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Port Washington, New York, United States | SELF

Port Washington, New York, United States | SELF
Band Alternative




"Hot-and-Home-Grown-at-the Paramount"

Hot and Home Grown at The Paramount
By Village Tattler, on January 16th, 2012

NTOR at The Paramount
A freezing Friday the 13th night drew a mixed crowd of the very young–10-year-olds??–to middle-aged and older– to The Paramount, 370 New York Avenue, Huntington, NY, www.paramountny.com, to check out the Long Island “Home Grown” band showcase that featured NTOR, Verse The Empire, Craving Strange, and Oogee Wawa. See VT‘s article: villagetattler.com/2012/01/12/long-island-band-showcase-at-the-paramount-this-friday-january-13/. Each band contributed an original musical style to the showcase–from original songs to covers of The Beatles, U2, and Journey, and Verse The Empire’s cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In The Name.”

The Paramount itself is a major draw on any night. When you first walk in, it’s just the IMAC reincarnated: the brick walls, the floor. The resemblance ends shortly thereafter with an amazing walk up stairs lined with hundreds of song lyrics written neatly on the walls. The Beatles, “All You Need is Love” and Aerosmith’s “Dream On” caught my eye. Even the walls of the ladies room are a work of art with bold graffiti on the ceiling and above the stalls. There are 3 bars to choose from–one as you enter near the window that looks out on New York Avenue and the other two flanking either side of the enormous stage. The Paramount was standing room only for Friday night’s band showcase, but there are seats on the mezzanine and balconies.

NTOR, a band of 9th graders from Port Washington, NY, sang many original songs, including "Playground of Fools," and "Your Eyes," as well as great covers of The Beatles "Come Together" and "Seven Nation Army" by White Stripes.

Verse The Empire is a Huntington-based hard rock band with Dan Lorenz on bass, Matt Gutkowski on vocals/guitar, and Nick DiGregorio aka Heez on drums. The band formed in the spring of 2011.

The band Craving Strange came out on stage in the dark with The Doors' People are Strange playing. The audience enjoyed the cover of Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up." Lead singer pictured here is Jimmy G. According to its bio on www.craving strange.net, "With a sound that's like a chopped salad of Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, and Buckcherry, Craving Strange serve up edgy yet poppy original rock to your ear holes."

- Village Tattler, Huntington

"NTOR Interview with Noise Image"

NTOR being interviewed by Zak Winters, from Noise Image. - Zak Winters

"Long Island Band Showcase at The Paramount this Friday, January 13"

This article was written by Claudia D. Wheeler on the behalf of the Home Grown Long Island Band Showcase at The Paramount Theater on January 13th - Claudia D. Wheeler

"Teen band NTOR took the stage at La Motta's Sunday night, drawing a family-friendly crowd to the adult music hotspot"

Teen band NTOR took the stage at La Motta's Sunday night, drawing a family-friendly crowd to the adult music hotspot, while raising funds for the Long Island Chapter of Autism Speaks.

The two-plus hour concert capped a busy weekend of music for the five Weber eighth graders. Friday night, the band won second-place in Autism Speaks' Island-wide musical showdown "Bands Battling Autism."

"It was huge for them," said Kim Nguyen, mother of band-guitarist Kain Summerlin, of NTOR's second place win against the older, more established bands. "Some of those kids have record deals, they're all high school and college students, they [NTOR] were the youngest ones," added Nguyen.

The band may be young enough to need their mothers to drive them to gigs but their resume is long and getting longer. Since debuting in 2005 as a fourth-grade talent show act, the band has played dozens of gigs, including Port Washington's recent Grande Festa Italiana and summer Harborfest. Over Labor Day, the teens opened an outdoor concert sponsored by the famed live-music spot The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, NY.

"I didn't know what to expect from eighth graders but they're good. They have a lot of soul," said first-time audience member Nora Johnson.

The band drew a diverse crowd. Weber students mixed with toddlers and their parents, and kids in soccer uniforms ran around the dance floor. State Senator Craig Johnson, D - Port Washington, stopped by to listen and mingle.

"I heard them play at the Italian Feast," said Johnson. "If there is a band that can do a great cover of Weezer, I'm coming down. Especially if they're in eighth grade," he added.

The band, an alternative electro-pop group, kicked off the show with The Beatles "A Little Help from My Friends," but played mostly new covers like the Glee-inspired "Don't Stop Believin," "Kids" by MGMT, and "Wake Me up When September Ends" by Green Day. Also, on the set list, two original songs "Sleepyheads" and "Driving."

"We're working on our third song," said keyboardist Jenny Aguiar. "We're trying to get to no more covers," she added. All band members, which also includes lead singer Joe Panico, Ben Roberts on drums and Wyatt Sempliner on bass, pitch in on song-writing.

