October 12 - Brighton, NY / by Nathan Carterette

 the downstairs cabaret, it wasn’t really downstairs

the downstairs cabaret, it wasn’t really downstairs

 the mighty ampico

the mighty ampico

Poets of the Piano came to Brighton NY outside of Rochester. the performance took place in a very unusual space, the Downstairs Cabaret. the hall was almost full. following the concert was a reception catered by RIT, it was a high energy event and yes fueled by some beer and wine.

the piano there was quite unusual, actually I had never seen this brand in person, the Ampico. they were based in Rochester, which I did not know, and made player pianos, some rolls are very famous - Rachmaninoff’s in particular. there is a story about Leopold Godowsky playing a concert alternating live performance with the same piece performed by pre-recorded piano rolls, here is a run-down of that unusual event.

i don’t know if Ampico made non-reproducing pianos, but if this was ever a player piano the mechanism was removed. eventually it yielded to my touch but difficult to be honest. i wonder how long this piano has been hiding in the Downstairs Cabaret?