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Ben Goldberg's Orphic MachinePurchase tickets online
March 04 8:00 pm
"The Orphic Machine is the poem: a severed head with face turned away that sings."
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 Carla Kihlstedt singing and on violin, saxophonist Rob Sudduth, percussionist Ches Smith, pianist Myra Melford, trumpeter Ron Miles, percussionist Kenny Wollesen, and bassist Greg Cohen.
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.
Improvising pianist and composer Myra is a sonic explorer whose career has been defined by openness to collaborative creativity, in her own ensembles (Be Bread and The Same River, Twice) and in collaborations with folks like Henry Threadgill, architect Michael Haberz, and Butoh master Oguri. Carla plays violin, sings, improvises, and composes, thriving on fertile settings where genres overlap and aesthetic values transmute, like her groups Tin Hat, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and 2 Foot Yard. Kenny is a drummer of astonishing versatility, skill, and ingenuity who has recorded and toured with all kinds of musicians, including Tom Waits, Bill Frisell, and the New Klezmer Trio. Ches performs music in a wide variety of contexts, including solo percussion, experimental rock bands, and small and large jazz ensembles, including Good For Cows, Secret Chiefs 3, and Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant. A staple of the Denver jazz scene, trumpeter Ron's resume includes time with Bill Frisell, Don Byron, and the Ellington Orchestra. Greg's solid bass playing has underpinned many a top jazz lineup since the 1960's, including stints with Bill Frisell, John Zorn, and Dave Douglas. Rob is a soulful saxophonist who is equally comfortable performing with blues, jazz and rock bands, and blends the genres effortlessly.
Ben created "Orphic Machine" through a commission by Chamber Music America/New Jazz Works and the Jewish Music Festival, with support from the East Bay Community Foundation. Intriguingly, the suite was inspired by Allen Grossman’s treatise, Summa Lyrica, a rigorous exploration of poetic structure in relation to consciousness through the interaction of art, language, and culture.
Listen to sample tracks from upcoming artists.