Dom Flemons | The American Songster

GRAMMY award winner, two-time Emmy nominee,  and cofounder of GRAMMY award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops—Dom Flemons has been branded the moniker “The American Songster” since his repertoire of music covers over 100 years of early American popular music. Flemons is an American old-time music, Piedmont blues, and neotraditional country multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. An expert player on the banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, fife and rhythm bones, Flemons is a true modern Songster, engaging audiences from the green Carolinas to the ruddy Southwest with personalized interpretations of folk, blues, early jazz and rock, country, and original material.

Gretchen Parlato

“Gretchen is a singer with a deep, almost magical connection to the music. She takes a lot of chances with her understated style, and it works. Every note is expressive, powerful, and pretty. And most important, her heart is in the right place.”—Herbie Hancock

In the ten years since her arrival in New York City, Gretchen Parlato has emerged as one of the most inventive and mesmerizing vocalists of her generation. In an artful communion of space, texture and a genre-bending repertoire, she has introduced a musical sea-change, making the power of subtlety front and center in jazz. Winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, Parlato has appeared on a bevy of other artists’ albums, including recordings by bassist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Kenny Barron, and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, among others.

Joel Ross ‘Good Vibes’

“The vibraphonist Joel Ross is already widely known as contemporary jazz’s top prospect. Kingmaker, his major-label debut, out now on Blue Note, shows that he has what it takes to build something vital.”—New York Times

“I never had a doubt that I was going to do music,” says Joel Ross, the most thrilling new vibraphonist in America. The Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based player and composer has performed with historic and seasoned artists—Herbie Hancock, Louis Hayes, Christian McBride, and Stefon Harris—as well as with cutting-edge contemporaries like Ambrose Akinmusire, Gerald Clayton, and Marquis Hill. In 2019, Ross joined the Blue Note Records roster and added his name to an illustrious jazz vibraphone legacy on the label that extends from Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson to Stefon Harris and now Ross. At ArtPower, he will be performing with his newly minted Good Vibes ensemble.

Ariel Quartet
Beethoven Cycle, Part 3

“A blazing, larger-than-life performance.”—Washington Post

Characterized by its youth, brilliant playing, and soulful interpretations, the Ariel Quartet has quickly earned a glowing international reputation. Formed in Israel as teenagers at the Jerusalem Academy Middle School of Music and Dance and celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2020–21, the Quartet was named recipient of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, granted by Chamber Music America in recognition of artistic achievement and career support.

They return to ArtPower for two concerts this season, as they perform the complete Beethoven Cycle, in honor of the composer’s 250th birthday in 2020. This concert marks the third of a five-concert series.

Program

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in A Major, op. 18, no. 5; String Quartet in E minor, op. 59, no. 2; String Quartet in B-flat Major, op 130, no. 2

Ariel Quartet
Beethoven Cycle, Part 4

Distinguished by its virtuosity, probing musical insight, and impassioned, fiery performances, the Ariel Quartet returns to the stage at ArtPower for the fourth installment of a five-concert series performing Beethoven’s complete string cycle. The Quartet will offer a lateral cut of this fascinating composer’s compositional life; and this concert will have a hidden layer to it—engaging the audience in a program of ‘firsts’! The evening program includes the first string quartet Beethoven ever wrote, opus 18, no. 3; as well as opus 131, Beethoven’s personal favorite string quartet.

Program

Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet in D Major, op.18, no. 3; String Quartet in F Major, op. 59, no. 1; String Quartet in C-sharp minor, op. 131, no. 14

Aynur

“To hear Aynur’s voice is to hear the transformation of all the layers of human joy and suffering into one sound. It reaches so deep into our soul, tears into our hearts, and then we are for one moment, joined as one. It is unforgettable.”—Yo-Yo Ma

Over the years Aynur has become one of the most well known musicians from Turkey and a representative for the Kurdish people. Her vocal style and her albums are praised not just in Turkish media but also in international media. Her albums are best sellers among Kurdish folk albums. Based on traditional Kurdish folk songs—many of them at least 300 years old—Aynur’s music is about the life and suffering of Kurdish people, in particular, the women. Musically she tries to blend Kurdish with Western music, interpreting her traditional repertoire in a modern way. She has collaborated with famous musicians and bands like world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble, Kayhan Kalhor, Javier Limon, Kinan Azmeh, Mercan Dede, Salman Gambarov, Cemil Qocgiri, Morgenland All Star Band, Nerderland Blazers Ensemble, and Sertab Erener.

Rev. Sekou and the Freedom Fighters

“Rev. Sekou delivers the spiritual performance we need now.”—Paste Magazine

Noted activist, theologian, author, documentary filmmaker, and musician, Reverend Osagyefo Sekou was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in the rural Arkansas Delta. Rev. Sekou’s music is a unique combination of Arkansas Delta Blues, Memphis Soul 1970s funk, and Gospel. His single from his first album, “We Comin”—was named the new anthem for the modern Civil Rights movement by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In May 2017 he released In Times Like These, produced by the six-time Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars. His latest release from 2019, When We Fight, We Win—Live from Memphis, features new music as well as songs from the first two albums.

San Salvador

Hailing from Correze in south-western France, San Salvador is a six-voice and percussion collective that combines Occitan poetry with hypnotic vocal harmonies propelled by surging percussion. Their compositions use the Occitan language—a Romance language spoken in southern France, Italy’s Occitan Valleys, and in parts of Spain and Monaco—as a rhythmic instrument, combining poetry with hypnotic vocal harmonies cascading over shifting patterns of compelling percussion to create their own universe.

Rooted in the region’s deep a cappella folk traditions, these progressive troubadours turn language and vocals into rhythmic instruments with the power of (tribal) trance and techno, and even “math rock” and punk. The result is one big cluster of joyful energy that’ll make the whole room jump and swing.

Sean Jones’ Dizzy Spellz

Trumpeter, musical director Sean Jones and choreographer, tap dancer, and vocalist Brinae Ali have teamed up to create a piece that fuses elements of jazz, tap, hip-hop, and bebop to articulate the social vernacular of the African-American experience.

Inspired by the music and life story of Dizzy Gillespie, Dizzy Spellz offers an Afro-futuristic lens to explore the intersection of cultural and spiritual dilemmas with the African Diaspora. From Dizzy’s coming of age through the racial and social dynamics in the Deep South, to his creating and curating the bebop movement in New York, to his spiritual journey to Africa, and, finally, his delving into Afro-Cuban music and the Baha’i Faith, Dizzy was a complex man well ahead of his time and with plenty of stories to tell.

Castalian Quartet

“…a feisty group, with a real personality and strong interpretative ideas”—Guardian

​In the nine years since its formation, the London-based Castalian Quartet has distinguished itself as one of the most dynamic, sophisticated young string quartets performing today. Recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s 2019 Young Artists Award, the Quartet also received the prestigious inaugural Merito String Quartet Award and Valentin Erben Prize in 2018, has won a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship Award, and is beginning to gain international acclaim as they take their talents abroad.

Recent highlights for the Quartet include concerts at Wigmore Hall, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Neuchatel Chamber Music Festival in Switzerland, Banff International Festival, as well as tours of China and Colombia.

Program

Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet no. 6 in F minor, op. 80; Leoš Janáček: String Quartet no. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata”; Johannes Brahms: String Quartet no. 2 in A minor, op. 51