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Bronxville Grad, Chris Baio, Makes It Big Time in One of Country's Hottest Rock Bands: "Vampire Weekend" PDF Print Email
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April 28, 2010:  It's hard to escape Vampire Weekend these days. Their bouncy tunes, touched by influences of aka, African music, and other cultures, are in regular rotation on rock radio stations across the country.

Their faces gaze out from the pages of Rolling Stone Magazine. A few months ago, the band performed on Saturday Night Live; in September, they'll be playing three nights at Radio City Music Hall.

And right in the midst of all the fame and stardom is Bronxville native Chris Baio.

"I never would have predicted to be part of a band as successful as VW when I was in high school," Baio, 25, told MyHometownBronxville. "Playing music for a living has been my dream since I was 13 years old, but I definitely never counted on things going that way." So how did he go from the 'burbs to playing bass in one of the country's hottest rock bands?

Baio says he got his start in the Bronxville School. "Having the chance to play in band, jazz band, pep band, and musicals was definitely important to me," he remembers. Under the tutelage of former BHS music teacher Bob Smith, Baio learned to play everything from keyboard and guitar to drums and marimba. He also learned not to expect virtuosity at every instrument, "which definitely informs the way I think about music now."

And Baio did his share of playing in local bands. "I have some pretty vivid memories of playing empty clubs at places like the Continental [in New York City] when I was in high school," he notes. "I also remember playing a couple shows in high school at the Reformed Church which was great. I feel like being a teenager in the suburbs and playing rock music in churches go pretty well together."

Baio joined Vampire Weekend four years ago at the invitation of the other members, who were a year ahead of him at Columbia University. And, as he tells it, the band was almost an instant hit with fans. "From the start a lot of people were psyched about our music which definitely felt special," Baio says. "To have been able to only grow from there has definitely been surreal at times, from our first tours in a minivan to playing festivals in Europe and Asia."

And that's where he and the rest of Vampire Weekend spend most of their time these days-on tour. "We plan on being on the road for the next year or so," Baio reports, and then record their third album. In the meantime, he lives in Brooklyn with enough anonymity that when the band heard their new album Contra was the country's best-selling record, Baio says, "I spent the day ... doing laundry down the street from my apartment."

When he has time, Baio comes back to Bronxville, where his mom still lives. "I always like getting coffee at Slave to the Grind, what a place!" he remarks. "I also had some peppermint schnapps at Palmer Lounge when I went home the day before last Christmas Eve, which was super festive."

Between the oodles of fans, the constant touring, and the overnight success, Baio says the experience has been "really incredible." Which is also a pretty accurate description of Vampire Weekend.

So the next time you turn on the radio and find yourself bopping along to "Cousins" or singing along to "Giving Up the Gun," music that merges the sounds of the world with red-blooded American rock, just listen to the baseline for traces of Bronxville.

Pictured here: Left to right: Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio, Christopher Tomson, and Ezra Koenig, members of Vampire Weekend rock band.

Photo by Soren Solkoer Starbird


John Corry: Bigger and Better in the Berkshires; The New Clark Art Museum

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  Aug. 27, 2014: Less than three hours from Bronxville is a beautifully expanded museum whose bucolic surroundings complement its lovely landscapes and other fine paintings. In the late 1940s,...

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Books & the Arts Directory

Art Restoration and Framing

Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville

The Fine Arts Gallery is a beautiful gallery in the heart of our village. It sells original art and specializes in local artists from Bronxville past and present. It provides high end custom framing, art consulting, restoration and appraisals. Appointments are available upon request. It also sells the Historical Conservancy Journals which include a history of the village as well as the artists who have lived here and are presenting living here ($20/copy).

The gallery is open Wednesday - Saturday 9am - 5pm (Closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday)

99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Noel Fine Arts

Framing and vintage watch sale 15% off through January 31st, 2012.  Bring in your damaged art work for a free consultation for an appraisal or a restoration.  Bring in your vintage watch for a free evaluation on it's value or to have it repaired.  We do trades - trade in your old watch for a newer one or another model.

33 Terrace Place
Corner of Garfield & Terrace
Tuckahoe, New York
914-337-4050 - Wed - Sat 10am - 5pm or appointment

Objects & Images Fine Arts

44 Pondfield Road, Suite 12
Bronxville, New York 10708

The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College

171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
Sarah Underhill, Director of Programs and Community Relations
914-337-9020 x2173

Books & Culture

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the "Bronxville Model School." The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children. The schedule of events for adults and young adults is posted at

All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.
The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Gabriella Radujko, Director

Bronxville Public Library | 914 337 9462 | |

Concordia College

Concordia College offers “a myriad of cultural offerings for the entire family.” They are particularly well known for the Concordia Conservatory, which is “dedicated to nurturing the creativity of all students - - whether pre-schoolers, beginners in music or aspiring professionals.” They offer private instruction and encourage students to play in ensembles. They also offer community musical programs and summer camps. Concordia also offers many cultural programs and events throughout the year.

For more information about upcoming events, contact Sheryl Donner, Director of Community Relations.

Kathleen Suss, Director of Concordia Conservatory Sarah Underhill, Director of Programs and Community Relations, OSilas Gallery

Concordia College
171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Sarah Lawrence College

In addition to offering courses in the arts for college age students as well as adults, Sarah Lawrence has numerous events open to the public including lectures, art exhibits, concerts and dance performances.

For more information, go to

Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, New York 10708


Womrath is a located in the heart of Bronxville village. In addition to selling books, the store also holds readings both at the store and elsewhere in the community, such as at the Library.

Music Schools


Ballet Arts-The Performing Arts Center of Southern Westchester

Established in 1977, Ballet Arts-The Performing Arts Center of Southern Westchester offers a complete program of Performing Arts education for all ages. 28 teachers conduct over 60 classes per week including Ballet with piano accompaniment, Jazz, Ballroom, Tap, Irish Step, Lyrical Dance and Hip-Hop. New this spring is Creative Movement and Story Time Dance for 2 and 3 year old boys and girls. Fitness classes include Zumba, Pilates & personal training. Classes are available for students ages 2 to Adult in every skill level. Private Dance, Voice & Instrument Lessons at our studio or in your home are available by appointment. Seasonal and Summer Performing Arts Camps.

Themed Birthday Parties-Children and parents enjoy play dance and music with our staff-you have fun and we'll clean up.

Centre Stage is our on site Dance, Gymnastics, Ice Skating and Fitness Apparel and Accessories Boutique. Specialty Dance footwear, Unique Costumes, Gifts and Collectables.
Sheran Daniele, Founder & Artistic Director.
504 Fifth Avenue, Pelham
914 738 8300

Crestwood Music Education Center

Crestwood Music Education Center, founded in 1987, has established itself as one of the most reputable and premier music schools in Westchester County with well over 800 students studying piano, guitar voice, Suzuki and much more. Their philosophy is to create a very positive, stimulating environment that gives each student the chance for creative self-expression. They believe in the importance of having a world-class faculty with extensive education as well as the teaching and performing experience that can only found in America's finest music schools.

453 White Plains Road
Eastchester, New York 10709


Art, Drama, Music & Books Recent Articles


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