Filtering by: Live Music

2nd Shift Concert: 75 Dollar Bill
Jun
8
7:30 PM19:30

2nd Shift Concert: 75 Dollar Bill

Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8:00pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

75 Dollar Bill is a duo from New York City featuring guitarist Che Chen and percussion player Rick Brown. Using an array of cheap, homemade and found instruments, they channel Mississippi drone blues and Arabic modal music in hypnotic, frequently ecstatic explorations. It’s some of the wildest, most mesmerizing music you’ll hear this year.

"It’s hard not to slip into ridiculous hyperbole when it comes to 75 Dollar Bill. Best band in New York City? Best band in the USA? Best band in the universe? Whatever conclusion you come to personally, you’re gonna love the instrumental duo of guitarist Che Chen and percussionist Rick Brown. – Tyler Wilcox, Aquarium Drunkard

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.

BAND WEBSITE: 75dollarbill.bandcamp.com

VIDEOS:

 

FAQs

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

The event admission is all ages. For beer and wine service, you must be 21+ with valid proof of age presented upon entry to the Museum.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is NO Museum Visitor parking at the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill facility where we are located. We ask that you use the nearby public parking facilities.

Maps and directions to both the Museum Visitor Entrance and Parking can be found here:  http://bit.ly/2d1en4D

75 DOLLAR BILL PRESS:

New York Times Profile of 75 Dollar Bill  

“They’ve definitely nailed down a thrillingly original sound, centered around Chen’s specially designed quarter-tone guitar — something about his tone cuts right to the quick, with North African riffs blending into juke-joint boogies into more avant territory. Brown’s impressively minimalist setup (he mostly plays a wooden crate) is a perfect fit, adding a hypnotic thump to the mix. The whole thing is a little hard to describe, but trust me on this: 75 Dollar Bill is amazing” –– Aquarium Drunkard

"A scorching adventure into where Rock & Roll should be. It’s unfamiliar, laden with risk and rebellion, and embodies the cross cultural collision that we should all hold as an ideal." –– Bradford Bailey, The Hum

“As Mr. Chen stood playing hypnotic guitar repetitions, moving with the stresses of the riffs, the drummer Rick Brown sat on a square wooden box, open in the back, and attacked it from above. Sometimes he used his heel to bounce on a kick-drum pedal, pointing backward toward the box; mostly he was striking the sides of the box with his hands and a homemade mallet, hard, finding different pitches in different places. He cued transitions in the music, building odd or compound rhythms, turning them around and blurring distinctions between downbeats and upbeats. On the surface, the rhythms were only secondary to the guitar lines; deeper down, they were enfolded. One couldn’t do without the other….

This band has a more specific reference point: Mauritanian music played by Moorish griots on electric guitar at weddings and special occasions. Last year, Mr. Chen, who is Taiwanese-American, studied briefly in Mauritania with one of that music’s great practitioners, the guitarist Jheich Ould Chighaly. What Mr. Chen and Mr. Brown have done since then — releasing an excellent four-song cassette on Bandcamp, and playing at bars, nonprofit spaces and on the street in Chinatown — has something to do with that Moorish tradition, but it’s also distinct by feel, temperament and material.

Musicians like Mr. Chighaly use specific ancient modes for specific functions; Mr. Chen used only a few on Saturday, on a guitar refretted like Mr. Chighaly’s to produce quarter-tones. For the rest of the set he played a regularly fretted 12-string guitar, working in scales that suggested any number of other musical traditions — including what could have passed for American blues or metal in “Water in the Lock,” which swung between an odd meter and a slow, nasty stomp.” –– Ben Ratliff, New York Times

"...[A] gloriously mind-frying, ritualistic splatter of Zen blues and Arabic and African music-influenced riff-rock repetition… –– Brad Cohan, The Observer

 

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An Evening with Mary Gauthier
Apr
27
7:30 PM19:30

An Evening with Mary Gauthier

“…Louisiana-raised Mary Gauthier has become one of Americana music’s most admired artists—across the U.S. and in her regular tours around the world.”  ––  Wall Street Journal

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Mary Gauthier

Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at approximately 8:00pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

In a Nashville bookstore, to the tune of steam hissing from a latte machine and laptop taps of nearby browsers, she speaks in a low voice, yet communicates urgently. Her voice never rises. Her music never rattles rafters or crashes like cymbals toward the high notes in a power chorus. Her tempos shuffle and trudge more than they dash.

And her songs? They're about as idiosyncratic as anything in the wide world of "popular music." They're painfully personal, especially on Trouble and Love. Yet they somehow infiltrate the souls of her listeners, no matter how different the paths they've followed through their lives.

Those songs weren't so much written as harvested by Gauthier. Though she lives not far from the hit-making mills of Music Row, she admits to knowing nothing about how to write on command.  She says, "I have to be called to write. The call comes from somewhere I don't understand, but I know it when I hear it."

