Tristate Tunes going on a hiatus…

Hi all!

So being that it is my last semester of college ever, interning in NYC and working as a waitress part time, I don’t have the time to meet all you wonderful people out there and become exposed to new and local music. 


HOWEVER, my friend TINA does!! Check out her blog at WWW.SLEEPLESSINNJ.WORDPRESS.COM

so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check out her website & feel free to contact her at


I apologize for not getting back to a few of your e-mails but please contact Tina for any publicity – she’s a huge music fan like me 🙂





City and Colour play at Terminal 5

Wrote a little something for my school’s paper about City and Colour’s set at Terminal 5 on Dec 7th.

Have you ever been to a concert and said to yourself, “This sounds so much better live.” Now picture that times twenty.

If you’re a music junkie and an avid concert goer like me, then you know what it feels like to leave a show and say, “Damn, that was a really good show.” There’s some sort of satisfaction that comes along with a great show.  The simple idea of knowing you were there is enough. But what’s even better is that after a solid show you can say with pride you were there, amongst the crowd, screaming back the lyrics to one of your favorite artists.

A concert can sometimes turn into one of the best nights of your life, a night you’ll never forget. There is always that one show that really blows you out of the water.

And that’s what it was like to see City and Colour this past Tuesday on December 7th at Terminal 5 in New York City.

If you’ve never heard of City and Colour then let me introduce you.  If you’re into mellow music, witty and honest lyrics, a calm and soothing but simultaneously piercing (in a good way) voice, acoustic guitar and folky type music, then give City and Colour a play.  Started by Dallas Green as a side project to his older band, Alexisonfire, City and Colour has grown into a serious project that Green has overtaken now and has three successful studio albums.

From the moment Dallas Green appeared on stage you knew he was something special by the crowd’s reaction.  Green started off the show with “We Found Each Other In The Dark,” the first song from their latest album, Little Hell. The crowd started to scream – and I don’t know if it’s just because where I was standing (in the front by the barricade photographing) but I haven’t heard a crowd scream for a man on stage the way I heard it that night in a very long time.

Accompanying Green on stage was solo artist Daniel Romano and others, as they came on stage in full suits. Finally, something different.  It made the concert a tad bit more interesting, and it gave the crowd something to talk about between songs.

Being that it was my first time seeing City and Colour live, I was in complete awe listening to his voice.  Don’t get me wrong, his recorded material is great but hearing Green’s voice as he sang his songs live, old and new, was so rich and filled with love and soul. His voice made the whole venue feel safe, like there wasn’t a care in the world. The only thing that mattered that night was the band’s set. He was completely on point throughout the night. The only thing that really bothered me is that Green did not play “Save Your Scissors,” or “Casey’s Song.” But despite the fact those two songs were not on the set list, the song choice was perfect: a little bit of everything.

If you have ever heard me talk about concerts, you’ve probably never heard me describe a show as phenomenal. Well, this one was.  With a voice like Green’s that man was meant to sing, and I’m happy he discovered his talent and continues to pursue it with City and Colour.

View more of City and Colour’s set here!

View photos of the opening act, Hacienda here!

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Free Acoustic Show with Anthony Green, Kenny Vasoli & Vinnie Caruana at the House of Vans!

­Among all the factories that surround a specific area of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, there is a warehouse called the House of Vans.  The warehouse is a relatively new venue that holds 900 people and hosts free shows with a simple click of a RSVP button online. On top of free shows, the venue offers free beer, too. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah a free live acoustic set with Vinnie Caruana, Kenny Vasoli and Anthony Green, hosted by Alternative Press.

If you don’t know who any of these three dudes are, then get with it and get into their music. Some of the more talented guys from the music industry, these guys are and were lead singers of some of the more successful bands of the industry without being too successful. Make sense? Probably not. What I mean is that Circa Survive, Anthony green’s band just came back into the scene with their latest album and a club tour with Sleeper Agent that’s doing fairly well. Kenny’s band The Starting Line doesn’t do full tours anymore and Vinnie’s band, The Movielife has been gone for quite some time now, but is still doing some tours here and their with his band, I Am The Avalanche.  Despite the fact of the status of these dudes’ bands – they all have side projects and played an acoustic set in Brooklyn to fulfill the need of every emo/rock listener.  Everyone’s set was amazing . Green played a variety of stuff from older and newer solo material along with some tunes from his latest Circa Survive album. The only thing that bothered me, and I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say this –is that Kenny didn’t play The Best of Me – one of The Starting Line’s better known songs.  But he did play a bunch of stuff from his solo project, Person L and some other material from The Starling Line.

