FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE SIMON & GARFUNKEL SONGBOOK: AN EVENING OF SONGS & STORIES
Performed by Aztec Two-Step 2.0 featuring Rex Fowler, Dodie Pettit & Friends, with Narration and Multimedia by Tony Traguardo
Why: This is a Masked & Socially Distanced Benefit Concert with Livestreaming for WPKN
What: The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook Show: An Evening of Stories & Songs with Vintage S&G Slides & Video
Where: The Bijou Theatre, 275 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604
When: Friday, April 23, 2021 at 8 PM
On Friday, April 23 at 8 PM, the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, CT will present The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook Show as a fundraiser for WPKN, the award-winning nonprofit community FM radio station that is moving next door to the Bijou building on Fairfield Avenue later this year. The show’s music speaks for itself and is anchored by Rex Fowler, co-founder of the critically acclaimed folk/rock band Aztec Two-Step, with narration, slides and video images by Tony Traguardo. This masked, socially distanced, limited seating event starts at 8 PM. Rex’s multi-talented wife Dodie Pettit, an original cast member of Broadway’s greatest success story, The Phantom of the Opera, are the heart and soul of their 5-piece band. The Bijou Theatre, a charming “diamond in the ruff” music venue which also features a full bar, is located at 275 Fairfield Avenue in beautiful downtown Bridgeport, just one block from the community parking garage. $50 & $100 tax-deductible tickets are available at 203-296-2875 or info@bijoutheatreCT.com. Livestreaming starting at only $5 begins at 8 PM- tix.musae.me/helpWPKN.
A $100 or more donation will include a wine and cheese “Meet & Greet” before the show with WPKN luminaries and members of the band. Musae.com, a state-of-the art streaming company is also broadcasting the show at 8 PM to help raise more revenue with a wide range of ticket prices starting at only $5. For an additional donation of $50 or more if you didn’t attend the S&G show, Aztec Two-Step 2.0 will perform a sparkling 30-minute set of original songs beginning around 11 PM.
This fun and uniquely entertaining benefit concert celebrate the incredible songs and iconic career of Simon & Garfunkel, as well as their contribution to American Pop Culture in the 1960s. Unquestionably, the music speaks for itself; as does the show’s storyline which was originally created by the late great Pete Fornatale – rock historian, author, and renowned pioneer of progressive FM radio. Tony Traguardo, the show’s marvelous narrator and multimedia Meister, was Fornatale’s longtime friend and protégé. Tony also hosts a weekly WCWP radio show and helped found the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. Laughter and nostalgia abound, and a sing-a-long is always in the mix!
S&G SHOW REVIEWS
“The band, the accompanying multimedia and narration, the entire show simply put, was sensational!”
Lee Bell, Senior Director, The Kravis Center, West Palm Beach, FL
“The entire production – the cast and the show with its exquisite music, storytelling and stunning special effects were absolutely superb!”
Gail Anderson, Artistic Director, Surflight Theater, Beach Haven, NJ
ABOUT AZTEC TWO-STEP 2.0
Aztec Two-Step burst onto the scene in 1972 with their stunning debut album on Elektra Records. With three subsequent albums on RCA Records, the duo became staples of progressive FM and college radio, helping to usher in the folk/rock sound of the 1960s into the ’70s and beyond. After the band’s co-founder Neal Shulman retired in early 2018, Rex, along with his multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist wife Dodie Pettit, bassist Steven Roues, Multi-horn player Joe Meo, and drummer/percussionist Peter Hohmeister are continuing to move Aztec Two-Step’s legacy forward, earning overwhelmingly enthusiastic accolades and reviews, including their renowned Simon & Garfunkel Songbook show.
