Undead Music Festival’s Final Days, Sosa, Adujah, Palmieri
Ron Scott | 5/15/2014, 5:11 p.m.
There are only two days left to the Undead Music Festival, which is taking place in Brooklyn and the Village.
The title “undead” for a jazz festival is kind of odd, but one source noted it might have come from the often-asked question, “Is jazz dead?” and this festival makes it perfectly clear, with its hip audacity, that jazz is not undead—it stretches from acoustic to electronic, free and spirited with an improvisational force that will rock any straight jazz world patrolled by those music police.
Thursday, May 15 (tonight), the festival will present Daedelus and Shigeto, featuring trumpeter Graham Haynes, bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Mark Guiliana. This spirited shakeup of improvisational moods will take place in Brooklyn at Littlefield, 622 Degraw St., at 8 p.m.
If you are frigid about your jazz, then those names may not mean much because these musicians are deeply involved in taking the music to a higher plain, keeping it excitingly on the edge of no return. Their musicianship is recognized from straight to free jazz.
The drummer Guiliana leads his own band (Beat Music) and has played with Brad Mehldau, Meshell Ndegeocello, Gretchen Parlato, Jason Lindner and Lionel Loueke.
Haynes, who often leads his own group, has collaborated with Roy Haynes (his father), Cassandra Wilson, Vernon Reid, Meshell Ndegeocello, the Roots and David Murray.
The bassist Opsvick from Norway has his own label, Loyal Label, and leads his own band. He has performed with the Jeff Davis Trio, Russ Lossing and Brian Blade.
Daedelus (Alfred Darlington) is a beat master, an inventor in the electronics of music always looking for a new direction. His co-collaborator, Shigeto (Zach Saginaw), is also beat-driven, infusing rich, textured sound designs into their music.
The festival ends on May 16 at Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. in Manhattan, with Marc Ribot’s Los Cubanos Postizos (aka the Prosthetic Cubans). Ribot, a native of Newark, N.J., will reunite his group from the 1990s that was built around arrangements of the Cuban bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez.
The group will feature Cuban drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and original members keyboardist Anthony Coleman, bassist Brad Jones and percussionist E.J. Rodriguez. The concert begins at 7:30 and will also feature Chia’s Dance Party.
The New York-based quintet features a cross-section of original material inspired by the Columbian rhythmic and melodic traditions. The musicians include tuba player Ben Stapp, soprano saxophonist Alex Terrier, alto saxophonist/flautist Justin Wood, Rafi Malkiel on euphonium and musical director and composer Martin Vejarano on drums.
The Undead Music Festival was cofounded by Brice Rosenbloom and Adam Schatz. The festival is part of Red Bull Music Academy Festival, which ends May 31. For more information, visit redbullmusicacademy.com and undeadmusic.com.
During his recent sold-out engagement at the Blue Note, pianist Omar Sosa defied categorical boundaries. His music features a Latin flavor from his native homeland of Cuba layered in African roots, with chords that reflect an African dance tradition and sometimes a fast-paced rhythmic force that prompts the soul of Latin music from the rumba to mambo inherited in the blues and spirited spiritual chants.