after an amazing festival in September which included 9 venues, 23 trumpeters, 14 bands, 4 new pieces of music, and over 500 people in attendance. On this “Giving Tuesday” we humbly ask if you have a little more “Give” left in you to consider donating to FONT Music. All proceeds go towards supporting new music by a diverse community of trumpet and brass players, and the presentation of their work to the public.
Thanks for all the love, support and music you all have given and supported, We can’t wait to experience more with you all!
Saturday, September 26, 2015 “Signatures in Brass” Jazz Gallery (1160 Broadway, New York, NY) 7:30 & 9:30 PM – $22
Curator: Marquis Hill
Music performed by: Trumpet: Marquis Hill Phillip Dizack Keyon Harrold Billy Buss Josh Evans Ingrid Jensen Piano: Theo Hill Bass: Eric Wheeler Drums: Obed Calvaire
World Premiere by: FONT Music Roy Campbell Jr. Commissioning Grant recipient, Kendall Moore: Signature in Brass
From the Curator: Marquis Hill “This music presents the wide variety of sounds and styles that uniquely constitute contemporary jazz trumpet music. In earlier times, jazz was more easily associated with a singular specific sound. Today, we feel there is an immense increase in the stylistic breadth of jazz. Our goal is to demonstrate how diverse musical voices now authentically fall under the jazz umbrella. This program showcases these voices and personalities through a very special night of original compositions, both orchestrated and spontaneous. I’m happy to be working with the range of trumpeters and their musical visions in this collaborative effort.
C.J. Camerieri has been a staple in the FONT Music cast of characters (er… trumpeters) since its inception. Over the past decade, C.J. has been developing a career that defies stylistic definition – we love these kind of musicians here at FONT Music. Graduating Juilliard, playing with Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, forming a contemporary classical (you can’t really call it that) group yMusic and recently recording with Ben Folds. What’s next?!
We’re very lucky to have him this year curating and performing at our Opening Concert at Rockwood Music Hall on September 24th on a program we have titled “Without A Frame” (Buy tickets here). We hope you can join us for that, but check out what C.J. has to say today as we sit down with him for a few questions.
C.J. thanks for chatting with us today. You’ve been a foundational member of FONT Music over the years, right?
I’ve been lucky enough over the years to play with FONT Music since (maybe) the very beginning. The first time I played on a FONT Music concert was at Tonic which has sadly been closed since 2007. Since then I’ve played with a variety of groups including Butch Morris, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, and with my group yMusic. A few years ago FONT Music commissioned the great composer Andrew Norman to write a piece for yMusic and it was a huge success. The piece was the featured single off of our last record “Balance Problems” and has been met with much critical acclaim. This year FONT Music has commissioned Mick Rossi to write a piece for us and I’m excited to start learning that new work in the coming weeks. I am very grateful for FONT Music and feel lucky to be a part of this community.
I think the luck is ours, or at least mutual! Thanks for all you’ve done over the years. You’re a pretty unique player and all over the map stylistically (I mean this in a great way!). How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated from Juilliard in 2004 and was trying to do a little bit of everything. I played with orchestras, broadway shows, jazz, free jazz, studying harmony/arranging and was really happy but a bit musically unfulfilled. I found myself searching for a musical scene that would allow me to play a variety of styles, to improvise but also play technically challenging material, to play other instruments (I also play the French Horn and piano) and get a chance to shape the music through arrangements and my own creative ideas. I also wanted to be on bigger stages playing for more people! I was lucky enough to find that scene in alternative music. I started playing in 2006 with Sufjan Stevens and immediately joined his band as a featured soloist. I then began touring with bands such as The National, Rufus Wainwright, The Plastic Ono Band, Angus and Julia Stone, Martha Wainwright, My Brightest Diamond, Gabriel Kahane, and many other artists. I joined Bon Iver in 2011 and won two grammy’s for the band’s sophomore record in the same year that my group yMusic released it’s debut record which was named Time Out New York’s Number 1 classical record. Since then I have become a member of Paul Simon’s band, toured and played with Sting, and played on over 200 recordings total in the last ten years.
Dang! You’re a busy guy and playing with some the best musicians from so many different styles – that’s what we’re all about here at FONT Music, as you know. So yMusic will be playing at Rockwood for our opening night – what is up with yMusic these days?
yMusic is a lot of my musical focus these days. We are releasing a record this fall with Ben Fold’s that I co-produced/arranged called “So There” and will tour that a bit. yMusic is in residency at New York Live Arts and we have a number of exciting commissions we’ll be premiering there including a performance with Bill T. Jones.
