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Golden Dogs Announce Spring Tour Dates, To Play SXSW

At the end of a hard year of touring in support of their second album ‘Big Eye Little Eye’, which took them by way of Britain and Germany, straight across the USA sharing stages with Canadian luminaries like Feist and Sloan, those who witnessed its fury likely had no inkling it was the end of a chapter for the band. The long awaited homecoming was bittersweet; there were big changes on the horizon. For starters, the band had been released from their record contract; a contract they had been locked into for years that now left them 100% in control of their business affairs. In another twist of fate, their long time bass player, Stew Heyduk, decided to leave the country and get married in Hawaii. Within weeks of being at home and somewhat directionless, the question began looming: “What now?” While there are always songs brewing on lead man Dave Azzolini’s hot plate, the idea of going straight into recording another album wasn’t an attractive one. They needed a break from being Golden Dogs.

Without trying to force movement into the intimidating ‘next album’ phase, the couple began spending more time hanging at a little garage studio on Toronto’s east side, operated by their good friends Carlin Nicholson & Mike O’Brien - this duo now known as Zeus. The whole crew had a lot of fun just writing and recording tunes they had written and while Nicholson honed his engineering chops, everyone nurtured and developed their production skills. As well, the studio was a very welcome place for other musician friends to pop by. Friends like Neil Quin (ex-Golden Dog/future Zeus member) and Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) who ended up playing a solo on the Golden Dogs album as a return favor for Azzolini playing piano on one of the Bahamas tracks he recorded there.

The spirit was described by Azzolini: “It was very much a ‘best idea wins’ situation and the songwriter always had final veto power. It made for a very comfortable environment to make music. It was just musicians getting together to bounce ideas off each other.” This was a great time to forget about being in a band, and to just get back to playing music for it’s own sake, with a group of friends riding the same wave and just soaking in the energy of the studio. The result is titled Coat of Arms, and it brilliantly displays the musical union Azzolini, Grassia, Knox and company have found with each other, and the band seems to be more confident and commanding than ever before. One marvels at the way they can seem playful and sweet on a track like LESTER, yet terrifyingly savage on BURST or DARKROOM.

The most obvious and wonderful difference this time around is that Ms. Grassia takes a giant leap forward and can be heard taking the lead on almost half the album with a range spanning from sweet & psychedelic (UNDERWATER GOLDMINE) to seductive (AS LONG AS YOU LIKE) to furious pop madness on songs like WHEN THE MOVIE’S OVER, and CHEAP UMBRELLAS. Her vocal performances while drumming (AS LONG AS YOU LIKE and LESTER) is quickly becoming a Golden Dogs secret weapon and quite an impressive element to their live shows.

What now? Coat of Arms will be released on Dine Alone April 26th 2011. Feeling up-beat and optimistic about the new direction, Azzolini boasts that “the versatility of this new line up opens up a whole new world of possibilities for Golden Dogs live shows and the future of our recordings…there are so many directions we can go…and we’re going to try all of them.”

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Golden Dogs tour dates:

Mar 17: SXSW @ Hole in the wall (day party)\

Mar 19: SXSW @ Paradise on 6th

Mar 22:  Portland @ Wonder Ballroom**
Mar 23: Seattle @ Showbox**
Mar 24: Vancouver @ Biltmore**
Mar 26: Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theatre**
Mar 27: Jackson, WY @ Q Roadhouse**
Mar 29: Ames, IA @ The Maintenance Shop**
Mar 30: Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room**
Mar 31: Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theatre **
Apr 1: Madison, WI @ The Majestic**
Apr 2: Chicago, IL @ The Vic**
Apr 3: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls**
** w/ State Radio

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2011

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem in early February includes:

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film: Tenor Sax Legends
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Lester Young/Coleman Hawkins/Sonny Rollins/John Coltrane

We kick off this month’s Jazz for Curious Listeners with the most influential tenor saxophonists of the 20th century, bar none. Coleman Hawkins is recognized as the father of the tenor sax, the first virtuoso on the instrument. Lester “Prez” Young was the yin to Hawkins’ yang, and greatly influenced the developmental arc of solo improvisation in jazz. Sonny Rollins combined elements of the previous two pillars of jazz, with insights from Charlie Parker, Don Byas, and others, to create a style irresistible in its power and fluidity. And John Coltrane is perhaps the most influential jazz musician of the 20th century, following Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.

Where else can you see the sweep of the jazz tradition on tenor saxophone in such a short time on film? Don’t miss this class—it’s free!

Wednesday, February 2, 2010

Jazz Is: Now!
Jonathan Batiste
7:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Join 20-something pianist Jonathan Batiste as he performs and leads a discussion on jazz culture and its relevance in today's society. The Juilliard Jazz grad is one of the most exciting and original artists on the jazz scene; you'll discover that his point of view is also. Be a part of the celebration in the midst of the discourse.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas
NJMH All Stars, directed by Aaron Diehl
featuring Dominick Farinacci
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office
or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Aaron Diehl, piano
Paul Sikivie, bass
Lawrence Leathers, drums
Dominick Farinacci, trumpet

If you haven’t attended any of the Harlem in the Himalayas events, you’ve missed one of the best, intimate acoustic halls in New York City. But it’s not too late: come check out our all-star band under the direction of Executive Director Loren Schoenberg. And if you have been with us for Harlem in the Himalayas, you know it’s true, so come and stomp the blues!

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Nov. 15 - Nov. 21, 2010 Schedule

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Savory Collection Part 2: Count Basie – 1930s
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
The Savory Collection may well redefine the critical view of jazz in the late 1930s. Dan Morgenstern, Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies, provides proof of this claim in the New York Times by "citing the case of Herschel Evans, a saxophonist who played in the Count Basie Orchestra but who died early in 1939, just before his 30th birthday. Evans played alongside Lester Young, who was one of the giants of the saxophone and constantly overshadowed Evans on the Basie group’s studio recordings.

“There can never be too much Lester Young, and there is some wonderful new Lester Young on these discs,” Mr. Morgenstern said. “But there are also some things where you can really hear Herschel, who is woefully under-represented on record and who, until now, we hardly ever got to hear stretched out. What I’ve heard really gives us a much better picture of what he was all about.”

That's just one of the wonders of Basie you'll hear tonight!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Meg Okura / Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office <http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=-1&amp;msgid=0&amp;act=11111&amp;c=246760&amp;destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rmanyc.org%2Fharleminthehimalayas%2F>  or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344
Meg Okura is “the queen of chamber jazz,” says Dan Bilawsky in All About Jazz. In her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, Okura skillfully balances her roles as violin virtuoso, prolific composer, and master erhu player. Comprised of a group of young virtuosi, the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble brilliantly weaves together jazz, classical, and traditional Japanese music to create their own unique blend of world-chamber jazz. They have been hailed by the New York Times as “vibrant” and “sophisticated.” See and hear why this evening in the intimate setting of the acoustically rich theater at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Panels
Savory Saturday
12:00 – 4:00PM
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Come have an extended listening session and hear live music, all based around new discoveries unheard for 70 years. By now, if you're a jazz fan attuned to history, you're aware of the Savory Collection. But whether you're a long time fan, or a newbie, you owe it to yourself to experience this gold mine find from the vaults of jazz lore.