Posts Tagged ‘Jazz Festival’

Getting Caught Up

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Hey All,

As always, I hope this message finds you in the best of spirits and moods. Lately, it seems as though there is much turmoil in the world and let’s be frank about it; The world is not doing so well these days. But, I believe it can still be better and that ultimately, one way or another, it shall. Perhaps it could be that as I write this I’m watching South Park, a show that always tends to put me at ease in ever so strange as that may seem. It works wonders.

I wanted to take some time to update this site since it’s been quite a while, but it feels grossly inappropriate to be talking about what’s been happening the last few weeks and the in the weeks to come, but I can say that at least on a personal level, it has been wonderful. Dapp Theory had a wonderful little stint in the north east, performing in New York City’s Cornelia Street Cafe, Montreal’s Resonance Cafe, and New Haven’s Firehouse 12, which was followed by a very special show of John Zorn’s Simulacrum at The Village Vanguard. To be honestly cliched, it went by in a blur of a whirlwind, one that I will never forget. Many thanks to those of you who came out to support us. Immediately following this show, Simulacrum returned to Eastside Recording Studios to record the fourth studio album, featuring Kenny Wollesen on Vibes. It took us two day’s to track and a little over a day to mix, once we all was said and done with this we went out for our very first run as a band. It truly was a fun and spectacular run, another milestone for the band and for us personally. It will have been only a year this coming December that this band has existed, and already it’s been a dream come true. All in all, it’s been wonderfully fun.

As I’ve finally updated the calendar- not completely, but soon it will all be sorted- There are some exciting shows coming up this very week, starting Thursday with Felix Pastorius & Hipster Assassins at one of our favorite haunts, The 55 Bar. We will also be playing this coming Sunday along side Mass Mental at the premier of Rob Trujillo’s Jaco: A Documentary Film , at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Before that, Braindance will once again be performingin NYC at Santos Party House. Pretty soon I will have a couple of videos up from one of our practices, once again in the crude, guerrilla-style, spiderman-angeled way that I seem to take videos. While we are on the subject of videos…
Abraxas, Live in Bogota

Dapp Theory, Live at Cornelia Street Cafe

Simulacrum, Live in Philly

I will leave this post here for now, but as always be well and I hope you enjoy yourselves! till next time…

Cheers,
Kenny

Resolutions, Assassins, Theories, & Secrets

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Greetings,

In this moment I’m reminded of Louis CK when he said, “I really don’t know how to start shows…” I find the need to write to whomever will happen upon this writing, as well as to the loyal followers of my site, but I never know how to actually start the process of writing. I have always been much more of a reactionary person than a initiator, if you will. But then again, it would seem that I’ve already started, so here we go.

I’m currently in the process of preparing for several upcoming ventures, one of those being the upcoming Dapp Theory performance at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival this Sunday, the 26th at 4PM in Tompkins Square Park. For me, this brings back memories of when I first joined Lonnie Plaxico’s group. It would also happen to be the first time Dapp Theory bassist Chris Tordini saw me perform, before we became good friends and band mates in several projects, including my old fusion group Hybrid. It’s been some years since I’ve performed at this festival, but considering how the years have gone and everything that has happened for me personally over the last several years, it truly feels like a homecoming. This is a good thing because the highschool I went to had ZERO sports teams, so no marching bands, no cheerleading squads, and certainly no homecomings. We played Mahler and Coltrane’s quartet music, so I think it was a much better trade off. In other news with Dapp Theory, we are making our final push with the Kickstarter campaign we started some time ago, raising funds in order to complete the album we’ve started working on. Having been an artist whom several times has had to record, release, and promote an album without management, label, investors, PR, or any industry consideration, I can tell you first hand that it is never easy when doing it alone, regardless of how long you’ve been in the “scene.” I do have to say that though I’m usually never happy with any of my recorded performances, I am happy with the musical repertoire on this album. It’s a much more eclectic mix of Jazz/World/MB than previous offerings, but still retains many of the concepts and elements that make Dapp Theory what it is. Then again, with 3 new players, one of which that plays the Armenian Duduk and another that plays Salsa and Death Metal, things can go to much different places. So, I would encourage any fan of Dapp Theory or any fan of mine or even the wayward cyber-traveler, If you feel lead, then feel free to donate a couple of bucks. Every dollar that goes into the campaign does really count for a lot. The album will then have the means to fly and considering the work myself and the rest of the band has put in over the last 6 years for this group, It would be lovely to finally have a physical offering for the world to hear.

