Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Sparkill Concert Series Presents: Matt Nakoa in Concert

May 5 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Matt Nakoa was born on a small goat farm in rural Upstate NY and studied piano with Anita B. Humer, a student of Kyriena Siloti and Freda Rosenblatt. Nakoa attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and has made his career as a pianist, singer, guitarist, and composer in many musical genres. The Boston Globe has declared him “a hot-handed phenom who can go from Chopin to beer-drenched honky-tonk in one set.” In addition to performing his own works, Nakoa regularly appears with folk music icon Tom Rush, national touring British Invasion act The Brit Pack, and gives recitals of the classical masters. When not touring, Nakoa divides his time between the New York’s Hudson Valley and NYC.

On May 5th Matt will be performing works by Mozart,Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and his own compositions entitled ” Antique Dances”

Notes From the Composer (“Antique Dances”)

These melodies were rediscovered in notebooks from my youth, where they had collected dust for decades. In fact, a juvenile incarnation of Waltz No. 1 appeared in my very first piano recital! In early 2012, at the urging of my friend, pianist Vassily Primakov, I went to work resurrecting a few of the tunes. I polished them up, fitted them with harmony, and attempted to breathe new life into them. I took myself to an antique shop, seeking inspiration for my own “antiques”. As I crouched before landscapes and self-portraits by unknown painters, I imagined their toils and triumphs at the canvas. As I read brittle, yellowed love letters, I imagined soft, flushed faces pressing together. I found innumerable old-world toys – model ships and dancing dolls – and heard little ghosts giggling. As I pawed through bins of old photographs, I peered into faces no one recognized while clearing out the attic. I was stirred by the pervasiveness of impermanence. I was spurred to add my relics to the great pile.

On April 13th, 2012, the first six pieces of this collection were premiered by the great Vassily Primakov at the University of Vermont. I attended, of course, and it was joyous trip with much celebrating.

The remaining six works were compiled in 2020 while retreating at my childhood home in Smyrna, NY. They had been written at various times since the premiere of the first batch, and are also largely based on youthful sketches. In one remarkable moment of divine creative grace, my father and I were watching silent 8mm footage of my grandparents when I heard a melody floating through the ether. I recognized it from a long-forgotten brass quintet I had attempted and abandoned in the 8th grade. When I rushed to find the notes on the piano, it poured out in its complete form.

For more about Matt, recordings and other releases, visit www.MattNakoa.com



Roost Union Arts Center
2 Union Street
Sparkill, NY 10976 United States
+ Google Map
Scroll to Top