That call first came to her a long time ago. Her life to that point had led her to extremes, plenty of negatives and a few brilliant bright spots. An adopted child, who became a teenage runaway, she found her first shelter among addicts and Drag Queens. Eventually she achieved renown as a chef even while balancing the running of her restaurant with the demands of addiction to heroin.

Two more successful restaurants, an escalating addiction, and a subsequent arrest, led her into sobriety. All that was rehearsal for what to follow, when she wrote her first song in her mid-thirties.

From that point, Gauthier channeled a long line of works, almost all of them eloquent in their insight, burnished by her writing technique. A core of devotees came to await each next release. Their wait ends, for now, with Trouble and Love.

This time, Gauthier's songs rise from what she describes as an especially dark period. "I started the process in a lot of grief," she explains. "I'd lost a lot. So the first batch of songs was just too sad. It was like walking too close to the fire. I had to back off from it. The truth is that when you're in the amount of grief I was in, it's an altered state. Life is not that. You go through that. We human beings have this built-in healing mechanism that's always pushing us toward life. I didn't want to write just darkness, because that's not the truth. I had to write through the darkness to get to the truth. Writing helped me back onto my feet again. This record is about getting to a new normal. It's a transformation record."

The heart of that transformation, beating within Trouble and Love, is love. But it’s not the kind of love that's celebrated on pop charts. In those tunes, love is its own end; the story stops as the giddiness sets in, with no hint of what may follow. Gauthier knows better; she has the scars to prove it.

"For me, love has been a real challenge," she admits. "Attachment has been a challenge. This record is about losing an attachment I actually made. The loss of it was devastating because I hadn't fully attached before to anyone. The good news is that I can. The even better news is that I can, and I can lose, and live. Not only do I live, but I've got a strength that I never had before."

Trouble and Love would fall or rise on the question of whether it crystalizes Gauthier's experience and conveys it to those who want to feel it, as if the poetry of her lyric can mirror and illuminate what they too have gone through. To help make this happen, she invited a small group of singers and musicians into Nashville's Skaggs Place Studio, each one chosen because of his or her ability to find the heart of the song. No one was given a lead sheet or an advance demo or even headphones. The backup vocals were invented on the spot. The microphones were vintage, and the songs were cut live, to tape. Everyone stood together in the room, playing to what they heard in the lyric as well as from what was going on in the moment.

"I took away everything that musicians lean on to feel invulnerable," she explains.

All they had to work with was a brief rundown of each song from Gauthier in the control room, right before the tape rolled. "I wanted them to feel it in real time," she continues. "You don't want to sound real with songs like this. You want to be real. That’s what I strive for as a writer, and that's what we got in the playing."

Feeling their way through the process, these extraordinary participants -- guitarist Guthrie Trapp, keyboardist Jimmy Wallace, bassist Viktor Krauss, drummer Lynn Williams and singers Beth Nielsen Chapman, Ashley Cleveland and Darrell Scott, Siobhan Kennedy and The McCrary Sisters -- probed and then brought life to Gauthier's compositions. In their hands, and in her fearless vocals, the songs resonate like tolling bells.

We hear "a body's but a prison when the soul's a refugee" in Oh Soul. The last embers of affection flicker and die on When a Woman Goes Cold, (“Scorched earth cannot burn.”) "A million miles from our first kiss, how does love turn into this?" is just one of the bitter riddles posed in False From True. Irony colors the chorus of Worthy: "Worthy, worthy what a thing to claim. Worthy, worthy, ashes into flame."

This is deep and dangerous poetry, and Gauthier leads us through it with relentless candor. Yet tenderness is always near, enough to keep us engaged through the final track, "Another Train."

"I wrote that one in England during a long, long tour," she remembers. There was a sign at a station: There'll be another train at 14:02.' So I started working with 'another train.' The song evolved. It doesn't start the way it ends. It zigged and it zagged. I let it talk to me. It's so interesting, because when I saw 'another train,' boom, that whole story was in there -- but I had to go find it. I had to dig, like an archaeologist."

In the very last line of the song is the benedictory thought of the entire album. "Another Train" bathes all of what preceded it in a glimmer of hope. It a fantastically concise and powerful ending -- and entirely intentional--  “There’ll be another train.”

"This album reflects a total human experience. Love, loss, and a life transformed." Gauthier sums up. "It's not a random collection of songs. This record is a story. It's about trust and faith and believing that there's a plan and a flow. And the flow is where the good stuff is because there's wisdom in the flow. At the core, we're all cut from the same cloth-- the same dreams, the same brokenness, the same desire for companionship and family and home. Yeah, we all have that. And if I don't go deep enough into that, it's a problem.

