Retro Vinyl Music Night Planned at Ontario County Historical Society


CANANDAIGUA — The powerful and influential jazz of Miles and ‘Trane. The harmonies of the Fab Four. The English blues-rock roar of Zeppelin. That’s just a sampling of what visitors to the Ontario County Historical Society museum might hear on April 9 as they experience some of the musical technology of yesteryear up close.

They’ll hear it on vinyl, of course. That’s the point, after all.

The Retro Vinyl Record Night, scheduled from 5-8 p.m., is the first of four special public nights scheduled at the Historical Society on Canandaigua’s North Main Street during the year, with other nights planned to focus about movies, video games and board games. Games. For the April 9 event, the company, for that night only, will showcase some of its musical artifacts, such as a circa 1903 Edison Home phonograph, a Victrola, vintage radios and various musical instruments.

“The idea is just to bring more people here, to make people see that we’re doing things, that we’re creating projects,” said Cody Grabhorn, executive director of the historical society. He said there are also plans to appeal to a different, wider and possibly younger audience than the museum normally sees – although, as he noted, vinyl records have appeal for everything. the world. (Vinyl collector Grabhorn’s musical tastes are varied, but if pressed for an absolute favorite, he’d choose “2112,” the seminal concept album by Canadian progressive rockers Rush.)

Continued:Ontario County Arts Council’s Coral Reef Exhibit Helps Protect Sea Turtles

A walk through the company’s packed upstairs archives shows the Edison machine and several Edison cylinders dating to 1905, an invention of Thomas A. Edison believed to be the first commercial recording medium; radios from the 1940s and a 1918 Victrola phonograph. “I imagine it’s in good enough shape to work if you push it,” Graborn said of the Victrola. “It makes me want to do that!”

This Victrola in the collection of the Ontario County Historical Society dates from 1918. The Society's general manager, Cody Grabhorn, believes it is in working order.

For the event, the company partnered with Canandaigua Record Exchange, a vinyl-oriented record store located at 170 Mill St. in Canandaigua. CRE owner Jon Cooley will curate a vinyl playlist for the evening, spinning songs and sides on a turntable as the musical backdrop.

Cooley plans to go in chronological order, hitting some of the high points in recorded music – “I’m going to do jazz, get into rock through the ages, and then probably get as close to modern as I can get,” said Cooley. he declared. It can do full album sides – it only has one turntable running, so it won’t flip wax quickly like a DJ. (Which is why he poses as “conservative” for the evening.) “I really want to get into jazz – maybe Miles Davis and John Coltrane – then the Beatles, Led Zeppelin,” he said. . Although vinyl was the main format of recorded music for most of the 20th century – and has had a modern resurgence – Cooley says it will probably start in the 1950s – this era of seminal Blue Note jazz records and from the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. However, he said, he has a few early novelties that he could take away.

Tickets for Retro Vinyl Record Night are $20 each and are available at The ticket purchase includes a beer or soda token (the company is partnering with Frequentem Brewery), an event sticker, and a raffle ticket for a “goodie bag” assembled by Canandaigua Record Exchange.

According to Cooley, this prize includes a limited edition vinyl set of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” album, comprising four LPs – including the unreleased version produced by Glyn Johns in 1969 (before Phil Spector’s involvement) and a version newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell guided by Spector’s, plus some 27 previously unreleased studio recordings – and a 100-page hardcover book with an introduction by Paul McCartney. (Cooley said viewers of the recent documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” will recognize many previously unreleased tracks.)

"How to Catch a Fishing Cat" by regional artist Dara Engler, who will exhibit her work from April 2 to 29 at the Dove Block Project in Geneva

“Pirate’s Guide to Homesteading”

The community is invited to “A Pirate’s Guide to Homesteading: Dara Engler”, an exhibition of works by regional artist Dara Engler, from April 2-29 at the Dove Block Project, 465 Exchange St., Geneva. An artists’ reception will be held on Saturday, April 3 from 3 to 5 p.m. The exhibition is free and all are welcome to attend.

From an artist statement by Engler: “My work represents an alter ego… My pirate anti-hero is full of curiosity and a combative respect for his natural environment. She traps animals and builds shelters. Despite her adventurous nature, the pirate is prone to an awkward and fumbling learning curve. She approaches tasks in the least efficient way possible, in this case replacing knitted blankets with sound structures. As in natural history museums, artifacts further blur the line between fact and fiction.

Engler is associate professor and chair of the art department at Ithaca College, where she teaches painting and drawing.

L. David Wheeler

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FRONT-ROW SEAT is a column that showcases the region’s arts, literature, culture and entertainment. Please send information to consider for future columns to L. David Wheeler at


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