Ithaca musicians join together on “A Night for Nicholas Hill”

Ithaca’s musical community is coming together Friday evening at Casita del Polaris to support Nicholas Hill, who has spent decades supporting and elevating the musical community. According to organizer Dustin Stuhr, “Having suffered a stroke in April, Nick’s road to recovery is a concern for all who love him and the purpose of the event.

Nicholas Hill at the microphone. Photo provided.

“All proceeds from A Night for Nicholas Hill will be dedicated to rehabilitation services above and beyond what are currently available,” says Dustin. “Nick, a folk music aficionado and the host of the Nonesuch show on WVBR, has in recent years, befriended a host of Ithaca based musicians, all of whom jumped at the opportunity to perform for this event.”

The event, scheduled from 7-11pm on Friday, August 4th at Casita del Polaris in the former home of Fall Creek Pictures next to Northstar Public House, will feature many performers touched by Nicholas Hill.

Dustin shares, “It will be an open mic of sorts comprised of some of the best songwriters the local music scene has to offer. Performers will include Jennie Lowe, Johnny Dowd, Richie Stearns, Anna Coogan, Mary Lorson, Jen Cork, Janet Batch, Angie Beeler, Bert Scholl, Jonathan and Jai Meyerhoff, Polly Wood, Pierce Wash, and others. A Night for Nicholas Hill is an opportunity for all who love Nick and all who love local music to come together and celebrate a very special member of our community.”

Stuhr goes on to describe Nick as a “gregarious, smart, fun loving, generous, creative, free spirit who has been involved in the music, television, and radio industries in New York City for many years and more recently, a significant contributor to local radio in several capacities.”

Mary Lorson shares, “About ten years ago I was sitting at the bar at the Carriage House with lifetime pal Randi Barros, who was visiting from Brooklyn, when a guy walked in. ‘Randi!’ I said, ‘Doesn’t that guy look just like Nick Hill?’ Well, of course it was indeed the real, one-and-only Nicholas, whom we’d known in New York as the most decent and positive guy in the music biz:  a supportive artist manager, inspired DJ, artful promoter, and more. When he brought these talents to a grateful Ithaca music community, the whole scene here bloomed with warmth and connection.”

The accolades for Nick continue with Johnny Dowd, “I have done his radio show a bunch of times. He’s a real fun guy to be interviewed by because he knows a shit ton about music. He’s the kind of guy that really keeps music alive. Musicians need people like Nick – he makes the local musicians feel like they are doing something worthwhile.”

Nick’s influence has helped local musicians flourish. Sandra Fish performing as Janet Batch has planned songs specifically dedicated to Nick, “Nick affected my musical career by exposing me to artists and genre’s outside my typical tastes. Through Nonesuch as well as thru music sharing thru mutual friends. I plan on covering a song by one of Nick’s favorite artists as well as incorporating Dylan into a Janet Batch original, a song called ‘Blue Bird’ I wrote after my family went through a medical scare.  It’s a song of hope and renewal.  I am excited to be a part of an amazing group coming together to support Nick.”

It is clear that Nick has fueled musicians’ passion and creativity as Polly Wood shares, “Nick’s continuous open offer to visit him at the radio station and play a few songs on air is just one example of the generosity he has expressed since we met about seven years ago. Always ready to encourage and appreciate wild creativity, Nick, Alex and their family have been unwavering when it comes to nurturing and assisting ideas involving arts and community.”

Friday is destined to be a night reflective of the love and support that Nick has brought to the musical community to give back to someone who has given so much. Mary Lorson shares the communal spirit surrounding the overwhelming love for Nick, “Alex and the kids have shared their Nicholas, so he’s our Nicholas, and we love him, and he knows it, and at some point he’s going to tell us all about this incredible experience he’s having and surviving. Rock on, brother!”

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