"There's no such thing as going too deep."

Amen to that.

ARTIST WEBSITE: www.marygauthier.com

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Mary Gauthier
Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Mary Gauthier

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2nd Shift Concert: Xylouris-White
Apr
6
7:30 PM19:30

2nd Shift Concert: Xylouris-White

Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at approximately 8:00pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

Xylouris-White is lute player George Xylouris and drummer Jim White (Dirty Three, PJ Harvey). They’re master musicians whose expansive and frequently hypnotic work is characterized by a sense of endless exploration. The duo’s use of space within its songs suggests a sense of possibility and a freedom to see, find and invent. Xylouris-White has toured relentlessly in the last few years, bringing its unmistakable music to audiences throughout Europe, Australia and North America.

“More and more, it seems the duo are inventing a new musical language, one based on deeply telepathic interplay and pure, transcendent abandon…  some of the heaviest music you’ll hear in 2016.” –– Aquarium Drunkard 

“A thrilling musical foray into avant-garde folk.” –– The Guardian

WEBSITE: www.xylouriswhite.com

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.

VIDEOS:

FAQs

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

The event admission is all ages. For beer and wine service, you must be 21+ with valid proof of age presented upon entry to the Museum.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is NO Museum Visitor parking at the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill facility where we are located. We ask that you use the nearby public parking facilities.

Maps and directions to both the Museum Visitor Entrance and Parking can be found here:  http://bit.ly/2d1en4D

BIO

When Xylouris White recorded their second album, this most intuitive and inquisitive of duos did what comes naturally to them: expanded their horizons. For George Xylouris, the Cretan lute player who partners here with the Dirty Three’s preternaturally fluent Australian drummer Jim White, one aim was to extend a core metaphor of their ruggedly visionary debut album, 2014’s Goats. “Like goats walking in the mountain” is Xylouris’ poetic analogy for their approach: “They may not know the place, but they can walk easily and take risks and feel comfortable. Really, the goats inspired us.”

That exploratory pitch is matched by the majestic Black Peak, named after a mountain top in Crete and, says Xylouris, “recorded everywhere”. A peak in both artists’ careers, the album testifies to their determination to stretch the scope of their instruments and forge something vigorously questing from more traditional roots. Where Goats was mostly instrumental, Black Peak gives Xylouris’s full-force baritone a lead role. And where Goats was often frisky, its tumultuous, tender and terrifically expressive follow-up drives harder and dives deeper.

“As we work together we can see the horizon is always open,” says Xylouris, “because that’s how we work. We give each other space, and that comes from the space we always try to give the bands and the people who we work with in the past.”

Partly, Black Peak pays testimony to both men’s remarkable histories. One of Crete’s best-loved artists, Xylouris is a scion of Greek musical royalty, a family from a mountain village near the Cave of Zeus. His father is revered singer / lyra player Psarandonis. A child when he began playing the lute, Xylouris would accompany his father in a backing role. Yet just as Psarandonis stretched the lyra’s range (“If music is measured in meter,” Psarandonis said, “I play in kilometre!”), so Xylouris elevated his eight-string laouto to the lead role in his Xylouris Ensemble.

Jim White has commanded international attention for more than two decades as part of Australia’s Dirty Three, storm’s-eye instrumental diviners whose emotionally choppy soundscapes brim with elemental force. Now New York-based, White is often found collaborating with alt-A-listers (including: Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, PJ Harvey, Nina Nastasia, Cat Power and Smog,) where his playing redeploys the rolling momentum of free-jazz to supple ends, from sensitive to seismic.

PJ Harvey has likened White’s playing to dancing. Yet if dancers need partners, Black Peak also pays testimony to a friendship forged over 25-plus years. Xylouris was touring with his Ensemble when he met White in Melbourne in the early 1990s, when the drummer was in his pre-Dirty Three avant-rock outfit Venom P Stinger. In retrospect, a cycle of influence emerges: Xylouris’s 1990s live contributions to the Dirty Three seem to set a blueprint for Xylouris White, yet the Dirty Three were themselves inspired by Xylouris and Psarandonis.

That mutual admiration shapes the way the duo operate on Black Peak, always listening, encouraging, accommodating. “Each one has different roles at the same time, accompaniment and lead role,” explains Xylouris. “It’s very fluid.”

This fluidity is clear from the rolling explosion of the title-track, where White’s thunderous rhythm seems to urge, and be urged along in turn, by Xylouris’s chugging lute-rock riff, pirouetting melody and soaring vocal. “Forging” maintains the momentum, Xylouris’s thrashing, thrilling lute melody circling the rock of White’s pulsing drum. Elsewhere, Xylouris White re-write their route map. “Hey, Musicians” is rich and sonorous. The skin-tingling crawl of “Erotokritos (Opening)” draws on romantic renaissance verse; “Short Rhapsody” is a joyous jam of slashing laouto and coiled percussion; “Pretty Kondilies” is dancing and declamatory. Finally, “The Feast” sprawls gorgeously between tradition and invention, its sombre, sighing spaces shared with guest star Psarandonis’ stunning lyra and voice.