To go along with their sets were two food trucks that were parked in the outside section of the venue, Gorilla Cheese and The Frying Pan. – I mean really..what else could you ask for? After being at a shit ton of venues around NYC I’d have to say this was one of the best large venues I’ve been to for sure.

If you were familiar with the retweeting contest the guys were doing via twitter (to hang out with the dudes before the show), my friend Melissa who I finally got to meet after being friends via online for 5? years actually won … from retweeting MY tweet! She thinks I’m mad at her but I’m actually happy she won haha.  I met Anthony a few months ago and he is truly a sweetheart 🙂

A few funny highlights/quotes of the night:

–          Robyn got free grilled cheeses for her, her friend Ariel and me.

–          I asked Robyn if Anthony Green had a beard and I couldn’t have said it at a more perfect time because some kid come around and had an extra Tom Collins in his hands and also answered my question at the same time..perfect.

–          I met Melissa finally!

–          I met this nice freelance photographer for AP Magazine too…Matt something?

–          Anthony Green started out his set with “How are you guys? I’m fucking nervous.” (aww)

–          & during “Drugdealer” he said “I totally forgot the last part but you guys saved my ass”

–          Oh yes, Green was asking for strobe lights during his set – jokingly – I think? And then the light guys were fucking around with him and seriously used strobes during his set haha. Green’s response: there’s nothing better than strobes during an acoustic set – this is almost like an oxymoron.

–          “lets give it up for the fact that I haven’t tuned my guitar for the whole set” – green after he played “get out” acoustic

The show was filmed and can be watched on Stickam here.

Andddd that’s pretty much it. Overall it was a solid acoustic set and if you didn’t go you should be upset you missed it.

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The Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour Comes to NJ!

I know I know, it’s a little late- but I wrote an article for my school paper and took pics for the online webzine I shoot for, Truth Explosion, of the POP PUNKS NOT DEAD TOUR – check out the pictures of new found glory, set your goals, the wonder years and man overboard!



The typical fall weather New Jersey is accustomed to in October took a turn this past Saturday with an unexpected snowfall across the Garden State. The brutal weather, and harsh slushy roads that no Jersey kid is used to in October, didn’t stop fans of New Found Glory, Set Your Goals, The Wonder Years, Man Overboard and This Time Next Year from attending the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey.

The tour started in the beginning of October to promote New Found Glory’s seventh studio album, Radiosurgery, which was released on October 4th. With seven albums under their belt, the band has matured and experimented with the pop punk genre.  On their last album, Not Without A Fight, New Found Glory’s songs portrayed a harder rock sound with of course, an influence in pop punk.

This time around New Found Glory came around with another true pop punk record. Radiosurgery is more of a nostalgic album for the band and for their fans, bringing back the fast paced, poppy rock tunes their older fans grew up with on albums like Nothing Gold Can Stay, New Found Glory’s self titled album, and Sticks and Stones.

What’s interesting and awesome about pop punk music is that there’s a whole scene within itself. Pop punk music doesn’t need air play or television exposure to be successful or to exist, for that matter.  Pop punk fans are devoted not only to the music, but also the many positive messages the genre portrays, like a straight edge lifestyle, community, friendship, and just simply having a good time.  All the bands on the tour portray and promote at least one, of not all, of these messages.

Halfway into New Found Glory’s set, guitarist Chad Gilbert went on to say that the band isn’t telling their fans to only listen to pop punk, but the exact opposite. Just because the whole tour is about the specific genre, one should be open minded to all sorts of music.

