Make Music

2019 Listings: Friday, June 21st

Murphy's Big Idea

Murphy’s Big Idea is the musical coupling of singer-songwriter & bluesman Larry Kolker and classical-refugee vocalist Sara Murphy

Murphy’s Big Idea is the musical coupling of singer-songwriter, guitarist & blues harp player Larry Kolker and classical-refugee vocalist Sara Murphy. They perform alternative roots harmony music, with songs that are soulful or tongue-in-cheek, telling the most human of stories from unexpected points of view.

Larry’s music has been called the “urban country east-coast white-boy blues.” Of his latest album, Skope Magazine wrote: “Sung with great soul, Larry Kolker offers a refreshing addition to the great singer-songwriter tradition with the powerful ‘Dog Year.’ With a great ear for melody, the arrangements feel positively energetic … ‘Dog Year’ shows off Larry Kolker’s undeniable chops, creating a sound that feels timeless and infinitely tasteful.” Festival appearances include the 2015 KAABOO festival in San Diego, the 2014 Tribes Hill Music Festival at John Jay Homestead, the 2013-2015 Borderline Folk festivals, the 2013 Huntington Folk Festival, and the 2012 & 2013 Montauk Music Festivals. Recent shows include the Bitter End, People's Voice Café, and June 2017 featured singer-songwriter circle at the Christopher Street Coffee House. He has released three CDs: Dog Year (2017), Awful Smart Man (2012) and Long Island Slim (2002).

Sara Murphy is internationally known as a classical vocalist who has been called “a gorgeous, deep, dark mezzo-soprano” (New York Times) and “absolutely unforgettable for her versatility and ability to conquer any sensitive soul” (El Nacional, Dominican Republic). She has made two recent European debuts: with the RAI Orchestra as Mary in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer conducted by James Conlon, and at Opera Theater of Rome as Ulrica in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera under the baton of Jesús López-Cobos. She has appeared as a soloist frequently at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra (Elgar’s The Apostles, Ligeti Requiem, Schnittke’s Nagasaki) and Oratorio Society of New York (Handel’s Messiah). Past season highlights include several engagements with the Cincinnati Symphony at the May Festival, conducted by James Conlon: Verdi’s Otello, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mahler Symphony No. 8, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Tchaikovsky’s Ode to Joy. Opera News named the release of Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner in which Sara portrays Mother Bayard and Ermengarde one of the “Top Ten Opera Recordings of 2015.”

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