It took until 2013 for Xylouris and White to form as a duo, a process accelerated when White played with Xylouris and Psarandonis at a Nick Cave-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Australia. Just as other parties helped unite them, so the path to Black Peak was trod with support. The producer is Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, as on Goats (Xylouris: “His enthusiasm and aesthetic bring richness to the proceedings.”); the ghostly harmonies on “Erotokritos” come from Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

“All these things together, Jim from Australia, me from Crete, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy from Kentucky, Psarantonis from Crete, Guy Picciotto from Washington give us the inspiration of the horizon,” says Xylouris. “Jim and I travel a great deal and we like to do so. We have been doing that together the past three years, which is what inspired us to think of the horizon.

“We’re still goats,” he adds, “now on the horizon.” On the spectacular Black Peak, Xylouris White show just how far their horizons can stretch.

“As one third of Dirty Three and on performances with Cat Power, Bill Callahan, Will Oldham and countless others, Jim White has long been known as one of the most powerful and distinctive drummers on the scene. But he outdoes himself on the title track of Xylouris White’s sophomore LP, building the song into a righteous gallop that’s thrillingly thunderous and devastatingly precise all at once. A tour de force that’ll make other drummers hang their heads in shame.

White’s partner here, George Xylouris, is no slouch either, delivering nimble lines on his eight-string laouto, and singing in the voice of an angry, old god. Xylouris comes from Greek music royalty, and the music he’s making here with White does have its roots in traditional sounds. But more and more, it seems the duo are inventing a new musical language, one based on deeply telepathic interplay and pure, transcendent abandon, whether it’s on pulsating numbers like “Forging,” or dark, slow droners like “Hey Musicians.” Xylouris White is an acoustic affair (pristinely captured by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto), but make no mistake — this is some of the heaviest music you’ll hear in 2016.” Tyler Wilcox, Aquarium Drunkar

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Boiler House Jazz Concert: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
Dec
4
7:00 PM19:00

Boiler House Jazz Concert: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble

Eventbrite - Boiler House Jazz Concert: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble

This Boiler House Jazz Series at the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation takes place in the Museum's Main Gallery, the former Boiler House of the Boston Manufacturing Company, at the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill complex, on the left bank of the Charles River in the heart of downtown Waltham, Massachusetts. 

Led by saxophonist Ken Field, curator of the Boiler House Jazz Series, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble is a costumed funk/street beat improvisational brass band performing a unique blend of original and traditional music.  "New Orleans brass band meets Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman - fiery yet booty-shaking music - it's a stone cold killer diller! ... Most bands can't get the New Orleans stuff right, but the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble is one of the few who does and then takes it in fascinating directions."--- OffBeat (New Orleans)

Doors open at 7:00pm and the show begins at approximately 7:30pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.

To learn more about Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, and to view some videos of the group,please visit their website.

Eventbrite - Boiler House Jazz Concert: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
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Factory Maids - Songs of the Mill Girls
Dec
2
7:00 PM19:00

Factory Maids - Songs of the Mill Girls

Eventbrite - Factory Maids - Songs of the Mill Girls

In the early 1800s the power loom disrupted the way fabric had always been made, and who had made it. The "mill girls" originated at Francis Cabot Lowell's Boston Manufacturing Company, which opened in Waltham in 1814, using the first American power looms. 

Diane explores the revolutionary changes millwork brought to the lives of women and men alike. We hear of the early days in Lowell and the Bread & Roses strike of 1912, which united workers who spoke dozens of languages in a common quest for decent working conditions.

Diane performs in period clothing and accompanies her crystal-clear singing on parlor guitar and lap dulcimer. As a descendant of immigrant millworkers on both sides of her family, Diane is honored to present songs that capture both despair and hope as newcomers sought a better life.

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Diane Taraz offers unique programs that explore various eras through music. She wears period clothing she has sewn by hand from reproduction fabrics, and plays instruments of the time. Listening to songs created by people who lived through momentous events adds a compelling depth of understanding about the way ordinary folks lived, loved, and thought about themselves and their place in the world.

Diane is a songwriter and producer who has made well over a dozen recordings in a variety of styles. She directs the Lexington Historical Society Colonial Singers and performs with Vox Lucens, a Renaissance choir, and other groups. More information is at her website, www.dianetaraz.com.

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Eventbrite - Factory Maids - Songs of the Mill Girls

Doors open at 7:00pm and the show begins at approximately 7:30pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.

