New York ethno-fusion collective TriBeCaStan will perform a special acoustic concert on Friday, August 2nd at the Rubin Museum, as part of the museum's ongoing Harlem in the Himalayas Concert. The special all-acoustic performance, inspired by the Rubin's collection of ethnic art, is being designed specifically for the museum's intimate space. The concert also promises a preview of the band's fourth album, NEW SONGS FROM THE OLD COUNTRY, which is due for release on Evergreene Music on October 1st, 2013.
Radically multicultural and poly-stylistic to the marrow, TriBeCaStan are one of contemporary music's most eclectic bands. A collective of ebullient instrumentalists from varied musical backgrounds, they utilize wildly diverse instruments from around the globe to express a wide palette of sonic colors. The Washington Post hailed them as "an international jazz and folk festival unto themselves, fusing Balkan, Middle Eastern, Indian, Latin American, and African musical elements to bold and dazzling effect."
The band are a flexible collective based around a core group of players, including co-founders John Kruth and Jeff Greene, baritone sax goddess Claire Daly, and multi-reedist and Klezmatics staple Matt Darriau. Greene contributes a wide array of instruments --yayli tambor, tarhu, morsing, dutar, flutes, rubab, aqua drum, and halo - while Kruth, who has collaborated with such diverse artists as Ornette Coleman, Patti Smith, Violent Femmes and Alan Ginsburg, shines on mandolin, mandocello, banjo, sitar, flutes and harmonica. Darriau plays kaval, clarinet, alto sax and gaida. Also joining the band for the bespoke Rubin performance will be a cast of veteran players:
Rohin Khemani - tablas, hand percussion (Red Baraat, Surface to Air)
Kenny Margolis - accordion, harmonium (Cracker, Mink DeVille)
Boris Kinberg - timbales, gongs, percussion (Willy DeVille)
John Turner - trumpet (10 Foot Pole)
Chris Morrow - trombone (Kokolo)
Ray Peterson - double bass
TriBeCaStan's music is a sonic oasis crossroads, where the sounds of the Indian sarod meet surf rock, West African kora merges with Appalachian mountain tunes, and traditional Afghan melodies mingle with East Coast loft jazz. Here Swedish nykelharpas and Pakistani taxi horns coexist in harmony (or mayhem) alongside thoroughbred jazz horns, driving grooves, exotic strings, and buzzing reeds.
What better point of inspiration for a bespoke performance event than the Rubin's remarkable collection of Asian art from both sides of the Himalayas-from the south facing the Indian Subcontinent, to the north facing the vastness of Central Asia? The collection reflects the region's centuries-old melding of styles and cultures, further reflected in the variety of musical styles of the Silk Road: from the modal music of the Islamic maqam, to the rhythms and rasas of India, to the Orient's unique emphasis on timbre and tone color.
TriBeCaStan never try to recreate the folk or art music of these various cultures, but instead make highly original music drawing on their own indigenous influences as well as American roots music-folk, rock, blues and the uniquely American phenomenon of jazz. A preview track "Gordana's Dream" from the upcoming album, which will be featured in Tribecastan's Rubin Museum performance, can be streamed here:
The August 2nd program will offer various approaches to relate sounds to the art of the Rubin's collection. With tone poems and songs composed specifically for this occasion, TriBeCaStan hope, if only for a few minutes, to transport the audience to a realm of new possibility and perception.
With a European tour this summer and their forthcoming album in the fall, TriBeCaStan continue to look both outward and inward for inspiration. "Whether it's the far-away folk and roots traditions of the world, or the blues and jazz music of our home country," says John Kruth, "at the end of day, our sound and ethos derives from one simple construct: just play music you haven't heard yet."