Daughter of Jazz Great Henry Threadgill Will Also Share Bill for Progressive Black Female Showcase Voicing Between The Lines and a Coveted Hudson Opera House Appearance
Critically acclaimed as one of the most inventive and visionary new voices in the progressive scene of jazz, Pyeng Threadgill brings her singular approach to song back to the New York stage for the new year. Pyeng will first be presenting her work on Saturday, January 10 at the Blue Note Jazz Club as part of the storied venues popular Late Night Groove Series; This after hours show will feature Pyeng with her stellar quintet consisting of Tyler Wood on keyboards, Derek Nievergelt on bass, multi-instrumentalists Dimitri Moderbacher and Kevin Louis, and drummer Evan Pazner.
The very next night, Sunday, January 11, Pyeng will be featured within a bill of like-minded peers in the SanaaHouse Productions’ APAP showcase “Voicing Between the Lines” at the Avenue A arts center Drom. There she will share the stage with other bold, boundaries-defying Black female artists such as Somi, Imani Uzuri, Zolani, Tamar-Kali and Sparlha Swa. Threadgill’s resume also includes works with James Cammack, Gregoire Maret, Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), Ernie Hammes, Wolfgang Muthspiel among others.
At the end of the month, Pyeng and her band will perform at the Hudson Opera House on Saturday, January 31. These January 2009 shows will feature material from her previous two recordings Sweet Home: The Music of Robert Johnson and Of the Air (which is the translation of her name Pyeng). More importantly, she will be sharing some sneak peek selections from her eagerly anticipated third project Portholes to a Love & Other Short Stories, Pyeng’s first album of all-self-penned material. That project is tentatively slated for a Summer 2009 release and will arrive after three years of work-shopping and development.
New York lower East Side native Threadgill, the daughter of saxophonist Henry Threadgill, earned a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts to write songs based on short stories by world renowned authors. Reflecting on the creation of Portholes to a Love & Other Short Stories, Pyeng states, “For my first album of all original material I wanted to come with something that was strong in concept. I approached the project as a series of short stories. I was inspired by the author Isabel Allende, whom I consider to be a magical realist. Many of the pieces on my album are about the magical moments that occur within the otherwise mundane aspects of living.
Pyeng recorded her third and latest album last summer with engineer/producer Axel Niehaus (a veteran of sessions for Youssou NDour, The Roots, Common, Stewart Copeland, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Miri Ben-Ari and more). She was introduced to Miehaus by bassist Derek Nievergelt. She worked out the material with her band mates in shows at NuBlu in Alphabet City. Some of the songs were inspired by the literature of others while the remainder was inspired by her life experiences and observations. She ultimately sees the project as a 10-song cycle with multi-media performance art possibilities particularly video.
Pyeng elaborates,One piece is titled Lost Continent inspired by the short story The Third and Final Continent by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, a woman of South Asian descent. My song is about people who are uprooted or uproot themselves at some point in life, and musings on growing older. From the other end of the spectrum is a song drawn from my life called Propeller, which is about the joys of movement and forward motion for their own sake, not necessarily the destination.
A fascinating artist whose work has been described by All About Jazz as of fearless daring and crystalline invention. Pyeng is not only featured in the documentary on African musician Youssou NDour titled Retour A Goree directed by Pierre Yves Borgeaud, she is the subject of her own work-in-progress documentary directed by Annabel Wong.
With her upcoming New York shows in January, Pyeng Threadgill hopes to expand her audience, particularly at the Voicing Between the Lines date.I think it will be the perfect showcase for me because of the diversity of the lineup. I have never considered myself to be just a jazz or blues singer. My work is based in improvisational music but all of it has a groove, because it's the groove that connects you to the audience.
PYENG THREADGILL JANUARY 2009 PERFORMANCES
Saturday, January 10th Late Night Groove Series Blue Note Jazz Club - 131 W. 3rd Street - New York, NY 10012 Showtime: Midnight / Admission: $8
Sunday, January 11th APAP Showcase Voicing Between The Lines Drom - 85 Avenue A - New York City 10009 Showtime: 9pm
Saturday, January 31st Hudson Opera House 327 Warren Street, - Hudson, New York 12534 Showtime: 8pm