For Immediate Release
(518) 429-3909 cell
(518) 274-2883 studio
The Perfect Venue: World Beat Jazz in a Woodworking Shop
Sculptor Makes Wooden Drums to Play at Concert
TROY, NY (1/28/15) — Sculptor Jim Lewis’ drums bring jazz to his studio.
“Thirty years ago, I sold wooden drums at music festivals. I’d forgotten all about them, until a fellow brought one to my wife’s restaurant,” said Lewis, who doubles as barista at South Troy venue Carmen’s Café. “I’d forgotten how much fun they are– everyone enjoyed it so much that they started asking for them as Christmas presents.”
Lewis made some drums for presents, then made extras for friends to play. When he started talking about showing them at Troy Night Out, jazz musician Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius approached him about performing. “I saw the Ellen Sinopoli Dancers in his studio back in 2003, and said to myself, what a happening place! I just have to move here and be a part of what’s going on!” said Kasius.
Back then, Lewis had just carved stage furniture for Sinopoli’s highly successful production, “Vine,” and wanted to celebrate the shop’s birthday. He built a dance floor and invited the dancers to perform some of his favorite pieces in the woodshop. “I loved that production, and working for Ellen was fantastic. My heart was never as full as when I saw those dancers performing in my shop.”
Drawing people into the arts has always been important to Lewis. While he has received national awards for his church furnishings, he is also known for his street sculptures and what he calls his special projects. “I have built a couple thousand pieces of furniture for private homes,” said Lewis. “But hundreds of thousands of people have seen my furniture in churches, or my sculptures in public displays. I put the same kind of love into both, but it’s a different sort of thrill.”
Springwood Studios is located at 154 Fourth Street in downtown Troy, near the corner of Ferry St. He will be open from 5-9 on Friday, January 30 for Troy Night Out, showing his furniture and drums. Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius and Heard will perform from 6-8. Refreshments will be provided by Carmen’s Café.
Kasius and her group, Heard, are local musicians with a national presence. They feature percussion in their music, often performing with two drummers. Heard’s last album, Karibu, reached #15 on the National Jazzweek World charts. Kasius herself alternates between performing and accompanying dancers at Skidmore College. The group will play Feb. 27 at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall along with top national musicians as part of The Bridge Jazz Festival.
For information, visit http://SpringwoodStudios.com
Contact Jim Lewis at (518) 429-3909 (cell) or (518) 274-2883 (studio), or at email@example.com.
Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius and Heard
Springwood assistant Tom Roland applies varnish to a log drum
Wooden tongue drums made by Springwood Studios