Fusion of Jazz and World Music from Jon Hassell at Royce Hall
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The last date listed for Jon Hassell & Maarifa Street was Friday February 13, 2009 / 8:00pm.
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An all-star lineup -- including David Byrne, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem), Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Money Mark, Joshua Redman, Sinkane and the legendary Lijadu Sisters of Nigeria in their first live performance in 30 years -- takes the stage at the Greek to perform the futuristic, synth-heavy electronic music of elusive Nigerian artist William Onyeabor. The evening begins with a DJ set by special guest Wooden Wisdom (Elijah Wood & Zach Cowie). Onyeabor self-released eight nearly impossible-to-find albums between 1978 and 1985 in Nigeria, but after becoming a born-again Christian turned his back on his work and refused to speak about it for nearly three decades. Last year, after a five-year odyssey to track down Onyeabor and secure his permission to release his music, the Luaka Bop label issued World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor? The album was named one of Time magazine's top ten albums of the year and Pitchfork's Best Reissue of the Year 2013. Even now, after the album's enormous success, the artist's life story remains a mystery -- and he seems content to keep it that way. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
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Jon Hassell is highly progressive and modern. His music is NOT for the causal Jazz listener. If you can sit through a whole hour of music that the average listener would characterize as mellow background music you'd hear in a movie or elevator but the Jazz connoisseur would characterize as genius, then you will love his concert. By the time his concert was finished, half the audience had left. Those are the casual listeners who found his music very boring. However, the ones who stayed till the end and were able to appreciate his progressive style gave him a rousing ovation and even stayed for a 15 minute encore.
Described by many as the most innovative and important composer alive, Memphis-born jazz trumpeter Jon Hassell has transcended the inherent limitations of his instrument to use it “as flexibly, as expressively and as intimately as a great singer uses his voice … (creating) vivid landscapes that seem to palpitate with a life of their own” The New York Times.
The visionary creator of a style dubbed “Fourth World” — an ethereal, magical realistic fusion of ancient and digital, composed and improvised, and Eastern and Western — Hassell has had a profound impact on contemporary music, inspiring a generation of collaborators and admirers from Brain Eno and the Kronos Quartet to Ry Cooder and Björk. This enigmatic artist will be joined by his band Maarifa Street in an otherwordly alchemy of global fusions stretched across time and space.
The evening features Tunisian vocalist and oud player Dhafer Youssef, whose soaring voice and jazzy sound—rooted in Sufi laments, world traditions, and Arabic lyricism—envision a bewitching musical future.
Following the show will be DJ sets by the dublab sound system.