(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century kicks off its summer 2016 performance series with the eleventh annual Paul Grunberg Memorial Bach Concert, featuring award-winning American violinist, fiddler, and composer Jeremy Kittel and his band in The Tent at PS21 on Saturday, July 2, at 7:30pm. Fluent in multiple musical genres, Kittel – formerly of the Turtle Island Quartet – composes music drawn from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, classical, electronic, and other streams.
The spirit of JS Bach is woven throughout this program of wide-ranging works. “Bach is, without a doubt, one of my personal top five favorite composers, so there may be somewhat of a natural, long-standing influence from Bach in my own compositions and arrangements,” explained Jeremy Kittel. “At least, I hope and strive for the kind of brilliant resourcefulness I hear in his music, and most importantly, the spiritual heights he so often attains… While perhaps the majority of the music will not be Bach, we will also be performing Bach’s music and interpreting it through our twenty-first century rhythmic and tonal sensibilities.”
Many instruments have been invented or developed significantly since Bach’s time, some of which are now commonly associated with Bach’s music. “It is the sound, the music, and the expression that is most important – and instruments are really a means to those ends,” Kittel said. “One thing that’s a little bit different about us in regard to Bach is that we’ve decided to embrace our own natural rhythmic approach when interpreting his music. Our band’s rhythmic approach is more informed by modern non-classical music (which in turn is connected to African/American/Celtic folk forms) and it can be a very subtle difference to the listener, but has proven to be worthwhile.”
With musical roots spanning the globe, the Jeremy Kittel Band has the drive of Celtic fiddling, spontaneity of jazz, soul of the blues, and intricacies of chamber music. Kittel has a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music, received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from his alma mater, the University of Michigan, and has received numerous other awards over the years. Bandmates include Joshua Pinkham (one of the outstanding mandolinists of his generation), Simon Chrisman (dubbed a “dulcimer wizard”), and Nathaniel Smith (a cellist who has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma).
Tickets are $35 general admission, $30 for PS21 members, and $18 for students. Tickets can be purchased at PS21, by calling 1-800-838-3006, or at the door until the show sells out.
PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century is a not-for-profit organization in Chatham, NY, dedicated to the performing arts and to serving a diverse community with concerts, programs and residencies by professional artists and ensembles, youth and children’s programming and cultural education opportunities for all ages.