Festival of New Trumpet Music Coming to NYC Sept.-Oct.


The 10th Anniversary edition of the Festival of New Trumpet Music will take place Sept. 8-Oct. 7 in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Directed by trumpeter Dave Douglas and presented by FONT Music, the festival is described in a press release as a “multi-genre, multi-venue celebration of new trumpet music by the instrument’s most creative musicians.”

In a statement, Douglas said, “For our tenth festival we decided to go back to the full month model, a blowout of creative music that spans generations and genres that is our biggest festival since the early days when we had residency at Tonic. We’re book-ending the festival with two great free events: Stephanie Richards’ Rotations Rotations and Claudio Roditi with the West Point Jazz Knights. In between we’ve commissioned creative pioneers like Charles Tolliver, Tom Harrell and Jack Walrath, and emerging talents like Adam O’Farrill, Alicia Rau, Bruce Harris and Douglas Detrick. We’re really excited to co-curate with yMusic at Rockwood Music Hall, bringing up the NO BS! Brass Band from Virginia. I am also proud to present my own new project, featuring singer Aoife O’Donovan on music from Be Still.”


Saturday, September 8, 6:30-7 p.m.:
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jane’s Carousel, DUMBO, between the Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges. FREE!

FONT’S 10th Anniversary Celebration and Grand Opening—Rotations, Rotations by Stephanie Richards
Rotations, Rotations is a site-specific performance composed and directed by Stephanie Richards, who will be joined by nine moving brass and percussion players performing with the nostalgic sounds of the carousel’s “mechanical band.”

September 13-15:
The Jazz Gallery, all concerts 9 & 10:30 p.m., 290 Hudson St, NYC, http://www.jazzgallery.org
Curated by Taylor Ho Bynum

Thursday, September 13—Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble—Pre-Concert Talk at 8pm. Chamber-Jazz quintet Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble gives the world premiere of its Chamber Music America-commissioned The Bright and Rushing World: Suite for Five Musicians.

Friday, September 14—Adam O’Farrill performing new music with a new group including Luis Perdomo, piano; and Burniss Traviss, bass and Nasheet Waits, drums, with a special guest on trumpet.

Saturday, September 15—Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet performing new music for his sextet.

Wednesday, September 19:
The Checkout: Live from 92YTribeca featuring Dave Douglas Quintet with special guest Aoife O’Donovan. 92YTribeca, 8 p.m., 200 Hudson St, $12.00, The Checkout Live from 92YTribeca Co-produced by The Checkout-WBGO & NPR

Dave Douglas Quintet with special guest Aoife O’Donovan—CD Release

Thursday and Friday, September 20 and 21:
University Settlement—8pm, 189 Allen St # 1, NYC, University Settlement

September 20—The Spaces In Between with Sao Paulo Underground—Cornetist Rob Mazurek and choreographer/artist Marianne Kim’s FONT-commissioned collaboration grown out of the meditative environments of Mazurek’s solo performances at the Rothko Chapel, in Houston, TX and at the Abbaye Royale de Fontevrau, France.

September 21—TILT Brass performs music by Dave Ballou, the latest installment of Nate Wooley’s 7-Storey Mountain, and Louis Andreissen’s De Volharding for brass sextet and a cast of special guests.

Sunday, September 23:
The Village Zendo – 7 p.m., 588 Broadway, NYC, Suite 1108. $20 Suggested Donation, http://www.villagezendo.org

Villagers and Trumpet: FONT Music at the Village Zendo: Natsuki Tamura and Josh Deutsch each present duo sets of their music in an intimate and diverse concert at the beautiful Village Zendo

September 26-27:
Smalls Jazz Club—Sets at 7:30, 9 and 10:30 p.m., 183 West 10th St, NYC, $20, http://www.smallsjazzclub.com

Wednesday, September 26—Dave Chisholm’s Calligraphy, Bruce Harris Group, Jon Crowley’s Heart of Darkness

Thursday, September 27—Alicia Rau’s aRAUz, John Raymond Group, David Weiss Group

September 30:
Rockwood Music Hall—Doors 6:30 p.m., 196 Allen St, NYC, $12, Rockwood Music Hall

