It's a 'Reunion' at the Mission

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  • Lucy Kaplansky

If you go
Lucy Kaplansky
Music at the Mission
Saturday, April 26, 8 p.m.
West Milford Presbyterian Church
1452 Union Valley Road, West Milford
Tickets: $25 in advance; $28 at the door
Available at: Harvest Moon Health Food Store, 22 Marshall Hill Road

Lucy Kaplansky is coming to Music at the Mission on Saturday, April 26.

One of the top selling artists at Red House Records, Kaplansky released her seventh solo CD in 2012, "Reunion." For this album, she reunited with her impressive core of musicians – Buddy Miller, Richard Shindell, Jonatha Brooke, John Gorka, Eliza Gilkyson, Duke Levine, Jon Herington and producer/drummer Ben Wittman – creating a true masterwork.

The title song “Reunion” celebrates Lucy’s pioneering immigrant grandmother and her journey from Poland to Toronto, where the matriarch and business woman founded the Health Bread Bakery chain in the early 20th century. Depicted on the album cover in a painting by noted political cartoonist Avrom Yanovsky (one of the original bakery workers), the bakery was the center of the Kaplansky family’s life. Although raised in Chicago, Lucy attended many family reunions in Toronto, reuniting one last time with her cousins in 2011 after the passing of her parents, aunts and uncles.

“It’s inevitable that as you get older and your life deepens, you find more ways of connecting to an even larger circle of people,” said Kaplansky. “This album is largely about reunions with family and deepening social connections with friends and audiences through my music. I find myself clearer about my priorities, my purpose, my politics and my faith.”

Like the title track, each song on Reunion tells its own unique story. Lucy and co-writer Richard Litvin connect us to our common humanity through songs of family, origins, loss and discovery–from watching parents pass on (“I’ll See You Again” and “Sleep Well”), to witnessing a daughter blossom (“Mother’s Day”), to chronicling the journey of an abandoned child refugee (the radio-friendly “Scavenger”). These poignant originals are woven with unique covers of Woody Guthrie/Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Amy Correia and The Beatles. Together these tracks create a tapestry that is at turns deeply moving, joyful, meditative and rollicking.

In 2011, Kaplansky released an EP, "Kaplansky sings Kaplansky," featuring songs written by her father, famed University of Chicago mathematician Irving Kaplansky, including live performances of the two of them performing together in California. This is her first venture into 1940s style swing, reminiscent of the work of Kaplansky’s former student Tom Lehrer.

In addition to her solo work, Kaplansky recorded with "Cry, Cry, Cry," a group consisting of Dar Williams, Richard Shindell and Kaplansky. She also teamed with John Gorka and Eliza Gilkyson in 2010 as part of new folk super-group "Red Horse."

Kaplansky performs all over the world. When not performing, she lives in New York City with her husband and nine year-old daughter.

Music at the Mission is located at 1452 Union Valley Road, West Milford, at the West Milford Presbyterian Church.

Upcoming at Music at the Mission

May 3 Open Mic Night

May 17 James Maddock

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Community Newspapers


Gerald A. Shirhall
  • Nov 13, 2017


West Milford, NJ