THE RIVERTOWNS JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL Celebration of Sustainable Community, w/Bethany and Rufus, the Mandingo Ambassadors, and Hazmat Modine


Unfortunately, the outdoor Rivertowns Jazz and Blues Festival concert with Bethany and Rufus, the Mandingo Ambassadors and Hazmat Modine today is being relocated to an indoor location. Due to a forecast for rain, we are forced to move to our rain venue in nearby Dobbs Ferry, NY.  The location is below:



Here is a link to directions

Event: THE RIVERTOWNS JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL Celebration of Sustainable Community, w/Bethany and Rufus, the Mandingo Ambassadors, and Hazmat Modine

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2009 from 3 pm to 8 pm

Please also note the revised start time of 3 pm, rather than 2:30



Thank you for your understanding. For questions, please call 914-693-1065

"Stunning." (Goldmine Magazine) "Remarkable." (Jazz Times) "The real deal." (Allmusic). "Extraordinary... Brilliant" (All About Jazz)


Profits from this event support Afya Foundation of America

BETHANY & RUFUS are all these things... Called "a splash of sunlight between the grey cracks of mediated culture" by the UK Guardian, the cello and voice duo have kept their production spare and focused on the depth of soul in the roots music they inhabit like few others. In their hands, old aching mountain songs, gospel cries of redemption and reckoning, and the deep groove chugging of a freight train holler come alive again with an urgency and energy that have electrified audiences all over the world.

Bethany and Rufus first met in 1999 at a friend's late night gig at the Knitting Factory in New York City. The two of them began experimenting with old folk songs as a lark, but quickly realized that the unadorned cello and voice combined with the rooted power of these old chants was a starkly beautiful sound that reached across musical genres and generations.

On their critically acclaimed debut CD, 900 Miles (Hyena Records 2007) BETHANY & RUFUS pushed the boundaries of American folk music far into unexpected territory. With a minimum number of voices -- guitar, cello, vocal and some percussion -- the duo created colors and textures that "suggested a world of musics coalescing." (All About Jazz)

BETHANY & RUFUS' most recent project was a TV show filmed for PBS with Bethany's father, Peter Yarrow of the legendary folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. The show, Peter, Bethany & Rufus: The Spirit of Woodstock, grew out of a musical collaboration of Peter, Bethany & Rufus on the CD, "Puff & Other Family Classics" (Salasree Records 2007) which included special guest appearances by Mady Koyate on Malian kora, Bonga Jean-Baptiste on Haitian percussion, and Chuck Campbell of the renowned Campbell Brothers on pedal steel.

The television show also spotlighted Rufus' jaw-dropping solo cello work, for which he is well known in New York City. Having played with artists like Aretha Franklin, Odetta, Cheick Tidiane Seck, and Vernon Reid, it is no surprise that he landed a record deal with Velour Records, who released his solo CD, "Songs for Cello" in early 2008.


The music of the Mandingo Ambassadors has been structured to make you feel good. It puts dazzling vocal and guitar patterns over a rhythm section that is like a perfect system: a locked drum groove, much of it played on high-hat cymbal and drum rims; soft bass lines that fall short or start late, or leave gaps in a run of notes; fingerpicked rhythm guitar notes like clear fizz. — Ben Ratliff, New York Times

If you step into a New York club where THE MANDINGO AMBASSADORS (Ambassedeurs du Manding) are playing, and close your eyes, you go back in time, and across the Atlantic to Guinea, West Africa, in the 1960s. In the flush of Guinea’s independence from France, visionary African dictator Sekou Touré used music to forge a national identity. He funded bands from all over the country, selecting the most talented players through rigorous competitions, and “nationalizing” top bands in state-supported nightclubs in the capital, Conkakry. Among the artists who emerged from this period were guitarist Mamady "Djelike" Kouyate and his group The Mandingo Ambassadors. The group became one of the most beloved and influential of its generations and its songs were widely imitated. Mamad later went on to perform for many years with Guinea's most popular group, Bemeya Jazz National. Now based in New York, Mamady Kouyate has revived The Ambassadors. His electrifying guitar work is supported by the new Mandingo Ambassadors, a crew of Guinean and American musicians who have steeped their sound in classic '60s Guinean mandingo music.  Although the Mandingo Ambassadors consist of four Guineans and four Americans (most of whom have studied music in Guinea), the sound is, as founder and lead guitarist Mamady Kouyaté proudly proclaims, “100-percent Manding” with mellifluous, Latin-tinged rhythms and vocal melodies, and fleet, stinging electric guitar lines drawn from Guinea’s centuries-old traditions of Manding music.


Hazmat Modine tap into the deepest veins of raw, unpolluted prewar blues and ancient jazz, then whip them up in a blender, tossing in strains of Caribbean calypso and ska, Eastern European klezmer and Balkan brass, Middle Eastern mystery, and more than a few unidentifiable elements that just somehow fit. The result is music that sounds at once ageless and primeval, authentically indigenous and inexplicably otherworldly, familiar and unlike anything else.
—All Music Guide

Internationally acclaimed HAZMAT MODINE blows Americana's borders wide open with the energy of a Romanian brass band and the scratchy soul of a vintage blues record. Fronted by two virtuoso harmonica players and backed by tuba, horns, drums and guitars, Hazmat Modine makes forgotten instruments and unique songs equally familiar and exotic, addictive and soulful. In the last few years the band has toured world wide playing to thousands of people and developing an uncanny interpersonal musical simpatico between band members that is seamless and propulsive. At home on huge international stages and in small back rooms, the band constantly evolves, exploring musical voices, textures and instrumentation.

HAZMAT MODINE draws from the rich soil of American music of the 20's and 30's through to the 50's and early 60's, blending elements of early Blues, Hokum Jugband, Swing, Klezmer, New Orleans R & B, and Jamaican Rocksteady. The band's two harmonicas use call and response, harmony, melody, and syncopated interweaving rhythms. The band's sound reflects musical influences ranging from Avant-garde Jazz to Rockabilly and Western Swing to Middle-Eastern, African, and Hawaiian musical styles. Reviewer Banning Eyre of NPR called their sound "alien and familiar" as it starts with blues and branches into various genres of Americana.

Sponsored by The Beczak Environmental Education Center and Global Exchange


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For a downloadable schedule of the entire Rivertowns Jazz and Blues Schedule. please visit

Name Sales End Price Fee
Adults Ended $15 $0.99
Seniors (60+)/Students (12+) Ended $10 $0.99
Kids Under 12 Ended Free

On the Web


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