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As we launch the New Leaf Journal under in the midst of a pandemic, I would like to introduce an exciting project that I will share with you over the coming weeks: The Quarantine Sessions. I will start with a brief personal introduction before introducing the project.
My name is Victor Voccoli Gurbo, and I am the front-person for Victor V. Gurbo & Co., a folk rock/Americana band. My band won the Brooklyn championship in the WNYC & WQXR Battle of the Boroughs at NPR’s Greene Space in 2013. Since then, we have performed any many notable venues, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the City Winery, the Highline Ballroom, and many more.
Introducing Mark Caserta
I met Mark Caserta few years ago in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to swap guitars. At our meeting, he introduced me to his project, 7th Boro, with which my group has worked in tandem at venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Mark has more than twenty years of experience playing music on the New York scene, and he was the lead guitarist for the Milagro Saints.
Starting The Quarantine Sessions Collaboration
When the shelter-in-place order was put into effect here in New York City, Mark and I were disconnected from our musical projects. Not content to sit at home and do nothing, Mark contacted me, requesting that I send him a track for him to play lead to as a way to keep busy. I was more than happy to oblige and viewed his request as something of a lifeline. That was the beginning of our Quarantine Sessions – a project of socially distanced collaborations, focusing mostly on traditional folk songs. Mark accompanies our recordings with videos of his own creation. You can see more of Mark’s videos at @MainStreetComplete on Instagram.
Over the coming weeks, I will be posting videos of our Quarantine Sessions along with interesting information about the songs. I hope that you join me here at the New Leaf Journal for music and interesting facts about the traditional folk songs we are performing. You may see all of the posted Quarantine Sessions articles here.
(Updated with section headers on June 26, 2020.)