Songs of Joy and Peace at Saturday evening's Cosmic Joke Collective

December 17, 2015 by Mark H. Anbinder

The collaborative live performance series known as the Cosmic Joke Collective returns to Downtown Ithaca's Lot 10 this Saturday evening. The "Songs of Joy and Peace" theme, says organizer Mickie Quinn, "will set out to capture the love and warmth of the season in the midst of holiday stress and a world gone wild."

Mickie Quinn announcing at last month's Cosmic Joke Collective. 14850 Photo.Mickie Quinn announcing at last month's Cosmic Joke Collective. 14850 Photo.A monthly artists’ salon, the Cosmic Joke Collective was founded in 1999 in New York City, and then made its way to Ithaca when Quinn moved back to town last summer. CJC evolved from a platform to present one-act plays to a community of artists presenting works-in-progress, side projects, and previews of larger shows. The series first gave sisters Mary-Noelle and Audrey Dana an outlet for their new one-act play, and they included solo performances by other actors and musicians in the line-up.

The basic outline of the CJC is that participating artists are given a time slot to curate their own performances, either solo or with their choice of accompanying artists. By tradition, artists and performers must attend a full performance of the Cosmic Joke Collective before they can appear at a subsequent event.

The first Cosmic Joke Collective show in Ithaca was last October 4th, featuring curated sets from Hank Roberts, Michael Stark, Jennifer Middaugh, and Bronwen Exter. Speaking about his CJC experience, Roberts says, “Despite all of the challenges of being a working musician, what an honor and a positive thing that it is to do; to work collectively on a creation that’s important for you and others, and then to bring it out to share with the community.”

Quinn tells us this month's lineup includes Dan Aloi, Angie Beeler, McKenzie Jones, Nate Marshall, Xanthe Matychak with Sara Haefeli, and Amy Puryear. "Dan Aloi promises a twisted take on Christmas, while Xanthe Matychak will be bringing cello and voice arrangements of songs about perseverance and faith," she says. Amy Puryear, who fronts Laila Belle, "will be lending her sweet voice to some of McKenzie Jones's new original tunes, in addition to songs of her own."

The show is from 7-9pm on Saturday, December 19th, upstairs at Lot 10 on South Cayuga Street, with doors (and the upstairs bar) opening at 6:30pm. There's a $5 cover charge.

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