Darcy James Argue To Host Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza October 19th

August 20, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

On Monday, October 19th, SearchAndRestore.com will present Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza, a celebration of innovative big bands organized by acclaimed composer Darcy James Argue, at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Performers will include Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, Andrew Durkin’s Industrial Jazz Group and Argue’s own acclaimed 18-piece steampunk big band, Secret Society, which will headline the event. All three bands are led by composers working to reinvigorate the big band format for the 21st Century by integrating influences from a wide variety of other sounds and genres.

“Monday night has long been the traditional big band night in New York,” Argue explains, “so it seemed like it could be fun to take a Monday night at a rock club and use that for a non-traditional big band showcase. The Bjorkestra, the Industrial Jazz Group, and Secret Society represent three very distinct approaches to the project of re-imagining the classic jazz big band. But we’re all trying, in our own way, to engage with stuff that’s outside of the jazz tradition and make it our own, whether it’s by lovingly deconstructing songs like Björk’s ‘Hyperballad’, posing existential questions like ‘Should I Play in the Industrial Jazz Group or in Christina Aguilera’s Band?’ or juxtaposing Bernard Purdie grooves with bulería patterns.”

A native of Vancouver, and former member of the Montreal jazz scene, Argue moved to New York in 2003 after earning a Master’s Degree in Boston while studying with legendary composer Bob Brookmeyer. Since the debut of Secret Society in 2005, he has become one of the most visible and respected musicians in New York, as well as one of the jazz world’s most prolific and influential bloggers. His recent career highlights include the release of his widely celebrated debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), profiles in publications such as the New York Observer, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and the Village Voice, and three nominations in this year’s Jazz Journalists Association Awards.

The Bell House is located at 149 7th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues) in the Gowanus area of Park Slope in Brooklyn. Venue information is available at http://www.thebellhouseny.com or by calling (718) 643-6510. Music will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and will be available in advance online through TicketWeb.

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Reminder: Darcy James Argue At Le Poisson Rouge July 15th

July 14, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

On Wednesday, July 15th, composer/conductor Darcy James Argue will perform at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge with his 18-piece steampunk big band, Secret Society.

This event, the group’s first concert in its native New York since the release of its acclaimed debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), will feature the American premiere of “Hard Up on the Down Low”, a new commissioned piece Argue unveiled at Canada’s National Jazz Awards in May.

He describes the composition, which showcases longtime collaborator Ingrid Jensen’s electronically processed trumpet, as “a cheery little anthem of global financial collapse. It’s built around two Bernard Purdie beats that have been juxtaposed to create a quasi-bulería pattern.”

Its original performance, prior to his being awarded the SOCAN/CAJE Phil Nimmons Emerging Composer Award by the man himself, featured Argue conducting the all-star Darcy Hepner Orchestra. This is the first time it will be played live by his own ensemble, which the Wall Street Journal‘s Martin Johnson calls “one of the leading new big bands in jazz.”

Noted independent radio station WFMU will record the concert for future broadcast.


Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society At Le Poisson Rouge July 15th

July 1, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

On Wednesday, July 15th at 7:30 p.m., composer/conductor Darcy James Argue will perform at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge with his 18-piece steampunk big band, Secret Society.

This event, the group’s first concert in its native New York since the release of its acclaimed debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), will feature the American premiere of “Hard Up on the Down Low”, a commissioned piece Argue premiered at Canada’s National Jazz Awards in May.

He describes the piece, which showcases longtime collaborator Ingrid Jensen’s electronically processed trumpet, as “a cheery little anthem of global financial collapse. It’s built around two Bernard Purdie beats that have been juxtaposed to create a quasi-bulería pattern.”

Its original performance, prior to his being awarded the SOCAN/CAJE Phil Nimmons Emerging Composer Award by the man himself, featured Argue conducting the all-star Darcy Hepner Orchestra. This is the first time it will be played live by his own ensemble, which the Wall Street Journal‘s Martin Johnson calls “one of the leading new big bands in jazz.”

Noted independent radio station WFMU will record the concert for future broadcast.

“Argue’s tunes can command your attention anywhere,” writes Newsweek‘s Seth Colter Walls, “no small feat in our media-saturated world.” Critics have called him “a masterful tunesmith” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com), “an exciting stylist with an abundance of ideas” (James Hale, Jazz Chronicles) and “an indefatigable young composer” (Nate Chinen, New York Times).

The BBC’s John Eyles adds, “Secret Society achieves a nearly perfect creative synthesis between tradition and innovation, without obvious tensions. Darcy James Argue has created a big band for the twenty-first century that builds on the strengths of the past while using the genre to produce dynamic contemporary music.

A native of Vancouver, and former member of the Montreal jazz scene, Argue moved to New York in 2003 after earning a Master’s Degree in Boston while studying with legendary composer Bob Brookmeyer. Since the debut of Secret Society in 2005, he has become one of the most visible and respected musicians in New York, as well as one of the jazz world’s most prolific and influential bloggers.

His recent career highlights include profiles in publications such as Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and the Village Voice, three nominations in this year’s Jazz Journalists Association Awards and performances at such notable European venues as the Bimhuis in Amsterdam and the legendary Moers Festival in Germany. Learn more at http://secretsociety.typepad.com