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2nd Shift Concert: Kris Delmhorst
Dec
1
7:00 PM19:00

2nd Shift Concert: Kris Delmhorst

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Kris Delmhorst

“Moody, euphoric, and transcendent” - LA Times

Kris Delmhorst grew up in Brooklyn NY, but her musical home is in Boston MA where she cut her teeth on open mics, bar gigs, and subway busking before embarking on her life as an internationally touring songwriter. She has released six albums on respected indie label Signature Sounds. Delmhorst now lives in the hills of western Massachusetts with her husband, songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, with whom she occasionally performs as part of the collective Redbird.

In May of 2014, Delmhorst released her seventh album, BLOOD TEST (Signature Sounds) – her first of original music since 2008′s critically acclaimed album SHOTGUN SINGER. A prolific writer and constant collaborator, Delmhorst continues to share her unique perspective in this new work. The album describes a moment of reckoning and centering in the songwriter’s life, and in society as a whole. In a collection of songs which move between triumph and heartbreak, restlessness and responsibility, Delmhorst acknowledges the weary work of an intentioned life – and the new American dream of presence and perspective in a frenetic time.

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Kris Delmhorst

Artist Website: http://krisdelmhorst.com/

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Kris Delmhorst
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2nd SHIFT Concert: Susan Alcorn
Nov
17
7:30 PM19:30

2nd SHIFT Concert: Susan Alcorn

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Susan Alcorn

One of the world’s premier musical innovators on her instrument, Baltimore-based Susan Alcorn has taken the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western music.

Known for her virtuosity and authenticity in a traditional context, Alcorn paid her dues in Texas hillbilly bands. She soon began expanding  the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of modern classical music (Messaien, Varèse, Penderecki), Astor Piazzola’s nuevo tango, free jazz, Indian ragas and South American song. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument while never straying from direct, personal expression.

Susan Alcorn has worked with a who’s-who of contemporary music: Thurston Moore, Mary Halvorson, Fred Frith, Helena Espvall, Hank Roberts, Evan Parker, Jandek and John Tchicai, to name a few. Alcorn’s reminiscence about her years as a Texas musician (http://goo.gl/zI7GmG) was included in the DaCapo Press’s Best Music of 2006.

Artist Interview: http://goo.gl/SmJn0P

Artist Website: http://www.susanalcorn.net/#!

“Though she can still skillfully slide her way through country tunes, these days Alcorn is based in Baltimore and primarily devoted to her own innovative work, chasing new sounds through extended techniques, instrument preparation, and free improvisation both solo and with fellow artists old and new. But her music remains engaged with melody and beautiful chords. “Maybe that’s the country and western in me,” she says. “I like a song!” – New Music Box

“With clarity and precision and a gift for invoking sweeping landscapes, Alcorn is able to perform arrangements of Curtis Mayfield or Olivier Messiaen, highlighting both their structural and spiritual aspects simultaneously and then attacking the strings zen-slap-loud or hovering stained-glass mobiles of sound-clouds. Dreamy stuff, full of emotion and one of the more Universalist twists on Americana.” – Jay Babcock, Arthur Magazine

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Susan Alcorn
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Boiler House Jazz Concert: Ara Sarkissian & Musaner Small Ensemble
Nov
6
7:00 PM19:00

Boiler House Jazz Concert: Ara Sarkissian & Musaner Small Ensemble

Eventbrite - Boiler House Jazz Concert: Ara Sarkissian & Musaner, Small Ensemble

Musaner is about bringing together, blending, juxtaposition; the local and the universal, the intimate and the public, the festive and the contemplative.

Ancient melodies, new arrangements. Traditional instruments, modern harmonies. Tension and peacefulness. Angst and celebration. 

The group has performed widely in the Boston area, with additional appearances in New York, Washington, Zurich, and Milano.

Musaner has been featured on radio programs in New York City, Boston, Armenia, Lebanon, and France.

“It’s about what you inherit,” declares Ara Sarkissian, the composer and classical pianist behind modern Armenian fusion experiment Musaner. The group has plunged into the caves of tradition to rescue melodies once left for dead and renew them in the airy architecture of the halls of modern jazz.

On Musaner’s sophomore release, Once Upon a Time (release: October 26, 2012), the polished folk-fusion ensemble plucks stories and spins them into musical gold. From sweeping mountaintop vistas to intimate nights around the fire, Musaner takes the listener on an hour-long journey through the sonic landscape of old Armenia.

Though Musaner’s sophisticated performances reflect the discipline of conservatory-trained jazz artists, Sarkissian’s compositions begin with strands of tradition. Once Upon a Time features the ensemble’s organic intermingling of jazz structure and folk improvisation, but at its heart are the ballads and social music of Armenian folk life. “I think it’s about surface, what’s at the top, brewing,” expounds Sarkissian. “Every phrase there on the surface will help the narrative move along.”

