Friday, February 14, 2020 – The beloved Cambridge-based artists Sophie et Adam share folk tunes from England, Romania, Argentina, and the US, as well as Yiddish songs and originals by Adam Simon. This special concert will feature French chansons, including songs made famous by the renowned Edith Piaf.
Friday, March 13, 2020 – Instruments on the Fringe with Len Solomon. Classically trained musician, inventor, and one-man-orchestra Len Solomon introduces us to the world of instruments on the fringe. The program will feature musical gems arranged for Dog Whistles and Bicycle Horn, plus a chromatic pipe organ devised from plumbing parts and coat-hanger wire, and of course, the ingenious Majestic Bellowphone. Len and his creations have appeared several times on national television, in venues from Jordan Hall, Boston, to theatres in Singapore and Japan.
Friday, April 10, 2020 – Innovation Meets Tradition with Julian Loida and Brendan Taaffe. Julian Loida is a Boston-based percussionist, composer and producer. The Boston Voyager describes him as a thought-provoker. His work ranges from Bach to Cuban/Brazilian Jazz. He has performed and collaborated internationally with a wide range of musicians, dancers and visual artists. Brendan Taaffe is a Brattleboro based musician, writer and artist. He plays fiddle, banjo, pump organ and mbira, often in the most unexpected ways. Taaffe has traveled, taught and performed internationally. His artwork was featured in our 2019 American Christmas Revels production. What kind of magic will happen when these two musicians collaborate? Come and hear for yourself on April 10!
Friday, May 8, 2020 – World-renowned composer, producer, cellist and kora (African harp) virtuoso Tunde Jegede brings a new vision to contemporary African and Western classical music. Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, singer, composer, and educator, hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the “ideal musician of the 21st-Century”, and Fabio Pirozzolo is an Italian drummer, multi-percussionist and singer whose virtuoso playing underscored our 2017 Venetian Christmas Revels. The musical language that these three speak does not recognize boundaries – we invite you to listen to the conversation.
Announcing a new music series: Revels FRINGE at Club Passim
All Revels programs celebrate traditional music – but music has a habit of jumping fences. Last year, we created Revels FRINGE to introduce you to artists who are comfortable in the idea of music without borders: jazz-inflected traditional tunes, folk and classical instruments from around world, exotic and invented instruments, familiar songs in unfamiliar settings…This year, we will continue to explore the musical fringe through a new collaboration with Club Passim.
Together, our promise going forward is to keep a finger on the pulse of what is new and interesting. Join us for an expanded FRINGE series in our new location: Revels FRINGE at Club Passim.
Sophie et Adam
Cambridge-based Sophie et Adam share folk tunes from England, the US, Romania, Argentina, Yiddish songs, French Chansons, and originals by Adam Simon. This concert will focus on music from France, highlighting songs made famous by the famous Edith Piaf. They are thrilled to be joined by the acclaimed Michael McLaughlin at the accordion.
For a sneak peek of the show, check out their version of Edith Piaf’s song “La Foule” HERE.
Sophie Michaux was born in London and raised in the French Alps. Although she focuses on classical music, her versatility and musical curiosity have brought her to be an active performer in many repertoires including French Cabaret songs, English Sea Shanties, as well as a variety of world polyphonies: in 2014 and 2017, she toured the U.S and Europe with Northern Harmony. She was one of the lead singers in the 2018 Cambridge Christmas Revels, alongside VH leaders Gideon Crevoshay and Lysander Jaffe: Venetian Celebration. She is the founding member of Sophie et Adam, a folk music duet, and of Culomba, a world music ensemble.
Adam Jacob Simon is a composer, baritone and guitarist active in the Boston area. He is an avid folk music singer as well, performing frequently with VT based vocal ensemble Northern Harmony, traveling throughout Europe, South Africa and the U.S. As a baritone soloist, he has been praised as singing with “wonderful romantic lyricism” and “reassuring warmth” – Rutland (VT) Herald. As co-founder of the folk music duo “Sophie et Adam” alongside French mezzo-soprano Sophie Michaux, he frequently performs a varied repertoire of French, American, and Yiddish folk music.
