Hole Of Hobbit

The first part of this week’s proGram peek into the around and unders.

Low Down Time- Armchair Boogie
Bluegrass Radio- Alison Brown & Steve Martin Ft. Sam Bush, Stuart Duncan, Trey Hensley & Todd Phillips

Always- Brother Bird
Go Down Swingin’- The Vintage Yell
Talkin’ Ugly Truth, Tellin’ Pretty Lies- Bruce Sudano

Turkey Vulture- Left Lane Cruiser
Black Moon- Philip Sayce
Backbell – One Dime Band
Slow Drag- The Taj Mahal Sextet (live)
Corrina- The Taj Mahal Sextet (live)

Soul Salvation- Sonny Landreth (Live)
***pre-recorded conversation with Sonny Landreth***
Somebody Gotta Make a Move- Sonny Landreth

Media Puppets- Stephen Jacques
Old Man Dancing- John Lurie

Sonny Landreth Brings Louisiana Calling Out To Play

Friend of the proGram, Sonny Landreth has been called “the King of Slydeco” and plays with a strong zydeco influence. World-recognized guitarist Eric Clapton has said that Sonny Landreth is one of the most advanced guitarists in the world and one of the most under-appreciated. Sonny is famously known for his slide guitar playing, having developed a technique where he also frets notes and plays chords & chord fragments by fretting behind the slide while he’s playing. He also somehow plays with the slide on his little finger, so that his other fingers have more room to fret behind the slide. He is also known for his right-hand technique, which involves tapping, slapping, & picking strings, using all of the fingers on his right hand. He wears a special thumb pick/flat pick hybrid on his thumb so that he can bear down on a pick while simultaneously using his finger-style technique for slide. This is the kind of singularity I hear as I tune into Sonny’s work. He first played in Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band, as the only white member of the band. In 1981, he released his first record, Blues Attack, which also featured C.J. Chenier on saxophone and Mel Melton on harmonica. In 1982, Landreth and Melton formed the band Bayou Rhythm, and eventually added C.J. Chenier to the lineup. The band recorded Way Down in Louisiana in 1985 [9] Landreth also frequently played in John Hiatt’s band, and with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. The number of people and albums he has participated with and on is lengthy and wide, with awards and achievements to his name, Sonny keeps on keepin’ on bringing a sense of that good Louisiana lifestylin’ with him wherever he spreads that singular sound.

The deep roots tag team of Cajun slide guitar phenom Sonny Landreth & legendary New Orleans Latin-Americana rockers the Iguanas presents a mind-blowing musical trip through the scenic soundscape of the bayou. Still wet from crawling out of the swamps, this cross-pollinated confection will be both savory and sweet. Louisiana’s calling—here’s your chance to answer at the Stoughton Opera House on Saturday, April 6th. I had the true pleasure of catching up with Sonny once again, as he is very easy to talk to. This time we talk about the diversity of the sets both his band will bring (Acoustic vs. Electric) and well, all that different rhythms & grooves the Iguanas always fill a set with. We talk gumbo, introducing people to that Louisiana feelin’ and what album he’d bring to the studio if I invited him in but forgot all my records. While the entire talk was a treat, getting into how the music find him and how his guitars flow with so much newness, songwriting vs. songwriters and techniques, riffs & grooves. S’cool.

Ruthie Foster: Celebrating Women’s History Month

Ruthie Foster’s ninth studio album represents a new high-water mark for the veteran blues artist—a collection of songs possessing pure power, like a tidal wave of musical generosity. Healing Time finds Foster pushing her boundaries as a singer and songwriter more than ever before, creating a truly live-sounding atmosphere with the help of her band, who sound refreshingly loose and lived-in throughout these 12 songs. We’ve all been in need of some healing in recent times, and Foster’s latest provides a guide for how to move through the world with equal parts compassion and resolve. Friend of the proGram Ruthie Foster did a sweet little solo set to celebrate Women’s History Month on the Millennium Stage of The Kennedy Center. She made the crowd feel as light as a perfect Spring day, with humor and grace and a whole lotta great music.

