Krakauer-Tagg Duo (photo Tasja Keetman)
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Krakauer/Tagg Duo brings its innovative blend of world music, jazz, classical, experimental techniques, and electronics to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday, July 2, at 7pm, as part of the Rogovoy Salon, a new music and literary series curated and hosted by cultural journalist and music critic Seth Rogovoy.
Grammy Award-nominated clarinetist David Krakauer and South African-born pianist, composer, and producer Kathleen Tagg will perform their “Breath and Hammer: Clarinet, Piano and Beyond” multimedia program, enhanced by an immersive video feed and featuring arrangements of works by downtown composer John Zorn, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and Cuban percussionist Roberto Rodriguez, plus original compositions with influences ranging from interlocking African drumming patterns to Romantic symphonic music to Minimalism to klezmer. In the hands of Krakauer and Tagg, these diverse and seemingly disparate musical influences intermingle, transformed into something entirely new: a hybrid art form that bridges the cultures of the past and new work that looks towards the future.
David Krakauer has been praised internationally as a pioneer of modern klezmer as well as a major voice in classical music. Kathleen Tagg has performed on four continents in leading venues such as Carnegie Hall. With Breath and Hammer, Krakauer’s use of extended techniques, improvisation and circular breathing on the clarinet, and Tagg’s ability to use the piano as a harp, a zither, a drum, and a cello, through bowed piano, plucking, strumming and more, augment the traditional sounds of their instruments. In addition to utilizing the full range of timbres that can be imagined from both instruments, they further expand the scope of sonic possibilities by incorporating electronic effects and layers.
Krakauer has performed with the Kronos, Emerson, Tokyo, Orion and Miro String Quartets, and is in demand worldwide as a guest soloist with the world’s finest orchestras, including the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Baltimore Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, the Weimar Staatskapelle, the Phoenix Symphony, the Dresdener Philharmonie, and the Seattle Symphony. Krakauer’s discography contains some of the most important clarinet recordings of recent decades: “The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind” (Osvaldo Golijov and the Kronos Quartet/Nonesuch) received the Diapason D’Or in France. “The Twelve Tribes” was designated album of the year in the jazz category for the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. He has also recorded with violinist Itzhak Perlman; the Klezmatics; Dawn Upshaw; and Osvaldo Golijov. Of local interest, his unique sound can be heard in Danny Elfman’s score for the Ang Lee film “Taking Woodstock” and throughout Sally Potter’s “The Tango Lesson.”
South African-born pianist, composer and producer Kathleen Tagg, praised for her combination of “outstanding technique with deep musicality,” has been based in New York since 2001. She has performed on four continents in leading venues such as Carnegie Hall; had her original music performed in venues such as New York’s Lincoln Center; appeared on a host of classical, world music, and multi-genre recordings; and produced numerous CDs and inter-disciplinary programs from South Africa to Los Angeles. Tagg has performed multiple Carnegie Hall recitals, including her 2004 acclaimed solo recital debut as winner of the Artist International auditions, when she was described by critics as “a superbly turned out artist, a performer broaching scant detour between conception and delivery, and a musician of such grand endowment” (NY Concert Review). Known for her explorations in sound color, whether in virtuosic standard repertoire or her own creations exploding the sound of the piano from the inside out using extended techniques, she crosses boundaries seamlessly.
The Rogovoy Salon is a new, monthly series featuring musicians, writers, and artists hand-picked by Seth Rogovoy. Each event will be hosted by Rogovoy and include conversation and Q&A with the artists when appropriate. For over 20 years, Rogovoy has contributed a weekly cultural commentary for WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Rogovoy has been a cultural journalist and music critic based in the Berkshires and Upper Hudson Valley for 35 years, and is a contributing editor at the national Jewish newsweekly the Forward. Rogovoy is the artistic director of the annual YIDSTOCK: Festival of New Yiddish Music at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass. His books include “Bob Dylan: Prophet Mystic Poet” (Scribner) and “The Essential Klezmer” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill). Rogovoy lives in Hudson, N.Y.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.