Felix Cavaliere and John Sebastion at Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions on September 9th

John Sebastian

Felix Cavaliere and John Sebastian will be the featured guests at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions at NYU on September 9th.

Cavaliere and Sebastian will discuss their five-decade careers as musicians, songwriters, and performers with Phil Galdston, NYU faculty songwriter-in-residence and master teacher in songwriting.

“Felix Cavaliere and John Sebastian have both written songs that span generations and genres,” said Ron Sadoff, chair of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions and director of its songwriting program. “Their extraordinarily rich and living bodies of work are indelibly embedded in our culture.”

Felix Cavaliere, with his frequent collaborator, Eddie Brigati, created a remarkable catalog of chart-topping hit singles and albums for their band, The Rascals. Following successful covers of “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” and “Good Lovin’,” Cavaliere co-wrote all of the band’s best-known songs, including “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” “Groovin’,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “A Girl Like You,” “A Beautiful Morning,” and “People Got to Be Free.”  In addition to their phenomenal record sales, The Rascals are considered the best ‘blue-eyed soul’ group to come out of the 1960s. Felix is a highly-regarded solo artist and performs in reunion tours with all four original Rascals.

Felix Cavaliere

John Sebastian founded The Lovin’ Spoonful with his musical partner, Zal Yanovsky. Although the band’s repertoire was initially focused on updated versions of blues, folk, and jugband tunes, Sebastian soon proved to be a composer/lyricist of remarkable range and ingenuity. What followed was an amazing string of songs, including “Do You Believe In Magic?” “Younger Girl,” “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?,” “You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice,” “Daydream,” “Summer In The City,” and “Younger Generation.” During this run, the Spoonfuls placed their first seven singles in the Top 10 and their first nine in the Top 20. Sebastian’s solo career has spawned such notable successes as “She’s A Lady,” “Rainbow All Over Your Blues,” “Welcome Back,” and appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festival. He continues to write, record, and perform, with a distinct focus on jugband music.

“We are fortunate at the Songwriters Hall of Fame to have a lot of depth in terms of songwriting talent,” said SHOF Chairman Jimmy Webb. “Not only do Felix and John stand tall in a land of giants, they’re outstanding instrumentalists and profoundly impactful vocalists, as well. And their range of experience will make this a notable event.”

Launched in 2011, the Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions were established to bring to the NYU community the great songwriters who have inspired music creators and music lovers, alike. An in-depth interview (including a Q&A with students) leavened with performance and demonstration, the Sessions are curated and moderated by GRAMMY-nominated songwriter and producer Phil Galdston. Previous sessions have featured Jimmy Webb, Glenn Frey, Nile Rodgers, Valerie Simpson, and the late Hal David.

“We’re very fortunate to have Felix and John join us for a once-in-a-lifetime joint Master Session,” said Galdston. “Our students will have an extraordinary opportunity to benefit from the insight into the art and craft of music-making and the reality of a career in the business of two people who have been recognized by the Songwriters, Rock’n’Roll, and GRAMMY Halls of Fame. In addition, they represent R&B and folk, two of the most important strands of New York-based music that were woven into the rock and pop that swept the world.”

The Songwriters Hall of Fame Master Sessions at NYU are held at The Provincetown Playhouse, 133 MacDougal Street, between West 3rd and West 4th streets. For more information about the Songwriting Program at NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/songwriting.

About The Songwriters Hall of Fame:

The Songwriters Hall of Fame celebrates songwriters, educates the public with regard to their achievements, and produces a spectrum of professional programs devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases, and scholarships. West Coast educational activities are held at The GRAMMY Museum, which hosts the permanent Songwriters Hall of Fame Gallery, and at the University of Southern California. Visit the Hall at http://songhall.org/ for more information.