Undead Music Festival 2012 Preview
A Who’s Who of Contemporary Jazz and Beyond
The promoters behind Undead Music Festival know a thing or two about stacked line-ups. Adam Schatz of Search and Restore and Brice Rosenbloom of Boom Collective are also the masterminds behind the Winter Jazz Festival which takes over Greenwich Village every January for an excellent primer on contemporary jazz. Just like the winter edition, the upcoming Undead Music Festival features a variety of acts from across the spectrum of modern jazz and beyond, but stretches beyond the confines of Lower Manhattan for a musical adventure across New York City.
May 9 – A Greenwich Village Marathon
Following in the footsteps of the Winter Jazz Festival, this night will feature acts at three Village venues – Le Poisson Rouge, Sullivan Hall and Kenny’s Castaways. Of particular note is the line-up at LPR, which is billed as a Tonic reunion. For almost a decade until its closing in 2007, Tonic was the best spot in the city to catch experimental jazz, and many members of the Tonic community are also familiar faces in the Undead Music Festival rotation. Perhaps the act most indicative of the Tonic ethos is Steven Bernstein’s Sex Mob, sure to bring their signature precision brassy onslaught. Other highlights include Yuka Honda of 1990s alt-weirdos Cibo Matto, the ambient post-rock TV On The Radio side project Stabbing Eastward, and the avant jazz Chicago Underground Duo.
May 10 – Medeski Martin and Wood with special guests
There may not be a better trio of improvisational artists in the jazz scene than John Medeski, Billy Martin and Chris Wood. To see them perform is to watch a group of virtuoso musicians engage in an enthralling conversation that has now been going on for over 20 years. Adept as they are alone, they have always had a penchant for collaboration with like-minded performers from John Scofield to DJ Logic to Marc Ribot. This night will capitalize on the trio’s welcoming nature with one set of the trio proper, one set where a guest will replace a band member for each song, and a final set featuring the band and multiple guests. As if MMW alone isn’t talented enough, the guests will include jam scene stars like Marco Benevento and Living Colour’s Vernon Reid. This night at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple is not to be missed.
May 11 – Night of the Living DIY
This night is where Undead takes a turn for the abnormal. Instead of carefully curated acts at central locations, the events take place at scattered venues unified by the Do It Yourself philosophy that is so familiar to artists that fall outside the conventional borders of the genre. When the biggest act on the line-up for the evening is a big band tribute to Icelandic freak folk troubador Bjork (Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra), you know you’re well outside the standard parameters of jazz. Music will be taking place at warehouses and private homes across the Brooklyn area, but also across the country, and even as far as Denmark and Norway. For a truly weird experience, be sure to catch Talibam! at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge in Bushwick.
May 12 – Improvised Round Robin Duets
The whirlwind of events wraps up at 92Y Tribeca with an intriguing structure sure to produce some very interesting jams. There will be 17 musicians and they will perform two at a time, with one swapping in for another randomly. It is a bit confusing and peculiar, but in an era where even improv-heavy acts can easily fall into familiar grooves, this format will strip away comfort zones and create an environment of pretense-free organic improvisation by some truly talented individuals.
For Additional Info:
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