Michael McLaughlin performs throughout the U.S. and Europe playing the music of klezmer, Americana, and jazz. His works have been used for film, stage and public radio, and his compositions have garnished a number of awards including a Mass Cultural Council Artist Grant in 2001. His recordings can be found on the Accurate, Tzadik, Elipsis Arts, Knitting Factory Records, Rykodisc, and Innova labels.
Classically trained musician, inventor, and one-man-orchestra Len Solomon performs a unique recital of music and comedy.
The one-hour show features your favorite symphonic compositions, arranged for Dog Whistles and Bicycle Horn, plus a chromatic pipe organ devised from plumbing parts and coat-hanger wire, and of course, the ingenious Majestic Bellowphone: a musical masterpiece of Medieval technology!
The Bellowphone Show has been bringing music and laughter to audiences in this country and abroad for over 25 years. Len and his creations have appeared several times on national television, in venues from Jordan Hall, Boston, to theatres in Singapore and Japan.
Julian Loida is a Boston-based percussionist, composer, and producer. Loida’s musical curiosity and open-mindedness has propelled him towards a wide-range of sounds, genres, and artistic endeavors. He’s performed jazz, folk, and classical, collaborating with dancers, visual artists, songwriters/composers, and musicians of all stripes. The thirst to participate in and experience this range of sounds is partly a product of Loida’s synesthesia. Music is a full- body experience for him, with sounds often invoking involuntary sensations of color, texture, or even taste.
Loida often writes and arranges for his projects and ensembles (the Cuban/Brazilian band INÃ, jazz quintet Mojubá, chamber-folk band Night Tree), and his music has been featured in film. His interdisciplinary projects aim at breaking down artistic barriers. The evening-length solo-project Recital of Dedications incorporates speech, visual media, and music into a series of dedications to individuals, historical moments, and more. In 2018, he released the album Bach LIVE!, featuring J.S. Bach’s music arranged for percussion. Loida’s upcoming 2019 release, Wallflower, marks his solo-album debut, and also provides the clearest distillation of his voice as a composer to date.
Loida has toured internationally as a featured artist at Korrö, Sweden’s largest folk music festival, and played some of the most prestigious music festivals in the U.S. such as Spoleto, New World Festival, the Exit Zero jazz festival, Caramoor American Roots Festival, and Round Top Music Festival. He has performed with groups such as Alarm Will Sound, the Callithumpian Consort, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
As an educator, Loida shares his scores and deep rhythmic knowledge with students of all ages. In 2017, he received his Master’s Degree in Classical Percussion from New England Conservatory.
Deeply versed in Irish and American traditions, it is on the mbira that Brendan Taaffe has found a truly distinctive voice, blending old-time ballads with traditional Zimbabwean rhythms. The ripple of the mbira, an instrument over a thousand years old, and Taaffe’s lush tenor casts old songs in a new light, creating “the kind of hushed, lonely warmth you experience sitting by a fire in a drafty house.”
A multi-instrumentalist on guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mbira, Brendan has toured with many different groups, including nationally acclaimed dance band Magic Foot and the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Northern Harmony. In addition to performing solo, he currently directs The Bright Wings Chorus, a vocal ensemble, and is the frontman of The New Line, a band that blends mbira with banjo, electric guitar, and percussion, creating a bridge between American and African traditions.
Originally from Minnesota, Brendan now lives in Brattleboro, Vermont and tours regularly throughout the U.S. and Europe.
World-renowned composer, producer, cellist and kora virtuoso Tunde Jegede brings a new vision to contemporary African and Western classical music. A renaissance man of the harp-lute with over twenty years experience, his work is a unique synthesis of classical, jazz and traditional music and embodies the legacy of the idiom; African Classical Music.
