Explore the heart of Americana music with Creative OPERAtions, as our concert series seamlessly blends folk, spirituals, blues, bluegrass, American opera, and classical music. Immerse yourself in art, music, and history through multidisciplinary artist Mary Ann McKay's "Silent Voices Series," vividly capturing the industrial age alongside songs inspired by the industrial revolution. Don't miss our engaging displays in partnerships with Red Bank Public Library, Keyport Public Library, Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library, and the Matawan Historical Society connecting Mary Ann's art and historical contexts for a truly captivating experience.
Artist & Speakers
Mary Ann McKay, multidisciplinary artist & speaker
Mary Ann began her professional fine art career shortly after relocating to South Jersey in 1976.
She began painting under her first mentor Pat Witt at the Barn Studio of Art in 1979, thus beginning a friendship that remains an important part of her life today.
In 1982, she began studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art evening school for life painting and drawing. After this, she enrolled at the Hussian School of Art for Graphic Design, always finding time for a painting class. During these years she became interested in portraits, and took extra time and classes to refine her technique. She discovered she had a natural ability to capture a mood or the personality in her portrait subjects. “Sometimes I just get lucky”.
After a successful career in Graphic Design, Mary Ann moved to Cliffwood Beach, NJ
to be near the water and plan for retirement, where she now creates art every day. Mary Ann also served as the President of the Arts Society of Keyport, where she helped direct and create public glass mosaic art for the Borough of Keyport. Mary Ann exhibits her work in several venues, and has been part-owner of artspace 88, LLC, an art gallery in Keyport, NJ. She now works in her studio in NJ. www.maryannmckay.com
Danny Weiss, speaker
With over 60 years of musical experience, Danny Weiss is a sought-after singer, songwriter, and guitarist in the NY metro area. His musical journey spans various genres, from rock to bluegrass to folk and jug band music.
In 1972, he moved to Syracuse, NY, and began contributing his talents to a number of Syracuse bands including Country Granola, Cross Creek and the Down City Ramblers. In 1978, he joined the Monroe Doctrine in Colorado, and in 1980, returned to his native New Jersey as a founding member of the pioneering newgrass band Tony Trischka and Skyline. They toured globally and recorded four albums.
Danny, alongside partner Mary Olive Smith, now leads NY bands Reckon So and Stillhouse Serenade, covering a mix of genres, including originals, honky-tonk, roots country, blues, and Americana. He also fronts the acoustic trio Silk City that features his Skyline bandmates Barry Mitterhoff and Larry Cohen.
His impressive career includes performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center. He has appeared with Vassar Clements, Tex Logan, and David Bromberg, and his many recordings include the soundtrack of the Disney film, "The Rookie." His guitar talents have been recognized by Frets Magazine and he has been featured in guitar workshops and performances throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europe and Russia.
In his spare time, Danny has moonlighted as a librarian for the past 30 years, currently serving as the Director of the Fanwood (NJ) Memorial Public Library.
Tim Davis (AKA Timmy Ivories), piano
Timmy Ivories is a Brooklyn based musician who performs frequently around New York and for the last 10 years has been the regular late shift piano player at the Saturday night bluegrass jam at Sunny's bar in Red Hook.
Rebecca Eng, piano
Rebecca Eng, pianist and teacher, studied at Wheaton Conservatory of Music (BM) and Eastman School of Music (MM) where she was awarded the Performer’s Certificate. After two decades of performing at Montclair State University as a collaborative pianist, she worked with The Opera Theatre of Montclair for seven years as the pianist and Assistant General Director. She now performs as a freelance accompanist in the New York metropolitan area and teaches piano privately. Rebecca also serves on the boards of the Music Educators Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey Federation of Music Clubs.
Sarah Klein, bass
Sarah is an avid knitter, aspiring gardener, and upright bass player.
She studied Music Theory at the University of Florida under Kevin Casseday. During that time, she performed in the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, fall musicals, and anywhere else with a need for some low notes. She performed with the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and could be found at many brunches and bars with her genre-bending, sometimes satirical (but always fun!) "swing" band, The Tramp Collection.