All of the bands on the tour represent different sub genres of pop punk. California’s Set Your Goals performed exceptionally well, playing a mixture of lighter, faster, pop punk songs from their first album, Mutiny, some harder material from their second album, This Will Be The Death of Us, including “The Few That Remain” with lead singer of The Wonder Years, Dan Campbell, subbing in for Paramore’s Hayley Williams’ guest vocals on the song, as well as songs from their latest album, Burning At Both Ends. 

Despite the weather, Starland Ballroom was packed with older and younger fans supporting every band on the tour.  New Found Glory has existed in the music industry for over ten years now, but the newer bands on the tour are drawing in the younger crowd.

In an article with The Aquarian, guitarist of New Found Glory, Steve Klein said, “The bands we took on this tour are bands we think are holding the torch of pop-punk and bands that have worked really hard to keep it alive.”  And that’s exactly what the supporting bands are doing.

New Jersey’s own Man Overboard is supporting the tour with the saying they’re now known for “defend pop punk.”

The Wonder Years front man Dan Campbell made it known during their set to stay positive in one’s own surroundings, and that things might not be as bad as they seem.

So how can one pass up five pop punk bands, positive vibes all night, encouraging messages from each band, and of course a sweaty crowd to be submerged in while screaming your lungs out to New Found Glory’s “My Friends Over You”, all under one roof?

The Pop Punk’s Not Dead tour ends on November 20th in California.

New Found Glory is now on the cover of Alternative Press on sale in stores now!




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Tony from Sleeper Agent speaks to Tristate Tunes!

“I think the idea is to tour until we can’t see colors anymore and hopefully have a little pocket change left over to pay our bills and record another album.” – Tony Smith, Sleeper Agent.

And that’s Tony Smith for ya – guitarist and singer for garage rock band, Sleeper Agent of Bowling Green, Kentucky. They’re new, they’re fresh and they’re just starting out and are on the road once again to become one of your favorite garage rock bands of the year.

But don’t be fooled- they’re not what you expect from a southern state band. I was surprisingly delighted to hear their sound.

Enough of where they’re from and how the band originated – (there’s so many blogs and articles about that already), I decided to go down another path and learn more about the band that I didn’t know much about already. I spoke to Tony about their current tour with Circa Survive and Maps and Atlases, previous festivals they’ve played, bands they look up to and met, future plans and of course more!

Punk band or not, Sleeper Agent screams DIY. My conversation with Tony started out with him telling me the band lost an entire barrier for the bands’ trailer tire the night before.

“An pretty much we ended up on the shoulder of the interstate until a parts store opened,” Smith said.

The band doesn’t have a tour manager (which I totally thought they did) and are just winging it – and are totally succeeding, now on a club tour with Circa Survive and Maps and Atlases – true rock and roll.

“They’re actually some of the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life,” Smith said. “We’ve played shows with different bands who were a little bit more cold and take a while to warm up to but these guys bear hugged us and they offered to taze us,” as Smith explained the dudes on tour purchased tazers at a local flea market. (This would sound weird to me but they’re not the first guys on tour that I’ve heard who purchased a tazer..must be a tour thing?)

And how can a conversation happen without mentioning the one and only Anthony Green? If you’ve ever met him you know what a sweetheart the man is.

“I think he told me his life story in the fist ten minutes that I met him,” Smith said.

If you’re a Circa Survive fan you know the band has been around for quite some time along with Green working on his own solo project. They’ve played colleges, Warped Tours, Bamboozles, festivals, and previous club tours.

“The way Anthony interacts with his fans is amazing,” said Anthony. “I hope to pick up some of that in the future.”

After doing some research on the band I learned that lead singer Alex Kandel wasn’t always the lead singer of the rock group.

Before Sleeper Agent was the band we know today, the band consisted of three other members that left to pursue a different band. After that, Smith and other member Justin had the band to themselves, and it was up to them to figure out the direction of where the band’s future.

First, Smith asked Kandel to play bass but after she proved she wasn’t meant to be the bass player it wasn’t the end of her chances to join Sleeper Agent. The guys and gal enjoyed each other’s company where there was no way around it: Kandel was going to become a member of Sleeper Agent someway, somehow.

What’s new to many of us who were born in the CD generation and before, is that Sleeper Agents debut album, Celebrasion, came out first on iTunes than a physical copy.