In Musaner’s hands, hazy folk tunes gain a vigorous new life through modern jazz orchestration. On the title track, Sarkissian’s atmospheric piano draws the listener through a veil of clouds to find, perched atop a mountain crag in the harsh Armenian interior, a bird with a broken wing. Saxophones soar, a duduk rises, and Musaner battles to give the bird flight.

Ensemble founder Sarkissian, of Armenian heritage, was born in Cyprus and grew up in Beirut. In 1989, the young piano prodigy moved to Boston, where he honed his craft at some of the world’s top schools of music. He composed and performed, pushing at his own boundaries to try to bring the folk music of his ancestors to a modern stage. Eventually, he realized, “No one really teaches you all of this stuff I was looking for. You have to just have it. I don’t know if I have it, but I’m trying to search for it.”

Sarkissian needed the Muses – in Armenian, musaner.

Every member of the ensemble comes to Armenian folk-jazz fusion from somewhere else, and their collaboration has produced a style that engages diverse genres while respecting the music’s folk roots. “So many old songs are gone, lost in a sense,” Sarkissian reflects, nostalgic but optimistic. This experiment, he hopes, will  reinvigorate the tradition by making it both interesting and meaningful.

Doors open at 7:00pm and the show begins at approximately 7:30pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.

To learn more about Musaner and Ara Sarkissian, please visit their website.

Eventbrite - Boiler House Jazz Concert: Ara Sarkissian & Musaner, Small Ensemble
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2nd SHIFT Concert: Klezwoods
Nov
3
7:00 PM19:00

2nd SHIFT Concert: Klezwoods

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Klezwoods

Klezwoods is a wild amalgam of strings, horns, and percussion that melds the spirit of Jewish, Eastern European, Arabic, and North African music traditions with modern grooves, improvisation, and melodic interplay.

The ensemble, which features from five to ten members on any given night, serves as a truly modern American melting pot of musical cultures, as each world-renowned performer brings a unique voice and musical background to the mix.

The band’s formidable range and tightly arranged melodies only add to the audience’s experience of Klezwoods’ music: wildly exuberant Balkan wedding songs, somber clarinet melodies, stately Ottoman-inspired themes, upbeat klezmer dances, and barn burning, funky North African beats. All are presented in a dynamic manner that is unique to Klezwoods, which embraces and pays deep respect to all of these cultural and musical influences. Simply put, “it’s a party you won’t want to miss out on.” (MuzikReviews.com)

Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at approximately 8:00pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

Beverages are included in the ticket price of just $20, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.  

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Klezwoods

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Boiler House Jazz Concert: Fernando Brandão Trio
Oct
16
7:00 PM19:00

Boiler House Jazz Concert: Fernando Brandão Trio

Eventbrite - Boiler House Jazz Concert: Fernando Brandão Trio

The Boiler House Jazz Series at the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation will be inaugurated by the Fernando Brandão Trio. - This concert takes place in the Museum's Main Gallery, the former Boiler House of the Boston Manufacturing Company at the Francis Cabot Lowell Mill complex on the left bank of the Charles River in the heart of downtown Waltham, Massachusetts. 

Mr. Brandão playing a bass flute.

Mr. Brandão playing a bass flute.

Flutist, composer, author and educator Fernando Brandão has performed extensively as a bandleader, soloist, sideman and chamber musician with various ensembles and prominent orchestras, both in his native Brazil and the US. Using concert, alto, bass flutes and pífanos, Fernando performs across an eclectic repertoire of traditional and contemporary choros, sambas, frevos, ijexás, baiões and other styles, allyingjazz improvisations to an authentic Brazilian sound.

His new album,  Sem Tradução (Without Translation) features nine original songs with Marcella Camargo as the lead singer and 14 prominent musicians from the Boston area. His vocal and instrumental compositions are centered mostly around Brazilian styles including choro, samba, bossa, ijexá, and baião, and feature traditional and contemporary language and arrangements. With precise technique and refined sound, his interpretations on concert, alto, bass flutes and pífanos combine jazzy improvisations to a truly Brazilian language and sound.

He leads the Fernando Brandão Ensemble, which has been featured at the First Cambridge Jazz Festival, the Isabella Gardner Museum Concert Series, the Beantown Jazz Festival, and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. He also leads the group Alma, the gafieira band Bohemia Carioca, and he is an active member of the groups Pablo Ablanedo Octet, Trio Choro Brasil, Sergio Brandão & Manga Rosa and Teresa Inês Quintet. He has also played or recorded with Oscar Castro-Neves, Rosa Passos, Luciana Souza, Kris Adams, John Stein Quartet, Leandro Braga, Maria Teresa Madeira, Emmanuel Music Orchestra with conductors Criag Smith, Seiji Ozawa, and pianist Russell Sherman.