After Gainesville, Sarah moved to Seattle, WA where she performed with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra and the opera/bolero ensemble Encanto.
Since moving to NYC, Sarah has performed symphonic repertoire with the New York Repertory Orchestra, the Brooklyn Symphony, and the Brooklyn Conservatory Orchestra, jammed on a Red Hook barge in celebration of the Schooner Apollonia, took her bass on the ferry to play at Porchstomp, and spent a wonderful evening performing Annie Bacon's The Folk Opera among Beacon's finest fireflies. She can be found at any number of jazz and bluegrass jams around Brooklyn.
Vinny Kyne, guitar
Vinny Kyne grew up in Brooklyn, New York, listening to his father's big band music and singing in the church choir. Always fascinated by harmonies and music, it took a gift of a guitar from an old girlfriend from high school to get him to enroll in guitar classes in college. It turned out to be the only course Vinny would complete in his brief collegiate career. Throughout his life, he would play in different bands exploring rhythm guitar and Irish groups before taking instruction in flatpicking which led him to his love of bluegrass music. A fixture at the Ashokan Music Center, Vinny has brought his love of bluegrass music to New York City and the Jersey Shore, often organizing and playing with some of the biggest names in the scene. Recently, Vinny participated in several international Bluegrass Festival workshops including MINIERACUSTICA in Italy and La Roche Bluegrass Festival in France.
Claudia Mogel, violin
Claudia has been playing violin since she was 7, and studied classical music until she started playing in bands in college. Since then, she's dabbled in folk, cajun, rock, country and bluegrass. Claudia was the fiddle player for Oakley Hall, a country-psych rock band that was named "New Artist to Watch" in Rolling Stone magazine. She toured nationally and internationally with the band, opening for Gillian Welch, Bright Eyes, Spoon and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs among others. She now plays with several NYC based singer/songwriters and is a member of the bluegrass band Interstate, along with Vinny Kyne. Claudia lives in Brooklyn with her 3 kids, husband and very vocal rescue dog.
Eliam Ramos, bass-baritone
Eliam Ramos is a thrilling Puerto Rican bass-baritone who has performed opera and concert works with companies in the United States, Spain, Israel and Mexico.
His artistic engagements range from traditional opera such as Leporello in Don Giovanni, to Luis Nogales in the zarzuela Luisa Fernanda, to symphony concerts such as Fauré’s Requiem to the title role of the modern composition of El Cimarrón by Hans Werner Henze.
Mr. Ramos has been featured in several productions of La Bohème as Schaunard and cover for Marcello in the fall season of 2022. He will be a resident soloist with Her Dimmock’s “Bach in Baltimore” singing various Cantatas.
Mr. Ramos also is engaged with The Metropolitan Opera Guild as a featured soloist in their 2022-2023 season. To close out the season, Eliam will present a series of solo and duo recitals in the Spring of 2023.
Corinne Schaefer, soprano
Soprano Corinne Schaefer has performed a variety of operatic roles including Carlotta in the German production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, Die Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, Beth in the European premiere of Little Women, Olympia, in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Gretel, in Hansel and Gretel, Nanetta in Falstaff, Musetta in La Bohème, Clotilde in Norma, and Norina in Don Pasquale.
On the concert stage, Corinne has appeared as a soloist with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Polizeichor Hamburg, Germany, Bucks County Symphony, Opera New Jersey, Opera at Florham, and on the behalf of the US Consulate in Hamburg, Germany. She has performed a variety of concerts and recitals throughout Germany, Austria, Italy, and the United States.
Corinne Schaefer is a graduate from Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, where she received a BM in vocal performance. She is also an alumnus of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
Corinne is the founder and artistic director of Creative OPERAtions, a 501(c)(3) non profit dedicated to bridging the gap between classical music genres and communities who do not have regular or easy access to the art forms. www.corinne-schaefer.com
The Americana Concert Series is supported by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.