Tunde Jegede’s work has changed the face of classical and contemporary music in Europe and Africa. He is one of the only composers in the world to be steeped in both Western and African music who is rooted in two cultural musical legacies. Tunde Jegede studied both Western classical music and the Griot Tradition of West Africa from a very early age, attending the Purcell School of Music in London and learning from a Master of the Kora in the Gambia, Amadu Bansang Jobarteh.
This unique cultural inheritance has since informed his work as a composer and multi-instrumentalist, creating links between European classical music and that of Africa. With his music he has created a set of mirrors between the old and new world, between compositions for solo cello and kora. Tunde Jegede is, in himself, a dialogue between contemporary classical music and a renewed vision of an oral tradition rooted in Malian culture – the Griot vision. He is truly a C21 renaissance man.
Tunde Jegede is the founder of several ensembles including the Art Ensemble of Lagos and the African Classical Music Ensemble. He is also the curator of Living Legacies, Gambia’s first traditional music archive, and the director of New Horizons, an educational initiative to develop young musicians in Nigeria. Over the last few years Tunde has been the Artistic Director of the MUSON Centre, one of West Africa’s only music conservatoires that specialises in classical music. He consequently set up the NOK Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to raising consciousness through music, arts and culture.
Mike Block is a pioneering cello player, singer, composer, and educator, hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the “ideal musician of the 21st-Century.”
Passionate about cross-cultural collaboration through music, Mike is committed to inspiring individuals and connecting communities. At home in a wide range of musical styles, through a multi-genre approach to composition, performance and education, he seeks to inspire audiences and empower musicians to find joy in the full world of music.
Mike is member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble (SRE), having joined in 2005 while a student at The Juilliard School. Touring extensively throughout the world with SRE, he has been featured as cello and vocal soloist, contributed arrangements and compositions, and earned a Grammy Award in 2017 for their album, Sing Me Home. Mike also served as Music Director for SRE’s acclaimed opening concert of New York City’s Central Park SummerStage 2011 season “Night at the Caravanserai: Tales of Wonder”.
As an educator, Mike is passionate about creativity and collaboration. In 2010 he founded the Mike Block String Camp (MBSC) as a way to provide players of all backgrounds the opportunity to learn from a world-class faculty in a variety of styles, supporting the exploration and development of the artistic voice of each student. Mike is also the founding Director of Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop (GMW), designed to foster a community of globally minded musicians. He teaches online through his Multi-Style Cello School at ArtistWorks.com, with an extensive library of instructional and performance videos, and authored the book Contemporary Cello Etudes, published by Berklee Press.
Fabio Pirozzolo is an Italian drummer, multi-percussionist and singer currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. Originally from Terracina, Italy, he started his career as a folk percussionist, playing Italian frame drums tamburello and tammorra, in one of the most famous folk groups in his area. This experience gave him the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, playing concerts and giving lectures on regional Italian frame drum techniques.
A summa cum laude Berklee College of Music graduate, he performs in virtually any genre of music from jazz to world music to rock. He’s the co-founder of the world music ensemble Sawaari and Grand Fatilla and Italian folk music ensemble Newpoli where he plays percussion and sings. Highly in demand both as a drummer and as percussionist, he’s currently the drummer for The Guruganesha Band, Vanessa Trien and The Jumping Monkeys and the Union United Methodist Church Band and he’s the percussionist for Revma Greek Ensemble, Musaner and Arev Armenian Folk ensemble. His experiences led him to drum for Herb Reed’s Platters, Mario Frangoulis, George Perris, Jon Butcher and Petroloukas Halkias among other world class performers. He also collaborates with Berklee College world-class teachers Skip Hadden and Casey Scheuerell. He taught master classes at Berklee, Harvard and Tufts University and worked at Emerson College and Boston Conservatory as an accompanist for dance classes.
In 2015, Fabio earned the highly competitive Iguana Music Fund award. The fund will help with the production of a series of instructional videos entirely dedicated to the art of playing central and southern Italian tambourines.