Ghost Train Orchestra

“This is music from the heart of the Jazz Age that still has a raucous immediacy. In fact, just about every track on the band’s Hothouse Stomp (Accurate) has the hookiness of a pop hit.” — Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix “The arrangements are inventive, and the solos come fast and furious. Ghost Train Orchestra is all about fun.” — Steve Greenlee, JazzTimes Editor’s Pick The Ghost Train Orchestra’s debut album Hothouse Stomp and their second album Book of Rhapsodies listed on several top ten lists: NPR, New York Jazz Record, Boston Globe, JazzTimes, The Sound Room, and Stereophile Magazine. Brian Carpenter was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and the debut album reached the top 10 of the Billboard Jazz charts in the weeks following. Now after these two wildly successful albums, Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra presents Hot Town with guest bass saxophone titan Colin Stetson.

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Hazmat Modine

HAZMAT MODINE plays the kind of Blues one might have found in a barrelhouse in New Orleans had the city been inhabited by gypsies who performed with Otis Redding and the city had been built on the Black Sea. The band is driven by harmonicas, tuba, drums, guitars, Banjo and a full horn section. Guests play such exotic instruments as the Romanian cimbalom, the banjitar, and the Claviola. Front man Wade Schuman has the appropriately throaty voice of someone who has both hopped freight trains and collaborated with the Throat Singers of Tuva. For the past eight years, the band has been touring in over 40 countries worldwide. They have collaborated/performed with a vast range of artists including Bombino, Kronos Quartet, Cat Empire, the Gangbe Brass band from Benin, and Natalie Merchant. The title track from their first CD BAHAMUT was recently used in the 3D film Pina by Wim Wenders, and currently in a performance by Pina Bausch and the Stuttgart Ballet. Their second CD Cicada was awarded the Charles Cross award in France for best blues album of the Year, and topped number one on the World Music Charts in Europe. There new CD Extra-Deluxe-Supreme is out on Jaro records in Europe and due out this spring in the U.S.

(“Hazmat” is a portmanteau of “hazardous material” and “Modine” is the name of a company that manufactures commercial heaters but may be used to refer to the heater itself.)

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The Klezmatics

Since their emergence 30 years ago, the Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music, made aesthetically, politically and musically compelling recordings, inspired future generations, created a large body of work that is enduring and helped to change the face of contemporary Yiddish culture. Accurately described as a Jewish-American roots band, the Klezmatics have led a popular revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form.

The Klezmatics’ music is rooted in but is not a strictly traditional variety of the klezmer genre. Rather, it is a comfortable hybrid that appeals equally to those with no previous exposure to the music and those already familiar with it. Although tradition is at the core of what they do, since the beginning the Klezmatics have adapted to the artistic sensibilities of a contemporary world. Indeed, the Klezmatics are very much of the modern world.

From the beginning of their career the Klezmatics have demonstrated that klezmer is a vital part of the spectrum of world dance music and culture. Approaching their fourth decade together, the Klezmatics continue their redefinition of the music that they have utilized as a voice for social justice, change, the underdogs and oppressed; as the sound of “heretical” behavior, of questioning, of going against accepted beliefs and dissenting from established dogma.

The Klezmatics - Richie Barshay (percussion, vocals), Matt Darriau (alto sax, clarinet, vocals), Lisa Gutkin (violin, vocals), Frank London (trumpet, horn, vocals), Paul Morrissett (bass, tsimbl, vocals) and Lorin Sklamberg (lead vocals, accordion, guitar, piano) are officially celebrating the release of Apikorsim tonight with their return to New York’s famed Town Hall - a venue with its own impressive history of challenging the artistic and political establishment - celebrating their 30-year career and kicking off the group’s 2016-17 tour. Welcome to the party!

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Briga

Recently awarded the 2013 Galaxie Rising Star Award, Briga released her 3rd album Wake in 2014, a concept album that explores her father’s mysterious Polish/Jewish roots. Delivered with a Turbo Folk edge, wrapped up in heavy Balkan & Moroccan grooves, and polished with lamenting judo-arabic strings, Wake’s sound is a gem that lies somewhere between the everyday and the monumental.

Born in Québec and raised in western Canada before her return to Montréal, Briga’s music is a reflection of her fragmented identity: a hybrid of songs written in French and English, all accompanied by her fervent violin firmly rooted in eastern European and Romani folk sounds, learned from the days her father played the piano to put the children to sleep. Nicknamed Briga by her fellow band mates in the ex-Yugoslavian band Les Gitans de Sarajevo, her name means sorrow or burden.

Briga is a rare breed of violinist. Not only is she classically trained, but she has a life time’s experience travelling the world with a fiddle on her back, learning songs from local folks by ear. Her knowledge of music and different cultures goes beyond mere ethnomusicology. Briga continues to deepen her knowledge of traditional music from around the globe. This in turn inspires her to write new repertoire that takes tradition and pushes it to today’s sounds. She lives and breathes music, passing it on to students and audiences everywhere.

In the past Briga has toured with Bulgaria’s no.1 Violinist and her mentor, Georgi Yanev and her 2nd album, Turbo Folk Stories was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award as well as Quebec’s ADISQ awards.

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