As some of you may have noticed, if you’ve checked out my Itinerary, I will be doing a string of performances throughout Europe. Many of us tend to refer to this as a “Tour.” Well I am happy to make public that I will be performing with Trey Spruance’s Secret Chiefs 3 this year on their European Tour in the Fall. It’s something that came to fruition after the Abraxas Jazz In Marciac concert with Zorn’s Aleph Trio and Secret Chiefs 3. Ches Smith, drummer for SC3, Xiu Xiu, various Tim Berne projects, Mary Halvorson, Trevor Dunn, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dogs and slew of other ridiculous music, as well as Timba Harris, Violinist for SC3 and Estradasphere, thought it would be good to have me fill in for Ches on this upcoming tour. When they both asked me what I thought about it I was honestly kind of stunned. Getting the chance to see SC3 live and share the stage was one thing, but to perform some of Trey’s music is something else entirely. Disco Volante was a go-to point musically for myself and high school friend and badass guitarist Edwin Itoh: His old band, Zeno, used to cover Mr Bungle tunes in various shit-hole venues throughout South Florida, such as the ill-located Chuchill’s in Miami, Fl. Mr Bungle was truly a gateway band that lead me to many other interests and places musically. In a lot of ways, my performing with Abraxas, Resolution 15, Hung, Hipster Assassins, and Nevereven, as well as many other projects, would never have taken place because I still would have been a 70’s Fusion/60’s Jazz/40’s mambo/Classical geek all this time. Suffice it to say, to have the chance to play with SC3 is beyond an honor; it’s more like living a childhood fantasy. I’ll continue to write about and hopefully post more as the weeks follow, but for now, it’s time to learn the depths of this mountain of beautifully visceral music. Here’s something that it may sound like-

Abraxas, Aleph Trio, & Secret Chiefs 3 Live:

Lastly,  here’s a clip from the last Hipster Assassins hit from 55 Bar this past Thursday, August 23rd. It’s not the complete song, but it still has a bit of vibe on it, I think. Also, you get to see me drink and play at the same time. (Yes, it was one of those kind of shows, but not in a bad way). We played in front of a very dedicated and energetic crowd that night, who stuck around for TWO 90min sets. I call those people ‘Champions.’ All in all, it was a great night of music, which leads me to my last bit of news.

As some of you may already know, Resolution 15 bassist Jim Robertson has left the group to pursue other interests and musical endeavors. As you can imagine, it was a huge blow for the band, but thankfully all is passed on good terms. We were saddened to see him leave, but as the man he is, he completed the tracking for our upcoming full length in half a day. About 25mins worth of music that requires scores and pages of sheet music done in the time it takes to setup drums and mic them. It was utterly ridiculous and it’s truly a Badass parting gift! Since then, we’ve held several auditions for the new bassist, and some pretty badass bassists to boot, but we’ve found the missing link. Mike Bendy, member of the Hipster Assassins and The Bendy Effect, has taken over the reigns as our new bassist. Out of everyone we tried out, he literally brought the kind of musicianship, aggression, and fire that we need to be who we are. I’ve been very happy having him on board and I’m looking forward to unleashing him and all of the new R15 music upon the public very soon. More news on that will follow soon…

I believe that is all for now, save for maybe that clip from the 55 Bar I promised earlier. As always, thank you for reading and see you soon…

 

Cheers,

Kenny

Abraxas in Marciac, Being Folked Up, & a Midsummer’s Recap

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Greetings,

Given that it’s been quite some time since the last update, I bring you an-all encompassing update as to what has been going on over in my new homestead known as Brooklyn!

