Sunday Biking on Memorial Drive
Memorial Drive Closed to Vehicular Traffic on Sundays
Sun | -
Enjoy a car-free bike ride or run on Memorial Drive on Sundays from April 28-November 10! The road is closed from 11am-7pm between Western Avenue and Mount Auburn Street. See our concierge about renting our complimentary bikes for the day.
Sofía Rei & JC Maillard present KETER from John Zorn Masada Book 3
$28 | 7:30pm
FEATURING: SOFÍA REI: VOCALS, LOOPS & CHARANGO
JC MAILLARD: SAZ BASS, VOCALS
*This show is moved from May 9, 2019. All tickets for the original date are valid for the new date. If you have questions. Please call the box office at 617-395-7757.
After 4 years in the works, Sofia Rei and JC Maillard's duo album "Keter" will be finally released in January 2019. For a quarter of a century, John Zorn's Masada has been a consistently exciting and influential presence in the landscape of adventurous music, involving renowned artists such as Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Pat Metheny, John Medeski, Martin & Wood and many more. With this third and final songbook, The Book Beriah, he concludes the Masada series with 92 compositions over 11 albums, presented by some of the world's most accomplished musicians. In a unique project for voice and saz bass, longtime collaborators Sofia Rei and JC Maillard offer a superbly intimate and introspective study of the acclaimed source material. With lyrics by Rei and arrangements by both musicians, the songs explore a variety of topics, from love and solitude, to the ghost of Frida Kahlo and a childhood under dictatorship in Argentina. A captivating duet of unprecedented synergy, Keter has been coined "a standout addition to the Masada catalog".
Sofia Rei is an award winning vocalist, songwriter and producer form Buenos Aires, Argentina and based in New York City. Her music explores connections between the various traditions of South American folklore, jazz, flamenco and electronic sounds. She has collaborated with artists such as John Zorn, Maria Schneider, Bobby McFerrin, the Klezmatics, Myra Melford, Pedrito Martinez, Lionel Loueke, Guillermo Klein and Geoffrey Keezer (with whom she has earned a Grammy Nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album of 2009). She is also a full time faculty member of The Clive Davis Institue at NYU-Tisch School of the Arts. Prior to "Keter" she has released four albums, several of which have won Independent Music Awards. Sofia's work has been featured on CNN, NPR's Tiny Desk, WNYC's Soundcheck, The New York Times and many more. She continues to set herself apart with a bold new vision in the global music scene.
Jean-Christophe (JC) Maillard is a French composer, guitarist, pianist, electronic musician and arranger native of Pointe-à-Pître, Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. For the past 20 years, he has been touring, producing, arranging, acting as musical director and recording with all the great names in world music and world jazz. He has collaborated with Grammy wining artists such as Lisa Fischer, Angelique Kidjo, Richard Bona, Toure Kunda, etc. His project "Grand Baton", an innovative mix of rock and electronic music with Caribbean percussions has released two albums which received praiseful reviews from all over the world, establishing him as a daring creative mind in cross genre music. JC is also known for mastering and being the first player of the SazBass, a new 8-steel string instrument of Turkish origin.
Gilad Hekselman Trio
$28 | 7:30pm
"Gilad Hekselman has a vision of modern jazz that's harmonically fluent but not averse to simple melody or gentle, approachable effect." - The New York Times.
Hekselman has been developing a reputation as one of the most promising guitarists in New York since his arrival in 2004. In his latest album, Ask for Chaos, this acclaimed guitarist takes a bold new turn, inspired by two new and quite disparate trio configurations. Hekselman sequenced the new album with the two trios interspersed, resulting in sonic surprise but also a seamless aesthetic unity. The gHex Trio is giving a whole new dimension to the music.
Steve Lehman Trio
$25 | 7:30pm
Described as "a state-of-the-art musical thinker" and a "dazzling saxophonist," by The New York Times, Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman's pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), So Percussion, the American Composers Orchestra, the JACK Quartet, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the Talea Ensemble. His recent recording, Mise en Abîme (Pi, 2014) was called the #1 Jazz Album of the year by NPR Music and The Los Angeles Times. And his previous recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi, 2009), was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times.
The recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, Lehman is an alto saxophonist who has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Bennie Maupin, Jason Moran, Georgia-Anne Muldrow, George Lewis, Meshell Ndegeocello, and HPrizm of Antipop Consortium, among many others. His recent electro-acoustic music has focused on the development of computer-driven models for improvisation, based in the Max/MSP programming environment. Lehman's work has been favorably reviewed in Artforum, Downbeat Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Wire, and on National Public Radio, the BBC, and SWR.
As a Fulbright scholar in France during the 2002-2003 academic year, Lehman began researching the reception of African-American experimental composers working in France during the 1970s. His article in the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation, "I Love You with an Asterisk: African-American Experimental Composers and the French Jazz Press, 1970-1980," is based on his Fulbright research. More recently, Lehman has published writings and presented lectures on a wide range of topics, including jazz pedagogy, rhythm cognition, and European notions of American experimentalism. His current scholarship, including a forthcoming contribution to the Oxford Handbook of Spectral Music, examines the overlapping histories of spectral composition and jazz improvisation.
Lehman received his B.A. (2000) and M.A. in Composition (2002) from Wesleyan University where he studied under Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard, and Alvin Lucier, while concurrently working with Jackie McLean at the Hartt School of Music. He received his doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University (2012), where his principal teachers included Tristan Murail and George Lewis.
Lehman has taught undergraduate courses at Wesleyan University, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, New School University, and Columbia University, and has presented lectures at Amherst College, UC Berkeley, The Berklee School of Music, The Banff Centre, The Royal Academy of Music in London, and IRCAM in Paris, where he was a 2011 research fellow.
He is currently a professor of Music at The California Institute of the Arts, and lives in Los Angeles.
Donna Byrne with Scott Hamilton
$30 | 7:30pm
Donna Byrne Bio:
Donna has recorded several albums for both Challenge Records and Arbors Records and has worked on recording projects for: Greg Abate, Billy Novick, Kenny Hadley, Dick Johnson and most recently, for Carmen Cicero. She has also had the pleasure of recording for Brad Hatfield, where her voice can be heard on songs featured on: One Life to Live, Rescue Me, and the indie film, Puccini for Beginners.
It's no wonder why the late great Jazz artist Herb Pomeroy described her as his favorite living singer. And Jack Wolf, one of the composers of the song "I'm a Fool to Want You," said her version of his song was the best he'd heard in thirty years. She has also gained the respect and admiration of other legends of the business such as: Ruby Braff, Barbara Lea and Dave McKenna.
Donna has appeared on Sunday Open House, has won "Best of Boston Best Jazz Vocals," and has been nominated multiple times for Boston Music Awards. She has garnered exceptional reviews from such publications as: Jazz Times, Cadence, Jazz Journal and Jersey Jazz.
Donna grew up with music in her blood. Encouraged by her father to sing and perform at the age of two, she first emerged as a professional singer on Cape Cod, where her talents caught the eye and encouragement of famed pianist, Dave McKenna. After a brief hiatus, Donna is back doing what she loves most: singing. Donna's powerful voice, energetic personality, and life experiences give her music an almost spiritual feel, a soft and subtle charge which has brought admirations from jazz fans and the top artists in the industry.
Scott Hamlton Bio:
Scott Hamilton was born in 1954, in Providence, Rhode Island. He moved to New York in 1976 at the age of twenty-two, and through Roy Eldridge, with whom he had played a year previously in Boston, got a six-week gig at Michael's Pub. Roy also paved the way for him to work with Anita O'Day and Hank Jones. Although it was the tail-end of the of old New York scene, a lot of the greats were still playing and he got to work and learn from people like Eldridge, Illinois Jacquet, Vic Dickenson and Jo Jones. Eldridge was Scott's champion, but pulled no punches, and could be extremely critical, something for which Scott has always been grateful. In December of the same year John Bunch got Scott his first recording date, for Famous Door, and was also responsible for him joining Benny Goodman. He continued to work with Goodman at different times until the early 1980s.
In 1977 he formed his own quartet, which later became a quintet, with Bunch added to the group. The same year Carl Jefferson heard him, and began recording him for his Concord record label. More than forty albums later he is still recording for them, having made many under his own leadership, several with his regular British quartet of John Pearce, Dave Green and Steve Brown, including his latest, Nocturnes & Serenades. The Quartet plus two guests, Dave Cliff and Mark Nightingale recorded Our Delight! for Alan Barnes' Woodville label. A new release, Across the Tracks on Concorde is due this May. Along the way he has made albums with Dave McKenna, Jake Hanna, Woody Herman, Tony Bennett, Gerry Mulligan, Flip Phillips, Maxine Sullivan, Buddy Tate, Warren Vache, many with Rosemary Clooney and a number with another of his mentors, Ruby Braff, with whom he played residencies at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, London in the mid-1980s. Over the years Scott has also performed and recorded with such touring bands as the Concord Jazz All Stars, the Concord Super Band and George Wein's Newport Jazz Festival All Stars.
