The Knights with special guest The Joshua Redman Quartet
Sat, September 20, 2014, 8:00pm
Orchestral collective The Knights join with jazz sax visionary Joshua Redman and his Quartet for an evening of music partly based on Redman’s orchestral album, Walking Shadows, which references the lush Hollywood sound of recordings like Charlie Parker with Strings but also includes music as diverse as Bach and The Beatles. Redman joins The Knights on original songs by singer/songwriter and Knights violinist Christina Courtin as well. The rhythms and melodies of Brazil will be represented through Joao Gilberto’s hypnotic “Undiu” and Darius Milhaud’s surrealist ballet Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit, based on Brazilian popular tunes of the 1920s and influenced by jazz, classical, and Brazilian music.
This concert is part of our Fall Festival – a three-day romp that brings American Roots, Jazz, and Classical music together in unique and unexpected ways. The performances are dynamic, adventurous, emotionally compelling – and sure to inspire the culturally curious!
11:00am FOOD! Katchkie Farm Food Truck, concessions & café area open
12:30pm–2:00pm SPECIAL FUN! Roll with Sisyphus 2.0 (Friends’ Field)
2:30pm & 4:30pm ENLIGHTENING! Rosen House Tours (Space on these tours is limited. Please sign up online or at the Welcome Tent when you arrive at Caramoor.)
4:45pm–6:15pm SPECIAL FUN! Roll with Sisyphus 2.0 (Friends’ Field)
5:10–5:50pm MUSIC! Members of The Knights interact with the Sound Art
5:10pm – 5:30pm MUSIC! Interaction with Catenary (Center Walk)
5:20pm – 5:40pm MUSIC! Interaction with The Pianohouse (Center Walk)
5:30pm – 5:50pm MUSIC! Interaction with Diacousticon (Sense Circle)
6:00pm FOOD!Farm Dinner (Advance reservation and separate ticket required)
8:00pm MUSIC!The Knights with special guest The Joshua Redman Quartet
The Knights are an orchestral collective, flexible in size and repertory, dedicated to transforming the concert experience. Engaging listeners and defying boundaries with programs that showcase the players’ roots in the classical tradition and passion for musical discovery, The Knights have, as the New Yorker observes, “become one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products, [and] are known far beyond the borough for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertory.”
After a summer residency at the Ojai Music Festival, return appearances at both the Ravinia Festival with Yo-Yo Ma and Dawn Upshaw and Central Park’s free Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, and a Tanglewood debut, The Knights kick off the 2014-15 season in September with a performance at Brooklyn’s Roulette, the first of a series of New York City residencies to be undertaken by the ensemble over the next three seasons with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. These residencies will further the orchestra’s mission to transform the concert experience and engage new audiences at home in New York.
Other season highlights include the Caramoor Fall Festival, where The Knights serve as curators and give three performances featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman and violinist Gil Shaham; the ensemble’s debut at Carnegie Hall in the New York premiere of the Steven Stucky/Jeremy Denk opera The Classical Style; a collaboration with The National’s Bryce Dessner, broadcast on WNYC’s New Sounds Live; and a residency at the University of Georgia. In the new year, The Knights tour the East Coast with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck before embarking on a European tour with soprano Dawn Upshaw, featuring performances in Salzburg, Baden-Baden, Darmstadt, and at Vienna’s legendary Musikverein.
Recordings include an all-Beethoven album released in January 2013 by Sony Classical, The Knights’ third project with the label; 2012’s “smartly programmed” (NPR) A Second of Silence on Ancalagon; a live recording with cellist Jan Vogler of Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto alongside arrangements of the Russian composer’s waltzes and Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun”; and New Worlds, which comprises works by Copland, Dvorák, Ives, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Osvaldo Golijov. In 2010, Orange Mountain Music released Lisa Bielawa’s Chance Encounter, recordedwith The Knights and soprano Susan Narucki. Mozart, the ensemble’s recording of the master composer’s Sinfonia concertante and Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 with Lara and Scott St. John for Ancalagon, received the 2010 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year, and prompted Strings magazine to declare, “These gifted young players have created a flawless recording.” The Knights can also be heard on the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s film Twixt.
