Ars Nova Workshop (ANW) is excited to announce a new partnership with the Ardmore Music Hall (AMH), enabling the two entities to present the biggest names in contemporary jazz to audiences in and outside of Philadelphia. The partnership kicks off with three performances featuring some of the most impressive names in modern jazz, including icons such as Bill Frisell, Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, and John Medeski, as well as the final Philadelphia-area performance of The Bad Plus’ original line-up. All of these not-to-be-missed performances spotlight boundary-stretching artists who bring together the sounds of contemporary jazz with classic rock, folk, country and other influences that fit well with the mission and history of the Ardmore Music Hall.
The Ardmore Music Hall has quickly established itself as a premiere landing spot for many renowned, local, and national touring musical acts. Due to its geographic location on the Main Line and a calendar full of a diverse range of artists, AMH draws from virtually every demographic group in the Greater Philadelphia area. The room holds as much history as any local venue in Philadelphia or the surrounding suburbs; and, since 2013, Ardmore Music Hall has hosted artists the likes of George Clinton & P-Funk, Maceo Parker, Bad Brains’ HR, Victor Wooten, Snarky Puppy, Rebirth Brass Band, Adrian Belew, the Sun Ra Arkestra, members of the Grateful Dead and Phish, Digable Planets, and many more.
“For years, Ars Nova has sought to expand our programming to assure that our modern jazz heroes and legacy artists have a stable and accommodating environment that elevates and respects their extraordinary work,” says ANW founder and Artistic Director Mark Christman, “and we couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Ardmore Music Hall, who shares our commitment and passion.”
“It’s a thrill for us to more aggressively pursue some of the greatest jazz icons in the world, knowing that we’ve got a partner in Ars Nova. They will not only be instrumental in reaching core jazz fanatics in the Philly area but will also bring years of event production expertise and great contributions to the overall fan and musician experiences for these events. To kick off the partnership with Bill Frisell, John Medeski, John Scofield and Jack DeJohnette among others, will be a wonderful honor for Ardmore and a terrific personal reward for us the fans,” add Chris Perella, Talent Buyer and Co-Owner of Ardmore Music Hall.
The new partnership will launch on Saturday, September 16 with iconic guitarist Bill Frisell’s new quartet Harmony, featuring vocalist Petra Haden, cellist Hank Roberts and bassist Luke Bergman. A sprawling and evocative trip through the landscape of American music of the last century, Harmony is a new group that continues Frisell’s career-long exploration of the breadth and scope of American music. Drawing on influences from folk, bluegrass and country as well as jazz, Harmony brings together collaborators from throughout Frisell’s notable career: vocalist Petra Haden, who has performed extensively in duos with the guitarist as well as on his movie-music tribute When You Wish Upon a Star; Roberts, whose association with Frisell spans three decades, dating back to the 1987 ECM release Lookout for Hope; and Bergman, a fellow member of the University of Washington Jazz Studies faculty and member of the Cuong Vu Group, which has recorded with Frisell.
ANW and AMH then team up on Sunday, October 1 with The Bad Plus, in what will be the revered trio’s final Philadelphia-area performance with co-founding pianist Ethan Iverson. The Bad Plus came together at the end of the 20th century and has avoided easy categorization ever since, winning critical hosannas and a legion of fans worldwide with their creativity, unique sound and flair for live performance – not to mention their irreverent, power-trio reimagining of classic rock songs from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to “Iron Man.” Since coming together as a collective trio 17 years ago, The Bad Plus has been considered among the tightest, hardest-working bands in the world, without a line-up change or even a one-night substitution in 17 years. That all changes in 2018, however, when Ethan Iverson moves on to new horizons and Orrin Evans steps in, making this performance a crucial opportunity to catch the band in its original form.
On Wednesday, October 11, ANW and AMH will present the Philadelphia debut of HUDSON, the new supergroup featuring Hudson River Valley residents Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, John Medeski and Larry Grenadier. The awe-inspiring new quartet brings together four of the world’s most influential musicians—known for their work with Miles Davis, Medeski Martin & Wood, Brad Mehldau and so many others, and all of whom have chosen to call the Valley home, with inspiration from the region’s cultural, musical and environmental history. The group’s extraordinary self-titled debut strikingly captures the atmosphere and beauty of the region while celebrating the indelible music that has emerged from it, mixing original music stamped with the Valley’s rejuvenating essence with thrilling renditions of world-famous songs by the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix and The Band’s Robbie Robertson, Hudson has created an album as spectacular and breathtaking as the area itself.
A number of exciting additional ANW and AMH co-presentations are already in the works.