On Wednesday, September 27th at the High Noon Saloon, I am pleased to say that Antibalas is heading to Madison. They will arrive on the heels of a brand new release that is drenched in traditional form but also as current that the air we breath today. While the wait for the new album might have seemed long, it is certainly well worth it. Where The Gods Are In Peace released Friday September 15th on Daptone Records, pays respect to the forefathers of Afrobeat with compositions spanning nine to fifteen minutes in length. With a blessing from the Fela Kuti legacy early in the band’s career, Antibalas has long been blessed to be re-popularizing and re-energizing the classic Afrobeat sound while adding their distinct New York City grit into the mix. Influences of punk rock, free jazz, and hip-hop are known to seep into their expansive works to define a truly 21st century translation of the Afrobeat genre and beyond.
I had the privilege to have a conversation in support of the show and the album with AMAYO (Vocals & Percussion) to get the vibe and mindset balanced with the ears and entire body. We spoke about the way the new album came together through real life moments that glued the pieces toGether that were floating around the band’s sphere for years. The feeling and power of the energy behind the music shared with other beings was something we seemed to really get, the way the music does form a bridge between spirits of people, and connect them by the Afrobeat grooves. We spent a good chunk of time talking about our mutual friend, and AMAYO‘s brilliant colleague, Miss Sharon Jones and how she was a force, like a guiding lightning bolt that navigated the process of the musical shifts all artists face. We got into how the artists of the Daptone family were altered by her mere presence and that she was the leader of the house of soul. I love it!!! This conversation admittedly was one soul’s opinion and vision of how it is, in order to get an even better feel of how it all pieces together into a severe mind & body changing groove, there are man opportunities to catch them live.
Antibalas – Where The Gods Are In Peace – Daptone Records
LADAMA is an ensemble comprised of four incredible musicians from across the Americas who create and perform original music, and strive to inspire and engage women and youth in their respective communities to engage in music-making, sound design, composition, and audio production.
LADAMA’s individual mastery as performers in traditions ranging from frevo and maracatu from Brazil, to joropo songs from Venezuela, to cumbia and gaita from Colombia, to soul music from the U.S.A., combined with their experience in border-crossing collaboration that began with the State Department-sponsored exchange and creative springboard of OneBeat, point to group’s high caliber and innovative hybrid approach. They offer an experience to American audiences that is unmatched by any national or international group. As educators and facilitatos, the group draws from specific cultural contexts of the communities they serve to prove a foundation for participants to use music as a basic form of personal expression to address issues most pertinent to them.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Sara Lucas about what people in Madison will be in store for with both a workshop and a set of Ladama’s music on September 16th as part of the 2017 Madison World Music Festival. We talked about how open to all sizes, shapes and abilities the workshop is….no prior knowledge of the sounds or movements of a particular region of the world, just an open mind and a sense of having fun. That conversation slid nicely into what to expect from a set of music when Ladama is on stage. The connection this group will make with a Madison crowd is something I look forward to being a part of. No doubt, you will hear many of the tracks off their newly released, self titled album on Six Degrees Records. Take a listen in to our time toGether and you can even find out what kinds of music/sounds Sara and some of her band-mates are soaking in to inspire, to reflect and to move on forward into this world with.
Ladama on Six Degrees Records
2017 marks the return of Dub Gabriel with his 5th full-length solo album entitled “ADSR DUB” on his pwn record label, Destroy All Concepts. After his critically acclaimed 2013 album, Raggabass Resistance, he locked himself away in the studio and went into complete isolation in what he refers to as “one of the most prolific times of his 20 year career ”. Mixing his love for classic dub productions with vintage analog tape echoes, spring reverbs and tubes, with his love of krautrock and his collection of Moog, Arp and Korg analog synthesizers, to provide the listeners with one of the most original albums to come out in recent memory.
The album Features guest performances by Addis Pablo, son of the legendary Augustus Pablo. Ranking Joe, who rose to prominence in the 1970’s on such legendary labels as Studio 1, as well as his collaborations with King Tubby. And, The Spaceape, who became the voice of U.K. Dubstep through his groundbreaking work with Burial, Kode 9 & The Bug. Recorded in San Francisco at d/a/c Laboratory for Research & Development, mastered by the legendary, Kevin Metcalfe, at Sound Masters in the U.K. and cover art by acclaimed French illustrator, Olivier Bonhomme.
