Singer Garland Jeffreys’ tips for aspiring musicians

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Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, October 22, Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys will be performing a concert at a fundraiser for the 14th Street Y, where he, his wife Claire and daughter Savannah are longtime members.

It will be the first of a few local concerts coming up for the singer, following a recent tour through Europe to promote his last album, “14 Steps to Harlem.”
Now in the early writing stages for his next album, to be called, “Dash of Soul,” and fundraising for a documentary about his career, Jeffreys, 75, spoke with Town & Village to share tips for new and aspiring musicians.

“I’m always happy to talk to people who are starting out,” he said, adding that starting out means picking a musical direction to take.

“What kinds of songs do they want to write? Love songs, protest songs or a Dylan-esque area?” he asked. “They should work and work and work on the music and not take it for granted. I tell stories about different things, like race, like my childhood, my passions.”
In recent years, Jeffreys has been known to do many concerts in people’s homes, which he recommends doing as well as finding local venues like bars.

“If you’re starting out, anywhere is a good place to start,” said Jeffreys. “Just get your guitar and get your keyboard and get to practicing and that’s how your songwriting evolves.”

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Garland Jeffreys crowd-funding new album

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Garland Jeffreys being inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame by David Johansen, formerly of The New York Dolls (Photo by Arnie Goodman)

By Sabina Mollot

Stuyvesant Town rock singer Garland Jeffreys has been keeping busy lately.

The veteran musician, now 73, was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in November.

Additionally, his early hit song “Wild in the Streets” was recently featured in the Netflix original series “The Get Down” and was also included on the official RCA soundtrack for the show.

Then, last Tuesday, Jeffreys launched a PledgeMusic crowd-funding campaign aimed at producing a new album and a documentary about his career.

The doc features Harvey Keitel, Laurie Anderson and Graham Parker, all singing the Brooklyn-born crooner’s praises. The album is expected to be released sometime in the spring.

Finally, in keeping with what has become an annual tradition, Jeffreys will be performing at Joe’s Pub at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. His 20-year-old daughter Savanna, who’s also a musician, will open the set with some of her own songs and the father and daughter will also perform a duet.

Reached at home, Jeffreys spoke with Town & Village about the aforementioned projects and a European tour planned for 2017.

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Concert series coming to Madison Square Park

Musician Kate Davis

Musician Kate Davis

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The Madison Square Park Conservancy recently announced the lineup for the new music series taking place in the park on Saturdays starting on September 10. The Studio Series focuses on folk, jazz, blues and Americana music and concerts will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Kate Davis, who will kick off the series this year, is a songwriter who has performed with artists such as Alison Krauss, Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban. Davis, known for her double bass, is from Portland, Oregon and has been part of the music scene in New York since 2012.

The Studio Series is supported by public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the City Council, with additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature.

The next concert will be held on September 17 and features Rhett Miller, with Bria Skonberg performing on September 24. The series concludes with Jamison Ross performing on October 1.

The free performances will take place at the southern end of the park near the Shake Shack. There will be some seating and café tables available. All shows will be rain or shine.