Back for another year of unrestricted improvising string sets, the Firey Strings Company partners with 52 Studio Arts in presenting IMPROV Xlll , an exciting program of cutting edge artists from NYC and beyond. Improvisers, Jazz artists, World renowned musicians, electronic specialist, acoustic players all converge on #JazzDay as part of the Herbie Hancock Institute's International Jazz Day Festival. For IMPROVXll String players and composers will showcase new techniques, sing , play, working electronic instruments and new ideas.
I-NEW YORK CITY
SIMONE by Frank Foster
featuring Nioka Workman, an artist, curator in the areas of music and dance. Her recent highlights include, features with Black Rock Coalition Orchestra and with Def Poetry Jam CEO Danny Simmons & Wordsmith. Nioka’s musical stylings can be heard worldwide on the recordings of luminary artists like Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, India Arie, DJ Rogers and Joe. Her festival credits in and outside of the USA include; Greater Hartford Jazz Festival, Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival, Summer Stage at Billie Holiday Theater, the International African Arts Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and Sons’d Hiver Festival in Paris. She actively curates and arranges music for events through Firey Strings Company. FSCO has features on Grammy nominated Betty LaVette’s ‘Blackbirds’ and in JFA’s virtual showcase “Bird Calls, celebration of Charlie Parker”. Nioka is currently on tour with Leslie Parker Dance , with the team of Bessie Award winners nia love’s g1 (HOST):LOSTATSEA and is on a tour of Firey String Sistas sophomore CD 2023. www.niokakworkman.com
FREEDOM DAY by Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln
(Reimagined by Charisa the ViolinDiva)
featuring Charisa the Violin Diva (vox/violin) with band members - Stan Davis (guitar), Nate Jones (bass), Les Cleveland (drums). Charisa Rouse, contemporary violinist and vocalist has devoted her career to challenging every preconception of what the violin (and violinist!) can accomplish in contemporary music. Classically trained, her diversity has allowed her to travel the world, recording and performing alongside such artists as Demi Lovato, Vivian Green, Kim Burrell, Cyndi Lauper, William McDowell, Diana Krall, and Quincy Jones, to name a few. More than just a performer, Charisa fundamentally recognizes the importance of string programs in American public schools as an in-demand teaching artist. She has developed “the Stringtastic! Curriculum” targeted at reaching young minority string players; a curriculum which she uses regularly in the two NYC public school programs she founded a decade ago, reaching 200 black and latino students annually. As an established recording artist, she is constantly recording new projects, including a worship album to be released this year. A native of Washington DC where she began her string studies in a very similar public school program, Charisa went on to the Bachelor’s Degree cum laude on full scholarship, and later garnered her Master’s degree in Music which brought her to the NYC area. Since then, Charisa has continued to perform regularly with her several diverse groups, winning the Apollo Amateur Night Competition, performing for senators and dignitaries, rocking next to Patti Labelle and Misty Copeland on BET Black Girl’s Rock, winning the McDonald’s Gospelfest Competition at the Prudential Center, on tour with Bernard Fowler from the Rolling Stones, and featuring at Summerstage in the city with her unique fusion of soul, jazz, hot pink violin, and voice. In Nov 2012, she released her first CD project the Prelude EP, and will continue the journey with gospel album “the War Chronicles, vol. 1” releasing in fall 2023 and a new R&B/jazz project and tour to follow soonafter. Stay tuned for the next chapter in soul. www.theviolindiva.com
FLYING CURLY by Eva Kess is a Co-Production with Swiss Cultural Radio SRF 2.
