In addition to our regularly priced tickets, we’re offering a special dinner package! Enjoy a pre-concert dinner at Varanese, one of Louisville’s finest restaurants and just a short stroll from the Clifton Center. Click here for more information.
“This young musician and composer is at once reestablishing the artistic, cultural, and social tradition of jazz while creating an entirely new jazz language for the 21st century.”
– MacArthur Foundation,2008.
Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz.
Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón studied classical saxophone at the Escuela Libre de Música in Puerto Rico before receiving a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from Berklee College of Music, and a master’s degree in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music. Zenón’s more formal studies, however, are supplemented and enhanced by his vast and diverse experience as a sideman and collaborator. Throughout his career he has divided his time equally between working with older jazz masters and working with the music’s younger innovators –irrespective of styles and genres. The list of musicians Zenón has toured and/or recorded with includes: The SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, Fred Hersh, Kenny Werner, David Sánchez, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, Bobby Hutcherson and Steve Coleman.
His latest release Oye!!! Live in Puerto Rico (Miel Music, 2013) features the debut recording of The Rhythm Collective, an ensemble first put together in 2003 for a month long tour of West Africa. The group includes Aldemar Valentín on Electric Bass, Tony Escapa on Drums and Reinaldo de Jesus on percussion; all native Puerto Ricans and some of the most coveted musicians in their respective fields. Fed by the energy of the full capacity audience in attendance, the group delivers a high intensity performance which includes originals by Zenon and covers of Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va” and Silvio Rodriguez’ ”El Necio”.
He is a founding member of the groundbreaking SFJAZZ Collective, a group whose past and current members include Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman, Brian Blade, Nicholas Payton, Dave Douglas, and Eric Harland. In 2012, Zenón’s association with SFJAZZ will further expand to include his new role as resident artistic director along with Bill Frisell, Jason Moran, Regina Carter and John Santos.
Dick Sisto and the outstanding Bloomington-based bassist, Jeremy Allen, join forces for “Two For The Road.” Half of the Dick Sisto – Steve Allee Quartet, the duo are the perfect fit for the intimate on-stage experience in the Eifler Theater, in which the audience will be seated on stage with the musicians.
Dirk Powell combines deep-running roots in rural American tradition with an overarching artistic vision that speaks poignantly to the audiences of today. From learning banjo and fiddle at the feet of his grandfather in Kentucky, through founding the Louisiana Cajun group Balfa Toujours, to extensive recording and film work with such artists as Jack White, Joan Baez, T-Bone Burnett, Anthony Minghella, Loretta Lynn, and Spike Lee, Dirk has arrived at a place all his own – one where tradition, inspiration, and innovation meet without borders.
“Dirk Powell is a badass. To the bone. He is, in addition to being the greatest old-time banjo player alive, a graduate student of both mountain and Cajun fiddle styles and diatonic button accordion, an instrument that fights you back, take it from me, I’ve tried. He is a singer, songwriter, producer, recording engineer, and all in all an artist of unique vision and unbending integrity. As far as I can tell there is no genre of American roots music that Dirk doesn’t understand, no primordial mode he can’t master, no polyrhythmic code he can’t crack. He also cooks the best sauce piquante I have ever tasted. Be forewarned: Dirk Powell and I WILL make a record together someday.”–Steve Earle
Riley Baugus represents the best of old time American banjo and song. His powerful singing voice and his expert musicianship place him squarely in the next generation of the quality American roots tradition. Riley first came to music through his family. His father had left his roots in the mountains of North Carolina in the search for work, settling near Winston-Salem and bringing with him a love of old time music and a record collection that included, amongst others, the works of fellow North Carolinian Doc Watson, which touched the young Riley on a molecular level.
One fateful day, Riley got a call from longtime friend and collaborator Dirk Powell. Dirk was involved in the music direction for the Academy Award-winning film “Cold Mountain” and had convinced the producers that they needed Civil War era banjos made in the Carolina hills, specifically Riley’s handmade banjos. They also needed an authentic acapella ballad singer for the voice of Pangle, played by Ethan Suplee. Riley put the hammer down on the anvil and didn’t look back. A whirlwind Hollywood experience ensued, culminating in a place on the star studded “Great High Mountain” tour.
From there, Riley has made his own path, building in-demand instruments and performing at festivals all over the world. He made musical contributions to the Appalshop film, “Thoughts In The Presence of Fear”, and to a film by Erika Yeomans; “Grand Gorge: No God But Me”. He has worked with the Lonesome Sisters as producer and performer on their recording “Going Home Shoes“. Riley collaborated with Laurelyn Dossett and Preston Lane of Triad Stage on theatrical presentations featuring original and traditional southern Appalachian music.
This appearance by Brooklyn Rider is being presented in partnership with the Louisville Chamber Music Society.
Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Nicholas Cords, viola
Eric Jacobsen, cello
Hailed as “the future of chamber music” (Strings), the game-changing string quartet Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping performances that continue to attract legions of fans and draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble”; the Los Angeles Times dubs the group “one of the wonders of contemporary music”; and Vice likens its members to “motocross daredevils who never screw up a stunt.” Equally at home in clubs and concert halls, the quartet has played venues as varied as Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Le Poisson Rouge, Japan’s Todai-ji, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn’s Littlefield, the Library of Congress, and the South by Southwest Festival. Through visionary programming and global collaborations, Brooklyn Rider’s “down-to-earth demeanor…demystifies contemporary classical music and invites everyone into the tent” (Time Out New York).
