With roots in Hoboken that trace back to the 1980s, the Holiday Banding Concert will continue this year with a myriad of local acts.
The city began the traditional concert as a way to raise funds for Projected Images of Hudson County. Projected Images was a non-profit organization that used to screen independent films in the backroom of Maxwell’s Tavern each week.
Geri Fallo, the city’s cultural affairs administrator who started the film series, said the non-profit first sprung up at a time when online video streaming wasn’t prominent like it is today, and indie films were difficult to track down.
Luckily there were places in New York City like The Thalia, The Film Forum, and St. Marks Cinema.
“[The] film series at Maxwell’s emulated this type of programming in New Jersey, showing offbeat independent films, running film festivals and inviting filmmakers to speak,” said Fallo. “Some of the filmmakers who appeared were John Sayles, Todd Haynes, Les Blank & D. A. Pennebaker.”
This year’s holiday fundraiser, which will be held Sunday, Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m., will raise money for the “Movies Under the Stars” outdoor summer film series held at Pier A Park. Featured performances include Emily Turonis and her father Gene “The Singing Plumber” Turonis. Although performing on different sets, Emily grew up accompanying her father as he jammed out to old-timey folk tunes. Emily’s more modern take on her family’s traditional American music is further expanded with flamenco and bossa nova influences.
The concert’s goal is to provide a stage for local bands.
Deena and Jon of The Cucumbers, for instance, will perform a song they wrote for the event back in 2013 and recorded earlier this year.
“I never played it with a band, however, until I brought it to the Hoboken Holiday Banding crew,” said Deena via email. “[We] first played it in 2013. It sounded so lovely. We then played it again last year [in] 2014 and it sounded even better, so I knew I wanted to record it with them. Everyone was so positive, kind and encouraging about the song.”
American composer Jeremy Beck will also take the stage, as will Jack Skuller, Lloyd United, Annalee Van Kleeck, Abbe Rivers, Bianca Bob, Las Vandalays, John Bauers, and Tom Vincent, and the Holiday Banding Concert Band (Julio Fernandez, Gary Frazer, Dave Stengel, John Keim, Bryan Beninghove).
The concert costs $7 and Maxwell’s is located at 1039 Washington St. For information call 201-420-2207 or email at email@example.com.
Steven Rodas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.