The ensemble frequently collaborates with such leading artists as cellist Yo-Yo Ma, soprano Dawn Upshaw, violinists Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, flutist Paula Robison, singer-songwriter (and Knights violinist) Christina Courtin, tenor Nicholas Phan, Iranian ney virtuoso Siamak Jahangiri, cellist Jan Vogler, and fiddler Mark O’Connor. Praised for “polished performances and imaginative programming” (New York Times), the ensemble performs in a wide range of concert venues, from Lincoln Center, Tanglewood, Caramoor, and Baryshnikov Arts Center to Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, Le Poisson Rouge, and The Stone. Also in demand on the international stage, The Knights have appeared at the Dresden Music Festival, Cologne Philharmonie, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, and National Gallery in Dublin.
The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsen brothers, who are also founding members of the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, serve as artistic directors of The Knights, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. In December 2012, the Jacobsens were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship.
The Knights’ roster boasts remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz and klezmer to pop and indie rock music. Members are graduates of Juilliard, Curtis, and other leading music schools, and have performed as soloists with leading orchestras worldwide. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance.
Joshua Redman is one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the decade of the 1990s. Born in Berkeley, California, he is the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff. He was exposed at an early age to a variety of musics (jazz, classical, rock, soul, Indian, Indonesian, Middle-Eastern, African) and instruments (recorder, piano, guitar, gatham, gamelan), and began playing clarinet at age nine before switching to what became his primary instrument, the tenor saxophone, one year later. The early influences of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley and his father, Dewey Redman, as well as The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince, The Police and Led Zeppelin drew Joshua more deeply into music. But although Joshua loved playing the saxophone and was a dedicated member of the award-winning Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and Combo from 1983-86, academics were always his first priority, and he never seriously considered becoming a professional musician.
In 1991 Redman graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Social Studies. He had already been accepted by Yale Law School, but deferred entrance for what he believed was only going to be one year. Some of his friends (former students at the Berklee College of Music whom Joshua had met while in Boston) had recently relocated to Brooklyn, and they were looking for another housemate to help with the rent. Redman accepted their invitation to move in, and almost immediately he found himself immersed in the New York jazz scene. He began jamming and gigging regularly with some of the leading jazz musicians of his generation: Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Kevin Hays, Roy Hargrove, Geoff Keezer, Leon Parker, Jorge Rossy and Mark Turner (to name just a few). In November of that year, five months after moving to New York, Redman was named the winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. This was only one of the more visible highlights from a year that saw Redman beginning to tour and record with jazz masters such as his father, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Elvin Jones, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, and Clark Terry. For Joshua, this was a period of tremendous growth, invaluable experience and endless inspiration.
Now fully committed to a life in music, Redman was quickly signed by Warner Bros. Records and issued his first, self-titled album in the spring of 1993, which subsequently earned Redman his first Grammy nomination. That fall saw the release of Wish, where Joshua was joined by the all-star cast of Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins. He toured extensively with Metheny throughout the latter half of that year. His next recording, MoodSwing, was released in 1994, and it introduced his first permanent band, which included three other young musicians who have gone on to become some of the most important and influential artists in modern jazz: pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. A later edition of this ensemble included guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Peter Martin, bassist Chris Thomas and Blade. Over a series of celebrated recordings including Spirit of the Moment/Live at the Village Vanguard, Freedom in the Groove and Timeless Tales (for Changing Times), Redman established himself as one of the music’s most consistent and successful bandleaders, and added soprano and alto saxophones to his instrumental arsenal. Joshua’s second acclaimed quartet, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, was formed in 1998 and made its recorded debut on the 2000 album Beyond. The dynamic interplay and uncommon rapport of this group inspired Redman to write and record his first long-form composition, Passage of Time, which was released in 2001.