Later this week, Abraxas will be making it’s live debut here in NYC at John Zorn’s The Stone. Earlier this year John Zorn commissioned bassist Shanir Blumenkranz to record an album of selected pieces from Zorn’s  Book of Angels V. 19 repertoire, giving him free reign to record and produce the album as Shanir saw fit. The end result was something very primordial, tribal, and visceral. Featuring some amazing guitar work from Aram Bajakian (of Lou Reed) and cutting edge experimental guitarist Eyal Maoz. At times, taking from Classic Rock to Moroccan rhythms, Jewish mysticism and an atavistic approach to music, this is an album that I think any fan of music will enjoy. You’ll be able to grab a copy at our upcoming show at  The Stone this Friday, August 3rd or at Zorn’s website. This will be our prep show for the next one, a brief hit at the Jazz In Marciac festival, playing along with John Zorn’s Aleph Trio and Secret Chiefs 3! I’m super humbled and excited all at the same time to be sharing the stage with these insane musicians, as well as thrilled for this will be my first time in France and hopefully Without being detained at De Gaul International!

Here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect on the album:

This past July I had the opportunity to record with composer and long time colleague Daniel Bernard Roumain and North Carolina artist and activist Laurelyn Dossett for an upcoming album that we will be touring briefly later this year. The details on our live shows will follow as they come, but what I can say about the recording session was that it was an absolute joy to work with Laurelyn and many of her various musical partners and band mates. All incredible musicians as well as being incredibly chill and wonderful people to be around and talk with. Many a late night patio talk was had at the end of our 10-hour days in Asheville, NC, and could possibly be one of my personal high points of the summer. Recording at Echo Mountain Studios, is easily the next highlight of the summer thus far. If you ever have the chance to record an album, do yourself a favor and make it happen at this place. Incredible gear with incredible sounding rooms, super pro and courteous staff, and the in house musical gear is killer. There’s also a nice, crunchy coffee shop near by and the tech owns an instrument/amp repair shop down the road. It’s perfect.

In more recording news, I’ve had a chance to hear a bit of the upcoming Dapp Theory album we recorded this past April, and I think old school fans and newer Dapp fans alike will really enjoy this offering. Between and Andy’s compositions and musical direction coupled with Jimmy Haslip leadership and expertise in the producer’s chair, will make for a rather nice album from start to finish. We’ll be making some live appearances this summer, including a quick gig at Harlem’s Ginny’s as well as a set at this year’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. If you haven’t already, check out Andy’s music on the recently released documentary, The Captains, chronicling the personal lives and tribulations of All the Star Trek captains. It’s a must see for any Star Trek fan.

Resolution 15 is also just about finished with it’s newest album, the completion of Svaha. It has been a long time coming but I think our fans will be really pleased with the newer material and a fully realized album. We’ve already written enough new material to record the next two albums, so though we are eager to put that material out there, for you now you all can enjoy the entirety of this album. We should have physical copies fairly soon, along with a very special engagement that we will be letting the world know of in the upcoming months, so stay tuned either here or at Res15’s various media outlets.

As always, thank you for checking in with me and please stay tuned for more updates as they occur. I will have much to report in the upcoming months, as well as some project ideas I have in the works, both in videos and in released music. In the meantime, please enjoy this latest video from Hung’s show at Arena in Queens, NY and till next time, be well.

Kenny

My first Youtube video, Sound check from Bogota

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

For your enjoyment, some evidence of my playing and fun-having in Colombia 🙂

The video is a bit too big, but here’s the link to find it:

Kenny Grohowski at Sound check w/The Greg Diamond Group

Enjoy,

Kenny