Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble returns to Baltimore’s An die Musik

October 16th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
November 18, 2011
8:00 pm
9:30 pm


The Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble, led by composer Steve Hudson – piano/melodica, and featuring Zach Brock – violin, Jody Redhage – cello/voice, and Martin Urbach – cajon/percussion, returns to play a live show backing their critically acclaimed album “Galactic Diamonds” – on Friday, November 18th, 8 and 9:30pm, at An die Musik, 409 N. Charles Street, Baltimore. Call 888.221.6170 or 410.385.2638 for more info. There is a $10 cover charge.

Recent praise for their newest recording, Galactic Diamonds:

“the debut recording from his Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble, Galactic Diamonds, is a collection of little gems.” — All About Jazz

“Once in a while something comes over the transom here that’s so disarmingly fun that it’s impossible to resist: the Steve Hudson’s Chamber Ensemble new album, Galactic Diamonds is a prime example. It’s a good-naturedly eclectic mix of third stream jazz with a catchy, quirky pop edge.” — Lucid Culture

“Whether pushing the envelope with energetic improvisations or crafting more gradually developing essays, the Steve Hudson Ensemble is consistently engaging.” — Christian Carey, Signal To Noise

Praised by Keyboard Magazine for his “exquisite compositions” and for “a quest for beauty in his lines that evoke the masters,” Steve Hudson has worked with Steven Bernstein, James Zollar, Marcus Rojas, and Claire Daly. Zach Brock has performed and recorded with Stanley Clarke, Joel Harrison, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, while Jody Redhage currently tours with bassist Esperanza Spalding and has performed with the Tokyo String Quartet, and Bang on a Can.  Martin Urbach has shared the stage with Lee Konitz and Dave Liebman. The ensemble was recently selected to perform at Chamber Music America’s national conference in New York in January 2011, and in March 2011 toured Italy and Austria to promote “Galactic Diamonds.”

Steve Hudson is a pianist and composer based in New York City whose compositions and piano style embrace the history of jazz, blues, folk, and modern classical music, all with a free spirited love of improvisation. Recently, Steve and saxophonist Claire Daly premiered an extended suite at the Juneau Jazz Festival dedicated to the Alaskan explorer Mary Joyce which they also took to Jazz at Lincoln Center.

American Pianist Matthew McCright Plays the Music of Gene Gutchë

October 2nd, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »

Pianist Matthew McCright and Centaur Records are pleased to announce the release of Mr. McCright’s latest solo album, Piano Music of Gene Gutchë. The CD features five varied compositions showcasing the work of this accomplished composer. The recording of these major works for piano by German-born Gutchë (1907- 2000) shows the broad expanse of this Guggenheim Prize-winning composer’s output, championed by one of the most sought-after pianists in contemporary music.

Championed by many soloists and orchestras throughout his lifetime his music was performed across the country and he was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Prize. With a compositional style that defies classification his music often appears to use elements of the German-Romantic tradition mixed with modernist elements; using intense dissonance, driving rhythms, register shifts, and tempo flux.

Compositions on Piano Music of Gene Gutchë:
1. Theme and Variations
2. C Minor Fugue
3. Utilitarian Fugue
4. Sonata, Op. 32, No. 1
5. Sonata, Op. 32, No. 2

» Read more: American Pianist Matthew McCright Plays the Music of Gene Gutchë

27th Annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius, sponsored by the Chinese Fine Arts Society

October 2nd, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
October 23, 2011
November 20, 2011
3:00 pm


Held every year in late October, at the time of the birthday of the legendary Chinese philosopher, hundreds of young musicians compete in the annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius (MFHC), where they perform selected Chinese music, as well as a western piece of their choosing, for a panel of judges. The Festival this year, although not open to the general public, will take place Sunday, October 23rd at the Sherwood Conservatory of Music. The deadline for application was September 19, – complete information is at www.chinesefinearts.org.

All first prize winners of the MFHC are invited to perform at the Annual Winners Concert. This yearʼs concert will be held on Sunday, November 20 at 3:00 pm at the historic Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. As always, this concert is free and open to the public. Parents and family, as well as the public, get the chance to hear and enjoy various musical pieces, originating from both the East and West. More information about the Chicago Cultural Center is at www.chicagoculturalcenter.org or by calling 312 744 6630.

» Read more: 27th Annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius, sponsored by the Chinese Fine Arts Society

Vital Vox Festival at Brooklyn’s New ROULETTE, Nov. 5-6

September 19th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
November 5, 2011
8:00 pm
November 6, 2011
8:00 pm


VITAL VOX: A VOCAL FESTIVAL explores the myriad power of the human voice in its solo and ensemble forms across a multitude of genres. The 3rd Annual festival will take place on November 5 and 6 at 8pm, at the brand new Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY (2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, G, D, M, N, R, B & Q trains and the LIRR). Tickets are $15 ($10 Students/Seniors/Members) and can be purchased at www.roulette.org or by calling 917-267-0363. VITAL VOX (www.vitalvoxfest.com) celebrates composer-performers in the vocal arts who stretch and expand the voice in new and original ways, continuing a strong contemporary tradition developed in the United States.

