Featured Artist: Kristopher Wettstein

Featured Artist: Kristopher Wettstein

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Kristopher Wettstein (Astoria)

This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens.  Please check back weekly for new posts.

Kristopher Wettstein
Kristopher Wettstein

I’m a songwriter, composer, music director, pianist, teacher… I wear a  few hats!

Where were you born?
Calgary, Alberta in Canada.

Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
I now live in Astoria off of the 30th ave stop. I lived up by Ditmars before that for about a year. I’ve lived in Queens for almost three years.

How did you get involved in theater?
I spent 5 years when I was a teenager living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and I got involved in theater while I was there because it was something fun that happened indoors, where the air conditioning was.

What do you love most about Queens?
I love the incredible diversity: people and culture from all parts of the globe. Also, a general lack of pretension. A supportive artistic community. It’s the most mixed, most interesting Borough.

Do you have an “only in Queens” moment you’d like to share?
Probably biking under Roosevelt avenue. For the most part, Queens is really quiet and pleasant to listen to and I enjoy hearing all the different noises and languages as I get around on my bike. Roosevelt Ave is a different story, with the 7 train clattering around like an angry dragon overhead. But what could be more Queens than Roosevelt avenue! I’ll never be able to fully understand everything that goes on on that street. Such a dense mix of cultures and smells and total chaos. It’s like Queens distilled in a shot glass.
Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?
I love the Isamu Noguchi Museum, it’s my favorite place in the city. His sculptures have this wonderful vibe to them, you’re not sure if they came from the ancient past or the distant future. I was there once yammering to my girlfriend about how I wished there was more music that had his sensibility, and she said “well, why don’t you write it?” So since then I’ve written a growing body of songs about specific sculptures on display there.
I also love Bahari’s restaurant on Broadway, they can do amazing things with just simple vegetables.
The COFFEED Inspired Word open mic is just a great, warm scene of Queens writers and musicians.
Current/Upcoming projects?
I’m pretty excited about a show I’m playing at Art House Astoria (23-35 Broadway, intersection of Broadway and Crescent St) on Saturday, March 21st at 7pm. I’ll be playing some new songs with an all-star band of Adrianna Matteo  on violin (she directs Face the Music, an amazing Queens-based youth orchestra/band), and Alex Lambert on drums. Then my friends Universal Thump will be playing some of their wonderfully imaginative pop songs from a new record they just made at Abbey Road (yes, THE Abbey Road!). Their lead singer and songwriter, Greta Gertler-Gold, also does some fabulous work in musical theater. Just $10 at the door. It will be fun, consider coming!


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