NTOR raised $475 from raffles, t-shirt sales and arts and crafts for the kids. La Motta's will donate a portion of the bar and food sales from the evening to a team for the Autism Speaks Jones Beach walk set for Sunday, October 3rd. But the money raised was only part of the evening's success, according to Autism Speaks event coordinator Sinead Maloney.

"It' not even the money, it's the awareness," said Maloney. "People don't know that it [autism] affects one in 110 children and people think its rare but it's growing," added Maloney, who distributed educational materials on autism.

When the evening ended, on a rollicking high note with "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes, it was back to teen-dom for the band, loading gear into parental cars and heading home to catch up on homework. - Patch.com

"Noise, Please! NTOR Rocks Library With Free Concert"

Before NTOR took the stage on Thursday night at the Port Washington Public Library, a couple of librarians walked into the event center while the band was doing its sound check.

"They told us to keep it down," explained the band's 13-year-old lead singer Joe Panico, "so we made it louder."


NTOR, an alternative electro-pop band made of up five Weber Middle School students, played an hour-long free concert, and left their fans who packed the library's event center wanting more.

Fans, like 12-year-old Olivia Burwell, sang and danced along to familiar tunes, but were also happy to hear some new ones.

"It was very creative," Burwell said of the band's performance. "Everyone loves them, and they were especially good tonight."

The band played their usual set-list, jamming to popular tunes such as Blur's "Song 2" and The Beatles "A Little Help From My Friends," but new covers like "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey, "Kids" by MGMT, and "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z, proved to be the most popular on the evening.

"Believin' is my favorite song and they played it well," said Zach Avazis, 13, who was seeing his friends live for the first time. "I've seen them on YouTube all the time, but not live. They were really good."

Olivia Ressa, 12, said she has been to all of the band's concerts and claims to be NTOR's biggest fan. She said she thought they had one of their best performances.

"They were amazing," said Ressa, who also didn't hide her admiration for the lead singer. "I'm at every concert, and I've been best friends with Joe since we were two. We got married when we were four, we had a fake wedding. I love Joe!"

Kain Summerlin, who plays lead guitar for NTOR, said he was excited to perform at the library and thought the crowd was really into it.

"At the beginning, I was nervous, but when I got on stage I was like, I'm going to show them what I can do," Summerlin said. "It was just awesome playing here."

Panico agreed with his band mate, and didn't hide his pre-concert jitters.

"We were all back there and we did a group huddle and said, 'Let's go out and do the best we can do,'" Panico said.

Next up for the band, which also includes Jenny Aguiar on keyboard, Will Berger on drums and Wyatt Sempliner on bass, is HarborFest on Sunday, where the band will perform five songs. After that, it's back to practice and playing more gigs for a band with its eyes on the top.

"We're definitely going to try and get some studio times," Summerlin said. "We're going to make some new songs, and play some more covers." - Patch.com

"These Kids Playing At The Talkhouse On Saturday Know How To Rock"

NTOR will be playing at the Stephen Talkhouse tonight at 8 p.m. for just ten bucks to help raise money for the East End Food Pantry. The band is a young group, formed around keyboardist, Jenny Aguiar with Wyatt Sempliner on bass, Kain Summerlin on lead guitar, drummer Will Berger and vocalist, Joe Panico. They have done shows at The Crash Manson in Manhattan, The Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale, PW Harborfest and the Sons of Italy Feast. The group are in 8th grade at Weber Middle School and apparantly rock pretty hard and are very serious about their work.

It’s a good way to support the East End Food Pantry, which is always in need of donations. Be there. - Dan's Papers: The Latest Hamptons Headlines


Still working on that hot first release.



NTOR formed around a neighborhood nucleus of keyboardist, Jenny Aguiar with Wyatt Sempliner on bass and Kain Summerlin on lead guitar and quickly expanded to include vocalist, Joe Panico and Ben Roberts on drums. The band's first appearance before a live audience was a suitably humble gig -- the South Salem School talent show. The event whetted the band's appetite for more performance, and they went on to appear at such diverse venues from The Crash Mansion in Manhattan to The Stephen Talkhouse in the east end of Long Island. NTOR has played their music to help raise awareness and funds for many charity organizations including The American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, and The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation. They were the youngest band to play for the second year on the route of the 2011 New York City Marathon, and have had the opportunity to play at The Paramount Theater in Huntington. They have recently celebrated the release of their new album “All Is Fair”.

The band's love of music has held them on a path of discovery picking up classic rock covers of groups like The Beatles, Journey, alternative and even electro-pop sounds from the likes of MGMT, Phoenix, U2, Ramones and The Black Keys. This wide range of musical genres has created a sundry landscape as a backdrop to their original works. Please check out our website www.NTORband.com for more information, videos, and photos.