Special Guests of the Show

We've been fortunate to have wonderful and accomplished musical guests sit in with the show.  Most recently, we were honored to have Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin as our special guest at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland.  We were equally thrilled to have Karen Matheson of the popular Celtic band Capercaillie also grace us with her beautiful voice.  At our US shows we’ve been joined by a host of other amazing guests: Gary Schreiner (Joan Osborne, Patti LaBelle, Elton John), Scottish harpist Anna McLuckie, (Finalist UK Voice), Robbie Kondor (Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Luciano Pavarotti), Bette Sussman (Cindy Lauper, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler), Steve Gabourey (Suzanne Vega, Cindy Lauper, Sarah McLachlan), Tom Griffith and Martha Trachtenberg (Newsday #1 Indie Record of the Year, IBMA Award Winning Songwriter) have all said yes to our invitation.  Each of these artists have expressed a unique emotional connection to Laura Nyro's music and it has been an honor to have them lend their special talents to our Stoned Soul Picnic of love.

Grammy-award winning, singer-songwriter SHAWN COLVIN joined the Stoned Soul Band at  Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland on January 20th, 2018.  Shawn has been a successful performer for over 30 years and she is perhaps best known for her hit, Sunny Came Home.  She did a beautiful job performing her rendition of Laura’s Save the Country and I Never Meant to Hurt You.  We were absolutely thrilled to have her join us in celebrating Laura.

KAREN MATHESON, lead singer of the popular Scottish band Capercaillie, joined us at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Scotland on January 20th, 2018.  Karen’s beautiful voice was the perfect compliment to Laura’s Emmie.  What an honor it was to be able to share the stage with her. 

GARY SCHREINER is as accomplished a performer and studio musician as he is a composer, producer and arranger. His work on keyboards, accordion and chromatic harmonica can be heard on many recordings, television shows, and films. He has worked with diverse artists such as Elton John, Rosanne Cash, Joan Osborne, Patti LaBelle, Pedrito Martinez, Yoko Ono, Pheobe Snow, Marvin Hamlisch, Run-DMC, Lucy Kaplansky, Carly Simon, Ben Taylor, Blue Man Group, John Pizzarelli, Julio Fernandez (Spiro Gyra), Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock,  Kermit the Frog, and World Champion figure skater Randy Gardner.

ROBBIE KONDOR is a New York based  musician, composer, arranger/producer and has had the great pleasure of working as a player and arranger in the studio, on the stage, and in front of the cameras with many of his heroes including Eric Clapton, Barbra Streisand, Queen Latifah, Luciano Pavarotti, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, The Bee Gees, Bette Midler, Vanessa Williams, Mariah Carey, Linda Ronstadt, Carole King, James Taylor, among many others. He has served as musical director for large televised events including MusiCares, In Performance At The White House, and others. Robbie has composed and produced the music for countless television shows, commercials, and several feature films, including Todd Solondz’s groundbreaking film, Happiness. He has won three Emmy awards for television music, two Clios for music in commercials, and a NARAS Most Valuable Player award for his contributions as a studio musician.  Robbie plays piano, organ, harmonica, synthesizers, accordion and mandolin.
BETTE SUSSMAN is a multi-Emmy Award-winning composer, piano/keyboard/B3 player, musical director, arranger, and vocalist. Bette is a two-time Emmy Award-winner and  has also won two BMI awards for composition on One Life to Live and As the World Turns.  As Music Director Bette has worked with some of the greats: Bette Midler, Whitney Houston, Carly Simon, Darlene Love, Christine Ebersole, Patti LuPone, Rev. Al Green, Martin Short, and many more. Bette has played keyboards with such notable artists as Bette Midler, Whitney Houston, Carly Simon, Cyndi Lauper, Patti Austin, Darlene Love, Ivan Neville, Rev. Al Green, Christine Ebersole, Patti LuPone, Tim Curry, Michael Franks, Sarah Dash, Ronnie Spector, Rob Thomas, Keb Mo, Boy George, Aretha Franklin, Bebe & Cece Winans, Martin Short, Randy Brecker, and so many others. On Broadway she has conducted and played in numerous shows such as Leader of the Pack, Godspell, Waitress the Musical, and The Color Purple. Bette has written songs for Patti Austin, Darlene Love, Bette Midler, Eric Mercury, and others. She can be heard on recordings with Whitney Houston, Cher, Paul Shaffer, Aerosmith, Bonnie Tyler, Desmond Child & Rouge, David Sanborn, Michael Franks, and more. In addition, Bette co-produced the recently released Keys to the City, also playing on New York State of Mind. Bette is co-founder of The Bev Leslies, one of New York City's premier bands.
STEVE GABOURY  Pianist Stephen Gaboury, arranged, toured and recorded with pop/rock icon Cyndi Lauper for more than a decade and collaborated with her on selections in her hit Broadway musical, Kinky Boots.  Gaboury’s music has been heard in film (Boyhood and American Beauty), on television and in concert. He has also performed with Suzanne Vega, Ben E. King, Sarah McLachlan and Ute Lemper, and is quite honored to have been the Musical Director for The Laura Nyro Memorial Concert at The Beacon Theater in 1997.  He is currently the Company Composer and Associate Director for New York City’s Ballets with a Twist.

