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Venue:
International House3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $35 General Admission
Sunday, March 2, 2008 - 8:00pm

Radical Jewish Music Festival 2008: John Zorn's Electric Masada

Radical Jewish Music Festival 2008

John Zorn, Alto Saxophone
Erik Friedlander, cello
Kenny Wollesen, drums
Jamie Saft, keyboards
Marc Ribot, el. guitar
Ikue Mori, electronics
Trevor Dunn, bass
Joey Baron, drums
Cyro Baptista, percussion

A true downtown supergroup, blending the raw power of Naked City with the improvisational madness of Cobra and the lyrical soul of the Masada songbook, Electric Masada is considered by many to be the most exciting bands Zorn has ever had. Please join us for this very rare appearance featuring opening sets from the Jamie Saft Trio and Erik Friedlander, both performing acoustic interpretations from John Zorn's Masada songbook. This is an event not to be missed.

A lifelong New Yorker, composer and saxophonist John Zorn made his mark as a central participant in the fertile "Downtown" experimental music scene beginning in the mid-1970s. In the mid-1980s he signed to the Elektra-Nonesuch label, releasing the critically-acclaimed breakthrough The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone, which was endorsed by Morricone, and incorporated elements of traditional Japanese music, soul jazz, and other diverse musical genres. Since then, he has been exceptionally prolific, usually putting out several new recordings each year. In 1993 Zorn began composing and performing his 208 tunes that now comprises his Masada songbook. Over the years, these compositions have been performed by various artists including his ensembles the Masada String Trio and Bar Kohkba, but most frequently with his extremely popular Ornette Coleman-influenced quartet Masada featuring Joey Baron, Dave Douglas and Greg Cohen. He has also founded Painkiller, a mix of heavy metal and free jazz, and Naked City, an often aggressive mix of jazz, rock and thrash metal. He has worked with musicians such as Bill Frisell, William Parker, George Lewis, The Boredoms Yamatsuka Eye, Derek Bailey, Fred Frith, Melt Banana, John Medeski, and the Violent Femmes. He has written music extensively for television and film, continues to oversee his recording label, Tzadik, which is dedicated to experimental music, and is the principal force behind The Stone, an avant-garde performance space in New York's Alphabet City. In 2006, Zorn was honored with a MacArthur Fellow.

The performance of John Zorn's Electric Masada is made possible by a grant from the Philadelphia Music Project, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts. 

Jamie Saft Trio
Jamie Saft, piano
Greg Cohen, bass
Ben Perowsky, drums

A native of Queens, Saft is a mainstay of the Downtown scene and a member of bands such as The Beta Popes (with Bobby Previte and Skerik), Whoopie Pie, Swami LatePlate, Kalashnikov, and John Zorn's Electric Masada. Saft's stylistic versatility, multi-instrumentalist capabilities, and production skills have been featured with the Beastie Boys, Bad Brains, the B-52's, Laurie Anderson, Marc Ribot's Los Cubanos Postisos, Antony and the Johnsons, Chocolate Genius, Cuong Vu, Chris Speed Trio Iffy, and many others. In addition, Saft was the pianist for the New York and Paris premiers of John Adams' opera "I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky."

Erik Frieldander
Erik Frieldander, cello

Prepare yourselves for an intimate and breathtaking recital by one of the world’s most accomplished cellists. A vital voice in the bands of Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Marty Ehrlich and John Zorn, and a key member of the Masada family from the very beginning, Friedlander has hypnotized audiences both here and in Europe with his own bands Topaz, Broken Arm Trio and Grains of Paradise. Stepping out in this special solo performance, Friedlander shows off his remarkable technique in an all-Zorn program featuring Masada's lyrical Book of Angels compositions.