We took some time to dive into the new release, how for me it takes me out and away from the current state of the real that seems to drag me down. We talk about the balance one must find within creation of a project from start to finish and starting and making a family of three when it once was two. I have been listening to creations of Dub Gabriel’s for a long time and it was nice to hear about his take on what my thang (taste maker) involves as well as which toys from his studio would he choose if he could only have a few. We talk about the flow of the music and art and how as creators, we have to let the story, the narrative speak for itself. Check out our conversation to take the canoe ride within the story.
cover art by acclaimed French illustrator, Olivier Bonhomme.
I had the chance to catch up with friend of the proGram, Missy Andersen as she and her husband, Heine, bring their dynamic duo of Soul Americana to The Brink Lounge this Saturday, August 26th. We had not spoken in an interview type format since 2014 so we played a little catch up learning what has filled the great space between chats. Award nominations, festivals and judging incredible performers shows and always bringing it back to the duo seemed to be what’s been happening. We talked about how with just the two of them up on stage, it will most likely not sound like there are just two people going at it, Heine’s ability to make one sound like many is showcased along with Missy’s “soulstress” vocals and cool delivery, this is one of those events that you’ll be thanking me after you catch it.
Missy attests that while they travel to many places around the world, there has been some “grey areas” when it came to the U.S.A. and they are filling in some of those spaces with a stop here in Madison. We discussed a new possible project of “Main Street Chronicles”; maybe I can be in the band? I think you can tell by the way Missy and I go back and forth that the evening will be filled with good time for you body, mind and soul. I think you deserve that.
Last year at Atwoodfest, we were introduced to Jane Lee Hooker who immediately made a lasting impression on many of the people who cauGht their set…..but truly….if you were fortunate enough to hang out with them, you learned right away that these people are real, genuine, cool rockers. They attacked the songs with a ferocious fierceness that seemed to explode out of them, did it all with this unmatched energy and took the familiar and gave it that NYC twists that doesn’t ever really hurt.
Well, they’re coming back!!!
On Sunday, August 27th at 4:30PM at the Orton Park Festival, we welcome our friends from Brooklyn New York back with open, ready to rock AND roll arms. Hightop and I caught up a little about how the band’s year has gone. With a successful album in the rear view mirror now, we spoke about the new release that will be coming out this October and how while there will be a couple covers, this release will be mostly JLH originals. What lead to that in part, was time spent overseas and how much the crowd of fans and now friends I am sure, reacted to their original tunes. I for one, think that getting to know JLH a little more through their own crafted art will certainly lead to another successful collection of tracks. We also spent a little time discussing what it is about places like Madison that help drive the van back to our neighborhood to melt our faces off at one of the many cool festivals this city has to offer.
JLH by Roland Kampfer March 2017
Get ready for a new sound you won’t soon forget! The Groove Master, Paa Kow (pronounced Pah-Ko), fuses rhythm and artistry from his home in Ghana with Jazz and African Pop. Fans from all over the world agree that Paa Kow has extraordinary talent and holds “the perfect groove.”
I had the privilege to of talking with this original rhythm creator, Paa Kow before he brings his band to Madison on Wednesday, August 30th at The Frequency. We discussed what people who go get into the sounds live in person will see and hear and feel when this show takes off the ground. We talked about the process of making a new record and knowing when to release it to the people to find out what they think of it, and how striving for that perfect sound can be fine tuned in many settings. The process talk led to words about the soon to be released album, “Cookpot” and how the crowd in Madison will be catching the album release tour, so they’ll taste the newness of these grooves when they are at their freshest. Similar to his other two releases, the album takes listeners on a journey that boldly explores the music of the African Diaspora by fusing Ghanaian Highlife with Jazz, and funk to create his original Afro-Fusion sound. Towards the end of the conversation, we find out what he listens to in order to stay inspired and allow his mind to be opened to the possibilities of creating and composing something completely different.
I had the chance to spend a little time chatting with Texanna, Brennan and Ben of King Cardinal before they head to Madison on August 17th to play The Frequency. Hailed by Marquee Magazine for their “excellently crafted Americana” and Westword for their “raw, gut-wrenching emotion,” Denver’s King Cardinal push raw roots rock into lush, sonically daring territory with hints of cosmic country and delicate folk. Building off the success of two acclaimed EPs as well as dates with Ben Sollee, Sam Outlaw, and Darlingside (in addition to a performance at the iconic Telluride Bluegrass Festival), the band is set to release their debut album, ‘Great Lakes,’ which was recorded over seven days at Texas’ famed Sonic Ranch Studio with GRAMMY-winning producer/engineer Ted Young (Israel Nash, Banditos).
