Door Tickets: All nights: $ 15 per set, Thursday & Saturday $ 30 per night, Friday $45 per night
Entire Festival Tickets (3 nights including 7 sets) $60 (online only)
Thursday, June 15 tickets, one night only (2 sets) $25 (online only)
Friday, June 16 tickets, one night only (3 sets) $30 (online only)
Saturday, June 17 tickets, one night only (2 sets) $25 (online only)
8PM Okazaki-Weiss Duo
Miles Okazaki, Guitar
Dan Weiss, Drums
Guitarist Miles Okazaki and Drummer Dan Weiss have been developing a rhythmic language for over a dozen years. They create textures and rhythmic structures by weaving together material from a wide variety of sources – a recent performance was described by Ben Ratliff in The New York Times as demonstrating “the new jazz musician’s inexhaustible options as they fit ideas together without stopping.” Their work together is documented on four recordings.
One of the world's top five jazz drummers (The New York Times), Dan Weiss' innovative style and forward thinking compositions have been pushing musical limits for more than a decade. Whether performing with his trio, critically acclaimed for its unique song structures and endless creative improvisation; his 16-piece ensemble, whose recording Fourteen made The Times's Top 10 recordings of 2014; playing classical tabla, both as a soloist, as well as with legendary Indian classical artists like Ashish Khan and Ramesh Misra; or as sideman on countless tours and albums with artists including Lee Konitz, Rudresh Mahanthappa and Miguel Zeonnonlist, Weiss is "a drummer with ambition and range" (PopMatters). www.danweiss.net
Miles Okazaki started gigging by 13, he continued working as a musician even as he studied English at Harvard. In 1997 he began graduate work at the Manhattan School of Music (he holds degrees from Harvard, MSM and Juilliard), where his studies introduced him to drummer Dan Weiss. Based in NYC, Miles has released three albums of original compositions; a fourth, called Trickster, will be released this year. He also published the book, Fundamentals of Guitar. As a sideman, he has worked with Steve Coleman, Kenny Barron, Jonathan Finlayson, Amir El Saffar, Dan Weiss, Stanley Turrentine, Darcy James Argue, Jane Monheit, Mary Halvorson, Jen Shyu, Rajna Swaminatham, Matt Mitchell, and many others. He teaches at the University of Michigan. www.milesokazaki.com
10PM Rajna Swaminathan
Rajna Swaminathan - Rajas
Rajna Swaminathan- mridangam
Anjna Swaminathan, violin
Stephan Crump, bass
Rajna Swaminathan is an accomplished mridangam (South Indian percussion) artist. Rajna is one of only a handful of women who play the mridangam professionally. She has performed with several renowned Indian classical musicians, most notably mentor and vocalist T.M. Krishna. Rajna has performed in several prestigious venues and festivals, including the Smithsonian (D.C.), Kennedy Center (D.C.), Asia Society (NYC), Lincoln Center (NYC), Walker Art Center (MN), Music Academy (Chennai), Shanmukhananda Hall (Mumbai) and The Esplanade (Singapore).
Since 2011, she has been studying and collaborating with eminent musicians in New York's jazz and creative music scene, including Vijay Iyer, Steve Coleman, Miles Okazaki, and Amir ElSaffar. Culling from her experience incorporating experimental and polyrhythmic methods from creative music into her artistic practice, Rajna formed the ensemble RAJAS, which collectively explores new textural and improvisational horizons at the nexus of multiple musical perspectives. The ensemble has performed at prominent venues such as the Lincoln Center Atrium, The Jazz Gallery, The Met Breuer, and Alwan for the Arts. The various configurations of the RAJAS frequently feature the following artists: Miles Okazaki, Stephan Crump, Anjna Swaminathan, Maria Grand, Amir ElSaffar, Aakash Mittal, Rafiq Bhatia, Arun Ramamurthy, Ganavya Doraiswamy, Guy Mintus, and Roopa Mahadevan.
