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Concert: Feast of the Epiphany / Luke Stewart / Sarah Hughes

WED, OCT 2ND | 8PM | $12 adv/$15 door | ALL AGES


Forged in ornate, melodic songwriting, this is drone music that has been arrived at through fearsome complexity. Ambient, but cubist. Both ancient and modern, this is an exciting new entry into the American avant-garde. Near touchstones may be
found in Germany’s kosmische Musik or the UK’s fabled Canterbury scene, but Feast Of The Epiphany’s electrocuted folk tapestries are entirely unique.

Here is a spiraling processional of distortion-drenched keyboards, surprising bass lines, and sometimes
lurking, sometimes soaring, always impassioned vocals. Imagine a distant cousin of dungeon-synth stepping outside to discover reality, with two accomplished guitarists in tow providing counterpoint.

The three members of this ensemble have served as an integral connection among a broad variety of artists in New York’s music and art communities.

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Nick Podgurski plays drums in the acclaimed doom-improv trio GRID, composes ambient keyboard music as New Firmament, and spent years as a member of avant rockers Extra Life.

Guitarist Andrew Smiley performs solo and as guitarist of Little Women, Chris Pitsiokos Quartet, Bloor, and Empyrean Atlas.

Multi-instrumentalist Caley Monahon-Ward (ex-Extra Life, Voice Coils) has contributed work to such collaborators as: Xiu Xiu, Liturgy, Snowblink, Erica Eso, ICE Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound.

Other collaborators of the ensemble include Travis Laplante, Charlie Looker, and Mick Barr. They have performed at Primavera Sound, Moers Festival, Bad Bonn, Villette Sonique, FIMAV Victoriaville, Sound Forest, International Jazz Festival Saalfelden, Rumor Festival, Jazz Em Agosto and lectured at The University of Alabama and The University of Chicago Center in Paris. In short, these guys are all motherfuckers, and this record is a “living document of a particular form and practice of collaboration without notation.”

“Practicing Loss” will resonate with fans of Comus, Tangerine Dream, Steeleye Span, SunnO))), Les Mystere des Voix Bulgares, Thin Lizzy, Huun Huur Tu, Current 93, and Peter
Gabriel-era Genesis. It is perfectly suited for mountaineering, deep sea diving, traveling to unknown cities, intense focus and reflection, and transcendental states.

It was engineered by Martin Bisi, mixed by the band’s own Caley Monahon-Ward and mastered by Carl Saff.

LUKE STEWART (DC) has emerged as one of the most exciting young bassists on the improvised music scene on the east coast. Based in Washington, DC, he plays regularly in New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, and has toured in Europe. He has gained considerable exposure playing with the James Brandon Lewis Trio and he also leads or co-leads his own projects including Ancestral Duo with Jamal Moore and Heart of the Ghost with Ian McColm and Jarrett Gilgore. As a solo artist, he has composed a series of improvisational structures for upright bass and amplifier, utilizing the resonant qualities of the instrument to explore new sounds. He has also been integral to the literary jazz group Heroes Are Gang Leaders.

Sarah Hughes is an alto saxophonist, doubling on flute and clarinet, from Pasadena, Maryland. She is also a composer of ensemble music as well as electronic music for solo artist. Sarah has been a music educator for over 10 years, but she considers herself first and foremost a free improviser, creating within, on top of, and despite many genre frameworks including jazz, experimental composition and noise, swing, blues, folk, rap and hip-hop, and rock. Sarah prefers to emote onstage in the most expressive way possible and readily available.

Sarah received a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Maryland in 2008 where she studied with the brilliant classical saxophonist, Dale Underwood. She taught elementary band and strings programs in Prince George’s County for five years before leaving the DMV to earn a master’s degree in jazz saxophone performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. She studied there with Jerry Bergonzi, Ran Blake, Anthony Coleman, and Donny McCaslin. From that experience Sarah acquired an expanded vocabulary for improvising on her saxophone and met many young artists who influenced her personhood profoundly.

After graduating, Sarah recorded with Anthony Coleman on his latest album "You" and performed with his ensembles at The Stone and Roulette in New York City. Also in 2015, Sarah toured in Sweden with Amy K Bormet’s "Ephemera" as a part of Sweden's first women in jazz festival. Sarah toured with her own improvising trio, "Lead Bubbles" in 2016, playing in Toronto and Montreal. She currently serves as adjunct faculty at Towson University where she teaches private saxophone lessons as well as jazz ensembles. She performs solo and in various spontaneous configurations in Baltimore, Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, and other localities. In March of 2018 she release her first album Coy Fish, an avant-garde free improvisation album colored by free jazz.

During her time as a musician Sarah has had the great fortune of sharing the stage with superb improvisors and composers including Lee Konitz, Ted Brown, Mary Halvorson, Fay Victor, Allison Miller, Joe Morris, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Daniel Carter, Michael Formanek, Matt Wilson, Dan Tepfer, George Garzone, Anthony Coleman, Ben Schwendener, Freddie Redd, and Teddy Charles. She performs locally at DC/Baltimore venues on a semi-regular basis, including Rhizome, The Red Room, An Die Musik, Twins Jazz, The Goethe Institute, Kogod Courtyard at The National Portrait Gallery, The Hill Center, The Kennedy Center, and The Baltimore Museum of Art.