Forget Snidely Whiplash. Melodrama: Where Love and Destiny Collide combines piano music and text in a rare presentation of material from the Romantic era. Grammy-nominated pianist and Naxos recording artist Douglas Riva and renowned actor Patricio Tlacaelel Trujillo y Fuentes will present two pieces: “The Castle by the Sea” and “Enoch Arden.” Text for the first is by Ludwig Uhland, while the second is based on a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The music for each was composed by Richard Strauss. “I’ve always been interested in multimedia work, and I’m always searching for a way to use the piano in a very passionate and expressive means,” says Riva. Teamed up with Tlacaelel, who brings the requisite theatrical and musical credentials, Riva appears to have found just the vehicle he was looking for. The two will perform today at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) at 2 p.m.
They don’t have fireworks, a giant inflatable penis or any of the other spectacular bullshit of a major-label tour. Albuquerque’s A Hawk & A Hacksaw, Minneapolis’ Dark Dark Dark, and Chicago’s Pillars and Tongues don’t even have a name for their tour. They do have an unusual collection of instruments, two vans and the ability to reshape time, although they accomplish that in different ways. The three groups will be altering perceptions at the South Broadway Cultural Center tonight in an all-ages concert produced by AH&AH accordionist Jeremy Barnes. Find out more here.
Trumpeter/ukulelist/singer Zach Condon, native Santa Fean and frontman for Beirut, has garnered a world of attention for music that draws heavily on his serial “flirtations,” as he calls them, with various genres. French chanson, Balkan brass, Mexican church bands, electronica—each has provided the inspiration and stylistic setting for a Beirut album.
The constants in those recordings, though, are Condon’s love affair with melody and his ear for the right sound in the right place. For the latest Beirut release, The Rip Tide, Condon focused on those elements, hoping to distill his own sound from the multigenre cocktail. He’s succeeded in creating his most personal and arguably his most beautiful and mature work to date. Beirut plays in Santa Fe tonight. Find out more about the new album and the show here.
Cal Haines and Victoria Rogers are establishing themselves as important independent producers of jazz in New Mexico, presenting several thoughtfully themed concert series and featuring performers of local, national and international renown. Next up is classy California singer Leslie Lewis, who will present two concerts of classic material. The first, at the Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living (505 Camino de Los Marquez, Santa Fe) tonight, pays tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae. The second, in Albuquerque at Nahalat Shalom (3606 Rio Grande NW) on Sunday, honors Sarah Vaughan. Lewis’ instrument can handle both the bright optimism of Fitzgerald and the dusky irony of McRae, and she has the power to do justice to Vaughan, too. She’ll be accompanied by Gerard Hagen (electric keyboard), Michael Glynn (bass) and Haines (drums). Both shows begin at 7 p.m., are all-ages and cost $20. For more info, call 989-1088.
The future? A curious musical footnote? A noble and possibly deranged experiment? Whatever the sounds emanating from the third annual edition of The Roost, an eight-week emergent music series, you can bet they’re other than everyday. Dedicated to providing a forum for creative artists to stretch their wings and the audience’s ears, The Roost has found a new home at The Projects. It’s also joined forces with the Local Poets Guild, which is curating short spoken word presentations each evening. The Zack Freeman Improv Trio launches the series, with the beatboxer/DJ joined by Jonathan Baldwin on cornet and multi-instrumentalist Mark LeClaire. For more info, go to theroostabq.com and/or localpoetsguild.wordpress.com.
The eighth concert of the Cal Haines Tribute Trio’s 12-concert series, which pays homage to a different jazz legend each month, brings pianist John Rangel, bassist Michael Glynn and drummer Haines back to Albuquerque after a three-concert Santa Fe sojourn. This month, they honor the legacy of keyboardist Joe Zawinul, whose career stretched from Cannonball Adderley’s band, through Miles Davis’ fusion years, to Weather Report (cofounded by Zawinul), and on into electronic explorations and classical symphonic music. The trio says they’ll focus on his earlier acoustic material, but Weather Report fans won’t be disappointed: The trio also plans to acknowledge Zawinul’s fusion muse. The show happens tonight at 7 p.m. at the Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living (2801 Louisiana NE). Tickets are $15. For complete information, check out tributetrio.com.
Rambunctious, swinging, in-your-face jazz music is what Tarbaby—pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Nasheet Waits—is all about. Tonight, in the core members' enthusiastic roaming all over the jazz landscape, the group will be joined by legendary saxophonist Oliver Lake, whose fearlessness should fit nicely with Tarbaby’s stops-out attack. These guys can take you out to the edges of the jazz universe, but they’ll bring you back for a nice soft landing, too. They’re not doing strange math on musical instruments. They’re playing inventive jazz that draws on the music’s long history, and they do it with humor and exuberance. The show happens at the Outpost Performance Space (210) Yale SE) at 7:30 p.m. The all-ages show is $20 for general admission, $15 for members and students.
While she’s been doing other projects—most notably, Resonance with tuba player Mark Weaver, as well as the quartet Woof!—vocalist Patti Littlefield has not fronted her own group in recent years, depriving Albuquerque of its fair share of opportunities to hear her sing jazz and blues. That changes this weekend when she takes the stage backed by guitarist Lewis Winn and bassist Michael Olivola. “These guys are pretty greasy,” she says admiringly. Greasy enough that the trio will go without a drummer. “We’re trying something a little different,” says Littlefield. “Without the drums, the bass takes over. The pockets get deeper, and I like to slide into them.” Look for the trio to serve up “something succulent and juicy,” she adds, with songs old and new.
Cal Haines’ Tribute Trio—John Rangel (piano), Michael Glynn (bass) and Cal Haines (drums)—will honor Horace Silver on the inaugural night of a 12-concert series to be performed once a month. The series will be staged at different places in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, from jazz clubs to colleges to guerrilla performing arts venues. Each concert will explore the work of a single jazz pianist, among them Chick Corea, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Bobby Timmons, Lennie Tristano and McCoy Tyner. “The trio is interested in keeping this music alive,” says concert coordinator Victoria Rogers, and it has a special interest in drawing the attention of young fans to these composers. For more information on what promises to be an entertaining and informative survey course in modern jazz piano, visit tributetrio.com.
Trombonist, percussionist, composer and arranger César Bauvallet spent his childhood immersed in the sones, danzones, boleros and cha-cha-chas of Cuba’s Golden Era of Music—a veritable explosion of traditional music whose romance and rhythms found their way into jazz and popular music around the world. Bauvallet’s father, Daniel, was at the heart of that era, and his performances as a singer in Havana nightclubs helped to define the essence of the music for generations. The tradition continues with César Bauvallet y Tradiciones—Steve Figueroa (piano), Paul Gonzales (trumpet), Janet Harman (bass), Victor Rodriguez (congas, bongos and vocals) and Tomás White (timbale)—who savor the heart, soul and intoxicating romance of the Afro-Cuban legacy. Tonight they perform at Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale SE) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for members and students and $15 for general admission. Call (505) 268-0044 for more information.