In this conversation, the trio explains a little about what the Madison crowd can expect to see and hear when they get a live taste next week. We took a good amount of time discussing their first proper album set to be released towards the end of September and how all the time spent together has allowed for the release to be refined and and reflected upon while taking the bare bones and collectively providing the skin and orGans to be masterfully applied into place. We tapped into the Telluride experience and what I found very interesting was the “What have you been dialed into musically yourselves” question and what they have been putting into their ears as they get a little down time or on travel days. It also turns out that living near the Colorado mountains and all that it offers is a great place for these artists to relax, refresh and escape it all when needed.
When last we spoke with Joe Marcinek, he was coming to town with friend of the proGram, Dr. Bernie Worrell. What a treat!! This time around he will be bringing the Joe Marcinek Band to the 5th Annual Schenk’s Corners Block Party on Friday, August 18th.
This stop through, Joe will be bringing an ALL-STAR cast (as usual) with him! Featuring Joey Porter from The Motet on keys, Pete Koopmans from Family Groove Company on drums, and Buddy Pearson from FREEK JOHNSON on bass. Joe tells me of the contributions each of these folks have played parts in throughout the history and the present of the band. We paint the funky landscape of what could be expected in an ever-evolving set from these cats and how the vibe of the people, those who go and show, create the newness of today while the jammin’ is happening.
Joe and I spend some time talking about the newest album, “Slink” and how it came to fruition, the impact of his circle of fans and friends alike to make this latest musical story complete, and how doing it in a way that fits right for the pieces of the puzzle, makes all the difference in an album’s creation. The band will be featuring much of “Slink” while here in Madison and as someone who has been sharing those grooves to the listeners, this is a much set get-down-to-the-sound event. It is clear that Joe appreciates the scene and those wo make it up here in Madison, so let’s return that love on the 18th.
As someone who puts his ears to the NOW and FUTURE of art being created, sonically or otherwise, it is always refreshing to find one of those group of people coming toGether to make something that I wish I was involved in. Music with a sense…art with senses. I believe that is what I have found in the group Sidewalk Chalk. They combine humanity with hip hop, jazz and soul to create a message for the body and the mind.
Sidewalk Chalk will be in Madison on Thursday, August 3rd at The Frequency. I was able to catch up with Charles and he helped chalk up a mental image of what those in attendance will see before the first note explodes. We spent time talking about the sharpness within their fourth full-length album, “An Orchid Is Born”, on Ropeadope Records which was produced by Grammy Award-winner Robert “Sput” Searight. This is the album that Sidewalk Chalk believes they have truly always been trying to make. They have grown as people in all sorts of directions since they first started and this release has woven many of these experiences and the happening of today into that next step of music, that next step of life and for us, the listener….that next step of listening and feeling. This album is cerebral, dance-able and thoughtful, and I as a sharer of sound, look forward to curating it into set-lists into the future.
Charles shared what he has been listening to on many of the long drives, as this group takes their show out and on the road often, and being with the people in different spots is key to driving them into their next set of experiences. We here in Madison get to be some of the lucky ones to share in a moment with them as they bring that sharpness and mind moving grooves here for us to join in the difference making.
PHO is a Twin Cities funk band creating a new “Minneapolis sound” utilizing modern taste and classic influences to break musical boundaries. While never forgetting the rhythms and grooves of those who came before them, PHO is striving to carry the torch into the instrumental future of funk with incredibly rich originals that take us back, while groovin’ us forward. They have been acquiring new fans with each appearance, they attracted a truly unexpected fan when Prince caught a live performance from their YouTube page, which prompted an invite to open for the incomparable Mr. Larry Graham (Graham Central Station) at the iconic Paisley Park . That performance triggered another Prince Tweet: “Come back anytime. Just Holla”. Having the blessing of “The Purple One” before his untimely death has pushed PHO to continue cultivating the Minneapolis sound’s legacy that has inspired so many to fall in love with the feeling. Truthfully, does it get much better than that for these young men, or anyone?
I had the opportunity to catch up with guitarist, Joe Paris, and trumpet player Lukas Skrove before they head to Madison for their Sunday, July 30th at 12:15 P.M. set on The Madison Heritage Stage for AtwoodFest 2017. We spoke about that moment when Prince reached out to them with an offer of a lifetime and how they have taking that gift from him and used it as a springboard to keep that special sound alive. They painted a picture of what unfamiliar fest-goers can expect when they hit the stage and why they love to keep coming back to Madison. We dove into how all their new found funky friends and experiences helped create the newest release, Two. For this release, there was no shortage of vintage vibe amidst a playground of old ‘70s synths and classic guitars, all articulated in the expansive array of musical colors ever-present throughout the mix. At the end of the chat, we find out what television show the boys think they could remake the theme song for….it will most likely make you hungry.
