Ridgite to play 9-11 tribute with songs about New York City

Patriotic players: Singer Martin McQuade and pianist Pete Sokolow will croon through three hours of tunes about New York City at Hunter’s Steak and Ale House on Sept. 11.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

A Ridge crooner is marking the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks with song.

Martin McQuade will belt out three hours of tunes about New York at Hunter’s Steak and Ale House on Sept. 11 as a rousing tribute to the city that withstood the unforgettable disaster. McQuade’s shows often follow a theme, and for the solemn anniversary, he knew he had to do something special, he said.

“I thought it would be appropriate to do a show that was not trivial — something uplifting,” he said.

The performance will be rife with classics. McQuade is drawing on the Great American Songbook — tunes penned before the 1960s — for most of the material, he said. Not every song will have New York in the title, but each will have a connection to the city that resonates with its cultural history, McQuade said.

“‘Moon River’ for instance — in the movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ it’s sung from a New York fire escape,” he said.

Brooklyn will make a special appearance with songs such as Guy Lombardo’s “Give Me the Moon over Brooklyn” and “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland,” which McQuade said is a reference to the famed Coney Island amusement park.

McQuade and his pianist plan to belt out more than 40 songs about the City That Never Sleeps, said accompanist and Marine Parker Peter Sokolow. And don’t expect the spotlight to only hit McQuade.

“I’ll sing a couple, too, and there may be a special guest,” Sokolow said.

McQuade said he hopes to tap some of the energy that pervaded Bay Ridge the night of the terror attacks.

“There was such a raw nerve mood in Bay Ridge that night,” said McQuade, who saw the first tower collapse from the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge.

The pair said preparing for the prestigious evening was a breeze, because both have been performing the songs for decades. Three hours of New York material is nothing, Sokolow said.

“I know a hell of a lot of New York Songs,” he said.

Martin McQuade performs songs about New York at Hunter’s Steak and Ale House (9404 Fourth Ave. between 94th and 95th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 238–8899, www.hunte‌rsste‌akhou‌se.net). Sept. 11 at 7 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeg‌er@cn‌gloca‌l.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.

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