Rajna is active as a composer-performer for dance and theatre works. Most notably, she has toured widely with the acclaimed Ragamala Dance (Minneapolis) as well as with Mythili Prakash. Rajna has worked with playwright/actress Anu Yadav, scoring her solo show, Meena's Dream (in collaboration with Anjna Swaminathan and Sam McCormally). The soundtrack to this production was released as an album, The Worry Machine (2015). Rajna's most recent collaborative project with Anu is called Storytellers, and combines music performed by RAJAS with potent spoken narratives dealing with the experience of racism, sexism, colonial trauma, and diasporic identity.
6PM Myk Freedman & the Mykfreedmans
Myk Freedman-lap steel/tunesNostalgic for a time that honestly wasn’t very nice, Myk Freedman and the Mykfreedmans search for equilibrium. Rent parties, salons, NYC lofts, brothels, squeals and honks, musical feels, romantic melodicism - evocative beauty that can be neither denied nor ignored. This band, led by Canadian lap steel player Myk Freedman, is in love with the memories of memories, but it is 2017. People have been playing guitars using their kids’ broken dental appliances for decades. The music must take that into account, but Coleman Hawkins! Therein lies the circular mentality of the Mykfreedmans: they move forward, they move backward. They let a song out of their hearts, they scream down a well, think in cut-time, think out of time, joyfully get lost in the murk of innuendo. Sticking their fingers in the warm pleasure centers of the mind, they caress with lush ballads, oblique genre gestures, Klezmer melodicism, sounds of elsewhere - and not so gently with wails and whirls from the most non-idiomatic lap steel player from the North and a band ready to lead from the wings honking and squealing in tandem.
8PM Jessica Lurie Instant Light Quartet
Jessica Lurie - saxophone, flute, voice
Will Bernard - guitar
Rene Hart - bass
Allison Miller - drums
Multi-instrumentalist Jessica Lurie’s distinct voice was formed from the richly diverse and eclectic Seattle music scene. As a leader, side-person, composer and collaborator, Jessica is a regular fixture on jazz, new music and jam band scenes and has toured extensively in the US and Europe. She is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, performing on saxophones, flute, voice, accordion and electronics. Her unique sound melds “lyrical pop, stinging rock, rhythmic Eastern European folk music and improvisation-heavy jazz with a dose of funky free-wheeling avant-groove-meets-grind" (Dan Oulette).
Jessica will be joined by a fabulous line up for the June 16th concert, including some of the most in demand players in NYC: grammy nominated guitarist Will Bernard, the dynamic and lyrical Rene Hart on acoustic bass, and the expansive and unstoppable Allison Miller on drums.
This promises to be an electrifying evening of idiosyncratic, soulful and refreshing music!
Currently Jessica performs with her Megaphone Heart Band and Instant Light Quartet, as well as the Tiptons Saxophone Quartet & Drums, Living Daylights Trio, Sofie Salonika, Jewish Afro-Beat Zion80, Far Cry Flutes, Great Small Works and Circus Amok. She is also a part of several improvisation-based groove ensembles including TEPHRA SOUNDS with Helen Gillet, Nikki Glaspie and Brian Haas; Slingshot Songs with Beth Fleenor and Heather Bentley; and Seattle-based Full Fathom Five with saxophonist Skerik. She has performed or recorded with Fred Frith, Billy Martin, Skerik, John Zorn, David Amram, Pauline Oliveros, Cyro Baptista, Nikki Glaspie, Helen Gillet, OU, Allison Miller, Todd Sickafoose, Charlie Hunter, David Krakauer, Bill Frisell, Henry Butler, Jenny Scheinman, Chuck D, Parliament, The Indigo Girls, Mark Ribot, Eyvind Kang, Karl Denson, Frank London, Allison Miller, Vinicio Caposella, Nels Cline, Jacob Fred Jazz Odessy, Kenny Wolleson, Sleater Kinney, Bernie Worrell and Ivan Neville among others. Jessica’s 8th album as a leader will be released in Fall 2017. www.jessicalurie.com
10PM Marc Ribot
Enigmatic guitarist Marc Ribot has released 6 very diverse solo guitar albums: (including John Zorn’s Book of Heads, Plays the Works of Frantz Casseus, Saints, Don’t Blame Me, Exercises in Futility) and his latest release, Silent Movies (Pi Recording 2010) has been described as a "down-in-mouth-near master piece" by the Village Voice and has landed on several Best of 2010 lists including the LA Times and critical praise across the board. His live solo performances are unpredictable events which may draw on all of these or none, creating a sonic matrix of memory, free improvisation, zeitgeist, extra-terrestrial radio signals, and much more...always leaving the listener on the edge of their seats.