That all sounds awesome! What else can we expect to see you doing coming up?
I’ve been recording a bunch with Paul Simon, Jose Gonzalez, The Tallest Man on Earth, and many other exciting artists and hope to get back into the studio with yMusic in early 2017 to get started on our 3rd record.
So you’re curating our opening night at Rockwood Music Hall with Stephanie Richards called “Without A Frame”. We recently chatted with Brandon Ridenour (see article here) who will be playing at that concert with his group FOUNDERS. yMusic will be playing and so will Asphalt Orchestra. It looks to be an amazing evening! Give us some insight into how you got to curating this evening.
When I was asked to curate an “indie classical” concert at FONT Music this year my initial reaction was to not do it! I think that the classical trumpet repertoire is in my opinion probably one of the worst collections of pieces in existence and I just don’t know why! So many other instruments have so many great pieces but I’ve always found our repertoire extremely lacking. I don’t want to go to a concert and hear the Hadyn Trumpet Concerto or the Arutunian ever again (isn’t that what college is for)? That’s just my opinion. I started to look around though and there is so much interesting music happening in the trumpet world right now that has a strong classical backbone yet is hard to put a label on. I wanted to put together a night that featured these kinds of classical trumpet centered ensembles/performers that are really pushing the boundaries of what we call classical music. I think it should be a fun night.
Totally agree – we can’t wait to check out this amazing night of music. Thanks again C.J., we’ll see you next week!
More info on C.J.:As a trumpet player, french hornist, arranger, and keyboard player, C.J. Camerieri has enjoyed an active, diverse, and exciting career since completing his classical trumpet training at Juilliard in 2004. He has become an indispensable collaborator for numerous indie rock groups as a performer, arranger, improviser, and soloist and is a co-founder of the contemporary classical ensemble yMusic. yMusic’s debut record was named Time Out New York’s #1 Classical Record of 2011, the same year that Camerieri won two Grammys as a member of Bon Iver for the band’s sophomore record, which later reached gold status. He is currently the newest member of Paul Simon’s band, joining for 2014’s “Paul Simon and Sting: On Stage Together” tour.
CJ began working in alternative music as the trumpet player and keyboard player for Sufjan Stevens in January of 2006. He then went on to tour the world as a member of Rufus Wainwright’s band in 2007-2008 before starting yMusic with Rob Moose in the spring of 2008 and later joining Bon Iver in 2011 while also touring with the Plastic Ono Band and The National. In 2014 CJ became the newest member of Paul Simon’s touring band.
As an arranger, trumpet player, french horn player, and keyboardist C.J.’s discography includes well over 200 recordings including current and forthcoming releases by Paul Simon, Bon Iver, yMusic, Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, The Tallest Man on Earth, David Byrne, Antony and the Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, Aero Flynn, Gabriel Kahane, The National, Angus and Julia Stone, Ingrid Michaelson, The Staves, My Brightest Diamond, Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda, GOASTT, Jesse Harris, She and Him, Harper Simon, Chris Garneau, Clare and the Reasons, Welcome Wagon, Anthony Coleman, ACME, The New York Trumpet Ensemble, Argento New Music Ensemble and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.
The ongoing question of “How do we save classical music?” has been looming for years it seems. Luckily, in the creative world, multiple ensembles are not just asking the question, they are finding unique ways to SOLVE it. FONT Music 2015’s opening concert “Without A Frame” will be held at Rockwood Music Hall on Thursday September 24 at 8:30 where we will be featuring three of contemporary classical music’s forward looking, genre bending “classical” ensembles – yMusic, Asphalt Orchestra and Founders. It’s hard to truly call them “classical” groups as they start in one camp and jump constantly around to countless others. We’ll be spotlighting these groups in the next few weeks to give you a sneak peek for this exciting evening.
Today we catch up with FONT Music, Canadian Brass and Juilliard alumni and all around great trumpeter, pianist and musician, Brandon Ridenour. What doesn’t he do? We’re still trying to figure that one out. His latest musical project brings together 5 classically trained musician in a more “Singer Songwriter” setting – bringing both covers of multiple genres and originals to listeners ears. If this is what the future holds for classical music, I think we’re in for a treat. Here’s what Brandon had to say to us!