If you are close to Madison this coming weekend, maybe you need yourself a good funkin’….with the ins and outs provided by PHO.
The funky fellas of PHO
As the son of legendary drumming icon Ginger Baker, Kofi Baker has a name that’s synonymous with drumming excellence. Kofi certainly lives up to his namesake; with his outstanding skills, drive, and dedication, he continues the great Baker legacy.
Kofi’s first live performance was with his father on the UK television show “The Old Grey Whistle Test” – at just six years of age he proved he had inherited more than just his fathers name.In the early 80’s, Kofi and his father played drum duets throughout Europe, amazing audiences with complex African polyrhythms. Later, Kofi toured with the miGhty John Ethridge (Soft Machine), and gigged in London with Steve Waller (Manfred Mann), and with Randy California (Spirit). He also toured Europe with Steve Marriot’s Humble Pie.
On Saturday, July 29th on the Madison Heritage Stage at 4:15P.M., Kofi brings the Cream Experience to Madison Wisconsin to help celebrate Summer with a good strong, innovative jam as part of AtwoodFest. I had the opportunity to talk with Kofi about what those in attendance will see and hear, more than the original sounds accustomed to the band, Cream, there will be other interpretations of Hendrix, Blind Faith and even The Beatles. Kofi hope to meld the older crowd who dig his father’s legendary music with a younger festival going crowd to take this Jam Band scene to the next level. Sounds like something to be a part of as it is equally exciting for the band while turning on a family friendly, open-minded Madison crowd. Rest assure, Kofi states that while the backbone of the familiar is there, the spirit of Cream as being a founding Jam Band scene creator, will be in full bloom with in the moment improvisational music making. We spoke about how he has high quality musicians stashed throughout the U.S. for touring and creating purposes and in Madison, it’ll be obvious that he always picks the cream of the crop.
We are always so lucky here in Madison when the summer rolls around and we are fortunate to have culture travel to us. This coming weekend, La Fête De Marquette will once aGain provide a great opportunity to catch some acts you might not otherwise get a chance to bump into. One such act is out of the Czech Republic, Mydy Rabycad. They create and electro-swing or glamtronic sound that has people around the globe up and moving their bodies. I had a chance to chat with Mikulas and JohnyD of the band from Canada, as they are making their first trip to North America and we are going to get a dose of them this weekend. We talked about what the festival goers can expect from their sound, their audience interactions and the music they create and how it translates into a wild time o=f dancing. I assured them that Madison is a home for some eclectic dance moves. We talked about how it is more likely for a group out of the Czech Republic to get known better once they leave town and broaden their listener-ship, as well as how their relationships together have strengthened their live and produced works. We touch briefly on how times have changed for them as they are working on studio album number three, and how the growth of a band and the doors that get opened by others really assist in making it all happen.
I am thinking the dust will fly this week end, and the group will have a few more reasons to head home happy and with more fans as they leave North America behind, but not until we give them a taste of Madison first.
It’s always nice to catch up with friends from times aGo. Had a chance to do just that with Sunny Jain, as Red Baraat makes their way back to Madison on July 15th at the Union Terrace and then July 16th at La Fête de Marquette. We spoke about what a newcomer to the band could expect to see and hear when checking our Red Baraat at either of these Madison stops. We had a chance to walk down memory lane and discuss the difference of landscape between when the group first came here years ago versus where they are at sound-wise and production-wise today as they released “Bhangra Pirates” in March of 2017. It is always a pleasure to learn how the paths have changed throughout the years and how life plays into the way we do what we do, musically and otherwise.Madison holds a special place in this group’s heart, and I am sure we will return the love on the upcoming weekend. Comprised of eight musicians who can whip a crowd into a frenzy with an unprecedented, high energy, gut-busting fusion of jazz, hip-hop beats, rock muscle, funky go-go, and scalding hot bhangra. A horn section blares, percussionists pound, the guitarists rips, everybody shouts, and the group’s charismatic leader, Sunny Jain, holds the explosive songs together with rhythms from his dhol – the Indian double-headed drum played slung over the shoulder that provides bhangra with its frenetic heartbeat. This energy blast is always opening the door to newness in front of crowds, let’s have Madison respond in similar fashion by being itself, ready for anything. And if you were wondering what Sunny would air if I gave up a half hour or so of the proGram, well he clues us in at the end of this conversation..some interesting stuff, as I would expect.
