Vance Gilbert is Back! October 11th

Who else would name their most recent album “Old White Men”, and actually have recorded a groundbreaking, heartbreaking title song to back it up?

That’d be Vance Gilbert.

Vance Gilbert burst onto the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90’s when the buzz spread through the folk clubs of the Northeast about an ex-multicultural arts teacher who was knocking them dead at open mics. Word got out about this Philadelphia-area born and raised performer, and Shawn Colvin invited Gilbert to be a special guest on her 1992 Fat City tour. Gilbert took audiences across North America by storm. “With the voice of an angel, the wit of a devil, and the guitar playing of a god, it was enough to earn him that rarity: an encore for an opener” wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in its review of a show from that tour.


Gilbert has 11 albums of original, often ground-breaking songs.  His covers the full emotional spectrum in his music and his stage presence.  You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  You’ll feel anguish and joy.  You’ll feel alive.

We hosted Vance last year in a house concert and couldn’t wait to get him back for the main event.  Don’t miss it!

Summer Solstice Show with WPKN: Sambeleza!

“Summer Solstice Samba”   June 21


 Photo credit Monica Schwarz Baer

Celebrate the Summer Solstice and get your body swaying to fascinating rhythms with an evening of samba played by Sambeleza, the premiere performers of Brazilian-inspired jazz in this region. This lively music, with its soaring melodies and colorful harmonies, will provide the perfect way for you to ease your way into the heat of the season. The final installment of “Voices Café” 2013-2014 Season will be in association with WPKN Radio, 89.5 FM and, the “Real Alternative”. This exploration of the lively and sweet music of Brazil perfectly exemplifies the soul of a great nation well known for its rich heritage – a blend of indigenous, African and European cultures.

The musicians of Sambeleza ( are outstanding U. S. and Brazilian interpreters of the great songs of these traditions, as well as outstanding jazz artists in their own right.  Joe Carter on guitar and Jeff Fuller on bass have been creatively exploring the two worlds for many years, and the relatively younger Isabella Mendes, a native of São Paulo on keyboards and vocals, lends her soulful voice and fiery piano skills to the group’s appeal. They will be joined for this performance by two outstanding native Brazilian musicians, Zé Mauricio on percussion,  and Adriano Santos on drums, as well special guest Ali Ryerson on flute, who is consistently voted among the top jazz flutists in the Downbeat Jazz Poll.

Swing in the summer with this celebration of life and rhythm, brought to you by WPKN, the region’s best-kept secret at 89.5 on the FM dial and streaming live on the internet at . A listener-supported, non-profit station serving Southern CT and Suffolk County in Long Island for over 50 years, WPKN presents an alternative to the sameness of the rest of the FM band, presenting music, spoken word and commentary that broadens your mind and ears.


Coming April 12th: The “No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow”


The “No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow”
(Formerly described on this site as Carolann Solebello and The YaYas)

No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow is an in-the-round, collaborative project that presents Carolann Solebello, Karyn Oliver, and The YaYas (Catherine Miles and Jay Mafale) sharing the stage, playing on each other’s songs, harmonizing, percussing, and generally having a heck of a good time!

1382421_533587776724429_155335501_nJust how did the “No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow” get its start? And its name? Well, once upon a time, three Chicks and a Blue-Jay were hanging out in the barnyard and together they hatched a plan: “Hey kids, we have a barn. Let’s put on a show!” Okay, we thought we should get the bad puns out of the way right off the bat…

All four members of the No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow (NFFR) are veterans of the “Joni Mitchell’s Blue” tribute show presented by the NYC female songwriter collective known as Chicks with Dip. During those performances, the four had the opportunity to play together and discovered that blending their talents made for a pretty special sound. The show found its title by combining a nod to the Chicks with Dip (in the “feathers” reference) with a hint as to the nature of the show – not pretentious or unnecessarily ornate – simply a group of highly regarded songwriters who have great respect for each other, both personally and professionally, coming together to share their work with an audience.

