CG: Marti Gould Cummings, Joey Contreras & Brad Gardner 25th Year Celebration Set for Elmo Tonight, 7/20July 20, 2012 - by NYC News Desk
Tonight, July 20th at 8pm a mixture of Broadway talent and nightlife personas will gather at Elmo is Chelsea to celebrate the 25th Year of Marti Gould Cummings, Brad Gardner, and Joey Contreras. This annual triple birthday event will feature some of NYC's brightest talents celebrating these three young men. Elmo is located in Chelsea on 19th Street and 7th Avenue.
Joey Contreras is a musical theatre songwriter in the New York scene. His original compositions and arrangements have been featured in NYC venues including Joe's Pub, Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Laurie Beechman Theater, The Duplex and multiple Broadway in South Africa galas at the Manhattan Center. Internationally, performances of his music have stretched as far as Australia, Germany, South Korea and the UK. His musicals include ALL THE KIDS ARE DOING IT and THIS THING CALLED LOVE. Recently, he wrote music for multiple plays featured in The Actor’s Company Theatre’s “newTACTics New Play Festival.” Recipient of the 2010 ASCAP Foundation Max Dreyfus Scholarship Award, Joey holds a BFA in musical theatre from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and MFA from NYU’s Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. His first album, Love Me, Love Me Not: The Music of Joey Contreras features performances by exciting Broadway talent and is available on iTunes and CDbaby.com.
Brad Gardner is a freelance music director, vocal coach, and accompanist based in New York City. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Campbell University in North Carolina.
Originally from North Carolina, Brad Gardner found his start in musical theatre at North Carolina Theatre in Raleigh. While at North Carolina Theatre, he was the rehearsal and pit pianist for several shows, including Peter Pan, Grand Night for Singing, Whistle Down the Wind, Batboy, Miss Saigon, HIgh School Musical 2, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story. He also worked regionally in North Carolina, where he had the opportunity to music direct and play for several shows including Putting It Together, Beauty and the Beast, Altar Boyz, and HAIR at Burning Coal Theatre Company.
In November 2009, Brad relocated to New York City to pursue his passion for musical theatre. He quickly found work playing piano for the children's education program "Little Maestros," as well as working freelance as a vocal coach and accompanist. He has since served as music assistant for several benefit concerts, including "An Evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein" starring Leslie Kritzer and Christiane Noll at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the Stephen Schwartz gala at Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut, starring Andrew Lippa and Stephen Schwartz himself. In the spring, he music directed the world premiere of Denial: Time to Face the Musical at Theatre for the New City. Brad is also the associate music director of Arena Stage Academy in Washington, DC, an intensive musical theatre summer program that he looks forward to working with every year.
Brad currently resides in Hell's Kitchen, working at The Addams Family on Broadway, freelancing as a vocal coach for several broadway performers, and a regular accompanist at various universities and ballet companies, including NYU Steinhardt. He can also be found accompanying nightlife personality Marti Cummings regularly at his weekly events around the city.
Marti Gould Cummings is a 2011 Glammy Award nominee for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. He recently released his first single "Real Girl" on iTunes and will follow up with the remix this winter. Marti can currently be seen performing weekly in NYC at Barracuda, Mix Lounge, New World Stages, The Ritz, and is a regular guest artist at LAVO. Marti has also been featured on hit tv shows such as 30 Rock, Jeffery and Cole's Casserole, and The A-List NY.
In addition to his live solo appearances he has hosted events for GLAAD, The Ali Forney Center, The Imperial Court of NY, Callen Lorde Center, Bronx Pride Center just to name a few. Along with Anthony Hollock he co-founded Broadway Speaks OUT which has produced the Annual A Very MARY Holiday Gala honoring The Real Housewives of NYC Sonja Morgan, TONY Award winner Laura Benanti and has featured TONY Award winner BD Wong as well as artist from over 50 Broadway shows.
Marti has also been a well rounded celebrity, conducting interviews with the likes of Liza Minnelli, Rue McClanahan, Bette Midler, Rosie O'Donnell, Martha Stewart, Michael Kors, Kimmora Lee Simmons, Dustin Lance Black, and hundreds of others.
Pictured: Joey Contreras