Cathedral Arts Live is thrilled to welcome Upstate, an adventurous blend of folk, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock ‘n roll, on Feb. 28, at 7 p.m.
Upstate first emerged from New York’s Hudson Valley in 2015 with their critically acclaimed debut, “A Remedy.” The Poughkeepsie Journal raved that the group “need[s] nothing more than their voices to channel rhythm and stoke your emotions,” while The Alt hailed them as “toe-tapping, contagious, and fun.”
The album earned the band festival performances from Mountain Jam to FreshGrass, as well as a slew of national headline dates and support slots with everyone from The Felice Brothers and Phox to Marco Benevento and Cory Henry.
The band features Melanie Glenn, Mary Kenney, and Allison Olender on vocals; Harry D’Agostino on bass, Ryan Chappell on mandolin, and Dean Mahoney on cajón. Their sound, lineup, and even their name have all undergone dramatic metamorphoses. Challenging and thrilling, those changes have finally culminated in the sextet’s new album, a collection that showcases both their remarkable growth and their adventurous blend of folk, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock and roll.
“Healing” is the band’s first album with new member Allison Olender, their first with four contributing songwriters, and their first since shortening their name from Upstate Rubdown.
“Allison brought this new energy and a fresh perspective,” reflects Mary Kenney. “She came from this country/folk background as a singer/songwriter, and her presence definitely reinvigorated our musicianship and helped us hone in on where we were going.”
It’s also their first project to be produced by Wood Brothers percussionist Jano Rix, who helped the group embrace their transformation and lean in to their unique lineup without sacrificing any of the gorgeous harmonies, eclectic arrangements, and unforgettable performances that have defined the band.
“The last few years have been about learning who we are,” says Upstate bassist Harry D’Agostino. “We’ve been knocking off milestone after milestone on the road, and as the touring’s snowballed, I feel like we’ve really come into our own. It’s been a process of discovering our identity.” www.upstatelovesyou.com
Kicking off the evening of sweet harmonies is a set by Jersey City’s own Cabaret Sauvignon, a female a cappella quartet beloved for their delightful and engaging performances. Cab Sav’s repertoire covers tantalizing tunes across the decades, from torch to today’s top 40, along with a few original compositions. Their soaring vocals and intimate harmonies bring a fresh spin to old favorites and new depth to today’s hits. www.cabsavjc.com
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Hot food and cold beverages available for purchase. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cathedral Arts Live is held at Grace Church Van Vorst 39 Erie St, Jersey City.
Visit www.cathedralartslive.org to purchase tickets.
Now in its fifth season, Cathedral Arts Live aims to create a transcendent musical experience and strengthen our community by welcoming and celebrating a diverse group of artists, performers and audiences in our beautiful space.
This program is made possible in part by funds from The New Jersey State Council on The Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of The National Endowment for the Arts, administered by The Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County Executive, and The Board of Chosen Freeholders.