Martin Sexton

Translating his music to the stage with the right amount of liberty from album versions, Martin Sexton’s April 28 solo show at the Hard Rock Café was a great night for those who appreciate a finely crafted tune. Unfortunately, those music appreciators only numbered about 50 people. (Just to give a little perspective, the Syracuse, N.Y.-based singer has sold out three upcoming shows in New York City). On the bright side, the intimate setting allowed for pleasant bantering and a full view of the singer/songwriter’s unabashed emotion. Touring in support of his latest album, Sugarcoating, Sexton’s improvised set list spanned two-decades of original material, including the timeless “Can’t Stop Thinking ’Bout You,” “Happy” and a sing-along to “Black Sheep,” where he beat-boxed and made his acoustic guitar mimic the sounds of an electric bass. Hearing Sexton live is an impactful experience because he simultaneously tugs at your heart-strings and makes you smile through the tears—too bad you missed it.

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One Good Turn

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Last year, when an earthquake hit Haiti, artist Gina Quaranto and her partners did not hesitate to organize a fundraising event. It was a success, and they helped raise more than $1,000 for the Red Cross. Six months later, when her former location, Place Gallery, was destroyed in the transformer explosion downtown, this same community came to the rescue, helping raise money to open Blackbird Studios. “There were artists that I didn’t know, who just read about it, that were like, ‘How can we help?’” Quaranto says.

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