“I think it gave an exclusive to the people who are into discovering music that way,” said Smith.

And I think he’s right. With it now being 2011, people are purchasing albums online and with a click the album is on his or her own iPod.

Speaking of Celebrasion, the band worked with producer Jay Joyce for their latest album. I asked if the band has future aspirations to work with other producers for upcoming tracks and Smith mentioned Wavve’s album King of the Beach was a “phenomenal sounding album,” and would love to work with their producer.

As young as Sleeper Agent is (compared to other bands in the industry) the band has met tons of rock bands they’ve looked up to and still do. The Strokes, The Dandy Warhols, Manchester Orchestra and Matt and Kim are some bands just to name a few.

Sleeper Agent has only played in New Jersey twice before, making this October their third visit. The band has played Bamboozle and a random bar in Asbury Park. For those of you who have been to Starland Ballroom (which I think almost every Jersey kid has been to) you know the venue is a treat and upgrade for the band compared to their previous Jersey visits.

You can catch Sleeper Agent at a CMJ showcase this week. If not, don’t miss them on tour with Circa Survive and Maps and Atlases.

The band has a lot on their plate for the next upcoming months. Along with the Circa tour, Sleeper Agent is taking part of a radio festival tour, they’ll be in Chicago for New Years to play some shows with Cage the Elephant and are taking part in the Weezer Cruise in January with bands they’ve talked about playing with. Talk about success!

“It’s been a long time coming, we spent the better part of 2010 getting ready for this,” said Smith. “I’d rather be stranded on a shoulder of an interstate than be at home with my parents,” Smith said with pride.

The band is playing at Starland Ballroom on October 23rd, opening up for Circa Survive and Maps and Atlases.


Check out their video for “Get it Daddy” here:

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Hello hello hello ! Long time no post but I have some stuff coming up on:

Sleeper Agent – they’re currently on tour with Maps and Atlases and Circa Survive



Man Overboard– NJ’s own & currently opening up for NFG on the Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour!

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Eric Contractor at the Path Cafe

If you’re one of those people that like to get away and sit in a peaceful environment or go study for an exam at a cafe/coffee shop instead of your local library or your own room, then the Path cafe on Christopher Street in NYC  is a nice place to visit.  Talented musicians play every hour at the cafe.  As you walk by you can hear the piano, acoustic guitar, vocals, the cello and more being played from the cafe with its fully opened doors for everyone on the block to hear.

I went to the Path Cafe last night  (right next to the Christopher Street Path station .. figures why it’s called Path Cafe) to see Eric Contractor play an acoustic/piano set. Ironically, Eric is from the same area of me here in Jersey but we met through the internet instead – crazy how those things work.

His music sounds like something you would hear on a coffee shop radio station – sorta like Jack Johnson. Simply put, his music is soothing acoustic rock.

Contractor’s inspirations go way back to the sixties; hearing music from The Mamas and the Papas, Motown and The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone when he was younger to Bruce Springsteen, Radiohead, and Fleet Foxes.

Towards the end of his performance, Contractor played a song called “If I Had Her.” It reminded me of something I would hear in a romantic comedy, or as Robyn said it – a “rom com.”

When asked where his favorite place to play is at he said, “Well, I have had many great experiences playing all over the city in various venues. Two two stick out to me though; The Waltz-Astoria in Queens has been a great place for me to play shows and work on material at their open mics. Caffe Vivaldi in the West Village is also a wonderful place for singer-songwriters to play in New York. ”

He is super excited about his future, hoping to pursue songwriting and singing as a career. Contractor said, ” I am also constantly writing new songs, and am always trying to add more excitement to my shows to give a sense of a journey and an experience. I hope to play all over so that my music and its audience can find one another. I would also like to play with more musicians, and eventually collaborate with some artists who can develop a visual stage production! With my lyrics, singing, my stories, and my somewhat theatrical imaginings, I want to put on a shows where I can feel an intensely powerful interplay of energy and emotion between myself and the audience. Electricity!”

