Dear Music Lovers!
Our fall series continues this November with a very special performance by Sexmob featuring tuba virtuoso Marcus Rojas. Taking pop and jazz classics and giving them the raucus and free-wheeling interpretation that only Sexmob can give, this concert is not to be missed!
Steve Bernstein– Slide Trumpet
Briggan Krauss – Saxophones
Kenny Wollesen – Drums
Marcus Rojas – Tuba
Tuba Mob! Sexmob meets Marcus Rojas… tuba virtuoso and long time friend. Marcus appeared on Sexmob’s 2003 release Dime Grind Palace, and has been a guest of the band in many concerts. Dupuy’s Landing will be a perfect intimate setting for a meeting of the sounds minds and music.
Now celebrating its 20th year, Sexmob continues to deconstruct familiar pop tunes with subversive impunity. Everything from Prince’s “Sign O’ the Times” to the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple,” Nirvana’s “About a Girl” to ABBA’s “Fernando” is fair game for this band of musical renegades. And fonder Steve Bernstein is explicit about Sexmob not being a cover band. ”Covers to me means you play it exactly like the record,” he explains. “I just take songs that I feel have a great melody and do them in my style. So I’ll pick a tune and tell the guys, ‘Let’s Sexmob this!’ And I realize that’s what jazz musicians have always done. That’s how Lester Young and Charlie Parker and Miles Davis got popular. They played the songs that everyone knew. And because they could recognize the song then that invited them into their style.”
Sunday 19 November, Sexmob – Tuba Mob!
Doors at 2:30 PM, concert begins at 3:00 PM sharp.
This show is sold out!
Please join our mailing list to get announcements for upcoming shows. RSVPs are required.
Now celebrating its 20th year, Sexmob (Steven Bernstein – slide trumpet, Briggan Krauss – saxophones, Tony Scherr – bass, Kenny Wollesen – drums) continues to deconstruct familiar pop tunes with subversive impunity. Everything from Prince’s “Sign O’ the Times” to John Barry’s “Goldfinger,” the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple,” Nirvana’s “About a Girl,” the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth,” Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” and ABBA’s “Fernando” is fair game for this band of musical renegades. And Bernstein is explicit about Sexmob not being a cover band. ”Covers to me means you play it exactly like the record,” he explains. “I just take songs that I feel have a great melody and do them in my style. So I’ll pick a tune and tell the guys, ‘Let’s Sexmob this!’ And I realize that’s what jazz musicians have always done. That’s how Lester Young and Charlie Parker and Miles Davis got popular. They played the songs that everyone knew. And because they could recognize the song then that invited them into their style.”
The fact that Bernstein exclusively plays slide trumpet in Sexmob gives the quartet an even more distinctive edge. As he puts it, “When you play the trumpet, Louis Armstrong is the king. But when I play the slide trumpet, I’m the king. It’s my voice. On trumpet, there’s no escaping Armstrong and Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Lester Bowie…all those cats. But on slide trumpet, it’s just me.”
Sexmob came together in 1996 in a weekly residency at the Knitting Factory Tap Room and in 1998 released its debut, Din of Inequity. They followed with 2000’s Solid Sender, 2001’s Sex Mob Does Bond, 2003’s Dime Grind Palace, 2006’s Sexotica, 2009’s Sex Mob Meets Medeski: Live in Willisau and 2013’s Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti: Sex Mob Plays Fellini. The group’s latest, Cultural Capital, is the first Sexmob recording to feature all Bernstein original compositions. “Some of them, like ‘Bari Si,’ ‘Step Apache’ and ‘Syrup’ are through-composed like Jelly Roll Morton pieces,” he explains. “And some like ‘4 Cents’ and ‘Street’ and are more jammy, where we take a little idea — a line or a groove — and just develop it.”
