||Jul 2013: Exotic Sounds of Summer Tour - Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Joined: Oct 09, 2005
From: Boston, MA
|Posted: 2013-06-11 11:38 am  Permalink|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press contact: Brian O’Neill
firstname.lastname@example.org - 1.347.482.1775
"Boston’s Best World Music Act"- Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica - announces July 2013 "Exotic Sounds of Summer Tour" featuring sultry music from their quartet's Fall 2013 record
Appearing in NYC, Middletown, CT, & debuts at Regatta Bar (Cambridge, MA) & Bohemian Caverns (Washington, DC).
Led by "percussion master and polymath" artistic director, Brian O’Neill ("a first-rate composer"-Huffington Post) w/ Geni Skendo (bass flute, flute), Jason Davis (bass, Earthsounds, Ten Tumbao), & Shane Shanahan (percussion, Yo-Yo Ma/Silk Road Ensemble.)
June 11, 2013 (Cambridge, MA) - Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica--one of the "most inventive jazz groups running" (BlogCritics)--announces its Summer 2013 tour, bringing its global jazz and exotic chamber music quartet to some new cities including Middletown, CT (7/18) and Washington, DC (7/21). A "perfect cocktail of chamber, jazz, classical, and world music" (Boston Globe), the quartet will be debuting new music from its Fall 2013 recording (a follow-up to its acclaimed album, Third River Rangoon which the Huffington Post called a "Top 10 album for 2011.") "We are happy to bring the quartet formation of Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica to DC and CT for the first time ever, especially given how rare our third-stream-meets-music-of-the-world approach is. There aren't many ensembles out there that blend Western/notated music with jazz and the rhythms and sounds from other places," says vibraphonist, percussionist, and leader Brian O'Neill.
Add Thu, 7/18/13 - 730pm The Buttonwood Tree ($12+) Middletown, CT
Add Fri, 7/19/13 - 730pm The Regatta Bar ($16+) Cambridge, MA
Add Sat, 7/20/13 - 9pm Somethin’ Jazz Club ($15+) New York, NY
Add Sun, 7/21/13 - 7pm Bohemian Caverns ($15+) Washington, DC
Add Sun, 7/21/13 - 9pm Bohemian Caverns ($15+) Washington, DC
While not a lounge or easy-listening group, the band uses the escapism of the mid-century genre "exotica" as a jumping-off point for inspirations in its original music, which is written by O'Neill ("a first-rate composer"-Huffington Post). The group also reinterprets artists such as Gershwin, De Falla, Tchaikovksy, Bach, and others, often covering their works in usual ways such as Gershwin's 3 Piano Preludes which they mash up with Brazilian baião, a visit from the Siamese cats in Lady in the Tramp, free jazz, and the clustered harmonies of Bulgarian women's choirs. They're wild original, "Would You Like Bongos With That Fugue?," is an homage to Bach and reworks one of the master's violin fugues and organ toccatas with Balkan rhythms and improv.
Gordon Marshall from AllAboutJazz once described O'Neill's group as, "…If John Zorn is an exotica Picasso, O'Neill is his Georges-Braque counterpart in cubism's transposition to music…as Braque may have been the finer cubist, O'Neill may be, in the long run, a stronger exoticist than Zorn." In 2010, the group started its Exotica for Modern Living recording series and this Fall, the third album in that series--by this quartet--will be released. Much of the Exotic Sounds of Summer tour selections will be drawn from this recording.
Note: Frequent musical collaborator and guest/fifth member, Tev Stevig will join the group on 7/19 at the Regatta Bar on oud and the rarely-heard bass-banjo-sounding tanbur from Turkey.