For some years he was based in London, where he first played in 1978, but now travels the world from Italy. Each year, in addition to two or three residencies with the quartet at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, British jazz club dates and festival work including Brecon, where he is one of the patrons, he regularly tours Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Japan, Spain and Italy. He returns to America three or four times a year to play at festivals, including in 2007, the New York JVC festival in June and Irvine, California in September, and in February 2008 for three nights at the Lincoln Centre New York.
His playing has best been described by fellow tenor saxophonist and writer, Dave Gelly: "Following a Scott Hamilton solo is like listening to a great conversationalist in full flow. First comes the voice, the inimitable, assured sound of his tenor saxophone, then the informal style and finally the amazing fluency and eloquent command of the jazz language." Scott was awarded the `Ronnie' for International Jazz Saxophonist of the Year in the 2007 inaugural Ronnie Scott's Jazz Awards. It is no wonder that Scott Hamilton is in demand the world over.
$35 | 7:30pm
Nnenna Freelon launched The Clothesline Muse (making her stage-acting debut), and joins Take 6 in "Georgia On My Mind", the multi-week Las Vegas Ray Charles Tribute, and more. 2017-2018 will offer these shows as well as her Christmas and Trio performances, as Freelon prepares to return to the recording studio with special guests for her 2017 release!
From her tremendous success in collaborations with Jessye Norman (the subsequent recording received another Grammy® nomination), with classical vocalist Harolyn Blackwell, Ivan Lins and Milton Nasciemento (in Brazil on a special benefit appearance of the nation's largest cancer fundraising institution), and another smashturn at Aretha Franklin's Birthday bash, Freelon tours 2016-2017 in the formats above and Special Collaborations!
From her performances at the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, to her part in the Tribute to Nancy Wilson at Carnegie Hall, to her turn on "In Performance At The White House" Nnenna Freelon launches a season filled with innovative and exciting shows.
An accomplished singer, composer, producer, and arranger (as well as budding actress), Freelon has dedicated herself to educating young people. She toured the United States for four years as the National Spokesperson for Partners In Education. She toured in a ground-breaking State Department sojourn of Vietnam with occasional collaborator Herbie Hancock. Her master classes and workshops, from "Sound Sculpture" to the innovative "Babysong," teach adults and children alike the wonders of music and song, a truly enlightening and enriching experience.
An international jazz star, Nnenna Freelon is one of the most memorable voices out there.
Aaron Parks Little Big
$28 | 7:30pm
aron Parks Little Big, the new Ropeadope album from the acclaimed pianist, keyboardist and composer, is at once the culmination of his brilliant early career and the long-awaited follow-up to his Blue Note Records debut, Invisible Cinema. That 2008 release, with its gorgeously melodic writing and improvising and deft use of indie-rock, electronica and hip-hop elements, established Parks as one of the most gifted and original young voices in jazz. "This is the natural successor to that record," says the New York-based artist, 34. "It's taking the ideas of that project and doubling down on them--fully committing to that direction."
Little Big also marks the recorded debut of the intuitive working group that gives the album its title (and which takes its name from a fantastical novel by John Crowley--a favorite book of Parks and, the pianist notes, Wayne Shorter). Parks handled the production duties, with engineering by Daniel Schlett (whose credits include The War on Drugs and Ghostface Killah). The album was mixed by both Schlett and Grizzly Bear bassist/producer Chris Taylor, the latter of whom Parks met in a Seattle big band at the age of 10. "We put a lot of time and care into the way this record sounds, and the result"--simultaneously crystalline and warm, postmodern and natural--"makes me really happy," Parks adds.