Mr. Brandão is a Professor at Berklee College of Music and a faculty member of the Community Music Center of Boston, both where he's been teaching for over 20 years. A leading educator in Brazilian music, he has given many lectures about its music styles, history and composers, and he is the author of the play-along book Brazilian and Afro-Cuban Jazz Conception, published by Advance Music. His compositions have been recorded by Choro das Três, guitarist Almir Cortes and New World Guitar Trio. He was the first prize winner of several national music competitions in Brazil, and the 1991 Pappoutsakis Flute Competition in Boston.

Doors open at 7:00pm and the show begins at approximately 7:30pm. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.

To learn more about Fernando Brandão, please visit his website.

Eventbrite - Boiler House Jazz Concert: Fernando Brandão Trio
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2nd Shift Concert: Thalia Zedek Band
Sep
29
7:30 PM19:30

2nd Shift Concert: Thalia Zedek Band

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Thalia Zedek Band

Thalia Zedek has one of the most enduring and distinctive voices in modern rock music — a voice like no other — that can be heard in her work with some of the most groundbreaking underground bands, from Uzi and Live Skull to Come.

Since 2001, Zedek has been making music under her own name, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums. Her latest, Eve, is her most accomplished album to date, building upon the foundations of her previous releases. Again the album features her bluesy, gritty guitar work and her distinctive vocals that, when juxtaposed with graceful viola and piano, give the songs on Eve a compelling tension.

Her lyrics remain deeply personal and her emotional fire is palpable, but she has developed a control in her delivery that brings new dynamics to the music and gives room for the emotions to breathe. 

Some reviews...

"Eve is a collection of upfront confessionals that fuses guitar, bass and drums into a hellfire brew. Zedek's guitar and her rasping vocals can still lift the hairs from your arm; there are few artists whose commitment to performance is so absolute and fearless. This time around, it's the longer tracks that hit the hardest. On the eight-minute Not Farewell, Zedek and her group feel their way out of a strummed, whispered intro before all hell breaks loose, and the result is beautiful and terrifying. Long may she rail.” –– Gary Kaill, The Skinny

"Through Live Skull, through Come, Zedek’s guitar always bore weight—you could feel the whole 20th century catastrophe bearing down on it. That weight is still there, as through a long instrumental introduction—enveloping, full of confidence, elegiac—you find yourself at a funeral for someone you’ve never met. With Hilken Mancini coming in as a second vocal behind Zedek’s lead, there’s a sense of looking back, from a long time ago—or a sense of someone imagining looking back, because that means they didn’t go down in the flood the song describes. Lyric clichés float on the song—“the rains come down,” “rivers rise,” “higher ground”—until a line makes its way out that is not a cliché: “What we left behind, someone else will find.” This could play next to Geeshie Wiley’s “Last Kind Words Blues”—the exit is that final.” –– Greil Marcus, Pitchfork

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Thalia Zedek Band
Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: Thalia Zedek Band

 

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Jun
16
6:00 PM18:00

2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: THE TARBOX RAMBLERS

In this last concert of the first 2nd SHIFT Music Series we bring you... The Tarbox Ramblers.

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: The Tarbox Ramblers

Taking listeners to a place where Appalachian music, backwoods blues and gospel meet in powerful, unexpected combinations, The Tarbox Ramblers have drawn raves from Rolling Stone, All Things Considered and more. The band’s rough-hewn sound goes right to the heart of American traditional music, and in a live setting they’re a force of nature. 

The New Yorker says “Between the fiddle, string bass, drums and slide guitar, you won't know what hit you.” If you’re a fan of roots music that’s real and uncompromising, this is a must-see show.

“Homemade rock ‘n’ roll with a dose of rattlesnake venom and gospel-drenched howling.” —All Things Considered

BAND WEBSITE: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tarbox-Ramblers/64061304041

Eventbrite - 2nd SHIFT Music Series Concert: The Tarbox Ramblers

Doors open at 6:00pm and the show begins at approximately 7:30. Arrive early and enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum!

Beverages are included in the ticket price, non-alcoholic for everyone, and beer & wine to those 21+.  

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SECOND SHIFT Music Series Performance: RHYS CHATHAM
May
26
6:00 PM18:00

SECOND SHIFT Music Series Performance: RHYS CHATHAM

“Without him, there would be no Sonic Youth, no Jesus and Mary Chain, no My Bloody Valentine . . . a towering figure among six-string aficionados.” – Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

Rhys Chatham is a composer, guitarist and trumpet player from Manhattan, currently living in Paris. In the 1970s, Chatham began creating a new urban music that fused the minimalism of John Cale and Tony Conrad with punk rock’s elemental fury. His breakthrough sound altered rock’s DNA and laid a path for bands like Sonic Youth and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Photo: Estelle Hanania

Photo: Estelle Hanania

Chatham was introduced to electronic music and composition by Morton Subotnick in the late 60s; in the early seventies he studied composition with La Monte Young. These musicians, along with Terry Riley and Tony Conrad, were the founders of American minimalism, and were a profound influence on Chatham's work.

