thingNY at JACK on Saturday, solo & curating at Bushwick Open Studios, Europe with The World/Inferno Friendship Society, and more!

It’s been more than a month since I got back from my solo tour of the western US, but I’m still very excited by all the great new friends I made, sights I saw, and shows I played! Solo recordings are forthcoming, but for now please enjoy this video of a free improv set I played in Sacramento with Suki O’Kane and Edward Schocker. Back home, things keep moving. This Saturday in Brooklyn, my group thingNY is performing newly revised excerpts from our forthcoming experimental opera This Takes Place Close By at JACK, and the following Saturday an awesome lineup of five acts I curated will play outdoors at a block party during the huge art event Bushwick Open Studios – including myself, performing a couple of pieces from my tour. Then in less than a month, I fly to Europe for a month touring with The World/Inferno Friendship Society! Read on below.

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Impromptu performance of Luciano Berio’s Sequenza for solo violin in Joshua Tree National Park on last month’s solo tour

Please save the week of September 20-27 for the official premiere run of thingNY‘s This Takes Place Close By at the amazing Knockdown Center in Queens, but for those who want to see how our work has been progressing, come by this Saturday to JACK. We’ll perform 40 minutes or so of material from the piece, much of it extensively revised from previous versions we’ve presented. It’s part of three days of theatrically driven contemporary music curated by percussionist/composer Dennis Sullivan, who shares the night with us in a duo with fellow badass percussionist Levy Lorenzo. If you’re a fan of badassery, be there!

The following week, I’m extremely excited to have curated the music acts at the Grattan Street Performance Block Party for the second year in a row! (Under thingNY’s name, but it was all me.) The music starts at 12:30pm with Oxygen Ensemble, a funk/free jazz project of Thomas Bell of Spread Art. I play solo at 1:30pm, performing Paul Pinto‘s virtuoso piece for speaking violinist mini_005 and my own dreamy violin/electronics piece Magical Kingdom of Dust. New Thread Quartet, an excellent new music sax quartet featuring fellow thingNY member Erin Rogers, plays at 2:30pm along with guitarist Luke Schwartz, then the intense duo Naked Roots Conducive (Valerie Kuehne and Natalia Steinbach) presents their particular weird brand of violin/cello-driven singer-songwriter performance art. The amazing futurist avant-jazz/rock trio Cacaw ends the lineup at 4:30pm. Between each music act will be performance art acts curated by Spread Art, plus installations and art trucks, cold beverages at event sponsor Pine Box Rock Shop, and ALL OF THE ART in the open studios next door!

Just before I head to Europe, I play a mysterious and sultry violin in the immersive theater production Serenade. I won’t say much about it, but if you seek a lavish night out on the town that includes dinner and drinks in the company of dark spirits, go to the website and explore.

Now for my big European tour in June and July, the longest I’ve ever been on and my first big tour in Europe: most of the cities are in Germany, but we’ll also make stops in Scotland, England, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and Austria. So many cities I’ve never been to before!!! I’m looking forward to practicing my German, and to being back on the road with the crazy punks in the World/Inferno Friendship Society. Seriously, if you’ve never been to a World/Inferno show, you’re missing out. The energy at the shows is incredible. It’s also a great place to try stage diving for the first time – I tell you from experience! Please tell all your friends in the European cities on the shows page that we’re going to invade their cities and blow their minds, and by the way – rent my room while I’m away!

I’m also pretty astonished to announce that a piece I recorded nine years ago as a student at Oberlin Conservatory is out this week on John Zorn’s Tzadik label! The CD is dedicated to the music of the formidable composer Jason Eckardt, and the piece is his piano concerto Trespass featuring the equally redoubtable pianist Marilyn Nonken, with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble conducted by Tim Weiss and 21-year-old me on second violin. It sounds fricking awesome. You should buy a copy here.

And I recently added a page to my website for MY WALKING TOURS OF NYC! Please check it out. If you’re in town, I’d love to take you on a tour of the Lower East Side, Chinatown/Little Italy, or Southside and South Williamsburg…or more tours to be announced!

Finally, please enjoy my first ever review on Yelp, which is basically a novel about Di Fara Pizza. If you read this far, I love you.
Jeff