A year later, Redman began to channel his jazz sensibilities through new instrumentation and formed The Elastic Band, a flexible, electrified, groove-based trio built on an ongoing collaboration with keyboardist Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade. The band debuted on the 2002 releases yaya3 and Elastic. Drummer Jeff Ballard began to play regularly with the Elastic Band later that year, and he (along with Blade and Yahel) played a central role in their next recording, the Grammy-nominated Momentum, which was released in 2005 to inaugurate Redman’s affiliation with Nonesuch Records, and featured a diverse and exciting lineup of special guests.
In 2000, Redman was named Artistic Director for the Spring Season of the non-profit jazz-presenting organization SFJAZZ. Redman and SFJAZZ Executive Director Randall Kline had an idea that The New York Times called a “eureka moment”; the creation of the SFJAZZ Collective, an ensemble distinguished both by the creativity of its members and a unique primary emphasis on composition. Inaugurated in 2004, the eight-piece band consists of a multi-generational cast of accomplished musicians. The Collective’s repertoire features both commissioned works and new arrangements of the work of great modern jazz composers. In March 2007, Redman announced that he was taking a hiatus from both the SFJAZZ Artistic Directorship and the SFJAZZ Collective in order to focus on new projects.
The following month, Nonesuch released Redman’s first ever piano-less trio record, Back East, featuring Joshua alongside three stellar bass and drum rhythm sections (Larry Grenadier & Ali Jackson, Christian McBride & Brian Blade, Reuben Rogers & Eric Harland) and three very special guest saxophonists (Chris Cheek, Joe Lovano and Dewey Redman). On Compass, released in January 2009 (Nonesuch), Joshua continues to explore the expansive trio format, and with a group of collaborators as intrepid as he is – bassists Larry Grenadier and Rueben Rogers, and drummers Brian Blade and Gregory Hutchinson – Redman literally and figuratively stretches the shape of the trio approach; on the most audacious of these tunes, he performs with the entire lineup in a double-trio setting.
Starting in late 2009, Joshua will be performing with a new collaborative band called James Farm featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. The band infuses traditional acoustic jazz quartet instrumentation with a progressive attitude and modern sound, creating music that is rhythmically and technically complex and at the same time harmonically rich, melodically satisfying, and emotionally compelling.
In addition to his own projects, Redman has recorded and performed with musicians such as Brian Blade, Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Aaron Goldberg, Larry Goldings, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Roy Haynes, Billie Higgins, Milt Jackson, Elvin Jones, Quincy Jones, Big Daddy Kane, Geoff Keezer, B.B. King, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, DJ Logic, Joe Lovano, Yo Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, John Medeski, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, Paul Motian, MeShell Ndegeocello, Leon Parker, Nicholas Payton, John Psathas, Simon Rattle, Dewey Redman, Dianne Reeves, Melvin Rhyne, The Rolling Stones, The Roots, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Scofield, Soulive, String Cheese Incident, Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Mark Turner, McCoy Tyner, Umphrey’s McGee, US3, Bugge Wesseltoft, Cedar Walton, Stevie Wonder and Sam Yahel. Joshua Redman has been nominated for 2 Grammys and has garnered top honors in critics and readers polls of DownBeat, Jazz Times, The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. He wrote and performed the music for Louis Malle’s final film Vanya on 42nd Street, and is both seen and heard in the Robert Altman film Kansas City.
Dear Lovers of Music, Fall, and Caramoor,
The Knights and Brooklyn Rider are thrilled to return to Caramoor in its Fall Festival Incarnation. Autumn traditionally being a time to celebrate the bounty of nature and the community it brings, we wanted to share with you some of the fruitful musical relationships and collaborations we’ve been able to cultivate over the last couple of years.