After experimenting with various lineups and sessions, Parks landed on three musicians ideally suited for this atmospheric, genre-bending new work. "This feels like a real band, one that will be around for a while," he says. Greg Tuohey is the longest-running member, a guitarist who places taste and tone ahead of chops-focused bravado--or, as Parks puts it, "It's like he's chasing Miles Davis' phrasing with Jimi Hendrix's attitude." On electric bass is David "DJ" Ginyard Jr., a left-handed player with a distinctively lyrical approach and an aptitude for seeing the bigger musical picture. "He really understands what the bass does, and he thinks super compositionally," Parks says, noting how some of Ginyard's basslines have become integral to the songs. Anchoring the unit is Tommy Crane, a forward-looking, stylistically resourceful drummer who brings both explosive creativity and a producer's knack for precision. "He has a very unique ability to internalize and commit to the particular heartbeat of each song," Parks explains, "but always with this vital and elastic human element, which is rare to hear in combination with the kinds of grooves we're exploring."
Together they interpret a panoramic set of Parks' original compositions--from the 21st-century fusion of "Kid," to the odd-metered studio jam "Professor Strangeweather," to the trip-hop ambiance and folkish melody of "Bells." The psychedelic "Aquarium"--"probably the sexiest tune on the album," Parks says, chuckling--conjures up the trippy, sultry neo-soul vibe of Meshell Ndegeocello, before Tuohey offers a solo that channels Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood. "Digital Society" somehow manages to evoke Afrobeat, bluegrass and Aphex Twin. "Lilac" is, as Parks describes it, "a solo-piano pop tune." The leader's "secret favorite" cut, "Doors Open," seeks inspiration in late Talk Talk and the "earnestness" of Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band. That closing track is "definitely not afraid to go straight for your heart," Parks says with a laugh.
A prodigal talent raised outside of Seattle, Parks moved with his family to study at the Manhattan School of Music when he was 16. Two years later, on the recommendation of a teacher, NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron, he was invited to join trumpet great Terence Blanchard's band. That tenure began the relationship with Blue Note that would yield Invisible Cinema, released when Parks was just 24. In The Guardian, John Fordham called the album "a real independent vision," adding that "Parks is a fast-rising star." In the September 2008 issue of JazzTimes, Parks was named a "New Jazz Visionary" alongside current giants like Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. Over the ensuing decade, Parks certainly made good on that early promise. He was an essential presence in Kurt Rosenwinkel's band, including on the guitarist's well-received double album from 2012, Star of Jupiter. As a member of the supergroup James Farm, also featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Eric Harland, Parks put out two celebrated albums on Nonesuch. In 2013 he released his first disc as an ECM Records artist, Arborescence, which DownBeat's J.D. Considine called "a forest-invoking solo-piano effort marked by wonderfully detailed narratives and a harmonic palette worthy of Ravel." Find the Way, an ECM trio session with bassist Ben Street and drummer Billy Hart, followed last year and garnered equally enthusiastic reviews.
On Little Big, Parks taps into the lessons he's absorbed throughout those far-reaching experiences, while also progressing some of the au courant sounds he investigated on Invisible Cinema. "This feels like the most personal record I've ever made," he says. What's more, the album reflects his worldview, an outlook in which optimism and inclusion supersede politics. "There's a lot out there right now to protest against, and it feels like it's the artist's duty to create music that reckons with the issues of the day. Nonetheless, this is not a protest record. It's not against anything; it's much more for something. What we're aiming to do is blend genres and ideas in an open and fluid way, so that structure and freedom work together to serve the larger concept of the song. It's a way of working together that feels representative of the kind of world I could imagine many of us might want to live in."
41st Annual Oktoberfest and HONK! Parade
Watch the Annual HONK! Parade and then enjoy Harvard Square's Annual Oktoberfest!
Honk! Parade is an annual gathering of brass bands from across the globe that work to promote progressive causes. They parade from Davis Square to Harvard Square along Massachusetts Avenue. To learn more, visit the parade website.
After the parade, gather in Harvard Square to try out the best local vendors around and sip on true Oktoberfest beer in the beer garden. Join in the fun!
Head of the Charles Regatta
Crew Teams From Across the Globe Compete in This Two-Day Event
Sat - Sun | -
Line the banks of the Charles River to cheer on crew teams from across the globe as they compete over the course of this two-day competition. Originating in 1965, the Head of the Charles Regatta attracts over 11,000 athletes each year. To learn more about the Regatta, visit their website here.
Annual Charles Square Tree Lighting
Help Kick Off the Holiday Season!
Join us as Charles Square kicks off the holiday season with our annual tree lighting ceremony and a visit from Santa!
More info to come!