All in all, his music sounds like something you would hear on at a coffee shop.. or a coffee shop radio station.. or  in a romantic comedy..or a rom com. I thoroughly enjoyed his set.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Eric Contractor’s next show is on September 1 at Caffe Vivaldi.

To hear his music you can take a listen here: Night Escape/Eric Contractor.

Check out his website here.

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The Glitch Mob

You don’t have to be a fan of only one genre of music to like this electronic band. The Glitch Mob satisfies the ubiquitous concert goer. Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop, house, rock, dub step or electronic, The Glitch Mob is definitely a band worth listening to.

The trio from Los Angeles creates some of the catchiest electronic beats in the music world today. Each track on their debut album, Drink The Sea, is made up of captivating energetic songs filled with tons of bass drops that can easily get stuck in one’s head as he or she goes on with their day.

Their music can be listened to in any disposition.  Whether you’re studying for an exam or going out with friends, their electronic vibes will satisfy your mood.  Their beats are simultaneously soothing and relaxing but upbeat and energetic.

Not only is their album amazing but also their live show is something everyone needs to see. Their fan base is wild, selling out their NYC show back in July at Terminal 5. The crowd gets immersed within the tunes the Glitch Mob plays and doesn’t stop rockin’.  Fans are constantly grooving to the beat – it’s hard to stop when good beats circulate the venue!

And what’s great is that The Glitch Mob isn’t just about the music.  While you watch them rock out on their lemuirs, drum pads and keyboards, the band has a fantastic visual light show that comes along with their performance.  The same guys who design lights for deadmau5, daft punk and many more also do their stage production. You can watch all the lights moving right along with the beat.

With only one album and one EP out the mob is playing all over the country, playing huge venues and selling out their shows. Their song “Warrior Concerto” off their EP, We Can Make The World Stop, made it to the number one spot on The Hype Machine, a popular website that searches for good music on blogs and posts it for everyone else to discover.  The song is a mix of electronic beats, dub step and even the strings.  Everyone digs their original beats they create and it’s definitely worth the listen.

The live show The Glitch Mob puts on is an incredible, breathtaking and pleasurable experience.  The connection between The Glitch Mob and the fans during a show is a strong one; everything is in sync, the lights, the band, the music and the crowd.

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If there’s one band I have the utmost respect for, it’s New Found Glory. The band has been making music since the 90’s, and here they are: still making music, still touring around the world, headlining shows and hangin out with their fans before shows.  There is no reason not to give this band the credit they deserve.

The first time I saw NFG was in 2003, promoting their third album, Sticks and Stones (the year of “My Friends Over You” & “Head On Collision.”)  Now, their seventh album, RadioSurgery is coming out this fall, and their fans are still around supporting every move they make.

Yesterday was the perfect day for anyone who loves New Found Glory, friends and the summer time.  NFG played a free show yesterday evening at Journey’s Backyard Barbeque tour at the Woodbridge Mall parking lot. A few local bands opened up and their was a skate ramp where people were just hanging out, along with some professional bikers; the whole day felt more like a mini warped tour than anything else.

A bunch of people came out. The weather was great until it started to rain during NFG’s last two songs but I don’t think anyone seemed to mind since it seemed to refresh everyone from singing along to NFG’s tunes.

Lead guitarist, Chad announce on stage that Journeys called the band and asked if they’d play a show for their tour- the band had a list of states to choose from to play, and they chose Jersey.  This is NFG’s fourth show in NJ in a matter of about 40 thats awesome. Especially because the band is currently recording their upcoming album in LA. Bassist, Ian told us they took an early flight here to NJ to play the show then were leaving again soon after to go work on their album.

Of course, the band ended with My Friends Over You, everyone went crazy, people holding on to each other, screaming the lyrics into each other’s faces..just like it’s supposed to be.

Oh, I can’t forget to mention that I ran into some kids that I haven’t seen in a while (Alisa, Mike, Shaun!) – It’s awesome how music brings everyone together.

Omar and Nick from Hit The Lights were at the show too. Super nice guys.

Here’s some pictures from my day:



Cyrus and I

Jordan and IIan and friends and I haha

Nick and Omar

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Dan Gershaw AKA Danny Blu: drama major at NYU + solo music career!

