The Jazz Passengers "The Supremes Project" at Bricstudio
THE JAZZ PASSENGERS: The Supremes Project
Thursday, March 15 & Saturday, March 17 at 8PM
BRICstudio, an alternative space for new and emerging performance, kicks off its 2007 season with a new work by The Jazz Passengers, participants of BRIC/Brooklyn Information & Culture's new BRIClab artists' residency program. Commissioned by the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival, The Supremes Project will be created and performed in development, with the creative advisement of Danny Kahn (Cross Road Management) on March 15 and 17 at 8:00 pm.
Led by the saxophonist and composer Roy Nathanson, The Jazz Passengers emerged from the frenetic explosion of experimentation characterizing New York's 1980's downtown jazz scene. Called a mix of the soulful cool from the Blue Note records of the early 1960's" and Charlie Mingus' cantankerous tussle of the same period" by the New York Times, The Jazz Passengers are one of the city's most playful and unusual groups. Through a host of albums and extended collaborations (notably with Elvis Costello & Debbie Harry), they have continued to push the creative envelope with projects such as The Fire at Keaton's Bar & Grille, and a live score and dialogue for the Sci-Fi horror classic Creature From the Black Lagoon. The Supremes Project finds them in a typically mischievous and romantic mood, interpreting the music of the beloved and seminal girl group.
Conversations with the artists: Join us after the show, as The Jazz Passengers discuss their work and the development process with leaders of the jazz community.
647 Fulton Street at Rockwell Place, Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $12 / $10 for students
Info/Purchase: 718-855-7882 x53 or www.bricstudio.org
Directions: BRICstudio is located on the 2nd floor of 647 Fulton Street, at the corner of Rockwell Place, around the corner from the BAM Harvey Theater. Subway: 2, 3, 4 or 5 to Nevins St; B, M, Q, R to DeKalb Av; G to Fulton St.
About the Artists:
The Jazz Passengers were founded in l987 by Saxophonist Roy Nathanson and Trombonist Curtis Fowlkes. The two musicians met in the band of the Big Apple Circus and toured extensively together in John Lurie's seminal band The Lounge Lizards. They found strong affinity in their Brooklyn roots, their affection for hard bop, comedy and eccentric currents in modern American music. In l989 Bob Blumenthal wrote in the Boston Globe, The seven piece Passengers often suggest a perverse mainstrean band, a hard-bop group as imagined by Frank Zappa." This is an apt description of the two leaders' intention in forming the band.
Early Passengers sets and CDs involved complicated and soulful compositions mixed with original vocals and comedy pieces. This mixture was in evidence in their first 5 albums: Broken Night/Red Light, Deranged and Decomposed, Live at the Knitting Factory, Plain Old Joe and Implement Yourself. Besides Nathanson and Fowlkes, original band members included Bill Ware on vibes, E. J. Rodriguez on percussion, Brad Jones on bass, Jim Nolet on violin and Marc Ribot on guitar. It is now a six piece band without guitar and with Sam Bardfeld on violin.
The group's trend towards vocal based composition reached a more sophisticated point with the release of the Hal Wilner produced album, Jazz Passengers in Love. Featuring singers from Mavis Staples to Jimmy Scott to Bob Dorough, the performance of Blondie star Debbie Harry on the song Dog and Sand" stood out and led to a collaboration that is still very much alive. The band released two CDs, Individually Twisted and Live in Spain with Harry as lead vocalist.
The group has and continues to tour the world extensively and has done orchestral arrangements (featuring the arranging/orchestration skills of Bill Ware) of their work for performances with the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic. This combination of orchestral and original composing is equally in evidence in their project performing a live soundtrack to the 1954 classic horror film Creature From the Black Lagoon.
About the venue:
BRICstudio is a program of BRIC/Brooklyn Information & Culture, a nonprofit arts and media organization founded in 1979 to address cultural needs within Brooklyn's contemporary, urban environment. Headquartered in downtown Brooklyn, BRIC presents visual, performing and media arts programs that are reflective of and relevant to Brooklyn's diverse communities. Located in the former Strand Theater, BRICstudio provides a platform for the development of new work, as well as subsidized rehearsal, rental and performance space for non venue-based artists and arts organizations.
BRICstudio's 2007 spring season has been generously supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York State Assembly, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.