Leslie Mendelson to Headline Benefit for CT Friends of the Performing Arts at Wilton Playshop

This Saturday, Jan. 25 in celebration of progress toward Schenk’s Island improvements, CT Friends of the Performing Arts is hosting a fundraising event. Headlining the concert is Leslie Mendelson, giving what organizers say “is going to be a show to remember.”

The concert will take place from 6-10 p.m. at the Wilton Playshop. Tickets are $25 per person.

CT Friends of the Performing Arts is a Wilton-based organization that promotes performing arts in Wilton as well as the development of a performing arts facility at Schenck’s Island. The group also aims to award scholarships to graduating high school students pursuing performing arts in college, as well as provide a forum for other Wilton non-profits to create awareness, drive membership, participation and support. They see music as an economic development driver, believing that making Wilton a draw to performing artists will enhance the town’s image and reputation as a fun place to live and visit, and will ultimately help promote local merchants and stimulate business.

Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Mendelson is touring in support of recent single releases, including “The Hardest Part” and “A Human Touch”—her duet with Jackson Browne for the documentary film, 5B. She’s also putting the finishing touches on a studio album, If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…, due Spring 2020.

Where her previous work, including 2009 Grammy-nominated debut album Swan Feathers, more closely dealt with matters of the heart, this time Mendelson and her longtime writing partner Steve McEwan examine anxiety stemming from the current social climate with songs like “Medication,” “I Need Something To Care About” and “Would You Give Up Your Gun.”

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice… will follow Mendelson’s 2017 release, Love & Murder. The recording features a duet with The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir on Roy Orbison’s standard, “Blue Bayou,” as well as haunting originals like “Jericho” and “Chasing The Thrill.” Love & Murder led to two US tours opening for Roger Daltrey, a West Coast tour with Browne and two shows supporting The Who at Madison Square Garden. Glide Magazine declared it, “one of the best records of the year,” while All Music called it a “poignant return.”

Other special guests for the event are:

Tim Palmieri:  Palmieri has made a name for himself as one of the most impressive guitarists on the national music scene today. His dynamic career has been enriched by touring with Kung Fu, The Breakfast, internationally with The Z3, playing alongside artists such as Phish’s Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman, Oteil Burbridge, Snarky Puppy, Soulive, Umphrey’s McGee, Vic Wooten, Fareed Haque, Robbie Kreiger, Jeff Pevar, Stanley Jordan, Melvin Sparks, Karl Denson, Bill Evans, Ed Mann, Ike Willis, Stephen Perkins, Jon Harrington, and Bernard Purdie.

Glen Roth:  Guitarist Roth amazes audiences with his fluid fingerstyle originals, jaw-dropping chops, and engaging shows. Roth tours nationally and internationally and has shared stages with world-renowned guitar players, including Stephen Bennett, Antoine Dufour, Don Ross, and Bucky Pizzarelli. When not touring or playing near-constantly in his homestate Connecticut, Roth performs regularly as a licensed musician in the Music Under New York program, playing for thousands of people in Grand Central and other NYC locations. His YouTube series, Busker TV, chronicles his adventures. He continues to win fans worldwide through his many popular YouTube music videos and his compelling original guitar compositions and creative covers on Spotify and other services.

Carmen Intorre JR.:  Intorre currently holds down the drum chair with legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino, touring extensively throughout the world with the guitarist’s organ trio and quintet. A 2011 GRAMMY® nominee for his co-producer credit on the critically acclaimed album by Joey DeFrancesco entitled Never Can Say Goodbye: The Music of Michael Jackson, Intorre also had the pleasure of performing alongside DeFrancesco and Dr. Lonnie Smith on the PBS show “Legends of Jazz,” hosted by Ramsey Lewis.