Sunday, September 30, 7 p.m.—yMusic, 8pm—No BS! Brass

October 4-7:
Jazz Standard—showtimes 7:30 and 9:30 with an 11:30 set on October 5 and 6, 116 East 27th St, NYC, Jazz Standard

Jack Walrath, Charles Tolliver and Tom Harrell all perform new music commissioned by FONT Music.
October 4—Jack Walrath
October 5—RETROFORWARD ™, Charles Tolliver & Music Inc/Continuum
October 6—Tom Harrell
October 7—West Point Jazz Knights featuring Claudio Roditi. FREE

The Heart Of The Song: A Q&A with John Oates

American Songwriter
July 31st, 2012

This month John Oates helps select the winner of American Songwriter’s first Coffeehouse Tour. We talked with Oates about his current work with up-and-coming artists, working in Nashville, and the challenges of building an audience while on tour.

You and Daryl Hall have shown a lot of interest in up-and-coming musicians. Between his webcast, Live at Daryl’s House, and your sit-ins and co-writing with younger musicians, what makes you guys so interested in the future generations of music?

We’re both songwriters at heart, Daryl and I. From the very beginning that’s how our career got started; before we became pop stars and all that crap, really we were songwriters, and that’s how we think of ourselves to this day. We have a great respect for songwriters regardless of if they’re veterans or newcomers. But the newcomers are exciting. As a more experienced writer, someone who has a lot of years and songs under his belt, I feel like I can bring a certain thing to the mix and the collaboration that’s based on experience: certain types of references– of course my references are usually a lot older, but sometimes that can be very hip. At the same time, the younger songwriters bring an energy, and perhaps a new way of looking at things that I might not have. I think it’s a synergy that works really well.

You’ve done sit-ins with everyone from Donavon Frankenreiter to Umphrey’s McGee. What attracts you to collaborating with someone?

Well, because I like them; I like them as people, and I like their music. Donavon is really a cool guy. I love the way his lifestyle is represented in his music, and he’s a good person.The Umphrey’s guys, they’re consummate musicians. I like the way their references are a lot of the ‘80s stuff that I was so involved in. So when I get together with them, they’re recreating a lot of those references for me, whether we’re playing actual classic ‘80s song, or I’m jumping in with them on some more progressive stuff. And for me, it’s a challenge to play with a band like Umphrey’s; I wouldn’t consider myself a progressive instrumentalist. It makes me stretch; it makes me really set the bar a lot higher. It opens up a window to my guitar playing. I always see it as, if there’s nothing positive about the mashup, then it’s not going to work. So I look at how I can benefit and how I can help them.

Do you have any dream collaborators?

Oh yes, so many. In fact I just finished two tracks with a group called Yarn. They’re great, I heard them at Music City Roots. They’re a New York-based progressive bluegrass and Americana band. I wrote two songs with their singer, Blake Christiana. He and I really hit it off, and I think the two songs we wrote are great. I’m very excited for those guys. I’m also working with a really amazing singer-songwriter named Daphne Willis. She’s based in Nashville, originally from Chicago. She has one of the greatest voices I’ve ever heard. She and I have been writing along with her producer, Tim Lauer. We have about five or six songs under our belt. Oh, there’s just so many. I’ve been working with Jim Lauderdale. Jim makes an album about once a week [laughs].

He and I have written a whole bunch of songs, a few of which he has recorded for his upcoming album. I love working with Jim, because he’s such a unique individual. He brings an authenticity, and a certain kind of country sensibility to our collaboration. And I bring a little bit more of the musical sophistication. I think when you bring those two things together, you get a really cool mix.

I’d heard you were co-writing in Nashville. What kind of songs are you working on? Anything in the vein of Nashville?

