On Sunday, January 10 Concerts on Main presents noted singer-songwriter Emanuel Ayvas in a free 2pm concert at Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church (286 Main Street, Chatham, NJ). Lead vocalist, guitarist, pianist, and composer of the symphonic rock band Emanuel and the Fear, Ayvas is known for intertwining original pop songs with extravagant and complex orchestral compositions. His influences include the likes of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Philip Glass, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Daft Punk.

Emanuel and the Fear has released four albums and toured extensively, sharing the stage with Joanna Newsom, The War on Drugs, Wilco, Beirut and Here We Go Magic and others in venues ranging from NYC’s Gramercy Theatre and Joe’s Pub to Berlin’s Deutsches Theater. A recent solo European tour for Emanuel included stops in Germany and the UK where critics enjoyed his music’s connections to the Rat Pack and Shirley Bassey. The Guardian highlighted his music’s “keen sense of theatre and drama.” Jordan Blum, the Philadelphia Rock Music Examiner, noted that the band’s album “Listen is undoubtedly one of the best debut records I’ve ever heard, as well as one of the best albums I’ve ever reviewed… [the] chance to see lead guitarist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter Emanuel Ayvas in a humble, personal setting is an opportunity you’ll kick yourself for missing” (Examiner.com).

Emanuel’s appearance with Concerts on Main features original songs from his upcoming solo album. A folk-influenced project, the album will be recorded later this winter and will highlight Emanuel’s prowess as a vocalist, guitarist and pianist. The lyrics offer a reflective and sometimes humorous look at how popular culture affects individuals and their emotions. Emanuel will also share solo arrangements of songs from Emanuel and the Fear, including some from Primitive Smile, an album that is all about returning to family and roots. A native of Wood-Ridge, NJ Emanuel now makes his home in Brooklyn. He is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he competed as a pole vaulter and studied composition and piano performance. For more information visit www.emanuelandthefear.com.

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About Concerts on Main: Free and open to all, varied hour-long performances by NJ and NYC professionals are held during the fall and winter in Ogden Memorial Presbyterian Church’s historic and acoustically-engaging sanctuary. As needed, younger listeners can take advantage of a nearby indoor playspace. Ogden is located a block from Chatham’s train station, with easy and fast NYC access; there is ample free parking in the vicinity of the church. 

The series continues on Sunday, March 20 with a 12pm performance by the Reeds Amis woodwind trio. The all female trio is known for championing new and unperformed music, particularly the music of women composers. Based in New York City, members of the trio can be heard playing on Broadway, in orchestras throughout the region including the Rochester, Albany, Syracuse and Binghamton Philharmonics, and in venues such as Avery Fischer Hall, the United Nations, and Carnegie Hall. Both the group and its members have commissioned and premiered new works for their instruments, including collaborations with The Chelsea Symphony.

www.ConcertsOnMain.org