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Monthly 'Salon' Style Performances Bring Art to Intimate Audiences

By Nicholas Rizzi | January 22, 2015 3:25pm
 Snug Harbor will kick off a new monthly series of performances, Performing Arts Salon Saturdays, with a concert by jazz composer Peter Zummo.
Snug Harbor will kick off a new monthly series of performances, Performing Arts Salon Saturdays, with a concert by jazz composer Peter Zummo.
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Joseph Zummo

LIVINGSTON — It's like watching art in your living room.

A new cultural series at Snug Harbor is bringing cultural events to a "salon" - style setting.

Starting this month, the Performing Arts Salon Saturdays (PASS) series will host different artists — from dancers to musicians —  who will perform in front of an intimate audience and take part in a moderated question and answer session afterwards.

"The idea is to come up with something that will also show different work, using different kinds of media, and give an audience a chance to get to talk to each other," said Gabri Christa, artistic director Snug Harbor.

"There's a possibility of a dialogue and also hopefully a safe space just to enquire and have an open mind and experience art in another way."

The performances, on the last Saturday of every month, will have some food and drinks before the show and Christa said she aims for the events to let people ask questions about the work in a smaller setting.

"The idea from a salon that it could be a smaller gathering," she said. "It could be more intimate and the idea is you talk about what you see."

The series kicks off on Jan. 31 with Staten Island jazz composer and trombonist Peter Zummo debuting his latest work, "Prepare for Docking," which he wrote during a fellowship at the prestigious Baryshnikov Arts Center, Christa said.

Zummo, who's known for blending elements of jazz, punk and classical music in his pieces, rarely plays in his home borough and Christa said she hopes the performance lets his neighbors learn about him.

"Part of it is having people be exposed to the high quality artists that do live on the island and that we don't know about," she said.

Aside from Zummo, the schedule for PASS also includes a dance performance and a multimedia show.

Christa's also giving local artists the chance to curate PASS events and hopes that it turns not only into a performance series, but as an incubator for artists around the city.

"I know how important it is to have a space where you can have an audience and have a dialogue," she said. "It's important to get the feedback, its important to have a connection with the audience."

Peter Zummo's performance will be on Jan. 31 at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Arts in Snug Harbor starting with a reception at 5:00 p.m. A Q&A moderated by vocalist Jeannine Otis will follow. Tickets are $10 and can be bought online or by calling 718-425-3525.