Bobby Avey Group
Authority Melts From Me
Bobby Avey – piano
Miguel Zenon - alto sax
Ben Monder – guitar
Thomson Kneeland – bass
Jordan Perlson – drums
Tickets: $20/$10 students
Authority Melts From Me is a suite inspired by events surrounding the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803. It was the only time in recorded history that slaves have eradicated slavery and subsequently been able to declare their independence from their imperial colonizer. Oral tradition holds the slave involvement in the uprising commenced following a secret Vodou ceremony at Bois Caïman in the northern mountains of the island.
Bobby Avey has done a study of Haitian Vodou drumming rhythms including a trip to Haiti earlier this year to record a Vodou ceremony in the small village of Soukri. He has meticulously transcribed excerpts from the ceremony in Soukri as well as music from the Drummers of the Societe Absolument Guinin, a Vodou drum ensemble from Port-au-Prince. The rhythmic relationships between the drummers in these ensembles serve as the foundation for Authority Melts From Me.
In addition to his regular trio of bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Jordan Perlson, Avey will be joined by guitarist Ben Monder and 2008 MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón.
The creation and realization of Authority Melts From Me has been made possible by the Chamber Music America 2011 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development grant funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Praised by the New Yorker magazine as, “A young pianist of invention and refinement,” Bobby Avey has established himself as an emerging star in the jazz community. In 2011, he won the esteemed Thelonious Monk Competition for composition. This award followed his 2010 debut record as a leader, A New Face,lauded by the NY Times as “A promising debut.” In 2005, while a student at the Purchase Conservatory of Music, he was invited by NEA Jazz Master David Liebman to adapt and arrange art songs from the Classical and Romantic eras for reinterpretation, creating a vehicle for improvisation. The project, which culminated with the album Vienna Dialogues, was released in 2006 on ZOHO to rave reviews. Avey graduated from Purchase Conservatory of Music summa cum laude in 2007.
• "Intense, forceful, fearless...if there's been a better jazz debut album this year, we haven't hear it. Avey's ceiling is pretty much as high as he wants to go with it." - Lucid Culture
• "With his potent debut, Avey deserves recognition as one of the most promising musicians of his generation." - Ken Dryden
• “A young pianist of invention and refinement.” - The New Yorker
Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents
a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often
contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered as one of the most
groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, he has also developed a
unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a
fine mix between Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz. Born and raised in San Juan,
Puerto Rico, Zenón has released seven recordings as a leader including Rayuela (2012) and
the Grammy Nominated Alma Adentro (2011). As a sideman he has worked with jazz
luminaries such as The SFJAZZ Collective, Charlie Haden, David Sánchez, The Mingus Big
Band, Bobby Hutcherson, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner and Steve Coleman.
Zenón has been featured in articles on publications such as The New York Times, The Wall
Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, as well as gracing the cover of Downbeat Magazine.
He has also toped the Rising Star Alto Sax category of the Downbeat Critic's Poll on four
different occasions. As a composer he has been commissioned by SFJAZZ, The New York
State Council for the Arts, Chamber Music America, The John Simon Guggenheim
Foundation, and many of his peers. Zenón has given hundreds of lectures and master classes
at institutions all over the world, and is a permanent faculty member at New England
Conservatory of Music. In 2011 he founded Caravana Cultural, a program which presents
free Jazz concerts in rural areas of Puerto Rico.
In April 2008 Zenón received a fellowship from the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim
Foundation. Later that year he was one of 25 distinguished individuals chosen to receive the
coveted MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “Genius Grant”.www.miguelzenon.com
A musician in the New York area for 25 years, he has performed with a variety of artists, including Jack McDuff, Marc Johnson, Lee Konitz, George Garzone, Tim Berne, and Kenny Wheeler. He is a regular member of the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and the Paul Motian Octet, as well as many other projects. He has conducted clinics and workshops around the world, and served on the faculty of the New England Conservatory from 2002-2005. Ben continues to perform original music internationally with his own quartet, trio, and in a duo project with vocalist Theo Bleckmann. He has appeared on over 100 CDs as a sideman, and has released 4 as a leader: Oceana (Sunnyside, 2005), Excavation (Arabesque, 2000), Dust (Arabesque, 1997), and Flux (Songlines,1995). http://www.benmonder.com/
Acoustic bassist and composer Thomson Kneeland has established himself as a formidable sideman and leader since moving to New York City in 2003. He quickly found himself working with such established musicians as Ted Rosenthal, Kenny Werner, Billy Drummond, Lynne Arriale, Paul Bollenback, Peter Leitch, Jed Levy, and many others, as well as leading his own groups. Kneeland has established himself as an in demand bassist with a rock solid swing feel and a unique virtuousic and rhythmic voice; but while delving deep into the jazz history, Kneeland also brings a variety of musical interests to the table from classical counterpoint and 20th century chamber music, to Indian Karnatic music, Indonesian gamelan, Balkan folk music, electronica, heavy metal, and more. Kneeland has released 5 albums as a leader, most recently Mazurka for a Modern Man and The Voice of Silence, featuring a quintet of his peers making their mark on the NYC scene. In 2012, as a member of the Jed Levy Quartet, Kneeland was selected to participate in the Rhythm Road Abroad program sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the US State Department.
Besides composing for various jazz and improvisational idioms, Kneeland has delved into two electronica projects (Grid-X and the movie soundtrack for Magdalena's Brain-2004) and composes chamber music; he was commissioned to write three pieces for the Longy School of Music Jazz Ensemble and has arranged for the Sherman Chamber Ensemble. As a leader, sideman, and composer, Kneeland has appeared on over 40 recordings to date and performed with such luminaries as Jerry Bergonzi, Kenny Werner, George Garzone, Chris Potter, Ted Rosenthal, Lynne Arriale, Rick Margitza, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Joe Maneri, Gunther Schuller, Peter Leitch, Paul Bollenback and many others. He has performed internationally at such venues as The Kennedy Center, Medellin University in Colombia, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Perth Jazz Festival, the Vancouver Jazz Festival, and more. http://www.thomsonkneeland.com/
Jordan Perlson was born in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where he began drumming at the age of 10. Jordan studied privately with numerous teachers throughout his childhood, but it was not until he began studying with famed drummer Joe Morello, at the age of 17, did he really begin to develop his technique and sound. On scholarship, Jordan attended Berklee College of Music where he graduated with a dual degree in Performance and Music Business.
A now long time resident of New York City, Jordan keeps a busy touring and recording schedule, including tours through the U.S., Canada, Central America, Europe, Japan, Korea, China and Mongolia. He has shared the stage with such musicians as Kaki King, Trevor Hall, Hiromi David Liebman, Gary Burton, Chris Potter, Greg Osby, Cuong Vu, Henry Hey, Donny McCaslin, Brad Shepik, Chris Cheek, George Garzone, David Binney, Wayne Krantz and many others. Jordan also spent two years drumming for the New York cast of Blue Man Group.
Jordan has composed music for and can be heard on commercials for Powerade, Nissan, The New York Rangers, Netflix and other major commercial market products/companies.
The young drummer also recently opened a home recording studio, built specifically for drum tracking. More info on that here He is currently working on several instructional books as well as his first solo project of original material. He can be contacted via jordanperlson.com or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.