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Concert: Samuel Blaser Trio, Hae Voces, Zach Rowden


Sunday June 17th      8pm        $10

At a time when more musicians are trying to be heard than ever before, rare gems like Samuel Blaser seem, paradoxically, rise above it all. Since his 2007 debut as a leader, Blaser has grown at an almost incomprehensible rate, from a straight-ahead hard bopper in his mid-twenties to an innovative free player and ever-searching composer and bandleader in his early thirties - one whose improvisational strength has received high praise from media the world over.

Born and raised in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Blaser lived in New York City for many years before relocating to Berlin, where he currently resides. He began trombone lessons at the age of 9, and his early interests ranged from Swiss folk music to American R&B and jazz. He entered the local conservatory at 14 and graduated in 2002 after being awards prizes in both the jazz and classical spheres, including the 2000 Benny Golson Prize. Participation in the heralded Vienna Art Orchestra and European Radio Big Band eventually led to a Fullbright Scholarship, facilitating studies in the United States at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music.

In his relatively short career, Blaser has worked with Swiss percussion legend Pierre Favre, pianist Hal Galper, drummer John Hollenbeck and saxophonist Michael Blake, and has worked with Grammy Award-winning producer Robert Sadin, and more recently with Daniel Humair and Michel Portal.

Blaser will perform at Rhizome with his trio featuring French guitarist Marc Ducret and Danish drummer Peter Bruun.

Hae Voces is the brainchild of violinist Kristina Dutton and vocalist Majel Connery. Classically-trained composers and performers, Hae Voces takes the formal architecture and universal emotion of classical music and puts it on steroids. The duo recruits an array of pedals, and both analog and digital processing, to create surging textures as massive as an orchestra, or as intimate as a lullaby. Borrowing freely from their previous musical lives and various influences in opera, jazz, indie-pop and electronica, Hae Voces is grounded in the innate expressive capacity of voice and violin. Dutton’s rigorous classical training led her toward a brief career in orchestral work, but she soon gave herself over to her love affair with the art of pop music, writing string arrangements for indie bands (Owen, Birthmark, Maps & Atlases) and performing with rockers like Glen Hansard, Peter Bjorn and John, and the Autumn Defense. Connery, a former academic, is best known as founder of avant-garde opera company, Opera Cabal, which, in its turn, is best known for a premiere at The Kitchen that contained so much nudity and duct tape it triggered a double review in the New York Times. Hae Voces is currently working on “Rapoport Remembered,” a posthumous multimedia collaboration with visual artist Sonya Rapoport, for the Kala Institute and the Sonya Rapoport Legacy Trust in Berkeley. They are based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Zach Rowden - deals with the acoustic and performative possibilities of the upright/electric bass & violin. Current projects/collaborators include Iancu Dumitrescu and the late Ana-Maria Avram’s Hyperion Ensemble (member/soloist), The Ghost (with Michael Foster, Derek Baron) Tongue Depressor (with Henry Bridsey), Tyshawn Sorey, Robert Black, Leila Bordreuil, Paul Flaherty, Chris Cretella, Matt Sargent, Charmaine Lee, Wendy Eisenberg and Gus Caldwell. Venues he has played  include Harpa, Issue Project Room, Silo City, Firehouse 12, Romanian Radio Hall, Cafe OTO, Heimathafen Neukölln, Real Art Ways as well as beautiful living rooms/basements/warehouses across the United States and Europe.