On Wednesday night, Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino led the lineup at a special event at Lola on New York City’s East Village. The party at the newly rebranded venue (formerly known as Coney Island Baby) marked the second of ten installments of the #GiveAJack concert series, created by Launch Global and sponsored by Jack Daniels.
After an intriguing opening set by forward-thinking young jazz vibraphonist Sasha Berliner, Cassarino took the stage solo with his guitar to start the set with a brilliant, stripped-down solo rendition of MGMT‘s “Electric Feel”. Hartswick joined him next, launching the duo into Bobby “Blue” Bland classic “I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)”.
The incredible duo continued through a mix of material they wrote together for Hartswick’s 2018 album, Nexus, and a handful of classic covers, bantering happily between songs about their decades-long relationship as friends and collaborators. Hartswick commanded the attention of the packed but intimate, garishly lit space with her passionate vocals and skillful trumpeting. Cassarino, as always, dazzled the crowd with his sprawling guitar work, holding the room in the palm of his hand as rattled off run after run of rapid-fire yet tasteful runs.
As the set wore on, the duo welcomed a pair of guests to the stage. First, MC Mr. AT of the Lifted Crew joined Jen and Nick on “Tangled and Dark” to spit a verse with patented New York swagger. Then, Jen’s Trey Anastasio Band bandmate, saxophonist James Casey, joined in on “You Can’t Take It Back”, leading the trio out on an improvisational ride with a hair-raising sax solo. As Casey took his bows, Nick took a moment to bask in the afterglow of this brief brush with his “favorite living saxophone player.”
Finally, the duo closed out the performance with a glowing rendition of Prince favorite “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore” and a show-closing run through Nexus standout “Silent Waves”.
For a list of upcoming Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino dates, head here.
Launch Global is a new type of business consulting firm that works to create a sustainable system for art and creativity by producing impactful events and offering vital business services to support creativity and allow anyone with a vision to fulfill their dreams. Launch is hosting 10 “impactful events” across NYC throughout this fall and winter. In partnership with the #GiveAJack campaign, these events will celebrate live music and encourage social consciousness by encouraging artists and fans to share what they are passionate about—what they “give a jack” about.
For a full list of upcoming #GiveAJack events, head here.
Setlist: Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino Duo | Lola | New York, NY | 11/8/19
Set: Electric Feel#, I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me), Angel From Montgomery, Soul Shadows, You Don’t Know Nothin’, Numb, Tangled and Dark*, You Can’t Take It Back^, How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore, Silent Waves
*w/ Mr. AT (MC)
^w/ James Casey (saxophone)