Photo: Mark Pezzano

Mark Pezzano: Italian Folksinger Mark Pezzano is a 2nd-generation Italian American and singer — scholar of traditional Italian folksongs. A resident of Bethpage, he was born in 1961 and grew up in Jamaica, Queens in an Italian and Polish community. As a young boy he learned many folksongs and other cultural traditions from his grandparents […]

Photo: Ed Maday

Ed Maday: Violin Maker Ed Maday of Woodmere is a traditional violin maker, having learned this historic craft from a master violin maker, Vincent O’Brien in New Hyde Park, along with help from books, and by examining other violins. Ed first learned about violins, like many people, by playing it in elementary school. As he […]

Photo: David Herman

David Herman: Violin Bow Restoration Expert David Herman learned to make violin bows while teaching violin in the Sewanhaka school district, a profession he entered because he loved music. Growing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, David’s first musical memories were of a violin maker in a small shop. “I remember falling in love with a violin […]

Photo: Lowell Ockers

Edward (Lowell) Ockers: Poundtrap fisherman Lowell was born in West Sayville and has lived in the area his entire life. Lowell started working full time in the bay after returning from the Navy in 1957. He started fishing and catching eels with traps purchased from his father, who was also a bayman. Lowell, who enjoyed […]

Photo: Young Indian Culture Group

Young Indian Culture Group The Young Indian Culture Group, Inc. (YICG) is a non-profit Academy based in Herricks dedicated to preserving the rich culture of India through education, performances, and workshops. Their programs include classes for children and adults in Hindi, Sanskrit, and Tamil languages, Cultural Traditions, Classical and Folk Dance, Music, Arts, and Yoga. […]

Photo: Worker's Circle Event

The Workmen’s Circle: Jewish Cultural Organization The Workmen’s Circle is a national Jewish cultural organization that was established in 1892 by a group of cloak makers who gathered in a tenement on New York’s Lower East Side. The mutual aid society was formally chartered in 1900 as The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring. As new immigrants, the […]

Pete Wenczel: Fisherman and Bayman Born in New York City, and raised in suburban New Jersey, Pete spent his childhood summers in Southold, where he first learned to swim, sail, fish, and clam. By the time he was a young man, he knew that he wanted to make his living off the water. As he […]

Photo: Kevin and Joan Westley

Kevin Westley, Irish Céilí Dance Teacher Teaching Céilí (Irish) Dancing for Over 25 Years by Edwin O’Keefe Kevin Westley’s phone rang. It was Sister Peggy McHugh. It seems the dance instructor at the Bishop Ford adult education Céilí class could not finish the semester. She wanted to know if he would “fill in.” That was […]

Ed Thomas: Commercial Fisherman and Bayman Ed Thomas was born in Baldwin, NY, and has been fishing for as long as he can remember. His started his first business at eight years old, digging soft shell clams and putting them in a basket on his bicycle, and selling them house to house down the street. […]

Chuck Tekula: Bayman and Fisherman Chuck Tekula is a commercial fisherman from Center Moriches. College educated at Empire State College in New York, Chuck frequently writes about the lives of commercial fishermen, the regulations, and policies that affect them, and what has led to the decline of Great South Bay. He was one of the […]