Growing Ups

The final part of the program for this week was sticking out for all the riGht reasons.

The Makings Of You- Soul Sugar Ft. Leo Carmichael
Road To Mali- Mark Leggett

L’unica Cnahce- Walter Rizzato
Tabù Tubà (Part I)- I Robots
Contrabando di Fagioli- Ramasandiran Somusundaram
Everybody’s Free To Feel Good- Soweto Gospel Choir X Groove Terminator

Organize (Humanity Mix)- Cole Williams
The Cat- Skeewiff
Exclusive Blend- Skeewiff
SAY IT AIN’T SO- Jordan Mackampa

Das Freak- Big Boss Man
Sambal- Casa Bonita
Arrabiata- Casa Bonita
Madame Shingaling- Setenta

A Closer Look

The middle part of the proGram zoomed in.

Gator in My Pond- One Dime Band
Rib Grease- One Dime Band
Shake Your Hips- Linwood Taylor

Almighty $$- Wolfgang Valbrun
Glamourpuss- Claudio Corona Ft. Alan Evans
One Hand One Bounce- Karate Boogaloo
Meantherthal- The Jazz Defenders

Power Moves- Silver Skylarks
Return To The Spirit- Sun Atlas
Higher Education- Naya Rockers Ft. Ivan Neville

Cooking Time- OLUMA
Tikulafe- Zé Bigode Orquestra
Wonder Us (Renegades Of Jazz RMX)- Rhabdomantic Orchestra & Haitch

Fields Of Spring

The first part of this week’s proGram was poppin’ out a little early, even.

Rolling Stone- John Vincent III
All the Same- Armchair Boogie

Did You See the Sunrise- The Tyde
Gilbert- Cheer Accident
Prodigal- Cheer Accident
Tom Waits In Drag- Mortal Prophets

Pilgrim- The Wood Brothers
***pre-recorded conversation with Oliver Wood***
Heart is the Hero- The Wood Brothers

These Eyes- Mike Zito
Lonely Man- Mike Zito
Another Kind of Blues- Zakiya Hooker
Lady Love Divine- Philip Sayce
This Is Hip- Philip Sayce

A Quick Hang With Oliver Wood

For the better part of 2 decades, The Wood Brothers have learned to trust their hearts. The Grammy-nominated leaders of American roots music have cemented their reputation as freethinking songwriters, road warriors, & community builders, while creating a catalog of diverse music and a loyal audience who’ve grown alongside them through the years. Dubbed “masters of soulful folk” by Paste, The Wood Brothers formed after brothers Chris & Oliver Wood pursued separate musical careers for fifteen years. Chris already had legions of devoted fans for his incomparable work as one-third of Medeski Martin & Wood, while Oliver toured with friend of the proGram Tinsley Ellis before releasing a half-dozen albums with his band King Johnson. Drummer Jano Rix was soon added as a permanent third member. This is a trio of artists that wants to continue to grow as people and artists and that evolution continues with Heart is the Hero, the band’s 8th studio album. Recorded analog to 16-track tape, this latest effort finds its three creators embracing the chemistry of their acclaimed live shows by capturing their performances in real-time direct from the studio floor with nary a computer in sight. An acoustic-driven album that electrifies, Heart is the Hero is filled up with songs that target not only the heart, but the head a& hips, too. A continued sense of exploration pumps its way through Heart is the Hero like lifeblood. Arriving on the heels of 2019’s Live at The Fillmore, 2020’s Kingdom In My Mind, and Oliver Wood’s solo album Always Smilin’, all of which were released on Honey Jar Records, the band’s independent label, Heart is the Hero is bold, bright, & singularly creative, a fully realized collective effort ultimately greater than the sum of its parts. Perhaps that’s to be expected from a group whose willingness to experiment has earned acclaim from Rolling Stone & NPR, as well as an annual touring schedule of sold-out music halls and theaters on both sides of the Atlantic. Ask The Wood Brothers, though, and they’ll tell you to keep expecting the unexpected.