The rubato ballad “Helmland,” which features some particularly expressive slide trumpet work by Bernstein, carries a hymn-like feel while “Giant Minds” sounds like a requiem. Krauss and Scherr overdub guitars on “Valentino” and the raucous second-line groover “Golden Houses.” Krauss is featured on the free interlude “Lacy” and he’s turned loose on the edgy closer, “Briggan,” Says the leader, “Sometime it’s a little uncomfortable and jarring for people but that’s what Briggan does, that’s his thing. He’s a different kind of virtuoso.” Scherr is showcased on the African-influenced “Hear You” while “SF” pays tribute to Bernstein’s Bay Area roots. ”There were all these kind of psychedelic-blues hippie bands when I was growing up like Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sons of Champlin, The Loading Zone, Moby Grape. You’d hear those bands more than the Grateful Dead. So that’s what this song was about.”
Bernstein and his Sexmob crew continue to push the envelope in delightfully subversive ways on their fiercely independent, self-produced new outing, Cultural Capital.
Steven Bernstein is a trumpeter/slide trumpeter, bandleader, arranger, and composer who lives outside of musical convention.
He has released four critically acclaimed CDs on John Zorn’s Tzadik label– Diaspora Soul, Diaspora Blues (featuring the Sam Rivers trio), Diaspora Hollywood, and Diaspora Suite. His band Sex Mob has been together since 1995 touring the world, has won numerous awards, and has had their music featured on MTV, Saturday Night Live and NPR. Sexotica, recorded for Thirsty Ear’s Blue series, was nominated for a Grammy in 2006. Their most recent CD, Sexmob Plays Fellini was released in 2013 on Royal Potato Family.
His nine-piece ensemble, the Millennial Territory Orchestra, has been together since 1999. Their 2011 CD MTO Plays Sly features Bernie Worrell, Vernon Reid, Antony, Martha Wainright, Dean Bowman, Sandra St. Victor and Bill Laswell. Bernstein also arranged and co-produced Baby Loves Jazz, featuring vocalists Sharon Jones and Babi Floyd, along with keyboard master John Medeski.
Bernstein was the musical director for I’m Your Man, a documentary on Leonard Cohen that focuses on a tribute concert held at the Sydney Opera house, released by Lions Gate lms in spring 2006. He was the musical director for the live sequences in the 2009 Bill Withers documentary Still Bill. Other DVD releases include Solos, originally a Canadian Television program featuring solo performances by musicians including Andrew Hill, Joe Lovano, and John Sco eld; as well as Lou Reed’s Berlin (directed by Julian Schnabel), Levon Helm Ramble at The Ryman, and Love For Levon. Bernstein was also the subject of a feature entitled Creative Spaces on NPR’s All Things Considered, and was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR in 2002.
Since November 2004 Bernstein has been a member of the Levon Helm band, playing at the Midnight Rambles in Levon’s home in Woodstock. Bernstein wrote horn arrangements for Levon Helm’s Grammy winning 2009 recording Electric Dirt, as well as Bill Frissel’s Grammy winning 2004 recording Unspeakable. Other arranging credits include Lou Reed, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Rufus Wainright, Marianne Faithfull, Elton John, and Mavis Staples.
In 1992, musical iconoclast Hal Willner produced the debut CD by Spanish Fly, a cooperative trio with Bernstein, slide guitarist Dave Tronzo and tubaist Marcus Rojas, and they have been collaborating ever since.
Bernstein has musical directed many Hal Willner projects, including tributes to Leonard Cohen, Doc Pomus, and Harold Arlen, and helped create the music for Robert Altman’s lm Kansas City. He was also the musical director for the “Great Night in Harlem” concerts at the Apollo, which featured the Kansas City band along with Bono, Macy Gray, Bettye Lavette, Dr. John and many other legends.
During his 10 years as a member of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards he arranged the music for Get Shorty, Clay Pigeons, Fishing With John and many more lm, television and commercial projects with Mr. Lurie. Other movie arranging credits include Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love and the Disney lm Meet the Robinsons.
