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Sun, Mar 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Ben Goldberg's Orphic Machine

In the world premiere of “Orphic Machine,” primarily commissioned by Chamber Music America, clarinetist and composer Ben Goldberg leads an amazing ensemble in a song-cycle based on the poetical writings of Allen Grossman. An internationally renowned cast of musicians help Ben bring this extraordinary project to life, including violinist and vocalist Carla Kihlstedt, guitarist Jeff Parker, saxophonist Rob Sudduth, percussionist Ches Smith, pianist Myra Melford, trumpeter Ron Miles, vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen, and bassist Greg Cohen.

Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine performs Care, Live at the 27th Jewish Music Festival

Ben Goldberg’s Orphic Machine performs The Present, Live at the 27th Jewish Music Festival

Ben Goldberg “The Present” from Israel Perez on Vimeo.

Ben is a Berkeley-based clarinetist and composer who has followed a circuitous musical journey, from Jewish roots music, blues and bebop to avant-garde jazz and chamber improvisation. Along the way, he has played in some of the most creative musical ensembles including his own quartet, Tin Hat, Myra Melford’s Be Bread, John Zorn, and Nels Cline.

Commissioned by Chamber Music America / New Jazz Works and the Jewish Music Festival, with support from the East Bay Community Foundation and JMF Patrons

In the 1990’s Ben Goldberg’s New Klezmer Trio “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music“ SF Chronicle. Their legacy has been a vast outpouring of radical Jewish music. Ben performs with Tin Hat, Myra Melford, John Zorn, and Nels Cline, Go Home, and founded BAG Production Records.

Myra Melford - Piano (Myra Melford's Be Bread, Ben Goldberg/Myra Melford Duo)
Improvising pianist and composer Myra Melford is a sonic explorer whose career has been defined by a restless curiosity and openness to collaborative creativity. With more than 30 recordings in her catalog (including 19 as leader or co-leader) Melford currently divides her time between teaching, composition and performance. At the keyboard, Melford recasts the blues and boogie-woogie of her native Chicago, folds in elements of the music of Eastern Europe and India, and blends them with the rangy, percussive avant-garde approach she cultivated in studies with Don Pullen and Henry Threadgill. This personal musical vocabulary is further enriched by a lush lyricism and organized by an architectural sense of composition that she derived from classical training.

Carla Kihlstedt - Violin (Tin Hat, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias Bossi)

Carla Kihlstedt’s music lives in the fertile places where genres overlap and aesthetic values transmute. She plays the violin, sings, improvises and composes, sometimes at the service of a simple song, and other times, a large-scale multi-faceted performance.
Carla has always been drawn to collaborations for the way that they keep her language evolving in new ways. Her ongoing collaborative projects cover a wide spectrum of sounds from the rich and subtle acoustic composers’ collective Tin Hat, to the dramatic and alarming experimental rock band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and from the intimate, incisive purveyors of song, 2 Foot Yard, to the fiercely spontaneous improvisational duo with pianist Satoko Fujii called Minamo.

Jeff Parker

Jeff Parker is a guitarist, composer, educator, and sculptor of sonic textures. He is a founding member of the critically acclaimed and innovative groups Isotope 217˚ and Chicago Underground, and a longtime member of the band Tortoise.

Recognized as one of contemporary music’s most versatile and innovative electric guitarists, his music is characterized by ideas of angularity and logic, as well as an instantly recognizable tone on the instrument. He works in a variety of mediums, from Jazz to contemporary music, using ideas informed by innovations and trends in both popular and experimental music. He creates works that explore and exploit the contrary relationships between tradition and technology, improvisation and composition, and the familiar and the abstract.

Kenny Wolleson (Ben Goldberg Trio, Quintet, New Klezmer Trio)

Drummer Kenny Wolleson performed on over 30 recordings during the 1990s and, as the decade progressed, gained increasing renown as a musician of astonishing versatility, skill, and ingenuity. He has recorded and toured with all kinds of musicians, including Tom Waits (Wolleson performs on Waits’ 1993 collaboration with William S. Burroughs, Black Rider).
A founding member of the New Klezmer Trio, Wollesen is also all over N.Y.C.‘s downtown jazz and avant-garde musicians’ recordings, and has been so active as to tour with Bill Frisell and Myra Melford in the same month.

Ches Smith - Percussion

Ches Smith is an American musician whose primary instruments are drums, percussion, and vibraphone. He writes and performs music in a wide variety of contexts, including solo percussion, experimental rock bands, and small and large jazz ensembles. He has performed with Good For Cows, Marc Ribot, Secret Chiefs 3, Xiu Xiu, Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant, Carla Bozulich, Beat Circus, Ben Goldberg, 7 Year Rabbit Cycle, Ara Anderson and Fred Frith. He has also recorded and performed a full-length album of his own solo percussion pieces entitled Congs For Brums (2006).

Ron Miles - Trumpet (joined by Ben Goldberg and Charlie Hunter in Go Home)

Denver trumpeter Ron Miles’ resume includes time with Bill Frisell, Don Byron, the Ellington Orchestra, and Fred Hess’ Boulder Creative Music Ensemble. Besides being solicited all over the world for his unique sound, Ron is a staple of the Denver jazz scene and his recent releases as band leader show off his skills as a composer and arranger as well as a “phenomenally gifted trumpeter” (Bill Milkowski).

Greg Cohen - Bass (Ben Goldberg Trio & Quintet, Masada)

A native of Los Angeles, bassist Greg Cohen has been playing in various acclaimed music groups since the ’60s. A solid player without equal, Cohen has played in countless jazz lineups with top musicians including Bill Frisell, John Zorn, and Dave Douglas, to name just a few. Cohen’s experience reaches far beyond any one style or genre; he has also played with the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, and Laurie Anderson, and he’s been a mainstay on Tom Waits’ albums since 1980’s Heartattack and Vine.

Rob Sudduth - Saxophone (Ben Goldberg Quintet)

Rob Sudduth is a Bay Area native, a saxophonist whose direct, soulful style is the result of his experience in San Francisco’s eclectic music scene. Now living in New York City, he is equally comfortable performing with blues, jazz and rock bands, and blends the genres effortlessly. He brings the honesty of the blues to jazz, and the swing and melodic conception of Jazz to blues music, without compromising the essence of either.

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The Jewish Music Festival is a fiscally sponsored project of the JCC East Bay