I had a chance to do my yearly check in with Oliver Wood ahead of us getting to spend time with The Wood Brothers, who will perform at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, WI on Sunday, April 7 in support of this brilliant new album. Oliver and I get into trying to define what a Wood Brothers show is like in less than two sentences. Not easy. We dive into the creation of Heart Is A Hero and how the ear is really the gut during this process, and we get into the inner working of the title track. I am always happy when the time of year rolls around to talk a little music wit Oliver, but I also remember that these 3 are not afraid of the give-back and I wanted to make sure to give Oliver a little time to talk about some of the who, what and how around a couple recent ways they are doing their part. I type this with a smile as preparing to see Oliver, Chis & Jano live gets me deep into the ‘ear’ of things on my end also.

Photo by: by Shervin Lainez

One Small Steps

The final part of this week’s proGram kept the wide inside the near.

Annerkey (Dennis Bovell Mix)- Bukky Leo
Scelleton (Gilles Peterson Mix)- Bukky Leo
Revolution Sound (Professor Skank Remix)- Zion Train Ft. Cara
El amor la esperanza- Daymé Arocena

Soul Makossa- Africa Revival
The Voodoo Lady- Lara Saint Paul

Ezekiel’s Wheel- Erick the Architect Ft. George Clinton
Liberate- Erick the Architect Ft. Lalah Hathaway
Yakety Sax- Skeewiff
Wack Wack- Skeewiff
Extra!- Skwirl

Feel The Flow (Original Mix)- Deep Excavation Ft. Morris Revy
Poppy Fields- Eric Hilton
Where The Wild Roam (Erobique Disko Remix)- Tomasz Guiddo & Jimi Tenor

One More Easy Way

The middle part of the proGram was like walking down easy street.

Space Traveller- Katsutoshi Morizono
In the Sky- Shunzo Ohno
Let’s Get Together- Mikio Masuda

Seriously- Kidding
Komet Ride- Kidding
Baby When You Hold Me- Sarife & Angels Of Libra

Easter Egg- Casa Bonita
Simosa- Casa Bonita
Casa Da Arv One (The Rebel Remix)- Nomade Orquestra

Motion- Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer Ft. Rakesh Chaurasia
***pre-recorded conversation with Master Zakir Hussain***

Sacred Channel- Tabla Beat Science
Jerry- Mickey Hart Ft. Jerry Garcia, Sikiru Adepoju Zakir Hussain Jason Hann Niladri Kumar
The Dancing Sorcerer- Mickey Hart Ft Zakir Hussain

Step By Step

The first part of this week’s proGram went from one to the other with ease.

Rain- Claudia Gibson
**pre-recorded conversation with Ben Majeska of Armchair Boogie**
Livin’- Armchair Boogie

Snake Plant (The Past Is Still Alive)- Hurray for the Riff Raff
My Little Garden Gnome- John Lurie
Wah Wah- John Lurie
The Snake That Protects My Teeth- John Lurie

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood- Steve Howell & The Mighty Men
Bo In Paradise- Rick Vito
I’m Good- Linwood Taylor
Devil In The Details- Linwood Taylor Ft. Sol Roots

Cross Currents- Mark Egan
Homebrew- Mark Egan
Last Nite- Potatohead People Ft. Redman

Ben Majeska of Armchair Boogie

Jamgrass, newgrass, funkgrass, whatever you want to call it, Madison’s own Armchair Boogie is rapidly becoming one of those bands people are chiming in on. With an unbounded sound, this Wisconsin-based quartet is known for their powerful harmonies, timeless originals, & super choice covers, along with unforgettable live performances. Armchair Boogie is Augie Dougherty on banjo with Ben Majeska acoustic & electric guitars backed by tight, driving rhythms of Eli Frieders on electric bass and Denzel Connor on drums. This unconventional lineup enhances their lightning-fast bluegrass, allowing them to freely venture into the realms of funk or country. They truly feel like a band on the verge of really exploding, if all the satisfied festival goers are any indication Armchair Boogie is excited to independently release their 4th studio recording, Hard Times & Deadlines, on March 15. Composing these songs around the beginning of the pandemic, Majeska & Dougherty, who sing lead on the respective songs they wrote, were experiencing the stresses of entering their late 20s.