Meet NYU drama major Dan Gershaw – or as some know him as singer and performer Danny Blu. He has been successfully fulfilling his dreams since day one.

Gershaw started acting and singing in middle school and never took vocal lessons until he begun to professionally pursue drama.

“I kinda just started acting and singing together,” said Gershaw. “I didn’t have any training I just started doing it. Always as a hobby first and then it kinda progressed into something professional.”

In high school, while he was involved in extra curriculars, focusing on performance in musicals, marching band, chorus, chorale and madrigals, he dreamt of studying architecture.

After getting accepted to Syracuse University for architecture, he completely changed his mind, and after high school he took a year off to follow his passion and live in New York.

“I took a year off and started auditioning to see if it would work, and it did,” said Gershaw.

While he was in New York, he successfully took part in numerous plays until he auditioned for NYU’s theatre program and got accepted.

Even before he pursued theatre professionally, people have always loved working with him.

Anouska Swaray, a friend and former performer first started working together in their freshman year of high school.

“Neither of us really knew what we were doing to be honest, just that we loved performing,” said Swaray. “It’s crazy seeing him from that starting point to what he has become now; I think a lot of performers take a while to find their autonomy, and I think Dan has really just come into his own and really embraced his image. It’s hard to believe that he even considered another route.”

Gershaw still does non-school related musicals on the side.  Other cast members of the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, has nothing but good things to say about Gershaw.

“Working with somebody that that’s talented and that devoted has been a blessing,” said Cay Moore, one of his cast members.

Another younger cast member of Jesus Christ Superstar looks up to Gershaw for her own future acting endeavors.

“He’s an amazing singer and actor and dancer, and it takes a lot to do that,” said Lacey Hickey. “Most people can only do one or two.”

Along with his drama career, Gershaw also has a solo project.  In the singing world, he is known as Danny Blu.  He’s inspired by a lot of 90’s rock, Marilyn Manson, Alice In Chains, Nirvana and more.

Live shows and lyrics from other artists inspire his music.  His music is sexually driven, and it’s what Gershaw feels people will respond to.

Danny Blu has the voice, but he also has a band that plays the music for him. The Danny Blu family is made up of drummer Billy Long, bassist Eric Malive, and guitarist Thomas Murphy.

Gershaw works with Rich Labbadia, the president and CEO of L2 Entertainment, who helps him develop his musical direction.

“With Danny Blu, what you see is what you get,” said Labbadia. “He is a true visionary with his artistic uniqueness, and L2 Entertainment is excited to be involved with that vision! Together we have been able to carve out a distinct sound that defines Danny Blu as a pure statement of self expression.”

He also he has a choreographer, named Kayla Jacobs who is a dance student at NYU.

“She’s incredible, said Gershaw, “Her work is amazing.”

He also has two people create all of the looks that he wears.

Like Andy Warhol’s factory or like Lady Gaga’s Haus of Gaga, Gershaw wants a factory where people work together and support each other and make good music.  Now he has a number of people working for him musically and even stylistically.  He calls it, the Factory Blu.

“Right now that’s the Danny Blu factory that we have going. It’s the Factory Blu,” said Gershaw.

Dan is always looking to collaborate with fellow musicians.  He has worked his friend DJ Reidiculous who remixed “Set Me On Fire” and “Pulse.”

“I love collaborations,” said Gershaw.

Gershaw is always trying to get the word out about his singing career. He puts posters on display and postcards for his audience to take during intermission. During intermission and after he performed in Jesus Christ Superstar, everyone had a postcard in hand walking out talking about the singer and performer.

Gershaw is all about the exposure and gaining as much as he possibly can. He currently has a Danny Blu Facebook advertisement going on around the most popular social networking website for less than five dollars a day.

“It reaches a whole bunch of market,” said Gershaw.

Dan is always looking to collaborate with fellow musicians, so if you’re interested hit him up!

This summer, you can catch him perform live at the free, full day event, the Pride Rally on Saturday, June 18 at the Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

To learn more about his acting career, check out his website.

Watch and learn more in my interview about what Danny’s fellow cast members think about working with him, and more about the singer and actor here:

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