A Boxing and Chamber Music Concert Event to be Held at Gleason's Gym, 3/16
This event will serve as a fundraiser for the Gleason's Gym's "Give a Kid a Dream" program. For the past sixteen years, the program has provided children from disadvantage backgrounds a place to come and develop themselves both physically and mentally through the sport of boxing. It is currently supported by Gleason's itself and the efforts of individual personal trainers, who volunteer their time or substantially discount their rates in order to help the children.
The International Street Cannibals is a collective of acclaimed instrumentalists, singers, composers, videographers, audio technicians, dancers, puppeteers and visual artists, directed by Dan Barrett, with Stage Director Tyler Learned, Dance Director Megan Sipe, and co-director Chala Yancy. In the spirit of Montaigne's 1580 essay, "Of Cannibals" - in which the French philosopher derides the status distinctions and disingenuous mores of a modern society - the ensemble presents a mix of fresh compositions and the more arresting in classical music, showcasing diverse modalities while challenging assumptions about the concert space. Since its inception in 2005, The ISC has performed at The Outreach Festival (Schwaz, Austria), HOWL! Festival (New York), Le Poisson Rouge, St. Mark's in-the-Bowery, the Austrian Cultural Forum, Players Theater, and the boxers' legendary training gym, Gleason's. The ISC can be heard on two CDs released in 2010-11 by Composers Concordance Records: Ballets & Solos (Music by Dan Cooper, Part Hardish, Otto Luening, Joseph Pehrson and Gene Pritsker), and The International Street Cannibals Present The Music of Gene Pritsker. Composers Concordance Records/Naxos will release Non Western Omelette (Music by Luciano Berio, Dan Cooper, Paul Hindemith, Guillaume de Machaut/Barrett, Dary John Mizelle, Arvo Pärt, Gene Pritsker, James "Nyoraku" Schlefer, and Japanese and Tyrolian folk tunes).
The oldest active boxing gym in the United States, Gleason's Gym has produced 132 World Champions, 2 Olympic Gold Medalists and hundreds of Amateur champions. It was founded in 1937 by Peter Gagliardi, a former bantamweight who changed his name to Bobby Gleason to appeal to the predominantly Irish New York fight crowd of the era. Located in the South Bronx, it thrived during the boxing's "Golden Age" of the 40's and 50's. In 1974, it moved to 30th street, the first level gym in New York, and in 1981 it was sold to New York businessman Ira Becker, a longtime friend of boxing and a staunch supporter of boxing safety and uniform rule regulations. When the building went co-op in 1984, Gleason's found its new and present home in Dumbo, Brooklyn. It is currently owned by Bruce Silverglade, who became business partner with Ira Becker in 1983. Fighters who trained at the gym include Muhammad Ali, Jack LaMotta, Roberto Duran, Benny "kid" Paret, Gerry Cooney, and Mike Tyson, among many others. Over the years, the reputation of the champion boxers Gleason's produced earned the gym world-renowned appeal as the pinnacle of excellence in boxing. Nowadays, Gleason's has gained a new dimension, attracting a fitness conscious crowd who understand the benefit of a boxing workout. Many full-length movies such as Midnight Run, The 10 Count, Heart, Rage of Angels, and Raging Bull were shot at the gym. Actors like Robert DeNiro and Wesley Snipes trained there to prepare for their roles, and Gleason's Gym helped coach Hilary Swank to win her second Academy Award for Best Actress in Million Dollar Baby. The gym currently has 1050 members, including 450 amateur and professional boxers and 600 recreational boxers, 320 of which are female.