Monday, July 28, 2014

Gypsy strings attached

February 17. 2013 4:07AM

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A traveling band of gypsies is a real thing. Look no further than the Suzuki School for Strings Benefit Concert on Sunday.

The gypsy/punk/cabaret band This Way to the Egress, of the Lehigh Valley, will offer afternoon instrument workshops for children, then perform at the Jazz Café the same night.

Rachel Galassi, a teacher at Suzuki, said the benefit is a way for the school, now in its new location next to the River Street Jazz Café in Plains Township, to show itself to the community.

Preach Freedom of Rusted Root will offer a drum workshop, and a free pasta dinner will be provided later in the night. Tribes Duo and The Tommy Guns Band also will perform.

Galassi's brother Taylor, who sings and plays accordion and cello for Egress, will be joined by bandmate Sara Shown.

Egress is a Vaudeville act of costumed musicians, dancers, comedians and the occasional sideshow or burlesque performer. We chatted with Taylor:

Q: How did you even get into this type of music?

A: Someone introduced me to the genre. Yes, there is a genre; we're not the only ones. I heard a band called Gogol Bordello and thought they were great, so I started looking up the gypsy-punk genre and fell in love.

Q: How important is the theatrical aspect of the group?

A: I've actually been getting on everyone lately about picking a character to be on stage. We're very theatrical. I feel like if there's a lot of energy on stage then people will see you having fun and have fun themselves.

Q: What is audience reception like for such a niche band?

A: We get a lot of people … that come up to us and say, "This is amazing, thank you so much; we've never seen this before." On the other side, we are often met with people who don't clap right away, because they're not even sure what we just did.

Local and original music is getting another boost with the coming of Internet radio station Rok Out Radio, available on

Lucia Peregrim, of local charity Sound for Scoliosis, started the online station in February to promote original, local music as well as indie and unsigned artists around the world. The station broadcasts live events, interviews and podcasts.

"There's so much undiscovered talent out there," she said.

If you go

What: Suzuki School for Strings Benefit Concert

When: 4 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Suzuki School for Strings and River Street Jazz Café, 667 N. River St., Plains Township

Tickets: $10 includes dinner, entertainment and workshops

More info: 208-9191

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