Michael Dorf Presents
The 20th Anniversary Celebration of the "Old Knit"
A Benefit Concert for The Stone
Featuring live performances by John Zorn, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson,
Medeski, Martin & Wood, Mike Doughty, Joe Lovano, Marc Ribot, Lee Ranaldo, Don Byron, Steven Bernstein, DJ Spooky, Roy Nathanson, Gary Lucas + surprise special guests
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Town Hall 123 West 43rd Street (at 6th Avenue) New York City
Showtime: 8 p.m.
Ticket Info: Ticketmaster, www.oyhoo.com
"It's rare for a club to act as a magnet for talent, drawing a new scene around itself. But in New York City, where the Knitting Factory has become synonymous with new music, that’s precisely what's happening.” - Rolling Stone (1991)
"The Knitting Factory has almost single-handedly revised New York's downtown arts scene in its first six months of operation. Presenting Jazz and improvised music, along with films, poetry, performance art and dance, it's putting on affordable, genre-crossing double bills every night of the week." - New York Times (1987)
On March 1, Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf celebrates the 20th anniversary of the "Old Knit" with a benefit concert for The Stone featuring live performances by John Zorn, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Medeski Martin & Wood, and others at Town Hall in New York City.
The Stone is a non-profit performance space in the Lower East Side founded by John Zorn to support the avant-garde music community. 100% of the net proceeds will go to The Stone.
In 1987, defying the homogeny of the NYC club scene, Michael Dorf and two fellow Wisconsin friends defined a "downtown" home for a burgeoning improvisational jazz community and alternative rock scene. Originally nestled almost equidistant between the seminal CBGB's and The Bottom Line, two venues to recently shut down operations, the Knitting Factory (47 E. Houston Street) marked an artistic space renowned for its emblematic bookings. An overnight success, the "Knit" made an imprint as one of the essential venues in New York, becoming an international symbol of the "downtown" scene.
Along with the ambitious entrepreneurial spirit supporting the "Jack Kerouac-inspired bohemian nightclub" came an aggrandizing anticipation to expand their formidable brand well beyond the status quo. In 1994, Dorf relocated his venue to a three-floor, multi-stage institution with an accompanying recording studio (74 Leonard Street in Tribeca). Dorf comments, "from the beginning, I wanted to be both a record label and a live music venue. Our initial radio series 'Live from the Knitting Factory' helped document all the musical activity at the club. We formed an immediate entry into the recording business." Within ten years of its inception, Michael Dorf had released in upwards of several hundred albums, had distribution in over thirty countries, an office in Europe, was producing festivals all over the world, and was at the helm of the most eclectic programming schedule in New York City.
With the upsurge of the dot-com boom, Dorf took on his first outside capital in 1996 and created KnitMedia, Inc. The company quickly grew to over 100 employees, and started to collaborate with Apple, Intel, Bell Atlantic and MCI to usher in a wave of new music and internet ventures. Dorf subsequently opened the Hollywood Knitting Factory, and formed with partner Andrew Raseji, the Digital Club Network (online community streaming live concerts) and the Plug.In Conference (one of the largest digital music conferences to date). In 1999, Inc. Magazine named KnitMedia, Inc. one of the Top 500 fastest growing businesses in America. That same year, New York Magazine named Michael Dorf one of the ten most important New Yorkers.
The aftermath of the dot-com bust and September 11th brought many immediate changes to KnitMedia, Inc. In 2002, Michael Dorf stepped down as Chairman & CEO, bringing him to his latest philanthropic activities including the sold-out Tribute to Joni Mitchell at Carnegie Hall, the sold-out Tribute to Bob Dylan at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, and the upcoming Tribute to Bruce Springsteen at Carnegie Hall this April 5, 2007. In an effort to celebrate the survival of the Knitting Factory, an inimitable club reaching a 20-year milestone this year, the benefit concert at Town Hall will feature live performances by several musicians who made their start at the "Old Knit."