featuring EVA KESS GROUP: Filipe Duarte (guitar), Gregor Ftičar (piano), Peter Kronreif (drums), Eva Kesselring (doublebass & composition). Double Bassist and Composer Eva Kess, born in Berlin-Schöneberg, started her musical career as a kid in Porto Alegre (Brasil) as a ballet and tap dancer. Back in Europe she continued as classical pianist and dancer in Bern and at age 17 discovered the Double Bass. Eva Kess lives in Bern. An active performer, Eva played concerts in Bern, Basel, Zürich, Geneva, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Zagreb, Rio de Janeiro …Eva expanded her horizon in direction of composing for lager ensembles in the composition & theory masters of the University of Arts in Bern. She studied composition with Guillermo Klein, Django Bates, Bert Joris, Martin Streule, Frank Sikora and Klaus Wagenleiter. She studied Jazz Double Bass in Bern with Patrice Moret and at the Music Academy of Basel with Bänz Oester, Larry Grenadier, Jorge Rossy, Julio Baretto. (Preparation Class in at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern with Thomas Dürst.) Countless masterclasses complete her education. Winning the Friedl Wald-Scholarship allowed her to dive into the music scene in New York City and to take lessons with Larry Grenadier and Matt Penman. Eva Kess has recorded several albums with music of hers and has gained recognition nationally as well as internationally.
IN MEDIAS RES
featuring BÉBÉ LA LA, celebrating 12 years of performing and recording together The duo was formed in 2010, Bébé La La combines Maryse Lapierre's French influences with Alicia Ultan's original folk inspired "art" songs, and over the years they have developed a unique and lovely repertoire that highlights their signature "stunning" harmonies. They received three nominations and two awards at the 2016 New Mexico Music Awards for their debut release, High Wire (one for Ultan's song "Sister Sister" in the Singer-Songwriter category and one for her song "Ruins" in the Native American Music category). That album features guest musicians such as renowned trumpeter Bobby Shew and New York based jazz saxophonist Javon Jackson, and was described by music and art writer James Mahoney as: "Wild—Alternative—Magic! Hearing this music is, strangely, like opening up a new set of Tarot cards—with very new images: wild re-structuring of the dramas in each of the cards, so that both vital mystery and authentic emotion—along with a symbol system—are all living together in an advanced beauty." Just this past November 13, 2022, Bébé La La released their latest CD, A Curious Series of Unexpected Events, at a concert celebration presented by AMP Concerts at FUSION Theater in Albuquerque to a full house. Recorded at the Wall of Sound studio by John Wall (as was High Wire), the album features ten original songs, three of which have been nominated for New Mexico Music Awards, including Ultan's song "Rosie," which won in the Singer-Songwriter category at this year’s awards ceremony this past May. An overarching theme of "time" and the unexpectedness of life threads the eclectic collection of songs together on the new CD, which addresses some of the events of the past few years as well as personal struggles and more, the album features Arnaldo Acosta on drums and Mike Fox, Royce Platero and Micky Patten on bass, plus several guest musicians including, César Bauvallet (trombone; arranger); Paul Gonzales (trumpet); Frank Leto (steel pan); Kalin Noboa (pan pipes); Joseph Altamirano (charango); Claudio Tolousse (guitar/sitar); Alicia's twin sister, Jacqueline Ultan (cello); and Laura Di Mauro (guitar). Mel Minter of Musically Speaking writes in his review of the album, "Earworms abound, and the inescapable melodies are animated by beguiling vocal harmonies and the complementary way the voices of Ultan and Lapierre interlock sonically. They take advantage of the studio to braid multiple voices (or violas) in places, to heart-swelling effect!" Bébé La La continues to draw audiences with their thoughtful, playful and timely songs as well as their fun, endearing and memorable performances. They have performed throughout Albuquerque and surrounding areas, including the Outpost Performance Space, the International Balloon Fiesta, The Balloon Museum, AMP Concerts Casa Flamenca series (and other AMP events), The Regional Arts Council of Truth or Consequences, NM, Albuquerque Old Town and at many other venues. They are available to perform as just the duo or with the full band for a wide variety of settings. Our video our harmonium- viola -vocal improvisation is woven with a beautiful french melody from our latest cd . "In Medias Res" is up for an award this year in “Ambient Music”
Photo credit: A painting by Katie Neeley, http://Bebelalamusic.com
featuring Ronnie Burrage