Darcy James Argue To Perform At New Languages Festival & Jazz Gallery In September

July 21, 2009
Photo by Ben Anaman

Photo by Ben Anaman

This September, composer/conductor Darcy James Argue and his 18-piece steampunk big band, Secret Society, will perform in New York on two consecutive nights.

On Thursday, September 17th at 11:30 p.m., the group will appear at the fifth annual New Languages Festival at McCarren Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The following night, at 9:00 and 10:30 p.m, Argue and the ensemble will return to Manhattan’s Jazz Gallery, which commissioned two of the tracks heard on its acclaimed debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam). These concerts will mark the first-ever performances of Argue’s latest composition.

Critics have credited Argue with creating “a nearly perfect creative synthesis between tradition and innovation” (John Eyles, BBC.com), “a fully integrated sound world as current as it is timeless” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com) and “startling and satisfying original music played by some very impressive musicians” (Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic.com).

“We’re just past the halfway point, and the acclaimed young bandleader’s Infernal Machines is 2009’s consensus jazz disc,” adds the Village Voice‘s Jim Macnie. “A fanfare here, a freak-out there, enough dark hues and ingenious oddities to woo a twenty-something audience that doesn’t know or care about the ancient stack o’ riffs that big bands were built on; it’s all here.”

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 the New York ObserverNewsweek, 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


Mary Halvorson In July

July 6, 2009
Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Photo by Peter Gannushkin

Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has a busy month of gigs planned for July, including a performance with Myra Melford’s Happy Whistlings at The Stone on July 7th before heading off to Europe with Anthony Braxton’s Diamond Curtain Wall Trio for dates at the Pomigliano Jazz Festival on July 11th and the North Sea Jazz Festival on July 12th.

She’ll then remain in Europe for two dates with her trio at Norway’s Molde Jazz Festival on July 14th and Amsterdam’s Bimhuis on July 17th.

Aside from one other sidewoman date with Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up at Barbés on July 22nd, the rest of the month will be taken up by Mary Halvorson/Jessica Pavone Duo tour dates in support of their latest release, Thin Air (Thirsty Ear).

Mary Halvorson Trio
Tuesday, July 14th @ Molde Jazz Festival (Molde, Norway)
Friday, July 17th @ Bimhuis (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone
Tuesday, July 21st @ Bowery Poetry Club (New York, NY)
Saturday, July 25th @ The Windup Space (Baltimore, MD)
Monday, July 27th @ Morris Book Shop (Lexington, KY)
Tuesday, July 28th @ TBA (Mt. Comfort, IN)
Wednesday, July 29th @ The Hideout (Chicago, IL)
Thursday, July 30th @ TBA (Detroit, MI)
Friday, July 31st @ TBA (Buffalo, NY)
Saturday, August 1st @ Metropolis Underground (Syracuse, NY)

Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Trio
Saturday, July 11th @ Pomigliano Jazz Festival (Napoli, Italy)
Sunday, July 12th @ North Sea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Myra Melford’s Happy Whistlings
Tuesday, July 7th @ The Stone (New York, NY)

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up
Wednesday, July 22nd @ Barbes (Brooklyn, NY)


Improvised Communications To Represent Darcy James Argue

June 25, 2009
Photo by Ben Anaman

Photo by Ben Anaman

Improvised Communications is pleased to announce it has been retained as the exclusive media contact for New York-based composer/bandleader Darcy James Argue. This new partnership, which builds on a relationship that began with the promotion of Argue’s acclaimed 2009 debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), will officially begin July 1st. Argue’s 18-piece steampunk big band, Secret Society, will next perform in New York on July 15th at Le Poisson Rouge and September 18th at Jazz Gallery. The band will also take part in a four-ensemble big band festival, curated by Argue, on October 19th at Brooklyn’s The Bell House.

Infernal Machines has been called “a potent debut” (Nate Chinen, New York Times), “a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future” (Seth Colter Walls, Newsweek), “a seven-track marvel of imagination” (David R. Adler, Time Out New York) and “a fully integrated sound world as current as it is timeless” (Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com). “Infernal Machines ably demonstrates what all the fuss has been about,” adds BBC.com reviewer John Eyles. “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.”

Argue is 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. In addition to the critical success of Infernal Machines, recent career highlights include 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. The recipient of a variety of commissions and composition awards, Argue accepted his latest, the SOCAN/CAJE Phil Nimmons Emerging Composer Award, in May at Canada’s National Jazz Awards in Toronto. Learn more at http://secretsociety.typepad.com


Darcy James Argue’s Infernal Machines Released Today

May 12, 2009

Today is the official street date for Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), the long-awaited studio debut of composer Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society.

I could go ahead and tell you that the media, both jazz and the other kinds, have come out in unanimous support of this one, but showing you is probably the more effective way to go.

So, you can go here to check out some of Darcy’s favorite pull quotes, or you can go right to the source and read the original pieces in publications such as AllAboutJazz.com (feature), AllAboutJazz.com (review), NewMusicBox.org, the New York Times, Newsweek, NPRMusic.com, the Ottawa Citizen, Time Out New York and the Village Voice.

Lots more coverage of this one is on the way, so please stay tuned.

FYI, the group will be performing at the Bimhuis in Amsterdam (May 28th), Domicil in Dortmund, Germany (May 29th), the Moers Festival in Moers, Germany (May 31st), and the International House in Philadelphia, PA (June 5th) as part of the Ars Nova Workshop series.

The Vancouver native will also premiere a new, specially commissioned work at Canada’s National Jazz Awards on May 14th to be performed by the all-star Darcy Hepner Jazz Orchestra.