Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
March 22 concert features the Trinity Trio—Thurman Barker on drums, Brian Charette on Hammond organ, and James Emery on guitar ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Music Program at Bard College offers an evening that blends classical music, traditional jazz, and poetry in “Music and the Spoken Word,” on Wednesday, March 22. Free and open to the public, the program begins at 7:30 p.m. in Olin Hall. Opening the concert is the Bard College Orchestra, directed by Mark Mandarano, performing Mozart’s Idomeneo Overture and Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. The orchestra was founded seven years ago by Joan Tower. She passed the baton to James Bagwell, who has now passed it to Mandarano. The second half of the concert features jazz and poetry with Thurman Barker and the Trinity Trio—Thurman Barker on drums, Brian Charette on Hammond organ, and James Emery on guitar—with special guest poet and performance artist Mikhail Horowitz. “Jazz music and the spoken word together made a progressive statement during the ’50s,” says Barker. “This concert this is my way of reflecting on the interchange of those two worlds of literature and music and I am so happy that the trio is joined by Mikhail for this performance.” He continues, “The music that the Trinity Trio will be playing was inspired by my recent trip to Istanbul in October. It was my first experience hearing Turkish music live, and I was entranced by the harmonies and odd time signatures.” For further information, call the Music Program at 845-758-7250. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis; no reservations are necessary. # ABOUT THE PERFORMERS “Thurman Barker proved he’s become one of the most astonishing, inventive drummers in jazz,” writes the Boston Herald. “He’s that rare combination: a drummer of both raw muscle and fierce intelligence.” Classically trained at the American Conservatory of Music, Barker began his professional career at 16, playing for blues singer Mighty Joe Young., his reputation as a drummer grew quickly. He is a charter member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, a jazz cooperative formed in 1965 in Chicago to teach music to inner-city youths. He has performed worldwide and recorded with Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Rivers, Billy Bang, Joseph Jarman, and Henry Threadgill. The World Music Institute commissioned two of his works: Dialogue was premiered at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City in 1994, and Expansions was premiered by the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. He developed the jazz program at Bard College after joining the faculty in 1993. Barker has his own record label, Uptee, on which he recorded Voyage, The Way I Hear It, and Time Factor, which is “a gem that reveals the depth of his talent . . . music that’s challenging and compelling,” according to Steve Israel, music critic for the Times Herald-Record. Brian Charette began his training in classical music at age 5. He continued with these studies until high school where he began playing guitar and experimenting with jazz. After high school, he studied classical piano at the Hartt School of Music and the University of Connecticut while continuing to play jazz. After his graduation, Charette toured Europe for six months with jazz and rock acts. After these tours, he moved to New York City, where he currently lives and works as a producer, engineer, and musician. He has performed with many noted artists, such as Chaka Khan, Joni Mitchell, Lou Donaldson, and Cindy Lauper, and has recently appeared with The Max Weinberg Seven on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and on the Carson Daly Show. He has produced a track on Triumph The Insult Comic Dog’s debut recording. James Emery, virtuoso guitarist and composer, has been active on the international jazz and contemporary music scene since 1975. He has recorded 23 CDs as a leader or coleader and has performed his work in more than 25 countries. He has received international critical acclaim for his leading of various ensembles, and he is also recognized for his work with the String Trio of New York, a veritable institution of jazz and creative music, which he cofounded in 1977. Emery has become known for his distinctive and highly original approach to both improvisation and composition. His musical ideas are immediately recognizable, leading the distinguished music critic Francis Davis to observe, “Absolutely nobody sounds like Emery.” This singular artistic expression has resulted in many awards, grants, and commissions, most notably a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995. His sensibility as a musician draws, in nearly equal measures on formal notions of structure and technique and a robust willingness to improvise, experiment and follow his musical intuition. The New York Times wrote, “Emery is a fleet guitarist with a personal touch and sound . . . mercurial, poised and thoroughly satisfying.” Mikhail Horowitz is author of Big League Poets (City Lights, 1978) and The Opus of Everything in Nothing Flat (Red Hill/Outloud, 1993). His poetry, prose, and artwork have been published in dozens of anthologies, including City Lights Journal, The Stiffest of the Corpse, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, and Yellow Silk Anthology, as well as in scores of literary journals, magazines, and newspapers (including the New York Times). As a performing artist, he has worked solo, as a duo with Gilles Malkine, and with various configurations of acoustic and/or jazz musicians. He’s performed at such New York City venues as the Village Gate, Westbeth Theater, Image Theater, Makor-Steinhardt Center, St. Peter’s (the “Jazz Church”), and Bowery Poetry Club; and at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle; World Heavyweight Poetry Championships in Taos, New Mexico; Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival Festival in Croton, New York; the Detroit Festival of the Arts; and the annual convention of the United Auto Workers in Michigan, as well as in countless clubs, coffeehouses, colleges, and correctional facilities. He has collaborated and/or shared bills with such artists as Charles Mingus, David Amram, Ed Sanders & The Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Holman, Marilyn Crispell, Andrei Codrescu, Robert Bly, Artie and Happy Traum, Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele, and Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, among others. His CD of jazz-related performance pieces, The Blues of the Birth, is published by Sundazed Records on its Euphoria/Jazz label; he also has work featured on several anthology CDs, including Bring It On Home, Vol. II, on Columbia Records (Legacy). Bard Orchestra conductor Mark Mandarano is the principal guest conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has recently completed a four-year tenure with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in Orange County, California, first as assistant and then as associate conductor. From 1994 to 1999 he served as resident conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. At Carnegie Hall, Mandarano performed with both the American Composers Orchestra and the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra. He has also led critically acclaimed tours throughout the United States and Russia. In the spring of 1998, Mandarano conducted the world premiere performances of the work that won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1999: Melinda Wagner’s Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion. In the fall of the 1998, Maestro Mandarano returned to Carnegie Hall to perform the same work with the American Composers Orchestra. # # # (3/13/06)

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This event was last updated on 03-29-2006