In Focus: Taylor Mac Workshops History of Popular Music

Taylor Mac (2009 Performing Arts) is working on a 24-hour concert of the history of popular music that will ultimately be performed continuously over the course of a full day with 24 musicians. To learn the 250 songs he’ll include in this epic piece, Taylor is breaking the decades up into individual workshop concerts over the next two years and presenting them at Joe’s Pub in New York. The fabulous Machine Dazzle is designing 24 different costumes for the concert, one for each decade.

The first two workshop concerts (with music from the 1970s and 1930s) were a great success, and the next (music from the 1880s) will be on Sunday, November 6.

Taylor will perform a rock version of “The Mikado,” joined by musical director Dave Malloy (piano), Gary Wang (on bass), Yair Evnine (on cello and guitar), David Berger (on drums), Pinky Weitzman (viola) and guest vocalists Lady Rizzo, Erin Markey and Davina Cohen.

Watch the video of Taylor performing Patti Smith’s “Birdland” at the top of this post, or view it on YouTube. For ticketing info for the November 6 show, click here.

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