Thanks for chatting with us Brandon. You’re not a stranger to FONT Music. You played a few years back, right? What did you present then?
The last FONT Music concert I recall being involved in was back in 2008. I played an arrangement of mine of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time – written for trumpet w/ electronic effects, electric guitar, bass guitar, synthesizer, piano, and auxiliary percussion.On a Messiaen side note, Thomas Bergeron’s “Sacred Feast” features works of Messiaen reinterpreted on Sept 25 at The Dimenna Center this year (coincidence? Maybe…). This year you’re coming back to us with a whole new project – singer-songwriter meets classical. A match made in heaven, in my mind. Tell us a bit about this group.
Founders is the group I’ll be playing with at FONT Music this year. It’s a singing-songwriting group of classical musicians. I was told the working theme of this FONT Music event was something like “Indie Classical”. So yeah, you could call us that. We do some originals, some arrangements. Sometimes there are vocals, sometimes not. The other instruments are violin, viola, cello, bass. I alternate between trumpet and piano depending on what the song calls for. Like yMusic, we might appear to be a classical group, but we don’t necessarily sound classical. Better to experience it in concert than for me to keep rambling about it…Yeah, we’re looking forward to the experience, but we don’t mind your rambling. Give us a rundown as to what you’ve been up to over the years since your days at Juilliard.
I played with the Canadian Brass from 2006-13. My father and girlfriend are both professional pianists, and I play trumpet/piano
concerts with them quite often. I’ve also been performing a new piece I wrote for solo trumpet and orchestra – based on Paganini’s theme from Caprice No. 24.I’ve also started an ensemble called Useful Chamber, which I direct. It’s a chamber ensemble collective that brings the classical sound world to singer songwriters. The ensemble’s instrumentation is flexible, but always acoustic. Could be as small as 3 instruments, oras large as a 20 piece chamber orchestra. Our debut album “A Dream Within A Dream” uses the full ensemble, featuring a major mixture of musical minds. Melodies are intertwined from Debussy, Mahler, Glass, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, and current writers/singers Leila Adu, Elliot Cole and….me. It’s a fun project. Maybe FONT 2016??Doesn’t sound like a bad idea … we’re really looking forward to Sept 24th! Thanks for chatting with us!
Last Monday, we posted an article featuring trumpeter and 2015 FONT Music Curator, Nate Wooley discussing his view of “Visionary” as he is curating one of two nights during the FONT Music 2015 called “Visionaries”. The other night, Sunday September 27, is hosted and curated by trumpeter and FONT Music’s Secretary, Aaron Shragge. Aaron himself is quite a visionary in the modern/creative music and trumpet world as you’ll read and hear below.
A Note from Aaron: The term ‘visionary’ can be a difficult to define. For that reason I think it’s all the more important to search deeply and find a way to actualize its essence. The artists that I’ve chosen for this series (Chad McCullough, John Blevins, Leo Hardman-Hill) are all wonderful examples of the unity and diversity of the trumpet. I feel they have each committed themselves to the visionary path by continuing to search for their own unique musical voice without being swayed by convention or novelty.
More About Aaron: Aaron is active in the NYC improvised/creative music scene and serves on the board of Festival of New Trumpet Music NY/Canada. His unique instrument the Dragon Mouth Trumpet was designed to expand the trumpet’s melodic capacity and is the result of over a decade of studying both the Shakuhachi (Japanese, Flute) as well as North Indian Vocals. Aaron Shragge’s current projects include a duo with Ben Monder, a Jazz quintet that plays the music of Tom Waits and his continuing solo works for Dragon Mouth Trumpet/Shakuhachi.
AARON SHRAGGE’S MUSIC “…DELVES DEEPER INTO THAT SATORI PLACE IN YOUR BRAIN” – JAZZ TIMES.
Victor Haskins, was a featured artist at last year’s FONT Music Festival where he presented his unique musical concept “ImproviStory” at IBeam. Last November, Victor brought his concept to a larger platform as he introduced it on a Tedx Talk at Virginia Commonwealth University. The video was just released last week, which we have posted below. A year after his performance we asked Victor to catch us up with ImproviStory and what he’s up to currently.