Over the course of two diverse evenings VITAL VOX explores “Voice + Keys” as well as “Voice + Strings.” The first evening will explore vocal works supported by keyboard instruments, whether the keys of the piano or ‘keys’ of a laptop. The second will delve into vocal music utilizing traditional western string instruments such as the cello and violin alongside world instruments like the bowed psaltery, hurdy gurdy and Finnish kantele. Performances draw from wide-ranging international influences and genres including jazz, experimental, contemporary, free improvisation, world music, and interactive electro-acoustic; Morse code, audio sampling, a house plant and theater collide in a heady, appealing mix of experimentation.

The November 5, 2011 program (Voice + Keys) includes ‘Vor an Sicht’ by Judith Berkson; ‘Scaling’ performed by Gelsey Bell and Paul Pinto; ‘{kaleid-o-phone}’ performed by Dafna Naphtali.

The November 6, 2011 program (Voice + Strings) includes ‘Wood in the Wind’ performed by Iva Bittova; Toby Twining Music (Toby Twining & Malina Rauschenfels); SoCorpo (Sasha Bogdanowitsch & Sabrina Lastman)

VITAL VOX premiered in May 2009 at Teatro IATI (International Theatre Arts Institute) in the East Village and continued in 2010 at ISSUE Project Room. Since its founding, the Festival has brought together some of the most talented & creative vocalists in NYC, and featured nearly 20 projects and 30 vocalists. Sasha Bogdanowitsch & Sabrina Lastman are Artistic Directors for the festival, which is produced by World in One & Roulette. Roulette is a major New York City venue for contemporary music and intermedia art, internationally recognized for the presentation and promotion of experimental contemporary music, an incubator for young talent and a laboratory where new ideas and new technologies are examined, appraised and developed.
VITAL VOX 2011 PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS:

» Read more: Vital Vox Festival at Brooklyn’s New ROULETTE, Nov. 5-6

Erica Mott’s The Victory Project

September 15th, 2011 by Peter McDowell No comments »
October 7, 2011
8:00 pm
October 8, 2011
8:00 pm
October 9, 2011
7:00 pm

Chicago Dance Makers Forum 2010 Lab Artist Erica Mott and the Chicago Park District present The Victory Project Trilogy — a series of performance installations, solos, duets and trios focused on the female body as a representation of the nation state and victory in art, political propaganda and literature addressing specific moments in time from the ancient Greco-Roman era to present day. This evening length work, to be held October 6 – 9, 2011 at Northerly Island, incorporates image, text, movement and elements of puppetry to dismantle body parts and allegories that fuse and confuse patriotism and perversity.

The Victory Project Trilogy features movement by Joy Davis, Silvita Diaz-Brown, Suzy Grant, Karen Faith, Melissa McNamara and Erica Mott developed through intensive research and training in Mott’s unique interdisciplinary methodology. Influenced by Bunraku puppetry, Jacques Lecoq, Phillip Zarilli and Euginio Barba of Teatro Odin, Mott developed a hybrid choreography highlighting the energetic relation between dancer site and object. Award-winning Chicago composer Ryan Ingebritsen adds a shifting soundscape generated directly from the dancers’ movement and mixed live.

“My choreography highlights the curious body in unusual and often transformational moments, allowing a journey into an ever-evolving landscape for the viewer. Sometimes warped, often political and irreverent this world invites the spectator the re-view and re-envision their own environment,” said Mott.

The Victory Project started as a series of conversations Mott had with female veterans of the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf War in addition to interviews with women living during World War II including some of the original Rosie-the-Riveters. These casual conversations left her wondering if victory is truly a gendered notion and if so what does that mean for women as we become more integrated into a male constructed and dominated military? Deeper historical and theoretical research followed in an attempt to address the complicated relationships between the female form and notions of victory.

The Victory Project Trilogy runs Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm from October 6 – 9, 2011 at Northerly Island Visitor Center, 1400 S. Lynn White Drive, Chicago. CTA bus line #146 (Marine-Michigan), CTA Red/ Orange/ Green Line to Roosevelt & State Station. Parking available in the north parking Lot. Bike rack also available. Tickets are $17/$12 Students. Bicyclists receive a $10 discount price – bring your helmet as proof ($2 from each ticket price goes toward Chicago Park District Programming). For more information contact info@victoryproject.com or purchase tickets online. Visit www.ericamott.com for more information about The Victory Project Trilogy.

Erica Mott is a choreographer, puppeteer, performance maker, and cultural organizer who utilizes body based sculptural forms (mask/costume/object), and transforms discarded materials and disregarded spaces. Using the tools of humor and surprise, she captures and heightens the magic and mystery of the mundane and invites communities to re-view and re-envision shared spaces and practices. Erica’s recent site-specific performances were featured at Ingenuity Fest (Cleveland), SOMArts/Performance Art Institute (San Francisco), NES (Iceland), Museo del Ferrocarril (Mexico), CAD Special Exhibitions Space/Artopolis. Erica performs with Synapse Arts Collective, Blair Thomas and Company, and has collaborated nationally with Tim Miller, Eighth Blackbird, Sharon Bridgforth, Coman Poon/re[public] in/decency, and Guillermo Gomez-Pena. She continues to work with Gomez-Pena’s collective, La Pocha Nostra as a core troupe member. Erica recently was awarded The Santa Fe Art Institute Residency and the Chicago Dancemakers Forum Fellowship. She is funded by the City of Chicago Community Arts Assistance Program, The Driehaus Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council. Erica serves as the Director of Education and Community Programming at Links Hall, Chicago.