New Year’s Eve w. Club D’elf feat. John Medeski (MMW) + Jennifer Hartswick (TAB) + Natalie Cressman (TAB)
THIS SHOW WILL END AT 11PM.
Special Guest Opener: Kat Wright
Club d’Elf has been helping audiences lose track of time for twenty five years with its mesmerizing synthesis of Moroccan traditional music and electronic, dubbed-out funk. Circling about bassist/composer Mike Rivard and drummer Dean Johnston, each Club d’Elf performance features a different line-up, drawn from a constellation of some of the most creative improvisers from the jazz, DJ, rock & world music scenes of Boston, NYC and beyond. The band’s music draws from a startlingly wide spectrum of styles, including jazz, hip hop, electronica, avant garde, prog-rock and dub. Under the tutelage of member Brahim Fribgane (who hails from Casablanca) the band has absorbed Moroccan trance music, which is now an essential part of the mix. Diverse audiences are drawn to Fribgane’s mesmerizing oud stylings, and Rivard’s commanding playing of the Moroccan sintir. Trance forms the central core of the Club d’Elf aesthetic, weaving together the band’s various influences.
In April 2022 the band released its latest album, ‘You Never Know’, which rose to #2 on the Relix chart. The record unfurls upon kaleidoscopic clouds of spiced smoke, shifting from chopped dub-jazz through trance epics that reimagine Boston as a city of bazaars. Club d’Elf pay tribute to the music and musicians who have been primary influences, with half the album being covers of gnawa, Miles Davis, Joe Zawinul, Moroccan band Nass el-Ghiwane, and Frank Zappa. The other half consists of original music inspired by Rivard’s personal journey into darkness following a near death experience in the remote jungle of the Peruvian Amazon.
“You Never Know is a wide ranging romp, full of serenity, chaos, longing, improvisation and peerless musicianship inspired by music from India and Morocco as well as the maverick jazz of Miles Davis and Frank Zappa.” – Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide
Famed keyboardist John Medeski is not easily contained to a single project or genre; he is credited on over 300 works to date, most notably as one third of the groundbreaking trio, Medeski Martin & Wood. Equally comfortable behind a Steinway grand piano, Hammond organ or any number of vintage keyboards, Medeski is a highly sought after improviser and band leader whose projects range from work with John Zorn, The Word (Robert Randolph, North Mississippi Allstars), Phil Lesh, Don Was, John Scofield, Coheed & Cambria, Susana Baca, Sean Lennon, Marc Ribot, Irma Thomas, Blind Boys of Alabama, Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many more. Classically trained, Medeski grew up in Ft.Lauderdale, FL where as a teenager he played with Jaco Pastorius before heading north to attend the New England Conservatory. He released his first solo piano record, A Different Time, on Sony’s Okeh Records in 2013, and current projects include a new album in the works with his band MadSkillet (Terrence Higgins, Kirk Joseph, Will Bernard), and HUDSON (a collaboration with Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield & Larry Grenadier), plus a documentary on Medeski Martin & Wood.
Trumpeter and vocalist, Jennifer Hartswick is one of the most exciting performers in music today. She exudes confidence and joy and brings her own refreshing spirit to the stage every time she performs. Jennifer’s music is honest, soulful and comes with a maturity far beyond her years.
Hartswick is an original member of the Trey Anastasio Band and has recorded/shared the stage with Herbie Hancock, Phish, Christian McBride, Tom Petty, Aaron Neville, Carlos Santana, The Rolling Stones, Big Gigantic, Dave Matthews and countless others.
Jennifer’s live performances are renowned as spontaneous, joyful and contagious. Her natural charisma and sincerity shines through, and each performance is a celebration of musical collaboration. And whether she is wailing on the trumpet or singing an intimate vocal solo, her performance is all part of a single seamless instrument, one that is played not only with astounding technical proficiency, but also with sensitivity, conviction and heart.
Possessing a voice as cool and crystalline as an Alpine stream, Natalie Cressman is a rising singer/songwriter and trombonist who draws inspiration from a vast array of deep and powerful musical currents. Auburn Whisper—her latest album with guitarist, composer, and vocalist Ian Faquini—not only serves as a testament to the couple’s symbiotic musical partnership but also to their resilience during unprecedented times. Written and recorded in 2020, Auburn Whisper finds the two artists blending traditional Brazilian rhythms with modern, expansive arrangements—reflecting on people and places they miss while discovering joy within the present moment.
When she’s not performing her own music, Cressman can be found collaborating with some of the most illustrious figures in rock, funk, jazz and beyond, which have included Carlos Santana, Phil Lesh, Dave Matthews, Phish, Big Gigantic, Greensky Bluegrass, Escort, Wycliffe Gordon, Nicholas Payton, Guinga, Anat Cohen, The Motet, and Umphrey’s McGee. Her passion for groove music hasn’t diluted her love of jazz. In 2016 SFJAZZ commissioned her to develop music for a concert celebrating the legacy of jazz trombonist/arranger Melba Liston.
OPENER: KAT WRIGHT
“There’s soul flowing in and out of her rock ‘n’ roll with a serpentine seduction. Some of soul music’s sweet, grand dames belt, shout, seethe, and succumb, while Wright sings gently like a heartache’s apology. It’s funky in spots and beautiful all over. And it hurts a little … like it should”.
After touring for the last decade as a 7–9-piece soul band with horns & keys blazing, this new era finds Kat Wright being born anew – more herself than ever – revealed, simply in a startlingly honest & glimmering naked light. With restrictions imposed by the pandemic, Wright & her cohorts have recently come to enjoy writing & touring in a stripped down formation, mostly trio or quartet, in contrast to the big band she fronted for the better part of the last decade where she was described “a young Bonnie Raitt meets Amy Winehouse”. Fans of Wright’s singing & style have been thrilled to discover this paired down line up which puts the groups true talents front & center to shine, instead of drenching them in horns and fanfare. You’ll still hear the Raitt & Winehouse influences, but now also likenesses with Brandi Carlisle & Norah Jones. The resulting music is more intentional, more distilled, more potent – a direct balm for the trying times we face today. It’s truly a scenario of “less is more” – allowing Wright’s voice to really finally take center stage, to shine and ache and yearn and howl – unburied, out in the open, beaming.
A quote from the folk publication Red Line Roots from November ’21 sums it up best: “The first time I saw Kat Wright live was a festival gig where the band’s horn section alone was comprised of 3 people. Wright has that special balance of power and grace in her voice that can shimmer and float to the top of a big band setting, I don’t think anyone who has witnessed her perform could deny that. But the intimacy and vulnerability that she and collaborators Bob Wagner and Josh Weinstein has crafted with their newly (and COVID necessary) formed (trio) outfit is something truly magnificent.