Music News: Jeff LeBlanc Rebounds With New Album, Music For Montauk Returns

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Single, And More Talented
Than Ever

Last spring, musician Jeff LeBlanc found himself brokenhearted in Manhattan with a lot to say.

His fourth studio effort, “Vision,” was the result—a “shinier, more pop- and R&B-oriented” record than his last album, “My Own Way There,” he said.

“I really didn’t want this to be a ‘depressing breakup album,’” the 29-year-old Hampton Bays native said on Monday of “Vision,” dropping Tuesday, May 12. “I dug deeper for inspiration than I ever have before. I didn’t want to be an artist who kept going to the same well—it’s so easy to repeat yourself.”

Though he wrote the majority of the seven tracks in Manhattan, he recorded at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, over the course of a few weeks in January and February, and all in one shot, as opposed to short bursts in between stints on the road.

“There was something special about capturing a moment in time rather than pacing it out over months. It helps make this record unique,” he said. “If I can make a baseball analogy, I think of my other records as solid singles and doubles. This new album feels like I’m rounding third and heading for home.

“I’m actually very blessed to even be up at bat taking swings in this crazy business,” he said. “Everything came together on this record, and it just feels right.”

Mr. LeBlanc, who has opened for the likes of Gavin DeGraw and Colbie Caillat, will play the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center with Duncan Sheik on June 19. “Vision” will be available on Tuesday, May 12, on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and other digital music stores. Information is available at jeffleblancmusic.com.

Music For Montauk Returns 
One Crucial Member Short

Saturday, May 9, is a big day for Music For Montauk. Not only will the free classical concert series return after a year-long hiatus, but the inaugural summer season will officially be announced by new co-artistic directors Lilah Gosman and Milos Repicky, who have taken the helm following the death of Ruth Widder in 2013.

“[Founder] Bill Akin was about to close out M4M when he heard that we were interested in producing a festival,” Ms. Gosman explained. “It seemed like the perfect pairing for us to take over M4M. We had been invited by Ruth to perform in several concerts for M4M, and my mother and aunt had both been on the board, so we have a history with M4M. We appreciate the tradition of free, high-quality, off-season concerts that Ruth provided the Montauk community.”

The new team plans to take advantage of the warm weather and outdoor venues, Ms. Gosman said, while keeping with the traditional winter concerts, which will be slated at a later date. But first up is a program of Vivaldi, Beethoven, Rossini and Piazzolla on Saturday at 4 p.m. inside the Montauk Public School auditorium, performed by violinists Annaliesa Place and Joanna Maurer, cellist Diego Garcia, bassist Brad Aikman, pianist Mr. Repicky, and mezzo-soprano Rachel Calloway.

Following the concert, a spring awakening party with the performers will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Gosman’s Restaurant in Montauk. Advance tickets are $25, available at Naturally Good and online at musicformontauk.org, or $30 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will support Music For Montauk’s 2015 season.

“We are working to change the dynamic between audience and performers,” Ms. Gosman said, “and create experiences where people will engage and interact with the music in fresh, new ways.”

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