Chatham’s early work was characterized by the use of multiple electric guitars in special tunings; it culminated with An Angel Moves Too Fast to See, his 1989 symphony for one hundred electric guitars. Chatham’s subsequent compositions for guitar orchestra include A Crimson Grail (indoor version), A Secret Rose and A Crimson Grail (outdoor version), which was commissioned by the City of Paris for the La Nuit Blanche Festival and released on Nonesuch Records in 2010. 

Chatham’s work also includes collaborations, and improvised and compositional pieces, for brass instruments. In 2014 he began touring a solo program featuring electric guitar in a Pythagorean tuning; Bb trumpet; and bass, alto and C flutes. 

“…spacious drones shimmering with intricate harmonic effects.” –– Chicago Reader

“It might justly be considered music to pray to.” — Will Hermes, The New York Times

“Surging phosphorescence… Uplifting.” –– David Fricke, Rolling Stone

ARTIST WEBSITE: http://www.rhyschatham.net

Eventbrite - "SECOND SHIFT Music Series" Performance: RHYS CHATHAM
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May
12
6:00 PM18:00

SECOND SHIFT Music Series Concert: HAUNT the HOUSE

"The album gleams with a stirring, spiritually-inflected sound that well represents the band name on the marquee... Fans of Brown Bird, the Low Anthem, Iron & Wine, and Bon Iver should grab a copy of Jack Rabbit Jones ASAP." –– The Providence Phoenix

"His music is charged, not just with an aptitude for words and melodies, but with a deep feeling of soul." –– Jeff Prystowsky, The Low Anthem

"Originally the solo acoustic project of Will Houlihan, Haunt The House has recently expanded to something much bigger and bolder. On the recently released Jack Rabbit Jones, the full spectrum of folk instrumentation has joined in, with rapturous mandolin and accordion adding a spacious backdrop for Houlihan and a chorus of singers to cry, moan, plead and delight. This is the kind of music that the genre tag of Americana was custom-made for." –– Robert Hamm, Paste Magazine

A few years back Rhode Island musician Will Houlihan began performing under the name Haunt The House, sometimes solo and sometime with friends. From the start it was clear his songs are something special. They have some of the spiritual yearning you hear in old recordings of rural gospel groups, and some of the lost, lonesome sound of Appalachian songs as well. Like old folk tales, they seem rooted in ancient shared experience. And, like the songs of Hank Williams or Townes Van Zandt, they have a lived-in quality that’s characteristic of the best American roots music.

Houlihan spins his tales in a language so vivid that it comes as no surprise to learn he’s also a visual artist whose work mirrors the themes he explores in his songs. Its part of what makes them so compelling, and part of what makes Houlihan a musician to watch.

Houlihan has appeared in clubs and listening rooms throughout New England, and his set at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival introduced Haunt The House to a national audience. 

Eventbrite - "SECOND SHIFT Music Series" Concert: HAUNT THE HOUSE
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Apr
7
6:00 PM18:00

SECOND SHIFT Music Series Performance: PAUL RISHELL & ANNIE RAINES

“Deep and resonant as Robert Johnson’s crossroads… authenticity, soul, and a sense of purpose and commitment ring out in every note. –– The Boston Phoenix

PHOTO: Eric Antoniou

PHOTO: Eric Antoniou

When harmonica ace Annie Raines first sat in with country blues guitarist Paul Rishell in a Boston bar in 1992, few in the crowd suspected they were witnessing the beginning of a musical partnership that would span the next 24 years and counting.

Since then Paul and Annie have gone on to distinguish themselves as one of the blues world’s finest and most in-demand duos. Performing in styles ranging from the acoustic guitar wizardry of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Son House to the swinging amplified sounds of Chicago Blues, they’re masters of their respective instruments. Beyond that, they bring warmth, humor and personal chemistry to every show they play. It all adds up to something very special that’s made believers of audiences and fellow musicians on both sides of the Atlantic.

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines have appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and A Prairie Home Companion, performed with John Sebastian and Susan Tedeschi, and opened shows for Ray Charles and Dr. John. They’re also the proud recipients of the prestigious W.C. Handy Award for their groundbreaking acoustic album, Moving On. Paul and Annie have logged countless miles as touring artists, and continue to play clubs, festivals and concert halls through Europe and North America.

DOORS OPEN at 6:00pm; PAUL & ANNIE go on at 7:30pm!

Eventbrite - "Second Shift Music Series" Performance: Paul Rishell and Annie Raines
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