Lucian Ban - Songs From Afar

Fusion Concert Where American Jazz Meets Classical and Folk Romanian Music

November 10 @ 7:30pm, Seattle Art Museum Partners: Earshot Jazz Festival; The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York “Songs From Afar” will bring together the rich music of Romania – the classical legacy of George Enescu and the extraordinary Romanian folk repository – with American jazz and improvisation.

Opening the concert, renown classical pianist of Romanian origin Angela Drăghicescu will be performing an arrangement of G. Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody.

Transylvanian expat, New York City based jazz pianist Lucian Ban’s ELEVATION Quartet with special guest from Romania traditional singer Gavril Tărmure playing jazz originals and Transylvanian ancient folks songs from their award winning Sunnyside records album „Songs from Afar”. ELEVATION quartet features some of the most compelling jazz musicians of today: saxophonist ABRAHAM BURTON, bassist JOHN HEBERT and drummer ERIC MCPHERSON. Bassist John Hebert has been a co-leader with Lucian Ban of the award winning project ENESCO RE-IMAGINED – an octet conceived as a celebration and re-imagination of the music of the famed Romanian composer George Enescu. The album Enesco Re-Imagined won several BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR and performed major festivals and stages in the world – Elizabeth Hall @ London Jazz Festival, Glenn Gould Hall in Toronto, Mayne Stage Theater in Chicago, Merkin Hall in New York, Jazz d’ Or in Strasbourg, etc.

Lucian Ban was raised in a small village in northwest Transylvania, in “the region where Bartok did his most extensive research and collecting of folk songs” and grew up listening to both traditional and classical music. He studied composition at the Bucharest Music Academy while simultaneously leading his own jazz groups, and notes that his approach to improvisation has been influenced by “the profound musical contributions of Romanian modern classical composers like Aurel Stroe, Anatol Vieru and of course Enesco.” Desire to get closer to the source of jazz brought him to the US, and since moving from Romania to New York in 1999 his ensembles have included many of New York’s finest players. Pianist Lucian Ban has "ricocheted among orthodox post bop, free jazz, and inspired hybrids—including his inventive arrangements of the music of Romanian composer George Enesco" on his all star octet album Enesco Re-imagined (Sunnyside, 2009) co-lead with bassist John Hébert. In 2013 Ban’s quartet Elevation released their first album, the "blustery Mystery (Sunnyside), where the searing, post-Coltrane blowing of tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton and the charged rhythms of drummer Eric McPherson and bassist John Hebert cut against the pianist’s controlled, abstruse austerity". Ban also has a duo with American violist Mat Maneri, Transylvanian Concert (ECM, 2013) where "Ban’s playing feels moodier and more brooding against the mahogany grain of Maneri’s microtonal viola". (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader). He has recorded 10 albums as a leader for labels such as Sunnyside, ECM, Jazzaway, etc. Lucian Ban has performed/recorded with among others: Abraham Burton , Nasheet Waits, Mat Maneri, Alex Harding, Barry Altschul, Gerald Cleaver, Bob Stewart, Badal Roy, Tony Malaby, Mark Helias, Sam Newsome, Ralph Alessi, Pheeroan AkLaff, Reggie Nicholson, Drew Gress, J.D. Allen, Brad Jones, John Hebert, Eric McPherson, among many others.

ELEVATION feat. Gavril Tarmure - Transylvanian Wedding Song