Crypt Sessions

It has been a minute… ok more like a few minutes since I have submerged myself into a NY moment.  Life has taken a few amazing major turns for me which has prevented me from experiencing a little big thing in NYC, however this event, was one that I had to experience and see for myself.

I had the pleasure of attending a Crypt Session last month. After reading about it in the NY Times, I thought, this is something I HAVE TO see.  An intimate concert of about 30 or so person audience, in the crypt of a church in Washington Heights, is a very different way to enjoy live music.  I don’t think I have ever been in a crypt before, so that in itself was an experience.  It isn’t creepy or cold, it is actually beautiful and warm and inviting.

The evening started off with some finger foods and wine in the activity room of the church. Feeling at first a bit like a high school dance on folding chairs sprawled along the perimeter of the room, this quickly feeling transformed into something magical once you descend upon the stairs into this beautiful “church basement”.


The event itself is something to experience. However, the success of this event is due to the talent that Andrew Ousley, curator and Unison Media President, meticulously chooses to collaborate with.  The talent that I was lucky to enjoy that evening was Lara St. John.  One word to describe her – inspirational. She will inspire you to follow your passions, inspire you to travel and inspire you to never give up on your dreams – and maybe inspire you to learn another language.

Confession alert: I am not crazy about Classical. I don’t hate it but it isn’t very often that I will attend a Classical concert.  The eagerness to attend a Crypt Session was a) to attend a NYC #littlebigthing and b) because my husband loves Classical and the piano.

Lara’s scores were a wonderful way to enjoy Classical music.  A slight variation from the classic Classical Music, they were formed from her travels in Eastern Europe and her learnings and experiences while she was there. She had connected with the composers who ultimately composed versions for her to play with pianist Matt Herskowitz. Lara is brilliant to watch. Her talent, her persona and her charisma draws you in as you forget where you are and instead feel like you are traveling with her on her journeys.  She has memorized all of her pieces and doesn’t use any sheet music. You can even catch her dancing to ‘her own tune”.   Her sweetness and her love for the culture and the music seeped through as we listened to her talk about the genesis of her relationship with her songs.  I had so many questions I would have loved to ask her about her adventures and her journeys.



For now, I am honored to have been invited to sit in the audience of a Crypt Session and look forward to seeing the other talent that Andrew has brought on.  This concert series is a welcome addition to my list of Little Big Things in NYC and a must see!

About cara protzko

A wanderlust at heart, I believe there is no better city to explore than NYC. With so much culture to experience, both old and new, my mission is to share my under the radar findings to enhance the experiences of the locals and the full-time NYC wanderers. I want my experiences and this blog be your go-to place for insider tips as you travel and explore this great city.
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