ANNA MCLUCKIE is a twenty-year-old harpist/singer who hails from Scotland.  In 2014 Anna reached the finals in the UK Voice.  She is now pursuing a solo career and has just released her first EP, Dear.  Her original music combines the folk melodies and classical influences that she’s learned through the Scottish traditional scene.  Additionally, Anna is currently involved in several projects including being a member of the four-piece indie rock band, Diving Station, to writing and collaborating with electronic producer/bass player, Sam Vicary, on his project Hunrosa.  Stoned Soul Picnic is thrilled that Anna is lending her unique talent to the band.

MARGARET DORN is a singer, writer, producer and arranger whose work includes records, commercials, movie soundtracks, industrials, theater, nightclubs and the concert stage. Margaret's songs have been recorded worldwide by artists such as Karen Carpenter, Melba Moore, Hiromi Ota, and The Sweet Inspirations. She has sung with many artists, including Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Jennifer Lopez, Carly Simon, Lionel Ritchie, Donald Fagen, Michael Bolton, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Barry Manilow, Jessica Simpson, Michael McDonald, Garth Brooks, The Chieftans, and Diana Ross. Margaret is the leader and guiding force behind the award-winning a cappella vocal group, The Accidentals.

TOM GRIFFITH and MARTHA TRACHTENBERG have been performing together for over thirty years. Both Long Island natives, they are well known on the acoustic music scene.  In 2008, Tom and Martha formed an acoustic quartet with Diane Garisto and Andy Huenerberg called Return to the Dream.  Together they released a self-titled album where they recorded their arrangement of Laura Nyro's special tune, Mother's Spiritual.

TOM GRIFFITH  In addition to his work as a singer/songwriter, Tom is also an award-winning music producer, having written and produced jingles for a raft of national advertising campaigns.  His solo CD, Forty Years Later, was chosen by Newsday as the #1 Indie CD of the year when it was released in 2007.  He’s currently at work on several recording projects for Long Island artists, and his past clients include internationally famed bluesman Little Toby Walker.  The computer game Prominence, for which he did the music and sound effects, was recently released, to considerable critical acclaim.


MARTHA TRACHTENBERG  Back at the dawn of time, Martha was the original guitar player in the first all-woman bluegrass band, the Buffalo Gals.  Since then, her songs have been covered by bluegrass artists including Tony Trischka and Skyline; Nothin’ Fancy; Missy Raines and Jim Hurst; Kathy Chiavola; and Dede Wyland.  Most recently, IBMA award-winning guitarist Jim Hurst recorded her song, A Mailbox to the Moon. Her solo CD, It’s About Time, received straight As from Newsday and she is now at work on a CD with The Folk Goddesses, an acoustic trio of “three snarky, middle-aged women on a mission."