Live music dominates Staten Island stages this season, as three distinct types of artists tune their instruments

by Jessica Jones Gorman

SEA SHANTY SESSIONS
Maritime songs at the museum? Definitely not your typical Staten Island Saturday night, but this wonderfully entertaining option will go live at Snug Harbor on April 21. Led by the Folk Music Society of New York, the program offers audiences an opportunity to experience authentic, time honored maritime songs in an appropriately historic setting.

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Also called a “chantey” (and derived from the French word chanter, which means “to sing”), this musical style dates at least to the 16th century, and came to its highest prominence among American merchant vessels in the decades prior to the Civil War. It was useful for breaking monotony and synchronizing arduous tasks such as sail and anchor raising. A shanty is often performed in a “call and response” structure, in which one sailor calls outs a verse, prompting others to respond.

Hosted in the Noble Maritime Collection on the third Sunday of every month, sessions are free and guests are encouraged to sing along. 1000 Richmond Terrace, snug harbor.org

AMORE E PASSIONE!
Cristina Fontanelli, an award winning singer and TV personality, will make her Staten Island debut on April 13, hosting a show entitled “Love Italian Style” at CSI’s Center for the Arts. With roots in Little Italy and Hoboken, Fontanelli’s love a air with opera began when she first heard soprano Maria Callas on the radio, and was powerful enough to propel her through The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (she also attended The Juilliard School). She has gone on to grace opera stages in Tokyo, Paris, Milan, Dubai, and other international cities, and has also hosted PBS’s coverage of 2011’s Andrea Bocelli: Live in Central Park, which featured performances by Celine Dion and Tony Bennett. In her CSI show, Fontanelli will explore the theme of love, singing classic Neapolitan songs and iconic arias. Some Sinatra and Italian themed Broadway show tunes, including “Mamma Mia,” might just sneak into the set. 2800 Victory Boulevard, cfashows.com

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Gardian Spread

FREESTYLE SHOWCASE
Joe Causi of WCBS 101.1 FM and Sal Abbatiello of Fever Records are set to host the “Ultimate 80s Explosion” on April 27 at the St. George Theatre, bringing a dozen acts to the Stapleton stage. Titled “The Best in Freestyle,” the show will feature appearances by TKA, The Cover Girls, Rockell, Soave, and Joe Zangie. George Lamond will perform hits like “Bad of the Heart,” “Without You,” and “Look Into My Eyes.”

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A sub genre of dance music that emerged in the early 1980s Freestyle is actually a soup of many styles, one that can include disco, hip hop, electro, and Latin American influences, oftentimes working in sequence or simultaneously. It gave rise to groups and artists like Exposé and Stevie B, and New York, Miami, and Los Angeles were its epicenters. Tickets for the show, which starts at 8 P.M., range from $49 to $79. 35 Hyatt Street, stgeorgetheatre.com