If you’re a fan of legendary rock music, you won’t want to miss this one-time tribute to The Band’s farewell concert, the “Last Waltz”, at Unity Hall on Saturday, December 8 at 8pm.  The live musical tribute will feature top regional and local musicians gathering to recreate The Band’s renowned concert on the refurbished stage in Unity Hall’s Landecker Auditorium, 101 Vanderkemp Ave, Barneveld. 

The famous group The Band gained prominence in the 1960s as Bob Dylan’s back-up group before going on to achieve super-stardom with hits such as “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Weight”.  The “Last Waltz” show was advertised as the group’s "farewell concert appearance", and The Band was joined by more than a dozen special guests, including Eric ClaptonRingo StarrBob Dylan, Muddy WatersNeil YoungVan MorrisonDr. John, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell and The Staple Singers. The concert was filmed by director Martin Scorsese and made into a documentary of the same title, released in 1978.  Critics hailed it as "the greatest rock concert movie ever made”.

The Unity Hall show on December 8 will feature twelve prominent Upstate musicians invited by Matt Mielnick, in his first production as new Music Coordinator for the non-profit performance venue.  Local musicians include George Deveny on guitar, Joe Perry on keyboards, John Handzel on bass, Lenny Milano on drums, Mark Sisti on guitar, vocals, and accordion, Tom Townsley on the blues harmonica, and guest vocalists Maynard Wallace, Ed Townsend, and Jay Schnitt.  They will be joined by vocalist Danielle Ponder and mandolin/ fiddle player Perry Cleaveland, both prominent musicians from the Rochester area.  Mielnick, perhaps most frequently associated with the band Puttin’ On the Ritz, also takes part in the performance. The group, in various configurations, will perform selections from the concert footage.

Doors will open at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8pm. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for Unity Hall members. Tickets are available at www.unityhall.com and locally at the Adirondack Cheese Company, 8190 NY Rte. 12, Barneveld, NY.  The show is expected to sell-out so purchase tickets early.

This event is sponsored by the Unity Hall Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to maintain the 1896 Hall as a center for the arts and community activities.  The Music Series project was made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.

Unity Hall is available for public and private functions.  Information about membership and other Unity Hall events is available online at www.unityhall.com and Facebook/HistoricUnityHall.

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