New venue to class up Williamsburg music options

Cutting edge: National Sawdust in Williamsburg will bring a mix of classical, avant garde, and pop music to the neighborhood.
The Brooklyn Paper
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A new Williamsburg music venue is promising to bring a robust classical and avant garde music lineup to the neighborhood.

National Sawdust, which has been under construction since last year and was previously named Original Music Workshop, will open in October with a genre-bending lineup curated by members of bands including Arcade Fire and the National and composers including Park Slope pianist Simone Dinnerstein.

“It is a dream come true, and a rare opportunity, for me to lead a place like National Sawdust as a young composer,” said composer Paola Prestini, who is the venue’s executive director. “I am excited to be in turn creating a venue curated by—and focused on providing vital mentoring, space and support to so many other still-nascent artists.”

The opening concerts at the venue’s 300-capacity hall will include saxophonist John Zorn, Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq, and a capella group Roomful of Teeth.

Prestini has also invited several musicians to conduct residencies at the venues. Those artists include Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Netsayi, and Norwegian youth string ensemble 1B1.

Artist say they are excited to see what kind of creations they can come up with in the new space.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting new venture and I am looking forward to curating a stimulating and creative series of concerts,” said Dinnerstein.

The organizers raised $16 million last year through private donors for the facility on the corner of Wythe Aveue and N. Sixth Street.

National Sawdust is one of a handful of new music venues in Williamsburg, which experienced a tragic loss of several venues that all closed last year.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

patrick from bay ridge says:
we really need another music venue? the reason we've had such "a tragic loss of several venues" is because of general public apathy towards "local" music. i'm sure this will follow that same "tragic" road.
May 11, 2015, 11:15 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Pardon my arrows-they aren't very professional.
Perhaps this Patrick fellow could get a paper route.
May 11, 2015, 11:51 am

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