East Bank Music is a curated music series offered by the Church of the Ascension in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The Church of the Ascension strives to be a place of engagement for the arts and all else that nurtures life, vibrancy, and justness. Under the Church’s generous auspices, East Bank Music aims to enrich the wider community of Greenpoint by representing the musical genres thriving in the neighborhood while offering a performance and rehearsal space for independent musical artists. The hope is to bring together members of the Church, Greenpoint residents, and audiences from across the city.
Weeknight concerts focus on experimental genres and new sounds from the contemporary folk, jazz, and classical worlds while Sunday afternoon community concerts highlight mainstays of the classical repertoire. A dedication to original composition and interpretation unites the wide array of performers presented as part of the series.
East Bank Music and the Church of the Ascension support local businesses, and all are welcome. All shows are $10 suggested donation. Concerts are curated by Julia Den Boer and Jude Webre, for submissions and information email music at ascension.org
2013 INAUGURAL FALL SEASON
Friday September 6th 8pm + Aaron Blount/ Dimestore Dance Trio
Aaron Blount is a songwriter and founder of the widely regarded Austin band Knife in the Water. Raised and home schooled in rural central Texas in the 1980s, his songs bear the residual influence of Country and Gospel with a surreal literary bent. Finding the balance between crime-novel storytelling and epiphany under the influence, his music is kindred to Denis Johnson, the Dirty Three, Sam Peckinpah, and Narcocorrido.
Dimestore Dance Trio is an ongoing conversation of composition and improvisation between guitarist Jack Martin and bassist Jude Webre, now with Eric Read on the drum kit. Their spirited blend of 1940s small-combo stratagems, post-bop stumbling struts, and ethereal flights pays homage to various forebears (Erik Satie, Django, Charlie Christian, Albert Ayler, the Lounge Lizards) by taking apart their harmolodic machines to make ready for re-assembly on any occasion.
Friday September 27th 8pm + Kinga Augustyn
Polish-born and New York City-based violinist Kinga Augustyn has been described as “an adventurous performer valuable to New York’s scene” (NY Concert Review), “a violinist for whom nothing seems too difficult” (Nowy Dziennik Polish Daily News), “stylish and vibrant” (The Strad Magazine). She regularly performs as a soloist with orchestras in the United States and Europe. Ms. Augustyn is committed to increasing awareness of music by Polish composers, as well as promoting contemporary music. Ms. Augustyn’s will present works by J.S Bach as well as excerpts from her recently released CD of Polish Violin Music.
Friday October 4th 8pm + Ezekiel Healy & Karen Waltuch/ Levon Henry
Ezekiel Healy has been playing solo slide on a metal guitar for two decades. He sounds more like himself every year, finding home between the poles: art/party, old/new, folk/raga/jazz. He has also played with the Boggs, Brooklyn Browngrass, and currently Morgan O’Kane – with Karen Waltuch, viola.
Levon Henry, a native of Los Angeles, moved to New York to study jazz saxophone at the New School but has begun to branch away from his jazz training, performing around town as a singer-songwriter. He leads the indie-rock band Great State, but continues to play solo shows, compose instrumental music, write arrangements, and play woodwinds with both jazz musicians and singer-songwriters alike.
Sunday October 20th 2pm + Trio Artica
Formed in 2012, Trio Artica (Jingwen Tu, piano, Christina McGann, violin, and Ágnes Kállay, cello) is the recent winner of the 2013 Ackerman Chamber Music Competition. Members of the trio have studied at The Juilliard School, Oberlin College, the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hochschule fϋr Musik, and at SUNY Stony Brook, where they are currently doctoral candidates. Their coaches include Colin Carr, Gilbert Kalish, Soovin Kim, and members of the Emerson Quartet. Trio Artica was most recently featured in the Beethoven Festival at SUNY Stony Brook, WMP Concert Hall in New York City, and was guest artists at Ohio University. Trio Artica will perform works by Haydn, Schubert and Ives.
Friday October 25th 8pm + andPlay
andPlay is committed to expanding the existing violin/viola duo repertoire through performing rarely heard works and commissioning emerging composers. This New York City based duo of Maya Bennardo, violin, and Hannah Levinson, viola, first played to an eager crowd on Fire Island in the summer of 2012, and performed this past season at Caffe Vivaldi, 109 Gallery, and the Vox Novus Composer’s Voice series. The success of their first commissioned piece, “Pulling Anchor” by Matt Frey, led them to pursue similar opportunities with other composers.