Well, you know, I don’t try to be who I’m not. I didn’t come to Nashville to put on a cowboy hat and pretend to be a country singer. My attraction to Nashville as Music City is the variety and flexibility: the fact that there’s so many musicians at your disposal, so many amazing studios and talented people that you can draw from. It’s just a very inspiring place to be when you know that at 3 a.m., if you need an accordion player, you can probably find one. I try to be myself, but at the same time I’m learning a lot, and I’m pulling from not only from the well of inspiration that I’m getting from Nashville, but I’m pulling from my roots. I’m pulling from the stuff that made me want to be a musician way before I met Daryl Hall. This was the stuff that I liked as a kid, rural and delta blues, folk, appalachian music, early rock, early R&B. That’s becoming the bedrock of my solo career, but now I’m getting back into some original songs. I’ve actually been on an incredible writing tear recently, just writing like a madman. I have some really cool songs that I’m getting ready for a project down the road. I’m not rushing into it. I put out Mississippi Mile about a year and a half ago, and I put out a live album called The Bluesville Sessions six months ago, so I’ve had a lot of recordings out there floating around. This next one I’m going to do, I’m really going to take my time with, because it’s going to be all originals. It’s something I really want to craft in a certain way.

You’re judging the Fishman’s American Songwriter Coffeehouse Tour contest. What will you be looking for from the entrants?

Quality, quality, quality, quality. One of the things about judging a songwriting contest– and I’ve had a little bit of experience judging for the Aspen Songwriters Festival, which I produce out in Aspen, Colorado, and I helped Jim Lauderdale pick some songs for the Merlefest songwriter contest– sometimes it’s tough to separate the recording from the song. And I think that’s got to be very discerning when you’re being a judge, because you can’t get seduced into liking the record or liking the playing. You have to hear through all of that to the song inside the recording. You know the old saying, “You can dress up a pig, but it’s still a pig.” Sometimes you can make that mistake. You can hear a song that might not have a lot going on, but because of the way it’s presented production wise, and the quality of the recording and the players, you can start thinking it’s a little more than it is. And that’s the kind of thing I look for; I just go right to the heart of the song. Does the music enhance what the lyrics are trying to say? Is it unique? Is it well crafted? Does it bring a new idea or a new voice to a set of chords and melodies? There’s a lot to it, and I’m just going to be as impartial and fair as I can be, and just look for the best songs possible.

It sounds like we have similar values when judging music.

Well, anyone who truly loves music I think has the same values.

The winner of the contest will play ten coffeehouse gigs across the northeast. Can you talk about the importance of building an audience on tour?

As usual, building an audience is never easy. It’s always been tough. You just have to work hard, really. You have to get out there and play a lot of dates. You have to engage your fans; in this day in social media that’s become an integral part of the process. Keep them engaged, keep them interested, because it’s too easy for the audience to move onto something new. They’re being barraged with something new everyday. I think it’s just a matter of making people believe that you’re for real, entertaining them, turning them on, exciting them, and being there for them. Make sure that they know you have a passion for it, and hopefully they’ll buy into that.

Premiere: Ryan Bingham, “Heart of Rhythm” (Lyric Video) – American Songwriter

July 30th, 2012

Check out the lyric video for the hard rocking “Heart of Rhythm,” off Ryan Bingham’s fourth studio album Tommorowland, which drops September 18th on his own label, Axster Bingham Records.

Bingham cut the record, the followup to 2010′s Junky Star, without his longtime band The Dead Horses.

“On this record I had a lot more time to work on the songs and to work on the recording as well. I played all of the electric guitar on the record, which is a change,” Bingham tells American Songwriter in a Q&A in our upcoming September/October issue. “I’ve been playing a lot of electric over the past couple years. I’ve been trying to learn a lot about that. It’s definitely a lot louder, and a lot more electric guitar, and a lot more focused in that direction.”

Bingham will launch a U.S. tour in September.

Ryan Bingham – Heart of Rhythm Official

Elvis Costello, “Veronica” – American Songwriter

uly 30th, 2012

Elvis Costello has had pretty good success with songs named after girls. “Alison,” off his debut album, is still one of his signature songs after all these years. And his biggest American chart success came with a song about another girl dear to his heart, albeit not in a romantic way.

“Veronica”, found on E.C’s 1989 solo album Spike, was inspired by his grandmother and her battle with Alzheimer’s disease. In the memorable video to the song, Costello gives a moving monologue about his experience with his grandmother as the disease began to rob her of her mental faculties: “Sometimes we’d just sit there, and she wouldn’t say anything, and I wouldn’t say anything, and you could try and work out what was going on in her head. But I think it’s something we don’t understand. Not yet anyway.”

