LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI in Brooklyn tonight and tomorrow, World/Inferno Texas to NYC tour next week

After spending early January settling into my new home in Boston, I’m back in Brooklyn to play music of Frank Zappa and others with LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI tonight and tomorrow at Roulette! Check out the preview in the New Yorker. Next week I start a nearly two-week tour with the World/Inferno Friendship Society from Texas back to New York. And at the end of February I return to Europe for a month in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, and Slovenia. Details below!

World Inferno backstage

With the World/Inferno Friendship Society backstage at Hallowmas

The concerts tonight and tomorrow at Roulette are the second big venture by LUCERNE FESTIVAL ALUMNI in New York, after 2016’s concerts at the Met Museum for the NY Phil Biennial. We’ll play two different programs that include the classical music Frank Zappa wrote later in life, from his albums The Yellow Shark and Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger. Tonight’s program also includes the US premiere of Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth‘s Eleanor for blues singer, drum kit, ensemble, and prerecorded samples, and tomorrow’s includes music of Pierre Boulez, Edgard Varèse, John Zorn, and Tyshawn Sorey (who will also be playing drums on Eleanor). The ensemble includes local players and those who live elsewhere in the US, Europe, and as far away as Hong Kong; all are alumni of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY in Switzerland. We’re led by conductor Matthias Pintscher, the principal conductor at the Academy but better known for some of his other gigs: lead conductor of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, inaugural resident composer at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, forthcoming director of the Ojai Music Festival, and much more. Come support a truly international endeavor!

On Tuesday, after a quick trip back to Boston, I head off on a World/Inferno tour that brings our blend of punk, cabaret, and WTF to mosh pits in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, New Orleans, Birmingham, Atlanta, Chapel Hill, Richmond, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Jersey City. The band’s tour actually starts tonight, but I’m joining a few days late. While I’m sorry to miss Key West, I’m looking forward to seeing friends along the rest of the route. Please come check it out!

Looking ahead, I’ll be making a my first appearance in Boston as a local artist on February 23 at the annual XFest improvisation festival, which takes place this year in Dorchester (a neighborhood of Boston). Improvisers will come from all over New England and beyond to be placed into groups, often with strangers, to create a performance on the spot! If you get a thrill from watching spontaneous creation, be sure to stop by…

Then at the end of February, I fly back to Europe for the final production phase (for now) of LUCERNE FESTIVAL Young Performance’s NOMOZART, the 50-minute long music and movement performance for young audiences that I spent much of the past year developing in Switzerland. (In case you missed the nicely produced trailer for the piece a few months ago, see it here.) Our group of six performers will tour to Luxembourg and to six cities of Switzerland, and then I’ll head to Graz, Austria to spend five days developing yet another collaboratively created work with two alumni of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY (including a fellow NOMOZART member). Finally, I’ll spend a couple days seeing the sights in Slovenia – let me know what I should check out!

Looking even further ahead, in April I’m playing at a conference organized by my childhood violin and improvisation teacher Alice Kanack near Chicago, in May I’m both playing in a new opera with Rhymes with Opera and premiering a new piece with thingNY, and in July I’ll head out to Omaha Under the Radar festival in Nebraska with Paul Pinto to perform our duo comedic experimental political opera “Patriots.” We’re also planning to organize a tour around the festival. Let me know if I should stop by your city…if I haven’t come your way in the first three months of the year, I hope I’ll pass by in the next three!

Carrot Sticks,
Jeff