Music Program

Friday, September 4, 2009 at 9:00 p.m.

$10 general admission, $8 members/students/seniors

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Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber



Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber began as a grand and noble idea that begat a quite foolhardy enterprise—update Miles Davis Bitches Brew for the 21st century with players who were conversant in a plethora of post-modern musical tongues. What it has become since then is one of the few modern music groups to freely mash-up any and all forms of vocal and instrumental music like it ain’t nobody’s business if they do.

"A multiracial jam army that freestyles with cool telekinesis between the lustrous menace of Miles Davis’ On The Corner, the slash-and-om of 1970s King Crimson, and Jimi Hendrix’ moonwalk across side three of Electric Ladyland." —DAVID FRICKE, ROLLING STONE

Burnt Sugar on

Our manifesto:

Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber was originally conceived in 1999 as a forum for the New York area improvisational musician to compose, record and perform material which reflects the breadth and depth of American diasparan music in the 21st century. The intent of the Arkestra Chamber, through the deployment of Butch Morris’s conduction system, is to make every performance a fresh interpretation of its constituent parts.

Rather than limit ourselves to the straight jackets that the commercial recording industry uses to market contemporary Black Music, Burnt Sugar freely moves amongst many styles, eras and genres to devise its own exciting hybrids. These hybrids are based on a solid foundation of various musical traditions and the use of cutting-edge music technology. In this sense the group mission honors its deepest inspirations, the first post-modernists of American music – Duke Ellington, Sun Ra, Parliament Funkadelic and The Art Ensemble of Chicago.

As with any venture of this ambitious nature, audience development must come in many forms – live performance, magazine and newspaper profiles, and most importantly, cutting-edge recordings, which seem to generate the former two. Because of the necessity to build the TruGroid brand; Burnt Sugar, and its collective, must continually generate new product highlighting the Arkestra Chamber’s continual metamorphosis integrating rhythm and blues vocal extrapolations, rock and roll guitar brio, free jazz horn explorations, 20th century string dissonance and up-to-the-minute electronic manipulations.

Music must be heard – especially music designed to push back current musical boundaries. Burnt Sugar and TruGroid fill a major vacuum in terms of reestablishing a presence and profile for American experimental music on the world stage that is conversant with the idioms and recording techniques of hip hop, drum and bass, jazz and alternative rock. In today’s musical context there are few American bands like the Arkestra Chamber that are innovative on stage and in the recording studio.

Final Note:

Founded by conductor, producer, musician and Village Voice icon Greg Tate, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber is a sprawling band of musicians whose prodigious chops cover a wide swath of the experimental soul-jazz-hip hop spectrum. Anchored by Jason DiMatteo (acoustic bass) and Jared Michael Nickerson (electric bass), the live version of the group can feature as many as 22 players at any one time, but the stalwarts tend to include singers Lisala, Karma Mayet Johnson and Chelsea Adewunmi, Justice Dilla-X (vocals & effected vocals), Mikel Banks (vocals & freak-a-phone), Derrin Maxwell (mc), Mazz Swift (violin & vocal), Will Martina (cello), André Lassalle (guitar), Ben Tyree (guitar), Asim Barnes (guitar), Lewis "Flip" Barnes Jr. (trumpet), Michael Veal (soprano sax), Micah Gaugh (alto sax), Avram Fefer (tenor sax), "Moist" Paula Henderson (baritone sax), Dave Smith (trombone), Bruce Mack (synthesizer), Myles Reilly (piano), Trevor Holder (drums), Swiss Chris (drums) as well as the occasional "special guest" be that Vernon Reid (guitar), Maya Azucena (vocals) or the noted installation artist Satch Hoyt (flute & percussion) our brother in Berlin, Germany. Oh yes.... the Arkestra Chamber is global like that!

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September, 2009 - 2009