|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase Presents String Sampler Concert Featuring Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge, Saturday October 28, 2017 at The Woodstock Playhouse, Woodstock, New York
(August 2, 2017 Woodstock, NY) The Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase presents its annual String Sampler Concert, featuring Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge, plus Special Guests Simon Shaheen Trio and Woody Mann, 8:00 PM Saturday, October 28, 2017 at The Woodstock Playhouse, 103 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY 12498, telephone 845-679-6900, www.woodstockplayhouse.org. Reserved seating: tickets $65 Front Row, $50 Gold Section, $40 Blue and Green Sections, available through the Woodstock Playhouse Box Office after August 15, 2017.
The String Sampler Concert Series, promoting musical diversity and stringed-instrumental artistry, is an annual event presented by the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase, an international acoustic guitar and stringed-instrument makers’ festival. This year’s Ninth Annual Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase takes place October 27, 28 & 29, 2017 at the Bearsville Theater, Utopia Soundstage and environs in Woodstock, New York. www.woodstockinvitational.com
JULIAN LAGE & CHRIS ELDRIDGE
On Mount Royal, their 2017 release on Free Dirt Records, Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge craft songs that sound familiar but are never easily classified. Percolating with tinges of bluegrass and folk, insinuations of jazz and pop, hints of classical and avant garde composition, the album rarely settles into any one particular category; rather, it dances around the territory between genres, never announcing its innovations and prizing soulfulness above chops at every turn. From first note to last, the duo push themselves to find new ways to play their vintage flat-top steel-string acoustic Martin guitars together.
The Grammy-nominated Lage has been highly regarded in jazz and new music circles for his own work as well as for his collaborations with such artists as Nels Cline, Fred Hersch, Gary Burton, and Jim Hall, to name a few. Fellow Grammy-nominee Eldridge, an Oberlin Conservatory grad who studied with bluegrass guitar legend Tony Rice, is equally noted in the progressive bluegrass world for his stints with The Seldom Scene and The Infamous Stringdusters, which led to his joining Chris Thile’s adventurous quintet, Punch Brothers.
When they play together, however, they do not represent the genres or styles with which they have long been identified. “It’s not like I’m the jazz representative and he’s the bluegrass representative. We could care less about that,” says Lage. Instead, they make music simply as friends and individuals who happen to have unique ideas and techniques. “Playing with Jules, it feels like anything is possible,” says Eldridge. “You have no constraints. There’s just so much room to move around… which really opens you up to being more creative.” Adds Lage: “Our rapport is based on the idea that we’re researchers studying this idea of what two acoustic guitars can do together, how you can integrate that into instrumental songwriting and how you can reconcile that with vocal music. Our collaboration is like a big research project that’s been going on for years.”
SIMON SHAHEEN TRIO
Simon Shaheen dazzles his listeners as he deftly leaps from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz, Flamenco and Western classical styles. His soaring technique, melodic ingenuity and unparalleled grace have earned him international acclaim as a virtuoso on the 'oud and violin. A professor of music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Shaheen is one of the most significant Arab musicians, performers and composers of his generation.
A Palestinian, Shaheen began playing the 'oud at the age of four, and a year later studying violin at the Conservatory for Western Classical Music in Haifa. After graduating from the Academy of Music in Jerusalem in 1978, Shaheen moved to New York City to complete graduate studies in performance at the Manhattan School of Music, and later in music education and musicology at Columbia University. In 1982, Shaheen formed the Near Eastern Music Ensemble in New York. In the 1990s, he released four albums of his own while also contributing cuts to producer Bill Laswell's fusion collective, Hallucination Engine. Leading his group, Qantara, the album Blue Flame (2001) was nominated for 11 Grammy Awards. Shaheen has collaborated in performances and recordings with Sting, Carlos Santana, Quincy Jones, Al Dimeola, David Brubeck, Mohammad Abdul Wahhab, Bill Laswell, Jeff Beck, Angelique Kidjo, Cheb Khalid, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and others.
Since 1994, Shaheen has produced the Annual Arab Festival of Arts held in New York at the Brooklyn Museum and Town Hall. He founded the Annual Arabic Music Retreat, held each summer at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, in 1997. In Palestine, Shaheen conducts annual music workshops and residencies at major art institutions. Recipient of countless international awards and honors, including a National Heritage Award at the White House (1994), Shaheen most recently received an Honorary Doctorate from the American University of Beirut.
Simon Shaheen will be accompanied by Tareq Rantisi, a world-renowned percussionist, and Firas Zreik on the Arabic qanun, an 80-string plucked lap zither.
Among guitarists and critics, Woody Mann is considered a modern master. While the blues are his touchstone, he seems to draw inspiration from every direction with ease and grace. Mann has pursued a rich and diverse career, performing everywhere from the orchestra pits of Broadway to stages worldwide, recorded extensively and schooled countless guitarists through his many books and DVDs, including "The Art of Acoustic Blues Guitar" DVD series, "The Complete Acoustic Blues Guitar Method", and his latest DVD, "Take Command of Your Fretboard" for Homespun Tapes. From his first solo recording, "Stairwell Serenade", Woody has since recorded as a soloist and in collaboration with Son House, John Fahey and John Cephas. His latest CD's are "Tribute to the Reverend" and "Conversations" with saxophonist Charley Krachy.
A noted authority on Country blues music, Woody has taught at major guitar workshops in the USA and Europe, been a faculty member at the New School in NYC, and founded International Guitar Seminars. Presently, Mann is a visiting artist at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. His latest book, "Just Play" combines history and stories of great artists Woody has known and worked with, including his early mentors Reverend Gary Davis and jazz great Lennie Tristano, jazz guitarist Attila Zoller, Portuguese composer Carlos Paredes, and master guitar builders Jimmy D'Aquisto and John Monteleone. As a producer and filmmaker his most recent project includes the award-winning feature documentary, "Harlem Street Singer", the story of the legendary guitarist Reverend Gary Davis. Throughout his career, Woody has not forgotten those early lessons in the Rev. Davis' living room or the jazz traditions that were his wellspring. He has become one of the world's renowned guitar masters – bringing the past up to the present – with his own contemporary improvisational style.
This year’s String Sampler Concert is presented with support from Esotec Beverages, Saugerties, NY and WKZE 98.1 FM, Red Hook, NY.
Woodstock Invitational LLC
PO Box 486
Bearsville, New York, 12498 USA