I had the chance to quickly chat with Ben Majeska ahead of the March 16th show at the Stoughton Opera House where the band will be celebrating the release of their ew record, ‘Hard Times & Deadlines. Ben and I get into what folks can expect for this live event, and why this venue was specifically chosen as a place to share moments within. We then go seed to flower on this new record and get a little in=sight into how the songwriting goes and how that banjo is such a versatile instrument. This group is well known for choosing and making ‘cover tunes’ a part of their show, so we discuss a little about how they chose which ones to give a little Armchair Boogieness to, and Ben makes a little setlist.

In A Moment with Zakir Hussain

The pre-eminent classical tabla virtuoso of our time, Zakir Hussain is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon and one of the world’s most esteemed & influential musicians. The foremost disciple of his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, Zakir was a child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of 12, accompanying India’s greatest classical musicians & dancers. He was touring internationally with great success by the age of 18. His brilliant accompaniment, solo performance and genre-defying collaborations, including his pioneering work to develop a dialogue between North & South Indian musicians, have elevated the status of his instrument both in India and globally, bringing the tabla into a new dimension of renown and appreciation. Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Zakir’s contribution has been unique, with many historic and groundbreaking collaborations, including Shakti, Remember Shakti, Masters of Percussion, Planet Drum & Global Drum Project with Mickey Hart, Tabla Beat Science, Sangam w/Charles Lloyd & Eric Harland, CrossCurrents with Dave Holland & Chris Potter, in trio with Béla Fleck & Edgar Meyer, and, most recently, with Herbie Hancock. As a composer, he has scored music for numerous feature films, major events & productions. He has composed 3 concertos, and his third, the first-ever concerto for tabla & orchestra, was premiered in India in September, 2015, by the Symphony Orchestra of India, premiered in Europe and the UK in 2016, and in the USA in April, 2017, by the National Symphony Orchestra at Kennedy Center. A now several time over Grammy award winner, Zakir is the recipient of countless awards and honors, including Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the USA’s National Heritage Fellowship and Officier in France’s Order of Arts and Letters. Voted “Best Percussionist” by both the Downbeat Critics’ Poll & Modern Drummer’s Reader’s Poll over several years. Zakir has received several honorary doctorates and, in 2019, became a Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow, a rare lifetime distinction afforded to only 40 artists at a time by India’s reigning cultural institution. He is the 2022 Kyoto Prize laureate in Arts & Philosophy, awarded by the Inamori Foundation to “those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural and spiritual betterment of mankind.” Zakir became the 1st musician from India to receive 3 Grammys at one time at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024, for Best Global Music Album, Best Global Music Performance & Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. As an educator, he conducts many workshops & lectures each year, has been in residence at Princeton University & Stanford University, and, in 2015, was appointed Regents Lecturer at UCBerkeley. His yearly workshop in the San Francisco Bay Area, conducted for the past 30 years, has become a widely anticipated event for performers and serious students of tabla. He is the founder and president of Moment Records, an independent record label presenting rare live concert recordings of Indian classical music & world music. Zakir was resident artistic director at SFJazz from 2013 until 2016, and was honored with SF Jazz’s Lifetime Achievement Award on January 18, 2017, in recognition of his “unparalleled contribution to the world of music”. There’s more but let’s keep it simple.

