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Baruch Performing Arts Center Debuts New Contemporary Music Series 55UnderGround on Mar. 7

Photo - Singer-songwriter Ari Hest will appear at BPAC on March 7

Brooklyn-based singer Ari Hest kicks off the 55Underground series with a concert on Friday, March 7.

Photo by Malcolm Brown

New York, NY – Jan. 24, 2008 –
The Baruch Performing Arts Center (BPAC), the College's state-of-the-art hub for theatrical and musical performances, has announced the launch of a new concert series featuring up-and-coming contemporary musicians this spring. Dubbed 55UnderGround, the series aims to spotlight musicians from the New York City area beginning in March 2008.

John Malatesta, managing director of Baruch Performing Arts Center says of the series, “I wanted to create a special contemporary concert series for Baruch students and beyond, primarily comprised of local musicians on the rise. The series will include musical artists who are passionate about their work and enjoy playing live to small intimate audiences up close and personal."

Participating musicians span a range of genres, including rock, pop, jazz, soul, country, and folk, added Malatesta. "The musicians will have strong local fan bases and should understand that their success is more about the caliber of their music than popular trends or imitation. We named the series after the physical location of the center - the three lower levels of Baruch College’s Newman Vertical Campus at 55 Lexington Ave in New York City."

The inaugural season of 55UnderGround will feature Ari Hest, Break of Reality, Rissi Palmer, Cynthia Lin, Johanna Stahley, Brown Rane, edible Red, and Kaki King. All concerts begin at 8PM.

55UnderGround Performance Calendar

March 7

Ari Hest is a Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter who recorded The Break-In, his newest CD with veteran producer Mitchell Froom. The Break-In builds on the soft-spoken sensibility he established with his 2004 major label debut, Someone To Tell, and sets out in new musical and lyrical directions with an album that showcases both his development as a writer and growth as an artist.

March 8

Break of Reality is a classical rock group whose mission is to create instrumental music that challenges traditional expectations and unifies conflicting genres. With a band that consists of three cellist and a percussionist this band combines the beauty of classical music with the energy of rock music.

March 12

Rissi Palmer is a new country artist with a combination of talent, passion and experience. She was a finalist on the CBS-telecast "Star Search," was featured in CMT's documentary "Waiting In The Wings," along with Charley Pride and Trini Triggs, and also appeared on that network's "Most Wanted Live." She has worked with producers Brian McKnight and Deborah Allen, and has written with many of Nashville's finest writers. She recently wrote "Hold On To Me," a song chosen by country superstar Faith Hill for her album project but which will instead appear on Palmer's self-titled debut.

March 22

edible Red is led by firecracker front woman Collette McLafferty. edible Red is an eclectic New York City-based five-piece collective of atypical musicians. The memorable songs the band creates can be heard on their debut CD, Welcome to My Bad Behavior, released in May, 2007 on Select Records. edible Red’s songs have been included on the Oxygen Network’s “Good Girls Don’t,” and most recently the band’s lead single “Sugar and Spring” was featured in an episode of Showtime’s “The L Word.”

March 29

Cynthia Lin is an acoustic guitarist with a unique blend of jazz and folk. Adam Simkin of wrote, "Lin's music stylings hint at past greats, yet sound fresh with a distinct charm." Since the release of her debut EP Blue and Borderlined, Cynthia has become a regular on the regional touring circuit. Her second EP Doppelganger was released in 2007.

April 4

Johanna Stahley started singing early in a family of musicians. She added the guitar to her repertoire at 18 to help mold developing lyrics and melodies into definite form. Stahley’s songs "I Can" and "Nothing I Would Change" can be heard in the opening scenes of MTV's "The Real World: Australia" and ABC's "Men In Trees," among a slew of other television placements from her current LP, I'm Not Perfect. Johanna has a co-publishing deal with Cherry Lane Music.

April 11

Brown Rane is an R&B singer, songwriter, and composer. She has been performing since the age of ten, and toured with a dynamic group of singers, rappers, and poets called Cataclysm during her freshman year of college. Brown Rane has worked with many talented artists (Yanni, A. E Henry) and production teams (Ozone Music Productions, Diesel Music, and Nu Soundz Alliance).

Kaki King is a gifted young acoustic guitarist closing rank on the canonized heroes of the genre. With her new album ...Until We Felt Red, she bests herself and defies expectations by ditching her acoustic for an electric, lap steel and perhaps, the most unexpected instrument of all: her own voice. She has performed on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and other late-night staples, including "Late Night With Conan O’Brien." She recently completed a tour of Italy and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work on the film "Into the Wild." She also recorded for the 2007 movie "August Rush."

Tickets to these concerts are $25.00 for the general public, with special discounts available for Baruch college students, faculty, and alumni. Non- Baruch students and seniors can purchase tickets for $15.00. To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 646-312-4085 or visit

Baruch Performing Arts Center's mission is to integrate the performing arts into all aspects of the life of Baruch College, specifically for the interests of the students, faculty, staff and alumni, and to serve as a significant arts center for the greater New York City metropolitan area.

Other BPAC programs include the Aaron Silberman Concert Series and the Alexander String Quartet (Chamber Music); the Repast Concert Series (Baroque Music); Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Series; the Great Works Reading Series (Classical Theater); and many other programs.

Press inquiries regarding this series should be addressed to Shawyonia Pettigrew at 646-312-4081 or

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