TONTO inventor Malcolm Cecil & band this Friday at SPAF

Malcolm Cecil at the controls of TONTO.

For many of a certain age, there was this sound that came forth in the 1970s that has retained its effervescence and unique ability to capture that age’s exuberance perfectly. I’m talking about the percolating synth stylings captured best on those Stevie Wonder productions of the day, from Music of My Mind and Talking Book through Innervisions and Fulfillingness’ First Finale. We’re talking about a synthesizer, invented by one Malcolm Cecil – a Brit jazz bassist and inveterate sound-tinkerer – known as the TONTO.

Right here in the Hudson Valley, one of the big events of the past year has been the renovation of the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory, off Ulster Avenue in Saugerties. A massive Dia:Beaconlike factory space, where those black-and-white composition books we of that previously mentioned age remember so well were made, the space had a grand opening back in April. It is now about to start its more permanent life with a new jazz presence featuring Cecil and his band of sterling cohorts, including Steve Wilson, Matthew Finck, John Esposito and Peter O’Brien. Jazz at the Saugerties Performing Arts Factory will take place this Friday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. at 169 Ulster Avenue in Saugerties. Tickets cost $15 in advance and $18 at the door. For information and reservations, call (845) 246-7723 or visit



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