Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-The aim of the guitar summit at Bard College, according to organizer Thurman Barker, is to "bring attention to the one instrument that has deep roots in a variety of forms in American music-folk, blues, jazz, classical, rock, new age, and fusion. The summit will present a wide range of musical styles and bring attention both to the composers and performers who have brought this instrument to its prominent place in American music."

The all-day event on Wednesday, April 11, is presented by the Jazz Heritage Club and Music Program at Bard and will feature a variety of music written and performed on the guitar. The public is invited to attend performances, which begin at noon, of blues, jazz, classical, rock, and new age music by regional and student musicians and groups. The summit will conclude with a special performance by featured musicians beginning at 7:00 p.m. All performances will be held in the Old Gym on the Bard College campus. A master class with Bard faculty members and guest artists will be held in Blum Hall (time to be announced). The events are free and open to the public, but a donation is suggested for the evening performance for non-Bard community members.

Barker encourages area musicians to come out and jam with the performers during the daytime, and then enjoy the evening concert featuring jazz guitarist Peter Einhorn at 7:00 p.m.; pianist and vocalist Amina Claudine Myers at 8:00 p.m.; and the Thurman Barker Quartet, featuring guitarist James Emery, pianist Rob Schwimmer, bassist Jerome Harris, and drummer Barker at 9:00 p.m.

For further information, call the Music Program at 845-758-7250.

About the Artists:

Guitarist and composer Peter Einhorn, a member of the Bard College music faculty, has performed with Jim Hall, Jimmy Cobb, Steve Swallow, Ira Sullivan, David Amram, John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Steve Kuhn, Eddie Daniels, Ray Mantilla, Roland Hanna, Walter Booker, Jerry Coker, and others. His recent recording, Bouganvillea, features all original music and is available on Unicorn Records. Einhorn is a regular performer with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City. He is a graduate of the University of Miami jazz program and holds a master's degree in composition. For the last decade he has taught at the National Guitar Workshop. Einhorn is an award-winning composer who has scored dozens of films and whose work can be heard on radio and television and in multimedia formats.

Vocalist, multikeyboardist, and composer Amina Claudine Myers has been described by Bob Young in Jazziz magazine as ". . . a true original . . . who meshes genres (into a singular) forum for her unique sounds." Raised in Blackwell, Arkansas, Myers's musical calling came at the age of 4. At 7, she began formal piano training and later helped form a preteen gospel group in Dallas, Texas-where her family had moved. After returning to Arkansas, she cofounded the Gospel Four and the Royal Hearts, performing in high schools and church choirs. After receiving a B.A. in music education from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, she moved to Chicago where she taught, for six years, in the public school system. After joining the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1966, Myers honed her craft as a composer performing alongside such visionary artists as pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, percussionist Ajaramu (Jerold Donavan), and reedmen Henry Threadgill and Kalaparusha (Mauric McIntyre). She performed on the road with Sonny Stitt and the Gene Ammons Quartet. Since moving to New York City in 1976 she has founded and performed with her own groups-the Amina Claudine Myers Voice Choir, Trio, Quartet, and Sextet. Myers has appeared in concerts and festivals throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States-including in New York City Lincoln Center, the Knitting Factory, and Sweet Basil and in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center. Her recordings include AMINA (Novus/RCA), a top-40 jazz album in 1988; Poem for Piano (Sweet Earth Records); Song for Mother E (Leo); Amina Claudine Myers Salutes Bessie Smith (Leo); The Circle of Time (Black Saint); and Jumping in the Sugar Bowl and Country Girl (Minor Music).

The Thurman Barker Quartet:

"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." Barker, assistant professor of music at Bard College, began his professional career at the age of 16, playing for blues singer Mighty Joe Young. Classically trained at the American Conservatory of Music, he saw his reputation as a drummer grow 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 has 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. His composition 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 his album Voyage in 1986, and The Way I Hear It in 1998.

James Emery, guitar virtuoso and composer of over one hundred works for a wide variety of formats and instruments, has carved out a distinctive niche in the deconstructed environment of contemporary music. New York Times music critic Robert Palmer has called Emery "mercurial, poised, and thoroughly satisfying . . . a fleet guitarist with a personal touch and sound." He studied theory and composition at Cleveland State University and moved to New York in the 1970s, recording with Leroy Jenkins and working with the Human Arts Ensemble and musicians Anthony Braxton, Kalapausha Maurice McIntyre, Thurman Barker, Steve Reich, Joe Lovano, Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill, Karl Berger, and others. He cofounded the chamber jazz ensemble the String Trio of New York, which is one of the most active and visible groups of its kind, with over 14 recordings to its credit. Emery is a prolific composer, with a body of work including compositions for solo guitar, chamber groups, large ensembles, jazz ensembles, and symphony orchestras. He has six recordings of his own work, the most recent being Luminous; his recording Standing on a Whale Fishing for Minnows was selected in 1997 for the top ten list by Jazziz magazine. Emery has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Carey Trust.

Electric guitar and bassist Jerome Harris is best known for his work as a sideman with Sonny Rollins, and for his later work in groups led by drummer Bobby Previte, and by trombonist Ray Anderson, among others. Harris was already a skilled musician when he went to Harvard with the intent of becoming a psychiatrist. During his college years, he became known as a guitarist on campus who played in a variety of bands, from R&B to free jazz, including a fusion band with fellow student, drummer Akira Tana. After graduation, Harris decided to focus on music full-time and first began appearing on recordings during the late 1970s, such as Sonny Rollins's Don't Stop the Carnival. In addition to continuing his work with Rollins throughout the 1980s, Harris worked with Oliver Lake and Bill Frisell, among others. The second half of the decade found him playing with Bob Moses and Marty Ehrlich, while much of his work during the 1990s was with Bobby Previte and Ray Anderson. Harris has toured internationally in various ensembles, including trips to Japan with Rollins, tours of the Middle East and India with Jay Hoggard, Africa with Oliver Lake, and the United States with Previte's group. Some of the other renowned musicians that he has worked with include Don Byron, Ned Rothenberg, Mark Helias, Pheeroan AkLaff, and Kenny Werner. In addition to his work as a sideman, Jerome Harris has led several recording dates of his own, including Algorithms, Hidden in Plain View and Rendezvous.

Pianist Rob Schwimmer has worked with Wayne Shorter, Laurie Anderson, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Stevie Wonder, Kurt Vonnegut, John Stubblefield, Teo Macero, Hal Willner, Vernon Reid, and countless others. He has composed for experimental theater, television-including National Geographic and Sesame Street, and film. He has begun playing the theremin in recent years, and has been a soloist with the New Haven Symphony orchestra. BBC 3 has called him "the Jimi Hendrix of the theremin." Schwimmer also performs in an original avant-garde comedy music duo with guitarist Mark Stewart (from Bang on a Can All-Stars).

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This event was last updated on 03-28-2001