A song about such a serious disease could have turned into an exercise in TV-movie sentimentality in less-skilled hands. While Costello refers to the disease’s debilitating nature at times in the song (“These days I’m afraid she’s not even sure/If her name is Veronica,”) he refuses to portray his main character as a victim.

It helps that the musical setting to the song is so fetching and energetic. Some credit goes to Elvis’ co-writer on the song, an unknown by the name of Paul McCartney. It’s Macca’s Hofner bass that propels the catchy melody, and Paul’s influence can also be found in the way that Costello’s words are more economical than one might normally expect from him.

As anyone who’s ever dealt with someone with Alzheimer’s can tell you, the second verse, in which the character’s mind seems to rocket back and forth in time, is especially trenchant. Remembering a long-ago romance, Veronica brings him right back with her into the present day: “She spoke his name out loud again.”

Notice how Costello dwells on the import of Veronica’s name. She forgets it, others get it wrong, but, in her youth, she wore that name like a badge of honor: “You can call me anything you like/But my name is Veronica.” By losing her mind, she is also slowly losing her identity, one of the disease’s most insidious side effects.

Yet Costello imagines her inner life as something rich and rewarding to which the rest of the world isn’t privy. In the refrain, he sings, “Do you suppose that, waiting hands on eyes, Veronica has gone to hide?/And all the time she laughs at those who shout her name and steal her clothes.”

One of the great perks of being a songwriter is the ability to rewrite reality and make it more palatable than it might otherwise be. Elvis Costello provides such a service on “Veronica,” a marvelous bit of wish fulfillment that grants dignity to someone suffering from a disease determined to rob it from her.


Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?
What goes on in that place in the dark?
Well, I used to know a girl
And I could have sworn
That her name was Veronica
Well, she used to have
A carefree mind of her own
And a delicate look in her eye
These days, I’m afraid
She’s not even sure
If her name is Veronica

Do you suppose that waiting hands on eyes
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those
Who shout her name and steal her clothes
Veronica, Veronica

Did her days drag by, did the favors wane?
Did he roam down the town all the while?
Will you wake from your dream
With a wolf at the door
Reaching out for Veronica?
Well, it was all of 65 years ago
When the world was the street
Where she lived
And a young man sailed
On a ship in the sea
With a picture of Veronica

On the Empress of India
And as she closed her eyes upon the world
And picked upon the bones of last week’s news
She spoke his name out loud again

Do you suppose that waiting hands on eyes
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those
Who shout her name and steal her clothes
Veronica, Veronica

Veronica sits in the favorite chair
She sits very quiet and still
And they call her a name
That they never get right
And if they don’t, then nobody else will
But she used to have
A carefree mind of her own
With devilish look in her eye
Saying, “You can call me
Anything you like
But my name is Veronica”

Do you suppose that waiting hands on eyes
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those
Who shout her name and steal her clothes
Oh, oh

By Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney

Elvis Costello – Veronica

Offstage With Beat Connection In Brooklyn

American Songwriter
July 12th, 2012

Jarred Katz, Jordan Koplowitz, and Tom Eddy of Beat Connection.

Offstage With Beat Connection In Brooklyn
Seattle electro-poppers Beat Connection photographed in Williamsburg, Brooklyn before their July 5th performance at the Knitting Factory. Their North American tour continues throughout the summer. Beat Connection’s debut LP The Palace Garden is out now.
July 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Dirty Projectors – At Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg

Dirty Projectors, fresh off the release of their latest, Best New Music-awarded LP, Swing Lo Magellan, appeared at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg July 8, along with opener Dustin Wong.

Check out a selection of shots after the jump, then wath the film trailer.

The entire set was streamed live on the Bowery Presents YouTube channel. Watch that below, as well as the trailer for Dirty Projectors’ upcoming film Hi Custodian, which is coming soon to Pitchfork.tv on YouTube.

Dirty Projectors, Dustin Wong

Dirty Projectors “Hi Custodian” – Trailer

The trailer for “Hi Custodian”, a Dirty Projectors film by David Longstreth featuring music from the band’s upcoming album Swing Lo Magellan.

Hi Custodian – A Film By David Longstreth – Coming Soon

‘Swing Lo Magellan’ is out July 9/10th on Domino.

Dirty Projectors LIVE – At Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg

Pictures from the Concert:

Photos: Colin Kerrigan