BHHS-er Wins Pleasantville Music Festival Battle of the Bands
BHHS-er Wins Pleasantville Music Festival Battle of the Bands: Ari Perakis, a 2016 graduate of Byram Hills High School and his band Riiza recently won the Pleasantville Music Festival’s Battle of the Bands. Their prize? They will be opening the festival’s Main Stage performances on Saturday, July 8 with a 30-minute set beginning at 12:25pm.
Perakis, Riiza’s lead singer, is joined in the band by guitarist Justin Giacchetto and bassist Wilson Yarnall both of North Salem High School. Sean Leveille, who lives in Bedford rounds out the group on drums. Check them out here.
Perakis and Giaccheto were also part of the band Mr. E who won The Ridgefield Playhouse’s BandJam in 2016. And Giachetto and Wilson Yarnall also perform in the band Gilbert who won this year’s Ridgefield Playhouse BandJam. For those keeping score that’s three wins for Giaccheto, two each for Perakis and Yarnall and one for drummer Sean Leveille.
Riiza was one of fifty bands that competed in the PMF’s Battle of the Bands – open to musicians 26 or under. All fifty bands submitted two original pieces of music. A team of ten judges selected 20 semi-finalists from that group in a “blind listen.”
The 20 semi-finalists were invited to perform both songs over two consecutive Sundays at Garcia’s in Port Chester on April 30th and at Lucy’s in Pleasantville on May 7th. Three judges narrowed the competition down to 12 bands for the finals.
Each of the finalists returned to Lucy’s on May 21st to perform two different original songs for a new panel of three judges. Three winners were selected as winners from the group of finalists. Including Riiza, For lack of a Term and Mary Hood. Each band will perform on one of the festival’s stages. Riiza was selected to perform on the Main Stage. All the bands will perform original songs at the festival.
The Rest of the Festival
Blues Traveler headlines the Pleasantville Music Festival. This Grammy-winning band is best know for their mega-hit “Runaround” and the bluesy, tasty licks from front man John Popper on vocals and harmonica.
Living Colour: Their 1988 debut album Vivid, took MYV by storm thanks to their multi-Grammy-winning single “Cult of Personality”.
Suzanne Vega: Greenwich Village folkie became a new-age folk icon when her album Solitude Standing went platinum with it’s hit songs “Tom’s Diner” (yes the one on Broadway and 110th St. made famous in the TV show Seinfeld) and “Luka”.
Ripe: Berklee College of Music grads bring the funky pop with their festival favorite “Goon Squad” at the Party Stage.
Hollis Brown: Queens band currently has a Peak hit “Run Right To You”. They’ve opened for Counting Crows, The Zombies and Citizen Cope and recently recorded a tribute to The Velvet Underground album Loaded featuring “Sweet Jane” and “Rock & Roll”.
Pousette-Dart Band: With a sound comparable to The Eagles and America, PDB had four critically acclaimed albums in the 70’s and toured with Peter Frampton and Yes.
Caleb Flood + The Culture: This 19 year-old from Hastings has a single on The Peak’s playlist, “Doubts”. Here he joins up with The Culture for a fuller rock sound.
James Maddock: American Folk-rocker has shared the stage with Bruce Springsteen and Willie Nile and his songs have been featured on Dawson’s Creek.
The Alpaca Gnomes: Stomp and groove, 7 piece rock-folk jam band wear funny hats.
Arc & Stones: With connections to Danbury, Pelham and Thornwood this power trio evokes the sounds of the great grunge rock bands from Seattle.
Shovel Ready String Band: Performs heartfelt originals, country blues and bluegrass with tight harmonies and up-tempo instrumental tunes like “Golden Slippers”.
Sir Cadian Rhythm: Winners of The Peak’s Battle of the Bands, SCR has been featured in The Huffington Post and their latest single “Not Quite Done Yet” has over 200,000 streams on Spotify.
Khaya: With comparisons to Adele and Amy Winehouse and a called out from Simon Cowell who called her “a great singer with massive potential”, Khaya is a name to remember.
Ghost Millionaires: Pleasantville band’s sound draws influences from The Velvet Underground and Irish music.
Stellar Young: Indie-rockers with upbeat post-punk sound take a deep dive into lyrics about the human condition.
With food and drink, a beer & wine garden, kids activities and a zero-waste program. Free parking and round-trip bus service from Pace University. (Parkway Field, Village Ln. Pleasantville; www.pleasantvillemusicfestival.com)
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