Had the opportunity to catch back up with Stef as The Right Now make a stop Friday, June 30th at The Frequency. The pop-meets-soul music coupe with the captivating voice of friend of the proGram, Stefanie Berecz, is sure to deliver a celebration of thoughtful, catchy songwriting with intricate arrangements to the Madison scene once agGain. We are thankful to have them. Since 2009 the band has toured much of the United States and released two highly acclaimed albums, racking up placements in television, national commercials, and the multi-million-selling video game Watch Dogs.
The band’s Chicago roots are heard and witnessed throughout their music and performances: breezy horn lines sit atop soul grooves old and new, all while Stef elevates one audience after another with her story telling and shared moment, in the moment attention to the crowd. So, to try and fill the Frequency for the show, Stef and I discussed what the experience for an individual catching them for the first time, the newest album “Starlight”, which examines a complicated world through the eyes of the fighter, the lover, the philosopher, the addict and the mother. We spoke about the process between then and now and how the newest songs developed and we find out what she would do with 30 minutes of this radio proGramming if I left it up to her when I went to get us some milk & cookies…….hmmm….what would she do?
One thing for certain, the Right Now and Stef are a today’s band with sounds of now and the past blending to make for a fun show, featuring tunes we can all relate to.
It is always nice when family comes back to town for a sweaty squeeze. I cauGht up with my brother Manny Sanchez of GrooveSession as they make their way back to Madison on Friday, June 23rd at the Alchemy. I am proud to call these grooveanauts my family as their vibe of spreading goodness and love through music is a contagious thing that hopefully catches on with you, the listener and the ones who see them live in concert. Clearly, each time they head out to a venue, they will loudly threaten you(s) with a good time!! We spoke about what a GrooveSession is and how sweaty does one have to be to know you are doing it right. Manny shared some thoughts on this years Steel Bridge Songfest that they had a chance to be back and a part of, as well as when we might be expecting a new release. Ultimately, you can read about and listen to this group and get the idea, but it isn’t until you go sweat and dance and become friends with this power trio that you fully “get” their true mission of spreading kindness through their grooves.
On Saturday, June 24th at 8pm, Arts & Literature Laboratory presents “Silver Ochre’s Hot Pursuit of Happiness with Thollem Electric”. Silver Ochre’s Hot Pursuit of Happiness is a rapid fire live audio/visual experience of an epic journey throughout the continental U.S. by videographer ACVilla and composer/keyboardist, Thollem Electric. Always somewhere between being pursued and pursuing, the bitter sweet existence in 21st century America. This is a distillation of the U.S. and its conflicts between security and liberty and competing ideas of freedom. Thollem and ACVilla have both been traveling around the country for decades and are currently working on a 3 year endeavor called “Who Are U.S.” Silver Ochre’s touring stateside from April 6th – November 19th.
With Thollem on an unruly electronic beast of vintage keyboards, stomp boxes, a microphone and occasional special guests, the music is an amalgam of infinite possibilities bringing together sounds and musics heard around this country. A sonic celebration from the immense array of diversity in our multi-cultural society amid the present and historical struggles for liberty and justice for all. Sometimes it will sound like a million people screaming from which distinct voices percolate, twist, turn and evolve into and out of everything else; a parade of characters that intermingle in love and fury.
I had a chance to catch up with Thollem to discuss this project and what it has turned into and what the future holds in store for both he and ACVilla as this journey adapts and grows. Find out more by listening in to our shared time and maybe even find out how you can experience the “what’s happening” around you.
Find out more here as well.
Thollem & ACVilla
Had a chance to catch up with Matt Doe of Too Many Zooz as they will be playing the after party on June 23rd once the Dark Star Orchestra finishes up their “Live on King Street” Performance. Set to hit the Majestic Theater stage around 11pm to help the Madison scene walk into the front door of a “Brasshouse” experience. We spoke about the process of going from NYC subway musicians crafting and tuning their craft up to being found out by the Queen B herself, Beyoncé and how that led to working on her Lemonade album as well as some dates working with her team in a live setting.
With the trend towards electronic instrumentation in music, it’s easy to forget where it all first started: on street corners with real instruments, playing for tips, that is until you’ve heard Too Many Zooz. This three-piece “BrassHouse” band is Matt Doe, Leo P, and King of Sludge. They have now worked with a wide group of artists that is stretching the boundaries of their sound, including friends of the proGram Galactic and Beats Antique, to create a mind opening provocative body shake groove.
