(NEW YORK CITY) – Abraham Inc., the superstar Yiddish-funk group featuring world-renowned clarinetist David Krakauer, hip-hop renegade Socalled, and funk genius Fred Wesley, headlines an all-star lineup, including guitarist Marc Ribot and members of the Silk Road Ensemble, in a concert to benefit the NYCLU/ACLU at Symphony Space in Manhattan on Sunday, September 24, at 7pm. Guest artist Frank London of the Klezmatics will join Abraham Inc. for the evening, which will also feature the Tagg-Petersen Piano Duo and other surprise guests.
These boundary-pushing musicians are united in their quest for pushing outside the box in their genres and in their desire to use their artistic voices to raise funds for the protection of civil liberties at a time when they are coming under perilous assault.
One hundred percent of the artist fees will be donated to the NYCLU/ACLU. Donna Lieberman, head of the NYCLU, will be on hand to address the crowd and to provide an update on efforts to preserve our embattled Constitutional rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, among others.
After a long hiatus, Abraham Inc will perform at Symphony Space in an eagerly anticipated return to the New York concert stage. This all-star, 10-piece big band is an unprecedented collaboration led by three cultural visionaries: David Krakauer, virtuoso of klezmer music and Grammy Award-nominated clarinetist; legendary funk trombonist and arranger Fred Wesley, celebrated for his essential work with James Brown and George Clinton; and Montreal-based hip-hop renegade and beat architect Socalled. When joined with the individual talents of the other seven members of the group — all luminaries in their own right — the result is a staggering cross-cultural meeting and an all-out klezmer-funk dance party.
The Grammy Award-winning Silk Road Ensemble has been called “vibrant and virtuosic” by the Wall Street Journal, “one of the 21st century’s great ensembles” by the Vancouver Sun, and a “roving musical laboratory without walls” by the Boston Globe. Made up of performers and composers from more than 20 countries, the ensemble was formed by Yo-Yo Ma in 2000.
Since then, audiences and critics in over 30 countries throughout Asia, Europe, and North America have embraced these artists passionate about cross-cultural understanding and innovation. The group has recorded six albums. Their new album, “Sing Me Home,” was released in April 2016. “The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble,” a documentary about Silk Road musicians directed by Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom), was released in June 2016.
Guitarist Marc Ribot will be featuring his “Songs of Resistance” project. The New York Times describes Ribot as “a deceptively articulate artist who uses inarticulateness as an expressive device,” has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 30-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez.
A living legend of New York’s downtown avant-garde music scene, Ribot’s guitar has also graced a wide net of pop, jazz, and rock artists. Rolling Stone points out that “Guitarist Marc Ribot helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985’s Rain Dogs, and since then he’s become the go-to guitar guy for all kinds of roots-music adventurers: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp.”
Ribot’s additional recording credits include Neko Case, Diana Krall, Elton John/Leon Russell’s The Union, Solomon Burke, John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, Marianne Faithful, Joe Henry, Allen Toussaint, Medeski Martin & Wood, Caetono Veloso, Susana Baca, Allen Ginsberg, Madeline Peyroux, Norah Jones, Jolie Holland, Akiko Yano, the Black Keys, and many others. Marc works regularly with Grammy Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett and NYC composer John Zorn.
Pianist Kathleen Tagg and Andre Petersen, both from South Africa originally, work together as the Tagg-Peterson Duo. Drawing from the rich sonic tapestries of classical music and the nuances of South African jazz and indigenous musics from southern Africa, the duo’s “Where Worlds Collide” project explores diverse realms of possibilities within the sound world of the piano, with performances of original compositions and works by iconic South African jazz composers. After a successful run at the National Arts Festival, Vryfees, and other sold-out shows in 2015, the duo launched their much anticipated CD in South Africa in 2016. The album is due out this year on Table Pounding Records in the U.S.
Tickets for the benefit concert are available for purchase at the Symphony Space website.