For composer/Foetus mastermind Jim Thirwell, Bernstein arranged Steroid Maximus to be performed live by a 21 piece ensemble.
Bernstein’s work as a composer includes the documentaries Keep the River On Your Right and Balloonhat, Nickelodeon’s hit TV show The Backyardigans (including an ANNIE nomination for his score to “International Super Spy”), live scores to silent Laurel & Hardy lms, theatre scores for Mae West’s Sex and Trouble in Paradise, dance pieces for Alvin Ailey, Body Vox, the Donald Byrd Dance Company, the Flying Karamazov Brothers and the San Francisco Ballet, and commercial jingles.
Bernstein has played trumpet with a diverse group of artists including Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, Linda Ronstadt, David Murray, David Berger, Digable Planets, Sting, Medeski Martin and Wood, Courtney Love, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Don Byron and Mocean Worker.
Saxophonist and composer Briggan Krauss connects the extreme edges of saxophone technique with the unexplored tonal possibilities of the instrument, making his work as much about shape as it is about a signature sound. In June 2014, Krauss led a weeklong residency at John Zorn’s The Stone, highlighting over twenty years as a key player in New York’s downtown and creative music scene and the intense musical relationships he has built with colleagues including Ikue Mori, Jim Black, Wayne Horvitz, Nels Cline and Elliot Sharp. He continues the tradition of bringing together the raw conceptual energy of a rotating cast of improvisers in a monthly series at Brooklyn’s Firehouse Space.
As a leader, Krauss has recorded multiple albums for Knitting Factory records, including the critically acclaimed 300 with Wayne Horvitz on keyboards and Kenny Wollesen on drums. Red Sphere was released in 2008 on Skirl Records with his trio H-Alpha (Ikue Mori on laptop, Jim Black on drum set and percussion) and features a unique atmosphere of collective improvisation where spectral lines of sound are emitted and absorbed in the moment. His most recent release is his first solo recording called Art of the Saxophone Vol. 1: The Tunnel Recordings that documents the unique and innovative ways that he approaches improvisation and the saxophone. Produced by the legendary saxophonist Skerik, this recording finds Krauss exploring the unusual sonic features of the cavernous Mt. Baker I-90 pedestrian tunnel in Seattle, WA, blending harmonics and employing multi-phonics on the saxophone. The recording also highlights the signature towel-mute Krauss invented along with the broad vocabulary of extended techniques he has created for its use.
In 2013, Krauss received his MFA from Brooklyn College’s unique PIMA (Performance and Interactive Media Arts) program, solidifying his role as a multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary artist in the electronic music and sound art sphere. In 2002 Roulette and the Jerome Foundation commissioned an eight-piece chamber work from Krauss, and in 2009 he was an Artist in Residence at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center in New York City, where he produced a surround sound piece called “Singularity”. In 2015 he is developing a new project with abstract painter and filmmaker Raha Raissnia, who uses live projection techniques to work with Krauss and ensemble. Their previous collaborations have appeared at galleries and venues across NYC including Anthology Film Archives and the Kitchen, where they premiered Krauss’ composition for nine-piece ensemble entitled “Cosmography” in 2011.
Krauss has appeared on over fifty recordings as a sideman. His iconic voice has been a part of Steven Bernstein’s Sexmob from the band’s inception twenty years ago, spanning numerous European tours and a Grammy nomination for the 2006 Sexmob recording, “Sexotica”. He recorded with guitarist Bill Frisell on Frisell’s Grammy winning album “Unspeakable” and performed in several shows produced by Hal Willner including tributes to Neil Young, Doc Pomus and Leonard Cohen. Highly sought after in the studio and on stage, he has worked with a diverse range of artists from John Zorn, Robin Holcomb, Satoko Fuji and Anthony Coleman to Rufus Wainwright, Trey Anastasio, Antony and the band Medeski, Martin and Wood.
