Fri, September 26, 2014
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2014-09-26 8:30 pm
Michael Gregory Jackson "Spirit-Signal-Strata" with Kenwood Dennard and Keith Witty at Firehouse 12
MICHAEL GREGORY JACKSON “SPIRIT-SIGNAL-STRATA”
with Kenwood Dennard and Keith Witty
“Emotion, energy, empathy, focus, balance, listening, connection, response…mindful, elegant, dancing, diving deeply in…Spirit-Signal-Strata”. MGJ
Michael Gregory Jackson - guitar and electronics
Kenwood Dennard - drums
Keith Witty - bass and electronics
Friday September 26, 2014, 8:30PM and 10:00PM
Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street, New Haven, CT 06510 203-785-0468
“Michael Gregory Jackson's music is spiritual and holds the light - even in the darkness...This is how the music is: it contains a will to dive into the deepest layers of human life, but is at the same time also a tribute to life itself. A sound painting that covers the diversity of life itself.”
- Jakob Baekgaard, Jazz Special (DK)
MICHAEL GREGORY JACKSON
One of the most influential and innovative guitarists to emerge during New York’s avant-garde loft scene in the 70s, master guitarist, composer, and improviser Michael Gregory Jackson has spanned and at times defied musical genres. He has embraced everything from avant-garde, creative music, jazz, blues, rock and electronica soundscapes to harmonically rich and lyrically deep vocal tunes, with the complex arrangements and subtleties that are a signature of his music. In his early career, Rolling Stone magazine called Jackson "the most original jazz guitarist to emerge since the sixties."
Jackson's brilliant technique on electric and acoustic, flavored with quicksilver runs, volume pedal swells and sudden shifts from crystalline melodic to fuzzy dissonance, has been name-checked as a critical influence on such 6-string greats as Bill Frisell, Vernon Reid, Marc Ribot, Mary Halvorson and more.
Michael has worked and/or recorded with luminaries across the musical spectrum including Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, Wadada Leo Smith, Nile Rodgers, Anthony Braxton, Will Calhoun, Nels Cline, Nona Hendryx, Jack Dejohnette, Steve Winwood, David Murray, Walter Becker, Buster Williams, Carlos Santana, Marcus Miller, Henry Threadgill, Omar Hakim, Vernon Reid, and Patti LaBelle, to name a few.
His recent credits as a producer include Pulitzer Prize nominee Wadada Leo Smith, for whom he produced two critically acclaimed discs. Jackson has taught and led creative workshops in the U.S. and abroad, including faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music, visiting artist at CalArts (California Institute for the Arts), guiding artist at Woodstock’s Creative Music Studio and visiting artist at The Copenhagen Conservatory of Music in Denmark. His annual travels to Denmark to perform and collaborate have led to his most recent recordings, "Liberty" EME 2013, and his soon to be released Michael Gregory Jackson’s Clarity Quartet, "After Before".
Kenwood is a master drummer and musician. He has been a professor at Berklee College of Music for over 15 years and is one of the founding instructors at the Drummer's Collective. His ability to inspire and share drum wisdom and technique is amazing. His performance credentials are phenomenal, having played with Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Harry Bellafonte, Joe Zawinul, Sting, Jaco Pastorious, Pat Martino, Maceo Parker, Stanley Jordan, Larry Coryell, Esperanza Spaulding, Tal Wilkenfeld and many others.
A native of New York City, bassist Keith Witty has straddled the worlds of Hip-Hop, popular music forms, and Jazz's Avant- Garde in his young career. In 2000, before graduating from Wesleyan University, he made his recording debut with the Anthony Braxton Quartet. Work soon followed in the bands of drummer/producer Guillermo E. Brown, which spawned the opportunity to fill in for William Parker in the David S. Ware Quartet. Keith's first engagement with Ware was the induction ceremony of Sonny Rollins and Max Roach into Jazz at Lincoln Center's Hall of Fame, with both legends in attendance. In 2007, Keith formally joined Ware's new quartet. That same year, he joined the touring band of Grammy-nominated singer and song-writer Amel Larrieux, with whom he has toured extensively and contributed to her “Lovely Standards” (2008) and “Ice Cream Everyday” (2013) records. In 2010, Keith joined the band of acclaimed East African vocalist Somi, with whom he has played concerts throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, partaking in the album, "Live at the Jazz Standard".
Most recently, Keith produced and performed on Somi’s major label debut, “Lagos Music Salon”, released in August 2014 on Sony/Okeh Records. Simultaneously, Keith has collaborated with some of the most innovative musicians of Jazz's upcoming generation, playing in bands led by Matana Roberts, Taylor Ho Bynum, Pyeng Threadgill, and others.
A long-time member of trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson’s band, Keith played on his debut record as a leader, “Moment and the Message”, which received unanimous praise throughout the jazz world in 2013. A dedicated educator as well, Keith was the New York City Opera Education Program's composer-in-residence for 10 years. He received his BA from Wesleyan University and an MA in music from the City College of New York. He has studied with master bassists Michael Moore, Mark Dresser, and John Patitucci.
Firehouse 12, 45 Crown St.