New York, the city of wonder. Come listen to Binghamton’s own Caitlin Westfall tell her stories of the Big Apple through song. Part of the Songbook series, the Goodwill Theatre presents A New York State of Mind featuring Caitlin Westfall on Friday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage. The Songbook series is sponsored by Mondorf & Fenwick CPAs.
Caitlin, a Binghamton High graduate, will be returning to her hometown with her friends Adam Rhodes, Gene Cothran, Thomas Westcott, and Joel Smales, to celebrate her success as a cabaret artist and model in New York City.
“We first saw Caitlin perform as a part of the Binghamton High School Sounds of the Season that was taped at the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage in 2012,” said Naima Kradjian, CEO. “She is so talented and professional that we invited her back to showcase her talents for an audience here in her hometown.”
Caitlin Westfall was born in upstate New York where she developed a passion for music at an early age. She studied voice, drama, and dance with area artists, eventually performing in productions in school and with local theater companies. Her next step was to continue her formal training as a member of the BFA Program at Syracuse University.
During her time at Syracuse University, Caitlin was one of twelve students selected to participate in the prestigious “Sorkin Week” in Los Angeles, sponsored by Aaron Sorkin. “Sorkin Week” is a practicum that provides students with a week-long immersion into the world of television, film and performance. Caitlin worked and sang with Kristen Chenoweth among others during this time. Caitlin spent her last semester of college studying in New York City, as a participant in the Arielle Tepper program, working with some of the best in the business. In 2013, she completed her studies at the Juilliard School in the Evening Division Program with a focus in Vocal Performance & Technique.
Caitlin now resides in NYC and can be found performing around the city, singing everything from pop and R&B to jazz and blues to opera and Broadway show tunes. She recently had the honor of singing live on the Reverend Al Sharpton’s radio show “Keepin’ It Real” at the National Action Network Headquarters. She was also invited to sing at the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. Other performance venues include Birdland Jazz Club, Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar & Theater Row to name a few.
In May of 2013, Caitlin signed with one of NYC’s premier modeling agencies, MSA Models. She was recently seen modeling for In Style Magazine on “The Wendy Williams Show”, Season 5 Premiere, as well as the nationally syndicated TV program “Better TV.”
Caitlin is currently working on writing and recording her first EP of all original material.
Adam Rhodes, special guest pianist for A New York State of Mind, grew up in Vestal, NY where he attended Vestal High School. He went on to pursue a degree in Contemporary Writing & Production from Berklee College of Music. Now a resident of New York City, he is currently the Musical Director of the highly acclaimed “Never Sleep Alone” which plays to sold out crowds at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. When not musical directing, he is in the studio writing, recording, and producing with artists such as Bon Iver, Doe Paoro, Kat Quinn, Dean, Leah Harris and many more. Adam also teaches and runs several after school programs in high risk neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Gene Cothran, piano, came into jazz as a player somewhat later than most musicians. Although he grew up in Philadelphia listening to jazz and going to jazz clubs, his musical training was strictly classical. After returning from the service and resuming his job with IBM in Endicott, NY, Gene got the opportunity to attend a ten week training course in Manhattan. During that time he met and talked with several musicians. Inspired by the experience, Gene started taking lessons with Doug Beardsley when he returned to Endicott. He has been playing blues and jazz in the area ever since.
Gene has played with local musicians in the Binghamton, Cornell, and Elmira areas. He has played in jazz workshops with bassist Rufus Reid, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, and trombonist Steve Davis at Binghamton University. And whenever he visited his family in Philadelphia, he played at the open jam sessions at Ortlieb’s Jazz House. There he had a chance to sit in with local Philadelphia musicians, including Mickey Roker (former drummer for Dizzy Gillespie) and pianist/organist Shirley Scott.
Gene’s love for jazz has also led him to play the blues. He has performed on the famous Beale Street in Memphis, and at various blues festivals in the NY/PA areas. He once shared the stage with the legendary Pinetop Perkins and Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin from the Muddy Waters band. Gene continues to play in the Binghamton area with Miles Ahead, the Blue J’s, duos with various artists, and also records with local blues and rock artists whenever they call for his piano/B3 organ parts.
Since arriving to the Greater Binghamton area 20 years ago, bass player Tom Westcott has had the opportunity to perform and learn from the area’s top musicians in the areas of jazz, blues and rock. As well as being in the rotation of musicians that can be seen at the Schorr Family Firehouse Jazz Jams, Tom has been a member of a number of successful musical groups in our area. Two of the most recognizable ensembles have been the contemporary jazz/ fusion band Cosa Nova and funk and soul band Badweather Blues Band. Currently he holds the bass chair for the Miles Ahead Jazz Quartet, Motown influenced/dance outfit No Compromise, rock, blues and original group Voodoo Highway, the central New York steel drum band PANIGMA, the Irish and recycled rock band The Revelers, the rock outfit The Yada Yadas, and his own improvisational jazz/funk outfit featuring former members from the Badweather Blues Band called Ultra Vibe. Tom has had the opportunity to perform with numerous other artists like Dave Samuals, Marko Marcinko, Bob Dorough, Michael Mossman, Bobby Militello and Byron Stripling among many others. Tom also teaches and performs live and in the studio on electric and double bass throughout the Southern Tier.
Joel Smales, drummer, is Director of Bands at Binghamton High School’s Rod Serling School of Fine Arts, in Binghamton, NY, where he conducts 2 concert bands, 2 jazz ensembles, a pep band, percussion ensemble and steel drum band. He holds music degrees from the Crane School of Music (BM) and Binghamton University (MM).
As a performer, Joel is active in the upstate NY region where he performs as Principal Percussionist with the Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra, Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, Downtown Singers Orchestra, eNeRJee Jazz Group, leads his own percussion trio and plays lead steel pan with PANIGMA. He has performed on over thirty CD’s encompassing jazz, pop, country, folk, audio books, as well as for television and commercials. He runs an annual Summer Percussion Camp in Binghamton for area school students and his published works include percussion solos, ensembles, books and method books published by Kendor, HoneyRock, Drop6, House Panther Press and Phantom Music Publishing.
Joel has presented clinics for MENC, NYSSMA, NYSBDA and the NJMEA and writes articles on music and percussion that have appeared in Percussive Notes, School Band and Orchestra, School Music News, The Instrumentalist and Band World magazines. Joel was selected to represent New York State in the 8th Annual “50 Directors Who Make A Difference.”
Tickets for the A New York State of Mind are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at the Goodwill Theatre’s website: www.goodwilltheatre.net or by calling the theatre Box Office at (607) 772-2404, ext. 301.