He is currently accepting national and international bookings for his spectral sound art trio H-Alpha (with Ikue Mori on laptop and Jim Black on drums) and the Briggan Krauss Jazz Quartet (also featuring Jim Black with pianist Jacob Sacks and bassist Scott Colley). In the time-honored jazz tradition of taking popular music and redefining it, the Briggan Krauss Jazz Quartet brings the jazz standard fully into the present in a way that is both recognizable to jazz fans and completely inseparable from Krauss’ signature sound.
Briggan Krauss is currently a professor in the Performance and Interactive Media Arts [PIMA] MFA program at Brooklyn College and teaches private students in New York City.
Drummer Kenny Wolleson performed on over 30 recordings during the 1990s and, as the decade progressed, gained increasing renown as a musician of astonishing versatility, skill, and ingenuity. He has recorded and toured with all kinds of musicians, from Tom Waits (Wolleson performs on Waits’ 1993 collaboration with William S. Burroughs, Black Rider), to Sean Lennon, to Ron Sexsmith (Wolleson performs on his second album, Other Songs). A founding member of the New Klezmer Trio, Wollesen is also all over N.Y.C.’s downtown jazz and avant-garde musicians’ recordings.
“Phenomenal tubist Marcus Rojas” (Whitney Balliet, The New Yorker) is a native of New York City. Considered one of “the best all around tuba players in the world” (Harvey Pekar,Jazziz); among the diverse groups in which he has played are the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, American Symphony, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the New York Pops, EOS, Radio City Music Hall, Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, ensembles led by Gil Evans, George Russell, Jim Hall, Lionel Hampton, Dave Douglas, Wayne Shorter, David Byrne, and P.D.Q. Bach. He has also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the Today Show, Saturday Night Live and The Grammys from New York City.
Marcus has played on over three hundred and fifty recordings, from CDs of his own groups (Spanish Fly and Les Miserables Brass Band) to Reggae stars Sly and Robbie and the Metropolitan Opera. He has performed and/or recorded with such diverse artists as Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Dawn Upshaw, Queen Latifah, Donnie Osmond, Sting, Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr., Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler, They Might be Giants, Arto Linsday and Rosie O’Donell among others. He has recorded for every major film, television and record company in the United States as well as countless commercial jingles and over 60 film scores including Wolf, Interview with the Vampire, Mission to Mars, Muppet Christmas Carol, Ed Wood, You’ve Got Mail, The Spanish Prisoner, Fargo, Snake Eyes, Primary Colors,101 Dalmations, Shaft, S.W.A.T., American Splendor, Everything is Illuminated, Sleepless in Seattle, Sin Nombre and Across the Universe. He can be heard daily on Nick Jr’s. Oswald and the Backyardigans.
Marcus is an avid proponent of contemporary classical, improvised and chamber musics. He performs solo and as a soloist with orchestras and ensembles throughout the world. As a founding member of SingleTree, a trio of flute, tuba and marimba,Brass Bang, Spanish Fly with Steven Bernstein and David Tronzo and other groups he has written and commissioned many new works. He was a member of Henry Threadgill’s Very Very Circus and is currently a member of Dave Douglas’ Brass Ecstasy and Nomad, Michael Blake’s Hellbent and Musette Explosion. He has performed the premieres of composers LaMonte Young, Peter Zummo, Gunther Schuller, Ralph Shapey, Philip Johnston, Anne LeBaron, Tom McKinley, Daniel Pinkham, Benedict Mason, Peter Schickele and John Zorn. New music groups he performs with include Contuum, the SEM Ensemble, ICE, American Composers Orchestra and the Kamakazi Ground Crew. He has performed in every jazz and major concert venue in NY and almost every jazz festival in the US, Canada and Europe with many artists including Donny McCaslin, Tony Malaby, Wadada Leo Smith, Doug Weiselman, Peter Apfelbaum and others. He toured the US, Japan and Australia with Robert Wilson’s the Knee Plays.