Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees Felix Cavaliere and John Sebastian, who have each written some of the most seminal songs in the history of popular music and who led two of the most influential bands of the rock era, will come to New York University on Tuesday, September 9 at 7pm, as the featured guests at the next edition of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions at NYU, a collaboration between the Hall and the NYU Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions of the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Cavaliere and Sebastian will discuss their five-decade careers as a songwriters, performers, and bandleaders with Phil Galdston, NYU Faculty Songwriter-in-Residence and Master Teacher in Songwriting.
“We are fortunate at the Songwriters Hall of Fame to have a lot of depth in terms of songwriting talent,” said SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb. “Not only do Felix and John stand tall in a land of giants, they’re outstanding instrumentalists and profoundly impactful vocalists, as well. And their range of experience will make this a notable event.”
“Felix Cavaliere and John Sebastian have both written songs that span generations and genre,” noted Dr. Ron Sadoff, Director of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions and its Songwriting Program. “Their extraordinarily rich and living bodies of work are indelibly embedded in our culture.”
Felix Cavaliere, along with his frequent collaborator Eddie Brigati, created a remarkable catalog of chart-topping hit singles and albums for their band, The Rascals. Following successful covers of “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” and “Good Lovin’,” Cavaliere co-wrote all of the band’s best-known songs, including “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” “Groovin’,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “A Girl Like You,” “A Beautiful Morning,” and “People Got to Be Free.” In addition to their phenomenal record sales, The Rascals are considered the best ‘blue-eyed soul’ group to come out of the 1960s. Felix has continued his musical contributions, both as a highly-regarded solo artist and in the recent theatrical reunion of all four original Rascals.
John Sebastian co-founded The Lovin’ Spoonful with his musical partner, Zal Yanovsky. Although the band’s repertoire was initially focused on updated versions of blues, folk, and jugband tunes, Sebastian soon proved to be a composer/lyricist of remarkable range and ingenuity. What followed was an amazing string of impactful songs, including “Do You Believe In Magic?” “Younger Girl,” “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?,” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice,” “Daydream,” “Summer In The City,” “Rain On The Roof,” “Nashville Cats,” “Six O’Clock,” “Darling Be Home Soon,” and “Younger Generation.” During this run, the Spoonfuls placed their first seven singles in the Top 10 and their first nine in the Top 20. Sebastian’s solo career has spawned such notable successes as “She’s A Lady,” “Rainbow All Over Your Blues,” “Welcome Back,” and appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festival. He continues to write, record, and perform, with a distinct focus on jugband music.
Launched in 2011, the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions were established to bring to the NYU community the great songwriters who have inspired music creators and music lovers, alike. An in-depth interview (including a Q&A with students) leavened with performance and demonstration, the Sessions are curated and moderated by GRAMMY-nominated songwriter and producer Phil Galdston. Previous editions have featured the late Hal David, Jimmy Webb, Glenn Frey, Nile Rodgers, and Valerie Simpson.
“We’re very fortunate to have Felix and John join us for a once-in-a-lifetime joint Master Session,” said Galdston. “Our students will have an extraordinary opportunity to benefit from the insight into the art and craft of music-making and the reality of a career in the business of two people who have been recognized by the Songwriters, Rock’n’Roll, and GRAMMY Halls of Fame. In addition, they represent R&B and folk, two of the most important strands of New York-based music that were woven into the rock and pop that swept the world.”
The Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions at NYU are held at The Provincetown Playhouse, 133 MacDougal Street, between West 3rd and West 4th Streets. For reservation information, please contact [email protected]. For more information about the Songwriting Program at NYU Steinhardt, visit http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/songwriting/.
About NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions:
Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions (MPAP) was established in 1925. Today, 1,600 students majoring in renowned music and performing arts programs are guided by 400 faculty. The department’s degree programs—baccalaureate through doctorate—share the School’s spirit of openness and innovation that encourages the pursuit of high artistic and academic goals. Music and Performing Arts Professions serves as NYU’s “school” of music and is a major research and practice center in music technology, music business, music composition, film scoring, songwriting, music performance practices, performing arts therapies, and the performing arts-in-education (music, dance, and drama).