I had the honor of spending a little time talking with Master Zakir Hussain ahead of the TISRA event on March 16th at the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Shannon Hall. Zakir and I spent time discussing a few unique features of this event, including having a female artist, Debopriya Chatterjee on bansuri. Along with Sabir Khan on sarangi, we get into what the instruments represent and the types of sounds to be delivered through this trio. Zakir shared the story of his father whispering rhythms (prayers) into his ears at just days old as part of a tradition that certainly must have done some priming & shaping. We get deep into the story telling of both his foundational Indian classical traditional ways and the spirit of open collaboration with artists as varied as the world is wide. We get into the transmissions he got into with several fellow percussion/rhythm masters like Mickey Hart, Babatunde Olatunji, Airto Moreira and friend of the proGram, Sikiru Adepoju (I give Zakir a chance to talk praise of Sikiru as we did when I spoke to him about Zakir). Along the way – the importance of the relationship – the acceptance of instrument and player is walked through, and we touch on when/how that happened, with so much praise to his legendary father, Alla Rakha as his journey from a small handed on the outside looking boy into the wide minded, rhythm follower that this year alone, took home 3 Grammys. Reflections of this incredible accomplishment brought out his praise for his mentors/collaborators like John McLaughlin (Shakti) & Béla Fleck? Believe it our not, the music his father would bring home from the States played a huge role in this open to all sounds exploration, and one example consists of a dual cassette boombox and a cassette of the Doors. This is a full and rich conversation, I suspect he show will be as incredible as a journey as we find when just hearing Master Hussain share some tales. Enjoy it all.


Live Tonight on Millennium Stage:
Sawani Mudgal & Khushal Sharma – Hindustani Vocal
Sibasankar Satapathy – Tabla & Mardal
Sujith Naik – Flute
“Shāshwat”—Eternal. Such are the music and values of the legendary musician Pandit Kumar Gandharva. An offering of music to the musical genius for the milestone of his birth centenary, Shāshwat celebrates Gandharva’s exemplary life and musical legacy.
Pandit Kumar Gandharva’s timeless music bridged dualities, assimilating the best from tradition and modernity, from both classical and folk traditions. Kumar-ji lives on in the hearts of disciples and rasikas, through the sheer bliss of his art.
Kumar-ji’s unique compositions are played by his prashishyas (grand-disciples): Sawani Mudgal and Khushal Sharma. Their guru, Pandit Madhup Mudgal, is a prime disciple of Pandit Kumar Gandharva, and the guru passed on a rich legacy that carries forward through them.

MWOTG Takes Kennedy Center To Church

Caught on March 2nd live on Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center: Washington Performing Arts: Men and Women of the Gospel Choir (MWOTG) has celebrated the heritage of gospel music and its related genres with vibrant, dynamic performances in venues across the nation’s capital for 30 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Theodore Thorpe III, the choir is dedicated to presenting this American art form at its highest artistic level, performing contemporary and classic works of African American heritage including gospel standards, hymns, anthems, and other choral repertoire. As a resident ensemble of Washington Performing Arts, the choir has shared the stage with a wide array of artists, including Richard Smallwood, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the late Edwin Hawkins, the late Walter Hawkins, Ramsey Lewis, and Sweet Honey In The Rock!!

Gone to church.

Cozy Spot

The final part of this week’s proGram was an easy place to be.

Desert Song- Yosef Gutman Ft. Lionel Loueke
Tikun – Amend- Yosef Gutman Ft. Lionel Loueke

La Lucha Dura- Triad Ft. Jamey Haddad
I Put A Spell On You- Triad
Energy to the Bones- Maetar
That Maetar Sound- Maetar
Emergence- The Messthetics & James Brandon Lewis

Souls Remember- Lois Deloatch
Illusions- Jalen Ngonda
Mahal- Glass Beams
My Way- London Afrobeat Collective

The Poppin’ Out

The middle part of the proGram had SUM newness same as the oldness.