Friday November 8th 8pm + Hello Lovers and Leila Adu
Hello Lovers is a strange fruit; comprised of and informed by musicians from different backgrounds and lineages. From prestigious conservatories to ad hoc improvisation pot lucks, avant garde and experimental studies to negro spiritual workshops, thru noise abandons and punk ethics. The music of musician/composer j.c.King, solo and in various constellations, has been intentionally amorphous; however, remains to celebrate acoustic orchestral instrumentation and musicianship. With Mr.King’s unique songs employing improvisation to examine the environments of consistently romantic themes, Hello Lovers are cultivating a zealous and ritual method of torch song. Musics of resonant harmony, mystery, stillness and erratic movement. Hello lovers are currently finishing their third studio recording “glorified” Originally hailing from Austin, Texas, Mr.king relocated to Brooklyn in 2012 to train, write and experiment with new work.
Leila Adu travels the spaceways of music without limits. Time Out London calls her music, “Avant-garde pop that recalls Nina Simone and Tim Buckley,” and Italy’s popular music mag Blow Up describes her last album Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker as “splinters of folk and blues but also hypnotic and ghostly prog.” Producer Steve Albini, who engineered her second album, dubbed her “Spooky Adu.” Leila was awarded a doctoral fellowship in composition at Princeton in 2011 — the same year she was voted MTV Iggy’s artist of the week who wrote: “She is a singer-songwriter, but more than that, she is part of a generation of highly accomplished young musicians such as Micachu, Joanna Newsom, and Esperanza Spalding who are eroding the distinctions between popular music and the increasingly academic worlds of jazz and instrumental music.”
Friday November 22nd 7pm + What Where and Laura Cocks/ Morton Feldman, For Philip Guston
What Where is Brazilian percussionist Piero Guimaraes and French-American pianist Julia Den Boer. The duo seeks to enrich the percussion and piano repertoire through the commission of new works, and to expand their sound world through the immense possibilities of their instrumentation. What Where will be joined by flautist Laura Cocks for a performance of Morton Feldman’s longest serenely expansive late score: For Philip Guston.
Thursday December 12th 8pm + Sondra Sun-Odeon/ Zachary Cale
Sondra Sun-Odeon is a New York-based singer and recording artist, the voice of Silver Summit whose debut was released on Drag City imprint, Language of Stone. Residing in the same spiritual vein as Silver Summit, Sun-Odeon’s solo songs travel into the ether of her lyrics’ darkly romantic world, full of heartbreak, longing, and desire. On her debut, Aetherea, guitar loops meet clouds of delicate string arrangements and morph into fingerpicked arpeggios… ethereal vocals morph into banshee-wailing abandon adjacent to detuned guitars. The sounds are at times reminiscent of Earth, Keiji Haino, while the mood and voice call to mind Grace Slick, Jason Molina, the lost doom of Nico… and yet exist in a tonal world of its own.
Zachary Cale is a songwriter originally hailing from the small town of Enon, Louisiana. His music ranges from lyrical folk balladry and American primitive inspired guitar instrumentals to experiments in popular song forms. Upon the release of his sophomore album Walking Papers Cale was described by New Jersey’s WFMU as a “songwriter’s songwriter” with a writing style comparable to the greats like Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen. In concert his melodically complex guitar playing has been compared to Neil Young and Bert Jansch with nods to pre-war Piedmont and Ragtime players such as Blind Willie McTell and Mississippi John Hurt. 2013 will see the release of Blue Rider, the much-anticipated follow-up album to Noise of Welcome.
Saturday December 14th 8pm + Dead Language
DEAD LANGUAGE is Meaghan Burke (cello/voice), Tristan McKay (piano/harpsichord/toy piano), and Jodie Rottle (flute/alto/piccolo). While pursuing degrees in Contemporary Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, DEAD LANGUAGE assembled in May of 2012 as a group devoted to speaking the evolving musical language of the present. Recognizing that for some people, scored music — old or new — is as much a dead language as Latin or Ancient Greek, the trio aims to breathe new life into the many musical languages they have inherited, while seeking out new modes of expression. By incorporating improvisation, theater, visual art, and poetry into their work, DEAD LANGUAGE strives to make new music speak, directly and soulfully, to anyone who cares to listen.