2010 NYC Winter JazzFest

January 7, 2010


Three of our clients’ ensembles, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society (also playing two sets at Jazz Gallery the following night), the Mary Halvorson Trio and the William Parker Quartet, will be part of the highly anticipated 2010 NYC Winter JazzFest this weekend.

The two-night extravaganza will feature over 50 performances at five different venues in the West Village.

Argue and his acclaimed 18-piece big band will kick off Friday night’s festivities at (Le) Poisson Rouge at 6:20 p.m.

Parker’s all-star quartet, which features Lewis Barnes (trumpet), Rob Brown (alto saxophone) and Hamid Drake (drums), is a last-minute 10:30 p.m. addition to Saturday’s line-up at Sullivan Hall.

Ms. Halvorson’s longstanding trio, with bassist John Hébert and drummer Tomas Fujiwara (sitting in for Ches Smith), will also perform on Saturday night. Their set at Kenny’s Castaways is scheduled to start just after midnight.

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Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society To Perform Twice During 2010 APAP Conference

December 8, 2009

Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Composer Darcy James Argue and his acclaimed ensemble, Secret Society, will perform on back-to-back nights in early January during the 2010 Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Conference in New York. On Friday, January 8th at 6:20 p.m., the group will play a short set at Le Poisson Rouge as part of the 2010 NYC Winter JazzFest. The following night at The Jazz Gallery, the band will play two full sets, starting at 9:00 and 10:30 p.m. respectively, and unveil a newly written composition.

“Le Poisson Rouge and The Jazz Gallery are our two favorite venues to play in New York,” Argue explains, “as you can probably tell by the frequency with which we return. They put the music first and treat the artists with basic human decency—qualities that are vanishingly rare, especially in today’s climate. These venues are exceptional in other ways: the Jazz Gallery is one of NYC’s few independent, not-for-profit performance spaces devoted exclusively to jazz, while Le Poisson Rouge is the only club in town where you can listen to a performance of the complete Xenakis string quartets while knocking back a Red Stripe.”

“A year ago,” he continues, “we kicked off The Jazz Gallery’s Large Ensemble Commissions Series. Immediately thereafter we went into the studio to record Infernal Machines. It would appear The Jazz Gallery is an auspicious spot to present new works. I figured we’d best do it again. Also, we are extremely excited to be a part of this year’s Winter JazzFest, which is a rare opportunity to hear sets by established artists like Nicholas Payton and Matt Wilson on the same bill as killing new talent like Mark Guiliana and Chelsea Baratz. The lineup represents a broad spectrum of the most exciting music coming out of the New York jazz scene right now, without getting hung up on a particular scene or sound.”

After slowly developing his sound over the course of the past four years, Argue became one of the most talked about new voices of 2009 thanks to the response to his debut release, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records), and the series of performances that followed in New York, Germany, The Netherlands and his native Canada. The new decade begins where the last one left off, with two notable January performances in New York followed by upcoming dates in Boston and beyond. In addition to the new piece being premiered at The Jazz Gallery, Argue will also be working on a new composition for the new music ensemble, Newspeak, thanks to a grant from the American Composers Forum’s Jerome Composers Commissioning Program.


NY Times: The Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza

October 21, 2009
Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Photo by Chad Batka for The New York Times

Nate Chinen reviews Monday night’s Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza at The Bell House in today’s New York Times.

The performances of all three ensembles are recounted, including the headliners, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, which Chinen writes, “played a bracing final set” featuring “an array of backbeats, breakbeats and Latin American polyrhythm, with the flow largely dictated by Mr. Argue, who conducted with brisk, acute gestures.”

If you missed them on Monday, you can catch Argue and the band at tonight’s New Amsterdam Records/Cantaloupe Music CMJ Showcase at Le Poisson Rouge and on November 25th at Iridium Jazz Club.


Darcy James Argue Live Tonight And Wednesday

October 19, 2009

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

New Yorkers will have two chances to catch Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society live in concert this week.

Tonight the group headlines SearchandRestore.com’s Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza, which will also feature The Industrial Jazz Group and Travis Sullivan’s Björkestra, at The Bell House.

Wednesday night’s performance will be part of the joint New Amsterdam Records/Cantaloupe Music CMJ Showcase, also featuring music by David Lang, Julia Wolfe and The NOW Ensemble, at Le Poisson Rouge.


Darcy James Argue At CMJ October 21st

October 7, 2009
© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

© 2009 Oliver Heisch/Moers Festival

Two weeks from tonight, on Wednesday, October 21st, Darcy James Argue and his acclaimed 18-piece big band, Secret Society, will perform as part of the Cantaloupe Music/New Amsterdam Records CMJ Music Marathon showcase at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge.

The event will also feature pianist Ning Yu performing music by David Lang, bagpipe player Matthew Welch performing music by Julia Wolfe and the NOW Ensemble performing a mix of New York premieres and older favorites.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the music begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 with free admission for CMJ Badge holders. Learn more at http://www.cmj.com/marathon

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society will also perform on October 19th at The Bell House in Brooklyn as part of SearchandRestore.com’s Brooklyn Big Band Bonanza and on November 25th at New York’s Iridium Jazz Club.


New Darcy James Argue Downloads Available

August 29, 2009
Photo by Lindsay Beyerstein

Photo by Lindsay Beyerstein

The complete July 15th performance by Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge is now available for free download from the band’s Web site.

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


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.