Chemical X- Julius Rodriguez
***pre-recorded conversation with Julius Rodriguez***
Actual Proof- Julius Rodriguez Ft. Cisco Swank

Concrete Dim- Daggerboard
Distant Sirens- Daggerboard
Minimalism- Ches Smith
Disco Inferred- Ches Smith
Imperial Strut- Ruben Caban Ft. Camilo Velandia, David Chiverton & Richard Bravo

Music from Prince of Persia (1993 S.N.E.S.) – II – Stage 4/Fugue- Myles Wright
Triple Play- Randy Napoleon
Lo-Jo- Yotam Silberstein Ft. George Coleman
Gloria’s Step- Michael Wolff, Leon Lee Dorsey and Mike Clark


The first part of this week’s proGram was a little pout of season, but fine to be.

Tongues We Think In- Thollem
***pre-recorded conversation with Thollem***

Impala- Gordon Grdina & Christian Lillinger
Qalander- Gordon Grdina
The Scene Is Clean- Mamiko Watanabe Ft. Santi DeBriano & Billy Hart
Atomic Space- Mamiko Watanabe Ft. Santi DeBriano & Billy Hart

Sketches- Lawrence Fields
Yasorey- Lawrence Fields
Bridge Over Troubled Water- Mike LeDonne
Genesis- Mike LeDonne

Arch- Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh & Tyshawn Sorey
Ghostrumental- Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh & Tyshawn Sorey

In The Play Circle With Julius Rodriguez

25-year-old Julius Rodriguez dares to imagine a future of new standards and sonic excitement, which has earned him a reputation of an “interesting, fresh sound” (NPR Music). His versatility as an artist has led to a variety of unique projects: he played organ for Me’shell Ndegeocello and the hip-hop production duo Brasstracks; played piano on Carmen Lundy’s Grammy-nominated vocals album, Modern Ancestors; contributed to recordings for artists such as Morgan Guerin & friend of the proGram Kassa Overall; and led his own jazz group in clubs around New York. Having studied jazz since childhood, attending its prominent youth programs & learning institutions while developing a playing dexterity and a composer’s ear for its blues/spirituals, and ballad-related cornerstones, Julius recognizes jazz’s cultural value and the processes that further its prestige as America’s classical music. His music dares to imagine a future of new standards & sonic excitement. This vanguard was raised in an atmosphere where pop & hip-hop & dance influenced their approaches to melody & harmony & rhythm, so no doubt it is part of their improvisational DNA. Alongside jazz, Stevie Wonder and the Beatles were always around the Rodriguez family stereo; and as Julius devoured the Internet for musical discoveries, he heard jazz pianists like Jacky Terrason & The Bad Plus’ Ethan Iverson spin their own version of contemporary repertoire, pop & otherwise. He started listening to James Blake, Sampha & Solange; and at the Masters School, began participating in an annual concert students would produce by recreating a classic album, learning everything about Michael Jackson’s Thriller & U2’s Joshua Tree. His jazz professors also encouraged him to keep stretching out, as that was when he was introduced to Shuggie Otis. Rodriguez was always playing with singer-songwriters and other musicians outside his youth jazz circles. When he got to Juilliard, he began playing with music students from other New York universities; and with his old friend Isaiah Barr’s Onyx Collective, whose Lower East Side reputation as a young group equally comfortable with indie-rock and hip-hop, with standards & rare grooves, made fans of downtown jazzers like Roy Nathanson & Marc Ribot, but also A$AP Rocky. (The platinum rapper hired them as his band on a 2018 tour, which made Julius take a semester off of Juilliard and precipitated his leaving school). By early 2019, the breadth of Julius’ work pointed towards eclecticism: he played organ for Me’shell Ndegeocello and the hip-hop production duo Brasstracks; piano on Carmen Lundy’s Grammy-nominated vocals album, Modern Ancestors; contributed to recordings by other top of the line non-traditionalists; and led his own jazz group in clubs around town. Additionally, his working musician acumen was getting sharper. Even within the jazz community, he’d recognize how clubs and their patrons differentiated the music. Everything kept growing in the way he thought of, and made music.