In the 2013-14 season, following the release of The Impostor on Deutsche Grammophon/Mercury Classics on which the quartet collaborates with banjo legend Béla Fleck, Brooklyn Rider reunites with the 14-time Grammy Award-winner for a 20-city North American tour. Making stops in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Birmingham, Toronto, and more, the “banjo quintet” takes to the road this winter with a program of original music by Fleck and other Brooklyn Rider favorites, showcasing repertoire from its recent Mercury Classics album A Walking Fire. In March, the music of A Walking Fire is also featured in the first of a pair of contrasting programs at the University of Texas at Austin. There, during a weeklong residency, Brooklyn Rider is joined by superstar soprano Dawn Upshaw on a program that will then travel to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In recent seasons, the quartet made its UK debut at London’s Barbican Centre with Iranian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, and performed at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the Cologne Philharmonie, American Academy in Rome, Malmö Festival in Sweden, the Lincoln Center Festival, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and Texas’s South by Southwest Festival, where it was the only classical group with an official invitation to play. In 2013, the ensemble released A Walking Fire, praised by the Huffington Post as an “intriguing program” on the way to pointing out how Brooklyn Rider has “emerged triumphantly as a headliner.” The quartet also embarked on a second Asian tour and launched its ongoing, cross-disciplinary commissioning project, “The Brooklyn Rider Almanac.”
Brooklyn Rider is as committed to the creation of new works as it is to its dynamic interpretations of the existing quartet literature. The four musicians have worked with such composers as Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Ljova, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Shara Worden, Vijay Iyer, John Zorn, Nik Bärtsch, Padma Newsome, Greg Saunier, Ethan Iverson, Bill Frisell, Jenny Scheinman, Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky and Evan Ziporyn, besides regularly performing pieces written or arranged by members of the group. Equally integral to the quartet’s projects are creative collaborations with other artists including Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, Syrian/Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad, traditional and technology-based Japanese shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes, the trio 2 Foot Yard, singer/songwriters Christina Courtin and Suzanne Vega, and choreographers/dancers Lil Buck, Damian Woetzel, Dance Heginbotham, Brian Brooks, Wendy Whelan and Matthew Neenan. A long-standing relationship between Brooklyn Rider and Kayhan Kalhor resulted in the renowned 2008 recording Silent City, on the World Village/Harmonia Mundi label, which was selected by Rhapsody.com as one of World Music’s Best Albums of the Decade.
Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara (aka Fatou) was born of Malian parents in the Ivory Coast in 1982. As a child she became a member of her father’s dance troupe and was a popular performer of the wildly flailing didadi dance from Wassoulou, her ancestral home in western Mali. She was an energetic and headstrong girl and at the age of twelve her refusal to go to school finally prompted her parents to send her to live and be disciplined by an aunt in Bamako. She was not to see her parents again for over a decade.
Her aunt was an actress, and a few years after arriving, Fatou found herself on a film set looking after her aunt’s infant child. The film’s director was captivated by Fatou’s adolescent beauty and she was given a one line part in the final scene of the film ‘Taafe Fangan’ (‘The Power of Women’). This led to her being given a lead role by the celebrated director Cheick Omar Sissoko in his 1999 film ‘La Genèse’ (Genesis).
At the age of eighteen Fatou travelled to Paris to perform the classical Greek role of Antigone on stage. After touring with the production she returned to Mali where she was given the lead in Dani Kouyaté’s popular 2001 film ‘Sia, The Dream of the Python’. The film tells the story of a West African legend called Sia, a young girl who defies tradition. To many in Mali, Guinea, Senegal and Burkina Faso, Fatou is Sia thanks to the film’s enormous success throughout the region. Offers for further acting roles poured in but Fatou’s family wanted her to settle down and marry and forced her to announce, live on Malian television, that she was abandoning her career as an actress.
In 2002 Jean-Louis Courcoult, the director of the renowned French theatre company, Royale de Luxe, travelled to Bamako to offer Fatou a part in his new production. An unmarried woman is considered a minor in Malian society so her family’s permission was required. They refused. After much soul searching Fatou took the daring decision to run away and at Bamako airport she managed to board a plane for Paris, narrowly escaping the pursuit of the police who had been alerted to the girl’s ‘kidnapping’.
With Royal de Luxe Fatou performed a variety of roles around the world including tours in Vietnam, Mexico and throughout Europe. During rehearsals and quiet moments she took to singing backstage for her own amusement. She was overheard by the director and was soon singing solo during the company’s performances. Encouraged by the reception from audiences she began to sing in Parisian clubs and cafes during breaks from touring. Here she met Cheikh Tidiane Seck the celebrated Malian musician and producer who invited her to travel with him back to Mali to work on two projects as chorus vocalist; ‘Seya’ the GRAMMY nominated album by Mali’s star Oumou Sangaré and ‘Red Earth’ the GRAMMY winning Malian project by American jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater. When the albums were released Fatou toured worldwide as singer and dancer with both projects.
On her return to France Fatou took the role of Karaba in the popular touring musical ‘Kirikou and Karaba’. She was encouraged to take the role by her friend Rokia Traore who also inspired her to take up the guitar: “To me it was a wonderful and daring thing: a Malian girl with an acoustic guitar. Why should the guitar be only for men?” Fatou bought herself a guitar and started to teach herself, and at the same time began to write down her own compositions.
She made the decision to dedicate herself to her passion, music. She worked to complete an album’s worth of songs and started recording demos for which she composed and arranged all the titles, as well as playing guitar, percussion, bass and singing lead and harmony vocals. An introduction from Oumou Sangaré resulted in a record deal with World Circuit and the recording of her debut album.