A Note from Victor: “Currently, I am working on getting ImproviStory in front of different audiences, especially in the context of education for kids. In addition, I have been writing music for and developing new concepts for my band, formerly the Victor Haskins Trio, which is now called Victor Haskins’ Skein. We will have our first performance in a long time at the Richmond Jazz Festival on August 9, which works out to be a big bang of a return to performing. And besides music, I am now also a salsa dance instructor–I started dancing salsa in December of 2014 and I fell in love with it. It’s been and continues to be an awesome addition to my life!
ImproviStory is a new genre of music I created which combines improvisation, audience interaction, and storytelling to generate unique musical experiences. It is a concept that I developed as a result of trying to find a way to connect with audiences in an improvisational setting where nobody needed to “understand” anything about music to appreciate and relate to what was being played. Instead, those present during the performance use their imaginations to access and control the direction of the where the music goes and what it means, thus involving the audience in a deeper way than they would normally be involved with a musical exhibition.
Because of this universal connectivity and engagement capability, I figured that this idea would be even more valuable as an educational tool to encourage people—specifically kids—to think more creatively (counter to what the U.S. school system typically promotes—cramming info to take a test). So for the last 8 months or so, I have been doing ImproviStory in educational settings for kids in school. This has greatly expanded the possibilities of the applications of my concept in ways that can only have been discovered through live practice of ImproviStory for a variety of real audiences in different situations. There are some exciting things on the horizon for this new music, so to stay abreast of where it goes next.”
On September 28, the FONT Music Festival will be hosting one of two nights featuring three trumpet “Visionaries” on the jazz scene today including Joe Moffett, Jaimie Branch and Leo Hardman-Hill (more on them in coming blog posts) at Downtown Music Gallery (Purchase tickets here). Curating the evening is another leading voice in creative trumpet world, Nate Wooley. We wanted to give a quick spotlight on this unique voice in the trumpet world and hear his thoughts on his curatorial picks and his idea of “Visionary”:
A Note from Nate:
“The term “visionary” comes with a lot of baggage. Who is to say which ways of thinking will prove to be visionary and which will be well intentioned ideas that never quite make it. For that very reason there are many that don’t take the opportunity to find their own musical and aesthetic limits, whether it is with the idea of staking a claim as a “visionary” or not. The three trumpet players I chose for this series are the ones that are taking the chance and are heavily engaged in an attempt to push beyond the already possible systems of playing to form a new one that is best suited to who they are and what they think.”
More about Nate:
Nate Wooley was born in 1974 in Clatskanie, Oregon, a town of 2,000 people in the timber country of the Pacific Northwestern corner of the U.S. He began playing trumpet professionally with his father, a big band saxophonist, at the age of 13. He moved to New York in 2001, and has since become one of the most in-demand trumpet players in the burgeoning Brooklyn jazz, improv, noise, and new music scenes. He has performed regularly with such icons as John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Eliane Radigue, Ken Vandermark, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Yoshi Wada, as well as being a collaborator with some of the brightest lights of his generation like Chris Corsano, C. Spencer Yeh, Peter Evans, and Mary Halvorson.
Wooley’s solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet. Along with Peter Evans and Greg Kelley, Wooley is considered one of the leading lights of the American movement to redefine the physical boundaries of the horn, as well as demolishing the way trumpet is perceived in a historical context still overshadowed by Louis Armstrong. A combination of vocalization, extreme extended technique, noise and drone aesthetics, amplification and feedback, and compositional rigor has led one reviewer to call his solo recordings “exquisitely hostile”.
The Thomas Bergeron Ensemble will perform new arrangements of Olivier Messiaen’s music from his new album “Sacred Feast“.
Thomas Bergeron Ensemble: Thomas Bergeron – Trumpet Becca Stevens – voice Jason Ennis – Guitars Chris Doyle – Piano Michael Bates – Double bass David Palazola – Percussion Yousuf Kerai – Tabla Sara Caswell – Violin Tomoko Akaboshi – Violin Colin Brookes – Viola Hamilton Berry – Cello
Featuring: Marquis Hill, Phillip Dizack, Keyon Harrold, Billy Buss, Josh Evans & Ingrid Jenson – Trumpet Theo Hill – Piano Eric Wheeler – Bass Obed Calvaire – Drums Kendall Moore – Commissioned Composer
In addition to access to all events, the FESTIVAL PASS allows access to the VIP Reception on Sept 29th at The New School following the Eddie Henderson Concert. **Festival Pass ONLY includes one set for events at The Jazz Gallery (9/26) and Blue Note (9/27), to attend both sets you must by an additional ticket for the other set**