Rex Fowler: Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals
After “lifting” the band’s name from a poem by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and writing the first song for or about Jack Kerouac’s iconic novel “On The Road,” Rex’s Aztec Two-Step story is intertwined with the history of folk/rock music in America. Originating from a chance meeting at an “open mic night” in a Boston folk club in 1971, the duo’s first four albums on Elektra & RCA Records left an indelible mark on the musical genre. As their recording career continued, so did the critical acclaim. In 1986, their album “Living in America” was named in Billboard’s year-end critic’s poll. It also received the New York Music Award for the Best Folk Album. In 1999 they were the subjects of the documentary, “No Hit Wonder,” which was aired on several PBS stations across America. In June 2007, Real Simple, a popular national lifestyle magazine, named Aztec Two-Step’s debut album one of the all-time top five classic folk albums, along with works by Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Tom Rush and Phil Ochs. The article cites the duo as “surpass[ing] Simon and Garfunkel for exquisite harmonies, musicianship and emotion.” In this era of Aztec Two-Step 2.0, Rex continues to expand the band’s legacy as he introduces the members of his new ensemble:
Dodie Pettit – Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
An accomplished songwriter and recording artist in her own right, Dodie first met Rex when she was a session player and backup singer on ATS’s 1980 “Times of Our Lives” album. Dodie and Rex were recently married and are the heart and soul of the new Aztec Two Step “2.0” ensemble. Going farther back, as part of the first generation of ‘60’s female rock bands, Dodie was a member of the famed all-girl groups The Untouchable and The Enchanted Forest. Amazingly, Dodie is also a former Principal Dancer for the American Repertory Dance Company and had a distinguished 15-year career on Broadway as an original cast member of The Phantom of the Opera, as well as appearing in Tony Award winning musicals CATS and Titanic. (Read more about Dodie Pettit).
Steven “Muddy” Roues – Upright Bass, Blues Harmonica, Guitar, Vocals
Record producer, songwriter, recording artist and touring musician, Roues has had a rich and fulfilling 40-year career. He continues to perform his original music regularly with The Roues Brothers, Finn & The Sharks and The UpSouth Twisters. Muddy has performed live or recorded with luminaries, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Howling Wolf, James Cotton, Sam and Dave, The Chambers Brothers, Wilson Pickett, John Hiatt, Joe Ely and David Bromberg. Muddy was an honored band member in the critically acclaimed documentary film, “The Other Side of Nashville” featuring Carl Perkins.
Joe Meo – Tenor and Soprano Sax, Flute, Clarinet, Vocals
Joe is the newest member of ATS 2.0, adding virtuoso solos and supporting lines that complement Dodie’s compelling lead work, and he has been known to step out and sing lead on a song or two as well. At age 8, Joe’s first instrument, a clarinet, fell from a car and landed in his front yard. He soon started playing in musical groups in school but blossomed while playing in a community big band, learning saxophone, flute and guitar along the way. He has since played in pit orchestras for Broadway shows, as well as in various CT rock, funk and jazz bands. Joe has been a sought-after session player and arranger with distinguished artists like the late great Johnny Winter and Julie Budd, while touring nationally with Johnny Mathis, The Temptations, The Four Tops, and The Pointer Sisters.
Peter Hohmeister – Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Peter is the band’s diamond in the ruff whom Rex and Dodie met at a Westport, CT cabaret when he was sitting in with Joe Meo’s jazz quartet. Over the years Peter has performed as a member of several Connecticut orchestral and theater programs including the Hartford Symphony and is currently the principal percussionist with the Norwalk Symphony. Peter is both a revered and accomplished musician/teacher whose nuanced and versatile drumming style makes him a perfect fit for ATS 2.0’s diverse musical canon.
Aztec Two-Step has performed worldwide, been critically acclaimed in major U.S. newspapers, reviewed in Rolling Stone Magazine and appeared on numerous radio and TV shows, including The King Biscuit Flour Hour and David Letterman. With Rex’s signature vocals, 2 and 3-part harmonies, multi-instrumental arrangements, and Dodie’s electrifying guitar work, Aztec Two-Step 2.0 recaptures the sound of their original 70’s albums – fresh, yet familiar – while featuring fan favorites and forgotten gems. Rex’s unique and fun stage patter is still as engaging as ever.
What a wonderful show at City Winery. The new ensemble captures the soul of every sensational ATS song. It exceeded all my expectations. Just magical!
Amazing show! Go see Rex, Dodie and their band. You won’t be disappointed!
Wonderful!!!…amazing musicians! Great job Rex!!
For interview and photo requests, contact:
Steve di Costanzo, WPKN General Manager
About WPKN 89.5 Community Radio
Founded in 1963, WPKN is a 10,000-watt listener-supported community radio station broadcasting at 89.5 FM and streaming online at WPKN.org. WPKN’s terrestrial signal serves a potential listenership of 1.5 million people in Connecticut, Long Island, and parts of New York and Massachusetts. Programs on WPKN include live and recorded music, news, public affairs, and spoken word. The station is powered by the passion and commitment of almost 200 volunteers in our listening community and is supported by the generous donations of our listening audience. Learn more at https://wpkn.org.