An Evening With Jeff Mattson


Guitarist Jeff Mattson of Dark Star Orchestra will host a rare acoustic evening showcasing original material and soul-stirring interpretations of old favorites at Still Partners in Sea Cliff on Thursday, April 28. Mattson will be joined by longtime collaborator Tom Circosta of the Zen Tricksters to embark on a journey through the songbook of their shared experience, featuring many surprises and maybe even a Grateful Dead cover or two.

“With the help of Dennis Desrosiers, a friend and live music aficionado, we have been going after bands that usually play on a slightly larger circuit,” said Dan Roth, owner of Still Partners. “We recently had Scott Metzger play with his trio; Scott is part of Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, which also tours nationally. Musicians seem to like the space we set up; it’s intimate with good sound and lighting.”

The bar features local musicians several nights a week, and is a great showcase for local talent and independent artists. Still, a business has to make money, and one of the ways to do that is to try and draw larger crowds.

Roth met Mattson last fall, when he played at Still Partners with Zen Tricksters drummer Dave Diamond. Roth, also a drummer, got to play drums in their set while Diamond sang. Later, Mattson’s manager called Roth.

“He said that Jeff is ready to launch his solo career and he wanted to start small,” said Roth. “He asked if we were interested in having Jeff play acoustic and that Tom Circosta would be his right hand man.

Jeff Mattson will be at Still Partners on April 28. (Photo by Suzy Perler)

“Getting a call like that is a great honor,” Roth added. “It lets me know that we are doing something right.”

Mattson has been involved in New York City’s Jamband scene since its inception, starting with The Zen Tricksters and making his name nationally with Donna Jean & The Tricksters, The Donna Jean Godchaux Band, a short stint with Phil Lesh & Friends and now Dark Star Orchestra.

Still Partners has been in business for three years; while the restaurant business is tough, it has its perks, particularly when the model includes live music.

“One of the things I love about the bar is meeting a large amount of fantastic musicians. I play drums with a bunch of bands and I get to sit in and play with a lot of them,” said Roth. “The music for the bar is ever-changing. We get touring bands asking to play, bands from all over Long Island who are looking for a new venue. It’s still strange for me to be booking bands instead of trying to get booked, but we (the bands and myself) have one thing in common—we are all looking for people who love live music.”

The show will begin at 8 p.m. at Still Partners, 225 Sea Cliff Ave., Sea Cliff. Admission is $10 at the door. Call 516-200-9229 or visit for more information.

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