I had the honor of catching up with multi-instrumentalist and mulit-genrelist, Julius Rodriguez (Orange Julius) ahead of the March 14the event in Madison at the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Play Circle. Orange Julius helps me to put words into what could be going on on the stage with and for us doing this event. It is a wide array of everything form both what he will be playing for instruments but also stylist, where the music will be taking us along for the journey. He mentions how the big part of that shared energy of a crowd is really important to him and how they band works the room. We talk about how he developed such an eclectic spirit and how he uses technology to help create albums that show off the ‘what’ that can happen with the tools we are lucky to have. It’s not only the music, but it is the people he gets to associate with and create together with. We talk about the track ‘Gift Of The Moon’ in both senses of a visual experience and a sonic exploration. But the best time for me is when we talk about where he is at as he gets deep into a tune, or a moment and that went well with our discussion about working with Kassa Overall. Before we let him go, Orange Julius builds a setlist and once again, he would be given the keys to the kingdom and well enjoyed by the listeners.

Worlds In A Life with Thollem

Worlds In A Life is a new project that evolved organically out of Thollem’s most recent album with Nels Cline and Terry Riley (Other Minds Records). Utilizing samples from the six Thollem/Cline Trio albums as the primary sound sources, (including double bass, piano, organ, electric guitar, drums, MIDI accordion, and voice), Thollem has basically created a solo sextet with Nels Cline, Terry Riley, William Parker, Pauline Oliveros, & Michael Wimberly. This is a real-time performance combining electro-acoustic sensibilities with unique keyboard technique & omni-idiomatic improvisation. Creating new sounds from these live re-mixes the results resemble something familiar and at the same time unlike anything else. What if? and Why not? are the two leading questions generating ear-dropping surprises at each twist & turn. The title of the albums and the performance comes from the track titles of the first album with William Parker: “there are as many worlds in a life as there are lives in the world.” This music is a celebration of the limitless palette of sounds and the infinite within each of us, the seen and unseen. ACVilla will be joining Thollem in performances throughout Europe & N. America in 2024 as a multimedia improvising duo. Together they have created a show in eight movements, much like storytellers, keeping the general structure, but with enough freedom to perform it VERY uniquely each time. ACVilla will be mixing new visual material created for this performance, along the lines of this: vimeo.com/thollemacvilla/wialone. Worlds In A life is a meditation on the intrinsic value of every individual in respect to the infinitely complex inner workings and all the possibilities within each being.

It is always the riGht time to discuss new things with family to the proGram, Thollem. Somehow, this time, with our deep dive into this new Worlds In A Life project, I found myself really feeling the process along with the discussion. I started to feel the happiness I could hear in his voice, and I definitely wanted to get some of that. I went back and re-listened to Worlds In A Life, One and there I was, in the happiness. Taking what was and making a new what is, in real time prompts more questions than answers and for me, that often feels the point. Then getting an idea of how our friend, ACVilla will work her new material into something they can…they are taking on the road is the icing on this cake. This feels like another experience out there not to be missed, I hope the inspiration these folks bring me, feels an open and obvious to you, but even better, it may not and that is a perfect door in.


The final part of this week’s proGram went from a Nooner to the mooner in a matter of moments. Blast off!

Liar- RoSaWay
Wake Me Up- RoSaWay
Good Life (Impilo Emnande) {Devitchi RMX}- Soweto Gospel Choir X Groove Terminator
Freedom Now- Nick Mulvey Ft. Golshifteh Farahani & Arooj Aftab

Can’t Take This Feel- Ben Okafor & The Liberators
Funky Monkey- The Utopians
Beggin’- The Diasonics
The Early Bird Catches- Karate Boogaloo
Creeping Around- Pratt & Moody
Don’t Add Me- Substance Abuse Ft. Kurious

Wonder Us- Rhabdomantic Orchestra & Haitch
Konyagi a Gogo (Rafael Aragon Remix)- Uhuru Republic Ft. Splendore