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World Beat: Daily Music Briefs from Around the World

At the Bottom Line, New York City, Dec 13 and 14

November 18, 2002

Handel's 260-year-old masterpiece, "The Messiah," gets a modern-day makeover – downtown style – with rock, jazz, bluegrass, country folk, gospel, roots, blues, and lots of Bohemian flair. Featured performers include soloists Richard Barone, Dar Williams, Jane Siberry, David Johansen, Syd Straw, Marshall Crenshaw, Randy Brecker, Martha Redbone, and others with choir and chamber orchestra.

Now in its fifth year at New York's legendary Bottom Line, "The Downtown Messiah" will once again offer its innovative interpretation of Handel's great work.

Directed by Richard Barone, with choral direction by Margaret Dorn and musical arrangements by Peter Kiesewalter, "The Downtown Messiah" reflects the spirit of the time while holding true to the written score and its legacy.

The event features the voices of a 20-member choir, and guest soloists such as Richard Barone, Dar Williams, Jane Siberry, David Johansen, Marshall Crenshaw, Syd Straw, Margaret Dorn, Martha Redbone, Anne Marie Milazzo, Terre Roche, Mule Bone U.K. and Everett Bradley as well as instrumental soloists Randy Brecker, Peter & Tobi Kiesewalter and Larry Salzman, and narrator Meg Griffin.

From the opening notes of the band's "Overture" to the Bluegrass-tinged solo of "Rejoice Greatly," and the exuberant finale of the "Hallelujah!" chorus, this original presentation allows for individual expression and joyfully integrates the musical heritage of downtown Greenwich Village. Handel himself would be proud.

This year, "The Downtown Messiah" has also been invited to perform a free concert at the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center. The concert will be held on Tuesday, December 17 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM.

In the few short years of this production, "The Downtown Messiah" has quickly gained national recognition. This year, a live broadcast will be nationally syndicated via Public Radio International (PRI).

There will also be an exclusive radio broadcast presentation hosted by Fordam University’s radio station WFUV 90.7 FM on Friday, December 20th at 2:00 PM, with a repeat broadcast on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24 at 8:00 PM.

The Bottom Line is located at 15 W. 4th Street (corner of Mercer Street), New York, NY. Shows are Friday, December 13th and Saturday, December 14th. Doors open at 6 PM for 7:30 shows and 10 PM for 10:30 shows. All seats are $25.00. Cash only at the Bottom Line box office. No phone reservations accepted. Email reservations accepted through the website at

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