The Broad Street Ballroom, an architectural landmark in New York’s Wall Street district, provided the perfect backdrop for a riveting performance by musical visionary Sturgill Simpson. A massive mural depicting the history of seafaring wraps around the entire room, echoing the central concept of Simpson’s acclaimed album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which he played in full for an ecstatic crowd of 400 sweepstakes winners and invited guests. Backed by a powerful horn section, Sturgill reconfigured the arrangements for songs from his breakthrough album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, and even delivered an emotional version of the soul classic “You Don’t Miss Your Water” to round out an unforgettable night.
A massive mural depicting the history of seafaring wraps around the entire room, echoing the central concept of Simpson’s acclaimed album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which he played in full for an ecstatic crowd.
Sturgill Simpson is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, musician, producer and performer. His album, A Sailor’s Guide To Earth, debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart and #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and was written—beginning to end—as a letter to his first child, who arrived during the summer of 2014. Widely praised by critics, his music has received acclaim from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NPR and many others. Simpson is releasing a new album and film, Sound & Fury, which comes out at the end of September 2019.
The Broad Street Ballroom is located in the heart of New York’s historic Financial District, and is part of Léman Manhattan Preparatory School. Originally designed as a bank in 1929 by Cross & Cross, brothers known as ” Old New York society’s architects,” the Broad Street Ballroom is revered as one of the most impressive buildings in Lower Manhattan. While the Classical Revival style facade presents a stately exterior, the interior features progressive art, including an eight-paneled ornamental frieze designed by Leo Friedlander and 30-foot bronze-capped columns encrusted with mosaics. The particular glory of the building is the 225-foot mural by Griffith Baily Coale titled “ A Pageantry of the History of Commerce by Sea,” depicting nautical vessels ranging from ancient galleys to ocean liners of the modern age. After several decades as a bank, the building lay dormant for more than 10 years. During the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan after 9/11, it was transformed into Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, the first non-secretarian private school below Canal Street. Today, Léman uses the ballroom as its performance and assembly space, and to bring artistic performances and events to the community. Photography courtesy of Amanda Kari McHugh for Artists Den Entertainment.