A one-time-only, all-star assemblage of '80s Downtown avatars of jazz oddity performing at the height of their unique artistry: The Microscopic Septet, The Jazz Passengers, and Kamikaze Ground Crew. Twenty-one musicians performing music from across their decades of playing together–international touring, recording (including new releases from two of the groups), and countless collaborative projects from film scores and theatre to radio and spoken word, these three influential bands remain always both behind and ahead of their time.
Saturday, December 9
7pm Kamikaze Ground Crew
8pm The Jazz Passengers
9pm The Microscopic Septet
Tickets $25 General / $20 Members
To learn more about the benefits of becoming a member, please click here.
The Microscopic Septet began in 1981 as a vehicle for the complex and witty jazz compositions of co-leaders Phillip Johnston and Joel Forrester. Known for their four-saxophone front line, their stop-on-a-dime arrangements, and their energy and good humor–and for creating the theme music for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross–the Micros will perform their brand of ‘surrealistic swing’ from their 1983 LP Take The Z Train, through their most recent CD, 2017’s Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down To Me: The Micros Play The Blues (Cuneiform).
Founded in 1987 by saxophonist Roy Nathanson and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, The Jazz Passengers emerged onto the NYC avant-garde scene out of their Brooklyn roots from the Big Apple Circus band and John Lurie’s The Lounge Lizards. After thirty years of recordings and performances with stars like Deborah Harry, Elvis Costello, and Mavis Staples, the Jazz Passengers’ travels through punk music and poetry, gender bending mythical theatre, spoken word jazz, song cycles, radio plays, and film scores truly make them a fantastical fusion of post-bop and musical comedy, once called a “perverse mainstream… hard-bop group as imagined by Frank Zappa” (The Boston Globe). Of their 2017 release (Thirsty Ear), Jim Macnie says “Spending time with Still Life With Trouble is like sharing a bouncy cab ride with the coolest guys in town.”
Kamikaze Ground Crew began in 1983 as the backup band for circus artists The Flying Karamazov Brothers, filtering its music through the eclectic new-music ethos of the 1980s. Co-led by multi-instrumentalists Doug Wieselman and Gina Leishman, the group developed through larger theatrical productions and emerged with a life of its own, becoming a vehicle for new compositions and arrangements as an abstract circus band. The ensemble is horn-driven, utilizing three woodwinds, brass and drums, along with the occasional keyboard, ukulele, or electric guitar, as well as voice. Originally based in California, the group has maintained its current configuration since relocating to New York in the mid-1990s.
Music programs at The Kitchen are made possible with endowment support from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; annual grants from The Amphion Foundation, Inc., The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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