April 12 – The Pre-War Ponies

Hello dear listeners!

Please join us as we welcome spring with a lovely afternoon of old-time music with the Pre-War Ponies! The Pre-War Ponies specialize in reviving music from the 1920s and ‘30s. Singer Daria Grace and collaborator J. Walter Hawkes dig up rare gems by  Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and lesser-known names, and give those songs new life.


The Pre-War Ponies

Daria Grace – voice, ukulele
J. Walter Hawkes – voice, ukulele, trombone
Russ Meissner – drums
Ian Riggs – bass

Sunday 12 April, The Pre-War Ponies

Doors at 2:30 PM, concert begins at 3:00 PM sharp.

The Pre-War Ponies was formed in 2007 by Daria Grace, who wanted to put to use her growing collection of sheet music and repertoire of not-quite hits from the 20s, 30s and 40s. You may have heard of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer, but you probably haven’t heard some of their under-rated chestnuts like “Pardon My Southern Accent” or “Find Me A Primitive Man.” Daria quickly recruited her old friend, trombonist and soprano uke player J. Walter Hawkes to be a part of the madness, and they have become the core duo of the band. Today they are joined by bassist Ian Riggs, and drummer Russ Meissner.

daria 1

Daria Grace

Daria Grace is a singer, bassist and ukulele player who has been performing in the NYC area for over 20 years. She has recorded and toured with artists such as God Is My Co-Pilot, The Moonlighters, Melomane, Kings County Queens, The Jack Grace Band, and Sasha Dobson. In 2005 after a long battle with vocal cysts she had surgery which left her (literally) speechless for 5 weeks. One of the reasons she initially started the Pre-War Ponies was as a way to re-train her singing voice. Another was realizing there were all these great tunes out there that hardly anybody was performing. And last but definitely not least, she wanted to work with her old pal and kick-ass trombone and ukulele player, J. Walter Hawkes.


J. Walter Hawkes

Originally from Pascagoula, MS, three time Emmy Award winning composer/trombonist/ukulele player J. Walter Hawkes has been active in New York City for almost two decades. He’s played with Norah Jones, Jon Hendricks, Elvis Costello, and many others. He is now serving as musical director and lead composer for PBS’ “Peg + Cat”, and has also composed for “Blue’s Clues,” “Wonder Pets,” “Third & Bird”, and many other shows you have no idea about unless you have a 3 year old.


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