Music Program

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

$15 general admission, $12 students/seniors, $10 members

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Alex Harding / Lucian Ban Duo

Alex Harding - baritone saxophone
Lucian Ban - piano

Detroit-born baritone sax extraordinaire Alex Harding and Transylvanian expat pianist Lucian Ban have been collaborating for almost two decades, founding several groups together, releasing a handful of diverse albums for American and European labels, performing countless concerts and tours, all the while documenting an amazing body of music. From their debut duet Somethin' Holy (CIMP 2001) to their Tuba Project group featuring legendary Bob Stewart, from Alex's own Blutopia featuring Nasheet Waits on drums to the quintet with soprano master Sam Newsome, "in near-telepathic collusion, Harding and Ban mean what they say". (Derek Taylor, AAJ).

"Alex Harding and Lucian Ban have developed a fruitful partnership over the years. Harding's bluesy, church-steeped baritone sax is the logical heir to Hamiet Bluiett's, while Ban's tasteful, reflective piano playing combines the elegance and technical precision of the European classical tradition with wide-ranging musical interests and a passion for improvisation" — Jeff Stockton, All About Jazz Born in Detroit, Alex Harding (baritone sax & bass clarinet) has worked and studied with Yusef Lateef at the University of Massachusetts in 1990 and toured Europe performing "Porgy and Bess". Alex joined the Julius Hemphill Saxophone Sextet in 1993 then began working with people such as: Muhal Richard Abrams, Craig Harris, Lester Bowie, Clark Terry, Joe Bowie (Defunkt), Frank Lacy, Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake, Greg Osby, David Murray (big band), Sun Ra Arkestra, and the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin at 2001's "Divas Live" at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The critics have hailed him as "the new voice on baritone saxophone, the carrier of the great legacy of Harry Carney, Pepper Adams and Hamiet Bluiett." Alex Harding has released several albums as a leader, garnering glowing reviews, and appeared as guest on more than 20 albums.

Pianist Lucian Ban has "ricocheted among orthodox post bop, free jazz, and inspired hybrids—including his inventive arrangements of the music of Romanian composer George Enesco" on his all star octet album Enesco Reimagined (Sunnyside, 2009), co-lead with bassist John Hébert. In 2013 Ban's quartet Elevation released the blustery Mystery (Sunnyside). Ban also has a duo with American violist Mat Maneri, Transylvanian Concert (ECM, 2013). He has recorded 10 albums as a leader for labels such as Sunnyside, ECM, Jazzaway, etc. His latest album, Songs from Afar by Elevation (Sunnyside, 2009), received a five star review in Downbeat magazine.