Eric Thompson #310

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Eric Thompson took up the guitar as a teenager in Palo Alto, California in the early 1960’s, at a time when very few folk guitarists were playing more than basic rhythm guitar. Among his earliest bands were the Black Mountain Boys (with Jerry Garcia and David Nelson) and Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions. He quickly became nationally known as an exceptional lead flatpicker, winning the World Championship Cup at Union Grove, North Carolina with the New York Ramblers (which also included David Grisman and Winnie Winston) and flying to Nashville, Tennessee to record “Beatle Country” with the Charles River Valley Boys (reissued on Rounder).

During the 1970’s, Eric continued to play old-time music. He also took up the tenor banjo, organized the Graineog Celidh Band around two master musicians from County Clare, Joe Cooley and Kevin Keegan, and spent six months in the west of Ireland, visiting and learning from older traditional musicians there.

Eric will be playing a private concert with Andy Statman on Sunday December 15th at 2pm in Brooklyn (Near Prospect Park)  Email for info and reservations.

Micheal Leonhardt #309

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Michael Leonhart Orchestra (MLO) is a genre-crossing 15-piece ensemble that has been putting on electrifying shows for the last 2 years. The Orchestra performs both Leonhart’s original compositions as well as his arrangements of Wutang, Fela, Ellington, Zappa and Bernard Herrmann. MLO features players from bands such as Sharon Jones & the Dap-kings, the Mingus Big Band, Maria Schneider’s Orchestra, the Tonight Show Band (Roots) and other soloists from the NY/Brooklyn jazz/soul/studio scene.

The MLO residence at at the Jazz Standard has a very special show coming up this Tuesday, December 10th… a live recording which will be broadcast on New Years Eve on NPR/WBGO.   Tickets and Info are here 

Grammy winning Michael Leonhart is sought throughout the music and entertainment world as a trumpeter, composer, producer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He has collaborated with artists as diverse as James Brown & Wutang Clan to Meryl Streep & Isaac Mizrahi.

As a trumpeter, Michael performed on Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’  record breaking smash hit “Uptown Funk,” which won the 2016 Record of the year Grammy. He has performed with rock legends Steely Dan since 1996, recording two albums with them, including 2000’s 4x Grammy winning Album of the Year “Two Against Nature.”

Michael has composed music for stage and screen, including writing a song for and directing Meryl Streep on the Decca soundtrack album “Songs of Lahore.” Leonhart recently composed music for the score to Rockstar Games upcoming “Red Dead Redemption 2.”

Michael’s eighth solo album, the genre-crossing “Painted Lady Suite,” by the Michael Leonhart Orchestra (MLO), will be released June 15th on Sunnyside Records. The orchestra performs both Leonhart’s original compositions as well as his arrangements of Wu Tang, Ellington and more, featuring players from bands such as Sharon Jones & the Dap-kings, the Mingus Big Band and The Roots.

Alexandre Tannous on Trance #308

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Alexandre Tannous, a composer, musician, ethnomusicologist and researcher came to WKCR to speak about trance.

Alexandre Tannous and NYC Radio Live will return to The Assemblage to continue their exploration of the power of sound, meditation and trance and with the Grammy nominated group Innov Gnawa this Thursday.

Details for the event are here

Alexandre Tannous has performed a variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, rock, and non-Western music on various instruments. His ethnomusicological research investigates issues of acculturation, community, musical identity in an urban setting, and the concepts of talent, charisma, and leadership in music.

For the past 13 years he has been researching the therapeutic and esoteric properties of sound from three different perspectives – Western scientific, Eastern philosophical, and shamanic societal beliefs – to gain a deeper understanding of how, and to what extent, sound has been used to affect human consciousness.

This search has led him to where art, science, philosophy, and spirituality intersect. Inspired by his findings, he designed a protocol of an integrated experience he calls “Sound Meditation” in which he shares the findings from his research, raising an awareness to how a specifically designed sound can have the ability to help us to disconnect from habitual patterns while judiciously listening to the specific traditional instruments he plays.