The obvious friendship of Carolann, Karyn, Catherine, and Jay adds to the unabashedly fun and festive atmosphere of a NFFR show. Their audience can’t help but feel part of the onstage camaraderie. The four are also nationally touring performers that have charted at the top of major Folk and Americana radio lists, appeared on stage at some of the most respected festivals, been invited to formally showcase at Folk Alliance conferences across the country, and whose songwriting has been recognized by such highly regarded competitions as Kerrville New Folk, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Songwriter’s Serenade, Susquehanna Music & Arts Songwriting Competition, and Mid-Atlantic Song Contest.

To purchase tickets, please go here.

Coming up on March 8th: Remembering Billie and Ella… Nicole Pasternak Jazz Quartet featuring Chris Brown

This concert is a Fundraiser for KEYS

Free Music Improvisation Workshop at 2 pm

Nicole Pasternak will take listeners on a musical journey exploring the contrasting artistry of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald while highlighting their distinct attributes. These women expressed the heart-touching stories of their lives through song. Billie was a songwriter in her own right; her song “God Bless The Child” will be featured with background on this and other original works. Ella wrote a handful of songs, but is most famous for her recordings of the great composers of her day: Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and George Gershwin.

Nicole Pasternak’s Jazz Quartet will be accompanied by longtime friend, trumpet player Chris Brown. Voices Café audiences will remember Chris for his Chet Baker Tribute performed at Voices in May of 2013.  For this performance, Chris and Nicole will partner to show how singers and horn players interact in jazz, playing off one another in a “musical dance” as they share the musical legacy of Billie and Ella.

Nicole Pasternak has always flown below the radar, carving an ever-growing niche with jazz enthusiasts around the country with her honest, swinging voice and effortless attitude. JazzTimes’ critic Chuck Berg once described her as “reminiscent of a young Ella. The Norwalk Hour said she has “an almost uncanny ability to reach out and pull listeners into the music and make them want to stay there.”

Chris Brown in addition to playing trumpet and flugelhorn, Chris is an acclaimed sound engineer and producer, recording many of Paul Winter’s CDs as well as jazz greats like Jack McDuff and Al Gray. A Bethel resident, he was classically trained at Oberlin College and has been playing jazz for more than 30 years.





This concert is a fundraiser for KEYS:  KEYS is a non-profit organization based in Bridgeport. KEYS mission is to bring one-on-one instrumental lessons and group music instruction to inner-city children in Bridgeport who have no other access to this empowering life experience. The additional $2.00 per ticket will be donated directly to KEYS to support this program. For more information go to:

Music Improvisation Workshop:  Chris Brown will conduct a free Music Improvisation Workshop for instrumentalists and vocalists with any level of experience from 2:00 to 3:00 PM  on the afternoon of March 8th. Contact David Vita at 203/227-7205 x14  for more information and to sign up.

The YaYas and Carolann Solebello are coming to Voices!

When the show was postponed due to Nemo last year, we waited with baited breath to see when we could get them back.  Now they’re signed for April 12th!

The YaYas 


With a style that’s hard to define and a charm that quickly wins over an audience, the best way to describe the Ya Yas is to read some of the accolades that audiences have given 

“The YaYas write first rate songs which have a timeless feeling. They are beautifully sung – delivered with both skill & charm.” 

             “The songs of this trio are wise and moving, the melodies poignant. …”

             “…smart, tuneful, loose and fun.” 

“The YaYas write first rate songs which have a timeless feeling. They are beautifully sung – delivered with both skill & charm.”

AND Carolann Solebello

Best known as a founding member of the female trio Red Molly, Carolann now flies solo, playing American roots with a New York accent.  She recorded three CDs with Red Molly, including “James” (2010), which peaked at #4 on the AMA chart.  Her latest solo record is “Threshold” (2011).

“Solebello’s multi-instrumental chops, her gift for songwriting and versatile vocals run the gamut from country, bluegrass, gospel and contemporary folk… She is in total command of her art and exudes a confident, effortless approach throughout.”  ~ Jim Hynes, Elmore Magazine