Referencing the exotica of composers ranging from Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich to George Gershwin, Martin Denny, and John Adams, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica—as a vibraphone quartet—performs global jazz and exotic chamber music with world-music flavors sourced from Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, and Latin America. Led by multi-percussionist, vibraphonist and composer Brian O’Neill, the group also features bass flute/woodwinds (Geni Skendo), percussion (Shane Shanahan), and acoustic bass (Jason Davis). The quartet focuses on original music written by O'Neill ("a first-rate composer"—Huffington Post) that is highly influenced by his fifteen-year career as a multi-percussionist in symphony orchestras, jazz groups, and world music ensembles leading AllAboutJazz to say, "…if John Zorn is an exotica Picasso, O'Neill is his Georges-Braque counterpart in cubism's transposition to music." The Orchestrotica was named the 2012 "Best World Music Act" in the Boston Phoenix's annual readers' poll.
In June 2011, they released their debut quartet CD, Third River Rangoon, which the Boston Herald called "…serious jazz and chamber-music writing…" and Lucid Culture called "…a lushly nocturnal collection…genius." The album continues their Exotica for Modern Living series, which opened with The Unforgettable Sounds of Esquivel , their 23-pc big band formation performing the lost space-age pop music of Esquivel. That album eventually reached #4 on the CMJ jazz charts and received 4 stars from the Sunday London Times.
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Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Esquivel Big Band / Global Jazz Quartet
Joined: Oct 09, 2005
From: Boston, MA
|Posted: 2013-06-11 11:39 am  Permalink|
Flyer about the shows:
Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Esquivel Big Band & Global Jazz and Exotic Chamber Music Quintet
“anything but straightforward”–Washington Post
Joined: Jul 27, 2002
From: D.C. / Virginia
|Posted: 2013-07-23 12:42 am  Permalink|
A nice review from the Washington Post of Sunday evening's show at D.C.'s Bohemian Caverns
With a name as ridiculous as Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica, it’s not unfair to expect ridiculousness from the Boston-based band. And in their 22-piece form, Orchestrotica frequently plays up the kitsch factor in the late-’50s “exotica” trend, which fused lounge-pop with pseudo-tropical (often Hawaiian) music. But the quartet version that performed at Bohemian Caverns on Sunday night was a serious one. They still blew up the genre’s world-music pretension, but without irony; instead, the Orchestrotica injected it with the genuine artifact, plus jazz and classical elements.
Their choice of instruments reflected that blend. Geni Skendo, whose main axe was bass flute, doubled on the shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute. Shane Shanahan played bongos and tambourine but also triangle, cajon and frame drum. (Additionally, Jason Davis played bass, with the leader, Brian “Mr. Ho” O’Neill, on vibraphone — exotica almost invariably had vibes on its front line.) And their repertoire was anything but straightforward. O’Neill’s “Autumn Digging Dance” featured everyone on his primary instrument, and in a tuneful atmosphere, but it was surprisingly dark and moody — and, O’Neill revealed afterward, based not on Pacific Island music but Bulgarian rhythm. It was Balkan rhythm, along with baroque music, on the even moodier (if playfully titled) “Would You Like Bongos With That Fugue,” and “Ritual Mallet Dance” was a mash-up of a Spanish ballet, Latin jazz pioneer Cal Tjader’s signature “Soul Sauce,” and a fierce rhythmic duel between Shanahan (on cajon) and O’Neill (on one of Shanahan’s bongos). There were lighthearted moments, such as O’Neill bellowing Tjader’s chant “Wachi wara!” when playing his theme; still, this was not your father’s lounge music.
O’Neill discussed many of these mixings with between-song explanations that tended to be long and involved; on the one hand, it helped parse the complexity of their ideas, but on the other hand it took a lot of time and was a bit heavy for a lay audience. This was especially true before the band’s take on Gershwin’s three Preludes for Piano — O’Neill gave a full rundown of the concepts he’d put into each prelude’s arrangement.
Yet the preludes were a pinnacle of the set. The second, in particular, was a delight: going from slinky lounge-jazz to a funny rendition of “Siamese Cat Song” (from “Lady and the Tramp”), then into free jazz that O’Neill described as the sound of “Ornette Coleman shaking a cat.” The most exotic thing on this stage was Orchestrotica’s collective imagination.
[ This Message was edited by: ikitnrev 2013-07-23 00:45 ]