RUSS GERSHON and JOHN MULKERIN
Boiler House Jazz proudly presents the first time duo collaboration between Russ Gershon, saxophonist/arranger/composer and leader of Either/Orchestra and John Mulkerin, the long time veteran of the New York downtown jazz scene and member of the groundbreaking and influential group called Defunkt.
Mulkerin and Gershon grew up in adjacent towns in Connecticut, and began playing together in 1976, among a coterie of young players influenced by Ornette Coleman, Sam Rivers, John Coltrane et al. Although they haven’t lived in the same area since 1977, they have played together regularly since, often in a funk or rock setting.
Tonight’s program represents a new chapter, as the two horn players will go at without rhythm section, but drawing on their multi-instrumental skills, electronics and their studio experience.
Russ Gershon has been a force on the Boston music scene for almost 40 years, from early days on the rock scene with the Sex Execs to decades of international touring with his ten-piece Either/Orchestra to today’s assortment of projects including his Trio and the Latin Bugalu band Lookie Lookie.
A saxophonist/composer/arranger, he has recently added flute and reintroduced vocals to his arsenal.
At the helm of the Either/Orchestra, Gershon has headlined at the Chicago Jazz Festival, played the Glastonbury Pop Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the National Theater of Ethiopia, Sanders Theater, the Berklee Performance Center and Jordan Hall, as well as clubs like the Village Gate, Sweet Basil, Yoshi’s, Le Poisson Rouge, the Regattabar and the Green Mill. Alumni of the Either/Orchestra include John Medeski, Miguel Zenon, Matt Wilson and Jaleel Shaw. The group was one of the first non-Ethiopian explorers of now-trendy Ethiopian jazz, beginning in the 90’s, and in 2004 was the first US big band to play in Addis Ababa since Duke Ellington’s, in 1973. The group has collaborated with Ethiopian greats Mulatu Astatke, Mahmoud Ahmed, Teshome Mitiku and others, across North America and Europe. Gershon has performed with Ahmed’s band at Carnegie Hall and Wolf Trap.
Collaborators in Boston’s rock scene include the late Mark Sandman and the Willie “Loco” Alexander, as well as innumerable others live and in the studio.
John Mulkerin is a veteran of the pivotal downtown NYC punk-funk scene, having performed, toured and recorded with: Defunkt, Liquid Hips, Konk, James Chance and the Contortions, Murphy's Law, Pee Wee Ellis, William Parker, Luther Thomas and Dizzazz, Charles Bobo Shaw’s Human Arts Ensemble, I.Q., Foreign Legion, and others. He is best known as a long time member of Joseph Bowie's groundbreaking and influential band Defunkt, which was an early influence on bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, and Living Color. John toured with Defunkt throughout the '80s and early '90s performing at major international festivals such as North Sea Jazz Festival, Roskilde, Parkpop, Berlin Jazz Festival, Rome Jazz Festival, Paris Jazz Festival, and many others, as well as opening shows for Prince, The Talking Heads, The Clash, Steel Pulse, Jimmy Cliff, The Neville Brothers, and King Sunny Ade. He also fronted the crossover funk/punk/noise/rap band Liquid Hips, which released three critically acclaimed albums on Enemy Records in the ‘90s and opened shows for Public Enemy, Ice-T and The P-Funk All stars.
The classic ‘80s lineup of Defunkt has also been hitting the road in recent years in Europe.