“In the hear-a-pin-drop setting of Cafe Oto, Ribot's intense, heartfelt commitment invited not only the closest of listening but also allowed scrutiny of his technical approach, offering a minor spectacle as well as a rare, transportative musical experience.” – London Jazz News, review of his 2015 OTO residency
"...he can sit down with just his guitar and simultaneously confound you with technique, beauty, and surprise." - John Garratt and Will Layman, PopMatters Picks: The Best Music of 2010 for the album "Silent Movies."
"In discussing the guitarist Marc Ribot, it's more efficient to wonder what he hasn't done then to list what he has actually accomplished. Across four decades, Ribot's career has spanned smooth soul and gnarled blues, blaring no wave and elegant film scores, solo composer roles and Tom Waits supporting work; that's only a sliver of his prolificacy...Though his solo range is only slightly less boundless than his overall discography, he favors quiet, intricate improvisations around standards that you will recognize in flashes but will rarely sound repetitive of their sources. Ribot is a master of timing, tone, and taste, with a bank of experiences so vast and varied he can navigate his way through any song or situation with panache. Consider this visit a master lesson." —Grayson Haver Currin, indyweek.com
8PM Dena ElSaffar and Salaam
Salaam has delighted audiences for years with its expansive repertoire of Middle Eastern and North African music. Salaam is true to the traditions, informing the uninitiated, and evoking nostalgia in listeners who are familiar with the art form. What sets Salaam apart is the versatility of its musicians, whose deep knowledge of Eastern and Western styles gives them the flexibility to move effortlessly between genres. Iraqi-American band leader Dena El Saffar's compositions take advantage her own eclectic musical upbringing to create a sound rooted in maqam (the modal system used throughout the Middle East), with tasteful forays into Latin, African, Balkan, Rock, Blues, and Classical styles . It is satisfying to bring this original material to the stage alongside lush compositions of Mohammed Abdel Wahab and the Rahbani Brothers, historic Ottoman Empire-era Peshrevs, anonymous Iraqi songs, and folkloric melodies from Upper Egypt. Salaam, whose name means peace in Arabic, is a musical ambassador for peaceful coexistence.
“Salaam…subtly transposes a genre of music few Americans are even aware of into a sonic realm that feels enchanting and exotic, while still strangely familiar.” – Banning Eyre, NPR
10 PM Tareq Abboushi
Multi-instrumentalist, composer & bandleader. Graduated with honors from William Paterson University in New Jersey- Jazz Piano Performance degree.
Abboushi has been playing Buzuq since 1997, performing all over the world with such notable musicians as Souad Massi, Simon Shaheen, Lotfi Bouchnak, Sonia M’barek, & Billy Drewes.
His discography includes two albums with his group SHUSMO, four albums with Dan Zanes, four with Amir ElSaffar, & numerous film soundtracks including “Man From Plains,” & the Oscar-nominated “Rachel Getting Married,” directed by Jonathan Demme.
His teaching career involves lectures at Columbia University, NYU, & Juilliard in the US, as well as Agder University in Norway. Abboushi served as Head of the Arabic Music Department at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Palestine, and is currently the director of the Ramallah branch.
Among the awards he has received is the Palestinian National Music Competition award for his composition “Pickles,” and the United States’ Artist of Extra-Ordinary Ability, for which he was granted citizenship.