JOEL HARRISON STRING CHOIR
on Folk & Beyond
Thursday, November 29, 2012
4 pm (est)
The Joel Harrison String Choir will stop by during the first hour of Folk & Beyond on Thursday, November 29, for some live music and conversation. Called "Brilliant" by the New York Time, Harrison and his string choir are in the area for concerts in Charlottesville (Nov 29 at the Haven sponsored by the Charlottesville Jazz Society and WTJU) and Staunton (November 30 at the Mockingbird).
Joel Harrison’s musical journey has few parallels in modern music. Guitarist, composer, arranger, vocalist, songwriter, bandleader – Harrison deftly juggles all of these roles, melding influences from jazz, classical, country, rock, and world music. His expansive sound fits equally well in jazz clubs and concert halls – and the occasional dive bar across town.
For brevity’s sake it would be safes t to call Harrison’s home base jazz, a descriptor that mutates to fit a staggering array of styles and approaches. He finds inspiration from music too often barred from admission into the jazz consciousness, taking his place in a tradition of exploration and interpretation that reaches through the open-eared reinventions of Miles Davis and Charles Ives to the American rhapsodies of Walt Whitman, Jack Kerouac, or Hank Williams.
“Ultimately you’re just trying to arrive at great music,” he says. “Sometimes the best methodology is to leave people to their own devices, and sometimes it’s best to write everything down. It’s that simple.”
Harrison’s success can be seen in the accolades he has received: he was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2010, is a two-time winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Composition Competition, has received grants from Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, the Flagler Cary Trust, NYSCA, and the Jerome Foundation. Harrison and the string choir are touring behind their latest release, "The Music of Paul Motian."
Sitting in with the group for this tour is cellist Dave Eggar, no stranger to Virginia, as he has toured with great success over the past few years with his groups, collaborating with Ralph Stanley and Robin and Lucinda Williams. Dave is not only an amazing jazz improviser and classical technician, he is a rock n’ roll/ countrified monster on his axe.