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Ballin' the Jack, NYC, Oct 12, 2007

Ballin' the JackBallin' The Jack performs in support of A Gathering Of The Tribes!

with special guest John Kruth on Harmonica +
Benefit for a Gathering of the Tribes—jazz programming!
featuring BALLIN' THE JACK in concert in the garden behind Tribes.

Friday, October 12th
Doors open 7:30—10:00 p.m. 10$
285 E. 3rd Street
(Between C & D)
New York, New York

On Friday, October 12th, BALLIN' THE JACK will play a benefit party for TRIBES, the venerable alternative arts institution in the East Village. BALLIN' THE JACK will perform their unique and upbeat interpretations from the early jazz period as well as inspired originals form their two CD's on the Knitting Factory Label. Perhaps best known for its support of alternative art and poetry, TRIBES also brings music events to the Lower East Side, including helping support the annual Charlie Parker Festival. We are raising funds to further these goals. Please come help support this unique venue's growing vision!

A Gathering of the Tribes is an arts and cultural organization dedicated to excellence in the arts from a diverse perspective. Located on the Lower East Side of New York City, Tribes has been in existence since 1991. In that year, Steve Cannon, poet, playwright, novelist, and retired professor from the City University of New York, converted a portion of his apartment into an informal salon. Tribes encourages the exchange of alternative points of view traditionally overlooked by mainstream media has evolved into a performance venue and meeting place for artists and audiences to come together across all artistic disciplines, all levels of complexity, and all definitions of difference. In this pan-disciplinary, multi-cultural environment, artists exchange ideas, create peer relationships and find mentorship. Tribes additionally organizes an annual outdoor event—The Charlie Parker Festival—to engage members of the community who have seldom, if ever, attended literary or artistic events.

Ballin' The Jack, a creation of New York eclectic reedman, Matt Darriau, creates new interpretations of music from the early swing era. The four horn (seven-piece) Ballin’ The Jack, plays music of the ‘20's to 40's with an emphasis on Ellington, and other unique early jazz artists such as John Kirby. They also create original music inspired by this era as well as working with the early (jazz) roots of R&B. This band of veteran "downtown" players pay detailed attention to the original orchestrations, colors and intent, yet this unique period in jazz provide a creative platform for the band's spontaneous interpretations and interactions, allowing them to explore ways in which early swing, with its often through composed and unusual forms, can inspire contemporary "open" musicians—especially early Ellington, who was working before standard conventions in jazz were established. Conceived for the Tap Bar at New York's Knitting Factory, where they developed their unique esthetic during 1998 -99', Ballin' The Jack now has two CD's out on the Knitting Factory Label. The first, Jungle (1999), explores mostly Ellington with some Basie and John Kirby. The term "Jungle sound " with its growling brass and heavy percussion grooves, was used to describe Ellington's music from his Cotton Club orchestra. This CD features Ellington alumnus, trombonist Art Baron, a master of mutes and growl techniques. Ballin' The Jack's new CD The big Head, is a year-end best on Gary Giddins' Village Voice picks list. With 16 tracks the band further refines its unique approach, placing more emphasis on original material and discovering new areas to expand improvisationally on five Ellington and other early swing tracks.
Ballin' The Jack has toured numerous times in Europe including the North Sea Jazz Festival, 2002 Newport Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Fest. Recently the band has been performing a new project of music form the Marx Btother movies featuring the character and sax of Roy Nathason from the jazz Passengers! Ballin' remains committed to playing music that is challenging, yet makes people want to move with the groove!

Matt Darriau—alto, tenor & clarinet, (Paradox Trio, Klezmatics, Orange Then Blue, Whirligig)
Andy Laster—bari sax and clarinet (New and Used w/Dave Douglass, Julius Hemphill Sax Sextet)
Frank London- trumpet & mutes (Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, Les Misérables Brass Band)
Curtis Hasselbring—trombone & mutes (Jazz Passengers, Tom Harrell)
Anthony Coleman—Piano, Hammond B3 organ (Marc Ribot, John Zorn)
Joe Fitzgerald—bass (Joe Puma, Gene Bertoncini, Fred Hersch)
George Schuller—drums (Joe Lovano Rush Hour Band, Schulldogs, Tony Maleby

"Of the many centennial tributes to Duke, this could be the most entertaining and forward thinking. Certainly it's the zaniest and very in your face... Ballin' The Jack revives [these tunes] in an ultra-modern way that makes them seem like they were just written.... A strong candidate for Jazz CD of the Year" —Michael G. Nastos, All-Music Guide

Can "downtown" players deliver classic jazz and swing tunes? The Big Head should quickly win over skeptics with the speed precision and boisterous energy brought to tunes like Benny Goodman's Seven Come Eleven ... their enthusiasm and beat quickly become contagious. —Jon Andrews DOWNBEAT

"Just what we dreamed of seeing more often in the summer's Ellington commemorations: faithfulness to the original arrangements while renewing them, as the Duke practiced throughout his life. " —Alex Dutilh, Jazzman (France)

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