Electric violinist Marissa Licata makes her debut at Birdland on Monday

Based in NYC and Boston, Honduran-American violinist Marissa Licata is a noted presence on the orchestral and chamber music scenes, with more than fifteen years of classical violin training, and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music. But with her electrifying passion and vibrant versatility, she has also expanded into rock music – performing on national and international tours with such noted stars as Alicia Keys, Jethro Tull, Wyclef Jean, H.E.R., Ben Harper, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, and many others – and, most recently, into musical theater. In 2018, Marissa joined the American Repertory Theater as violinist and concertmistress for the Alanis Morrisette musical Jagged Little Pill and played with the orchestra at Radio City Music Hall for the 2018 Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes.

Marissa Licata. Photo courtesy of the artist.

On Monday, September 13, at 8:30 pm, Birdland Theater will present Licata in her New York solo concert debut, Strings on Fire. Mixing traditional folk music from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East with an improvised flair all her own, Marissa incorporates melodies and styles that light up the stage with wild rhythms and sounds from around the globe. She will be accompanied by her all-star band, featuring Jerry Sabatini on trumpet, Matt Marcus on piano, John Miller on bass, and Shannon Ford on drums.

They will be joined on stage by special guest James Montgomery on harmonica and vocals. A blues legend for nearly six decades, Montgomery has toured with most of the biggest names in the business, including Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, The Allman Brothers, Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, and a host of others. He has been a member of The Blues Brothers with Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi, the Commander Cody Band, and also played a six-year stint with the iconic Johnny Winter Band.

“I haven’t shared music in the same room with people in a year and a half,” said Licata. “The point of striving to be a great player is to share experiences with as many people as possible. We were forced to an abrupt stop, and now we can play and share again. To have made it through this time in good health, having made progress and improvements, I am unbelievably fortunate to have the opportunity to show it all off in a solo debut show at the renowned Birdland in New York City!”

She added, “I love my band because we all give 100% together. They are my friends and when we perform, we have a blast and enjoy a connection beyond words. Those moments are so special, and I love to share the stage with great musicians who each bring such personality to the stage.”

Marissa Licata. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Marissa Licata: Strings on Fire plays on Monday, September 13, 2021, at 8:30 pm (doors open at 8), at Birdland Theater, Birdland Jazz Club, 315 W. 44th Street, NYC. For reservations (priced at $30, plus a $20 per person food and beverage minimum), call (212) 581-3080, or go online. In compliance with COVID-19 safety protocol for indoor activities, Birdland requires proof of vaccination or a verified medical exemption from all customers, staff, and performers.


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