We kick off the weekend with banjo virtuoso, composer, and musical explorer Béla Fleck and Brooklyn Rider. This is a musical partnership that grew out of a piece Béla wrote for us and that we recorded, Night Flight Over Water. In this piece he stakes out a beautiful and relatively unexplored sound world – that of the string quartet and banjo. We’ve discovered that that sound is warm, textured, and capable of traveling to many different musical worlds. Friday’s program is built around Béla’s original music and arrangements, Brooklyn Rider repertoire in which Béla has found a place for the banjo, and some other surprises.
Saturday’s concert, featuring The Knights alongside jazz saxophone great Joshua Redman and his Quartet, is based partly on music from his most recent orchestral album, Walking Shadows, in which he references the lush Hollywood sound of recordings like Charlie Parker With Strings, but also includes music as diverse as Bach and The Beatles. We are delighted to have Joshua sit in on two original songs by Christina Courtin, who is an incredible singer/songwriter as well as a Knights violinist – you may have heard her at last year’s Fall Festival in The Knights’ original composition, …the ground beneath our feet. The rhythms and melodies of Brazil will be represented through Colin’s arrangement of Joao Gilberto’s hypnotic “Undiu” and Darius Milhaud’s surrealist ballet Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit, based on Brazilian popular tunes of the 1920s.
Finally, on Sunday we get to share our love of two orchestral greats, Antonin Dvorák and Sergei Prokofiev, and hear the virtuosity of violinist Gil Shaham. We’re thrilled to play both intimate and large-scale works by both of these composers for all ages at the Family Concert and the Fall Festival finale.
We hope you enjoy the musical feast!
Colin and Eric Jacobsen
Artistic Directors, The Knights
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
It’s a great joy for The Knights to work with any collaborator who has the ability to lift up those around him – which is what we experienced performing with Joshua Redman at the Blue Note Jazz Festival a year and a half ago. This is what inspired us to bring this collaboration and music to Caramoor. Many of the selections on tonight’s show come from his recent orchestral album, Walking Shadows, in which the lyrical voice of Joshua’s saxophone is set on top of lush string and wind orchestral arrangements. While there’s certainly plenty of historic precedent for this combination, the tunes themselves are much more of an eclectic mix than many other jazz solo/orchestral combos. Walking Shadows was produced by Joshua’s longtime collaborator and friend, the pianist Brad Meldau, and features original compositions and thoughtful arrangements ranging from Jerome Kern to Bach and the Beatles by Mehldau, Redman, Patrick Zimmerli, and the guest conductor for tonight’s program, Dan Coleman. As Walking Shadows is a foray into the orchestral world through a jazz lens, we’ve included a few elements from The Knights’ end that complement Joshua’s music from a different perspective.
Jazz was all the rage in the Paris of Darius Milhaud, and his own love for it eventually took him to a jazz epicenter: Harlem. Even prior to this trip, though, Milhaud had indulged his love for the popular music forms of the day. His surrealist ballet score, Le boeuf sur le toit, came out of remembrances of time spent in Brazil, with quotations of nearly 30 Brazilian choros (instrumental popular songs). The piece was such a hit amongst Jean Cocteau and his circle of avant garde artists that it became the name of their favorite night club in Paris. Jumping 50 or so years, we are also performing bossa nova great Joao Gilberto’s hypnotic “Undiu.” The way he uses his voice in this song seems almost like an instrument, simply intoning the word “Undiu” over an E-flat pedal rhythmic bass in a melody reminiscent of another jazz age composer, George Gershwin. In my arrangement, I sought to add textures and fantasy-like interludes that wouldn’t take away from the beautiful simplicity of this tune.
The multitalented Christina Courtin is a singer-songwriter with a Nonesuch record to her credit and a violinist with The Knights. Tonight Joshua will be sitting in with us on two of Christina’s originals, “Join Us Jackson” and “No Limit,” in her own arrangements. We can’t wait to hear the results.