Named one to Billboards’ Top 25 Next Big Sound, thanks in part to a video of one of their frenetic subway performances was posted to Reddit and went viral to the tune of over 2.2 million views, and in a very short time amassed a large fan base. If you make your way to the June 23rd show in Madison, you’ll understand why this trio’s mark being left is real and true and set to make a lot of noise heading into the future. Their groove is infectious and easy to move to and all the instruments come together in an explosive climax of sound. Too Many Zooz will definitely force you to reconsider the way you think/listen to music.
I had the pleasure of having my pal and Space Queen, Kim Manning back on the show to discuss her upcoming event next Friday June 2nd, from 8-9pm at the Artist’s Studio at Madison Children’s Museum’s Adult Swim “Glow Motion” Event ! (21 & up, 6-10pm). Enjoy a rooftop sunset hoop jam, a phosphorescent cocktail, an incandescent dance party with Dj Yorel & DJ Phil Money. We dove into what those in attendance, glowing and otherwise, can expect from a Kim Manning show, the artistry of roller-skating, contortion as well as singing and dancing with hiGh hoop work paralleling that of Cirque du Soleil. We had a chance to marvel toGether at the road she has taken to become the person she is, one of my favorite people and an inspiration to all who want to get somewhere giving it their all. Being a P-Funk All Star has certainly opened some doors for her, but once your foot is in, it is up to you to keep moving forward into the industries rooms. If you are in or near the Madison Wisconsin area this coming Friday, June 2nd, figure out a way to find out for yourself just how unique of a show Kimmy puts on for you, and get a chance to discuss it with her, a real person, afterwards.
Kim Manning and P Funk
In anticipation of the 20th annual WORT Block Party, this Sunday, May 21st from 11am – 7pm on the 200 Block of Martin Luther King Jr. BLVD in Madison, I reached out to Joey B. Banks to chat about Dr. Clyde Stubblefield and the Clyde Stubblefield All Stars as they will be headlining the party and hit the stage at 5:50pm. Joey B. and I got into the reasons a man like Clyde is so deserving of a tribute band, and how “The Original Funky Drummer’s” legacy will be kept alive and pulsing within the community here in his home of Madison Wisconsin since 1971. We got into discussing the Coalition for the recognition of Clyde Stubblefield and how the music impacted the entire world community and is still, and will always be impacting artists of now and the future. As much of an impact as Clyde was/is with music, he was also a strong believer in giving back and it starts with the youth, which is what make the Madison Area Music Association Clyde Stubblefield Scholarship such a priceless honor to have bestowed to our smiling friend. The music this ALL STAR band will treat the WORT community (which we hope to grow grow grow) to at the Block Party will be many of the easily recognizable and down right FUN-KAY tracks that were worked out with Mr. James Brown, as well as original tracks Clyde had put toGether over the years, so this will be a wide array of grooves that will finish off this event in style.
Clyde & Joey B. Banks – Phot Credit: Sweet William Images
On Friday, April 21st, we in Madison will be fortunate enough to take a musical journey together at Arts & Literature Laboratory. Those in attendance will exist in a space of time shared as one, with Karuna: Hamid Drake & Adam Rudolph. With their new Karuna duet Drake and Rudolph bring their unique and evolved rhythm languages to the fore, reaching to inspire any audience though spirited dialogue.
The name Karuna reflects their ongoing research into the connection of the inner life to musical expression and speaks to the idea of creative action as a gesture of compassion. To help get a sense of the show, I spent a little time with Hamid talking about what those in attendance could expect. We talked about the sounds, the spirit and the sharing that will take place, with percussion and human interaction being the vehicle that drives us to a place of one. Hamid explains the process as he and Adam, who have known one another since the age of 14, create a unique experience that is sure to open the mind’s doors. Both Hamid and Adam have worked with some incredible forces in the scene, from shared time with Don Cherry and Pharoah Sanders to Bill Laswell, Yusef Lateef and Omar Sosa. These two innovators find the pulse of music from all lands, wide and far and translate those into a language that shines down into and onto the listeners. I am thankful to call both these creators friends and am pleased to bring you some of Hamid’s word straight from him.
Karuna, the new duet of percussionists Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph, performs at Arts + Literature Laboratory on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9 pm. This event is sponsored by 89.9FM WORT.