblies and competitions, revealed Niles’ remarkable talent to the world. It was during these formative years that he started to realize the power of music as a vessel for storytelling and a means to breathe life into the world.
A Journey into Songwriting and Production
After high school, Niles continued his musical odyssey, this time venturing into pop music production, drawing inspiration from a diverse array of artists spanning Prince, Bruce Hornsby, Shawn Colvin, and more. It was Shawn Colvin’s poignant song, “Polaroids,” that left an indelible mark on Niles, revealing the potential for music to be a medium for storytelling and a source of life’s wisdom. This realization ignited his desire to create songs that resonate deeply, touching the hearts and souls of his audience.
Niles Rivers’ Mission: Jazz for the Generations
Today, Niles Rivers stands as a multi-talented artist, fusing the musicality of jazz with the modern sounds of his generation. His mission is clear: to share the gift of life stories through the harmonious melodies of jazz, inspiring and uplifting those who lend an ear to his soulful compositions. Niles Rivers is more than a musician; he’s a storyteller, a conduit for the human experience through the language of music.
Don’t miss this extraordinary evening at the Velvet Note jazz club on Saturday, October 7th. Join us for an unforgettable night of music, storytelling, and the magic that is Niles Rivers. Experience the fusion of jazz and soul, and let the harmonious melodies of life take you on a journey of inspiration and reflection. Book your tickets now for an evening that promises to be a symphony of emotions and soulful connections. Niles Rivers is ready to share his musical wisdom, and you won’t want to miss it!
Friday, October 20th: Simona Smirnova
Get ready for an unforgettable night of music that transcends boundaries as Simona Smirnova, the global ambassador for the Lithuanian folk zither (kanklės), graces the stage at The Velvet Note jazz club on Friday, October 20th. Simona, a charming performer, jazz vocalist, and composer, is no stranger to captivating audiences with her genre-bending style, and she’s bringing something truly special to the stage.
An Artist’s Journey from Lithuania to New York
Simona Smirnova, a Lithuanian-born artist and a proud graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music, has not only made a name for herself in the vibrant New York live music scene but has also left her mark on stages around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Her journey from the picturesque landscapes of Lithuania to the bustling streets of New York City is a testament to her dedication and talent.
A Unique Blend of Tradition and Innovation
What sets Simona apart is her ability to blend the traditional sounds of Lithuanian kanklės with the rich harmonies of jazz. The result is a musical fusion that is as mesmerizing as it is original. Simona’s genre-bending style carries a unique theatrical flavor, and her uncanny vocal improvisation techniques are a true spectacle to witness. Her performance promises an exploration of musical territories that transcends the ordinary.
A Night of Debut: “Kanklės in New York”
But there’s more in store for the audience than just an electrifying live performance. Simona Smirnova is arriving at The Velvet Note with her newly released album, “Kanklės in New York,” which is also a sheet music book. This album represents a fusion of tradition and modernity, a celebration of Simona’s roots intertwined with her experiences in the bustling streets of the Big Apple.
The excitement doesn’t end there. “Kanklės in New York” has caught the attention of the music industry’s most prestigious awards, the Grammys. It’s currently on the ballot for the Best Global Music Album category. Witness the magic that has the potential to receive one of the most coveted honors in the music world.
Join Us at The Velvet Note
If you’re a music enthusiast looking for a night of artistry and innovation, don’t miss this special evening at The Velvet Note jazz club on Friday, October 20th. Simona Smirnova’s performance promises to be a journey through cultures and emotions, leaving you captivated and inspired.