Caramoor is proud to present two musical forces on one stage: Pat Metheny Unity Group and Bruce Hornsby with Sonny Emory. Join us for a very special evening of music ranging from jazz to rock and pop, jam bands to bluegrass and blisteringly virtuosic performance.
Symphony Court, Caramoor’s dining pavilion, is open to all ticket buyers. Enjoy a casual prix fixe buffet dinner among the beautiful gardens in the Reception Tent and Italian Pavilion. Reservations must be placed by Tuesday at 5:00 P.M. for the upcoming weekend’s concerts, at which time reservations are non-refundable. Take a look at the menu and order form here. Please note that Symphony Court for this event on August 2 is cancelled.
Let us pack your picnic for you! For delicious dining and the ease of ordering a picnic in advance, consider the special picnic menu offered by our caterer, Great Performances. Picnic tables are available, and you may bring your own blankets and lawn chairs if you like. To place your order, call the Box Office at 914.232.1252 or click the Order Picnics box below. Please place your order by Tuesday at 5:00pm for the upcoming week’s performance. This service is only available Thursday through Sunday on performance days during the summer.
The year 2013 has been a banner one for Pat Metheny. After being awarded his 20th Grammy, for Unity Band, and the release of his critically acclaimed recording of Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels, Vol. 20, Metheny received word that the readers of DownBeat magazine had voted to induct him into its Hall of Fame. Not only is Metheny the youngest member, but he is also only the fourth jazz guitarist to be chosen for that honor, joining Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and Wes Montgomery.
The coming year promises to be equally exciting. As Metheny says: “The Unity Band record and tour was life changing for me, and I really wanted to find a way to keep it going and take it to the next level. One night, I woke up with the tantalizing idea of taking the concept of ‘unity’ even further. With this next project, I envisioned building a platform capable of addressing the entire spectrum of things I have done over the years, from Bright Size Life to Secret Story, from my Group projects to the Orchestrion, and more, all in one place.” He continues: “With this incredible lineup of musicians—Chris Potter, Ben Williams, Antonio Sanchez, and the addition of multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi—just about anything is possible”
With this mission statement, the scene was set for Metheny to deliver a career- encompassing recording. With the release of Kin (←→), Metheny has, not for the first time in his complex and ever-evolving career, re-invented himself.
“The core quartet of Chris, Ben, Antonio, and me played more than 100 concerts over the year that followed the release of our Unity Band record. Over the course of that period, the band became one of those rare combinations of players where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; it gelled in every way, and that just seemed to beg for expansion and further research.” He continues, “Simultaneously, I had been itching to write using more of a lush and orchestrated kind of concept that went beyond the sonic limits of what a straight-ahead quartet might invoke. But I really didn’t want to lose the energy, focus, and intensity of what this band had developed. I wanted to take it further. If the first Unity Band record was a thoughtful, black and white documentary of four musicians in a recording studio playing, this record is more like the Technicolor,
IMAX version of what a band like this could be—but with that hardcore thing still sitting right in the middle of it all.”
Metheny goes on to say: “Writing this music and putting it together for this incredible collection of players and really integrating all of the materials at hand was one of the biggest challenges I have ever undertaken, but hearing the final result on this recording is also one of the most satisfying feelings I have ever had as a musician. And the possibilities that it suggests seem endless to me in the best possible way.”
In addition to contributing his usual tenor and soprano saxophone skills, Chris Potter is featured on half a dozen woodwind instruments in the ensemble, while Ben Williams is featured as soloist not only as a traditional acoustic bassist, but also on electric bass and, in one case, trading solos with Potter—showing off his arco bowing technique. Drummer Antonio Sanchez is showcased throughout: as is always Metheny’s preference, the drums are front and center on the album, yet there are constant textural surprises coming from the kit as well as a track that begins with Sanchez on cajón leading the charge.
Metheny himself, while often letting his band mates shine on the compositional vehicles he has designed for them, uses every moment as a soloist to maximum effect. From his powerful opening statement on the leadoff track using his trusty Ibanez to create a new guitar texture, to the variety of approaches he brings to the harmonic complexities that proliferate throughout, Metheny’s solos contain rare melodic moments that give his improvisations the same indelible qualities that his best compositions have.
Multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi is the new wild card in Metheny’s hand this time around. Throughout the album, Carmassi holds the difficult and important role of piano accompanist to this fluent core of players. Metheny wanted to create a sense of richness that went beyond the more traditional quartet sound of the original Unity Band. To this end, in addition to Metheny’s own electronic, orchestrionic, and synth orchestrations, Carmassi adds trumpet, French horn, flute, alto sax, recorder, vibraphone, whistling, trombone, and some of the most beautiful and evocative vocals on any Metheny recording.
Each of the first four tracks on the record clocks in at more than 10 minutes, with the opening “On Day One” at nearly a quarter of an hour in length. But these are pieces that are not simply extended improvisational “jams”; they are meticulously detailed and developed structures that remain somewhat impervious to any traditional analysis while also providing inspirational environments for improvisation. There is a constant shifting of forms, time signatures, and pedal points along with ever-changing opportunities for the various personalities of each player to shine—sometimes in unexpected ways.
The title track, Kin (←→), seems to best capture Metheny’s new way of looking at music. Using the elements that make electronic dance music the sound of the streets, Metheny cooks up a brew that incorporates the drama and scope of some of his more sweeping projects with a digital forward-motion and makes it sound not only exciting, but natural as well.
Bruce Hornsby has built one of the most diverse, collaborative and adventurous careers in contemporary music. Drawing from a vast wellspring of American musical traditions, the singer/pianist/composer/bandleader has created a large and accomplished body of work and employed a vast array of stylistic approaches. Throughout this period, Hornsby has maintained the integrity, virtuosity and artistic curiosity that have been hallmarks of his work from the start.
The 13-time Grammy nominee’s commercial stock soared early on when “The Way It Is” – the title track of Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s 1986 debut album – became the most-played song on American radio in 1987 and won ASCAP’s Song of the Year award. “The Way It Is” and hits like “Mandolin Rain” and “Every Little Kiss” established Hornsby as a popular musician, while subsequent high-profile work with the likes of Don Henley, Willie Nelson, Charlie Haden and Bonnie Raitt made him an in-demand collaborator.
Though a talented and instantly identifiable singer, bandleader and pianist, Hornsby is a songwriter at heart. He is committed to portraying his songs in new ways that allow them to evolve and expand. This approach was further developed during his time spent playing over one hundred shows with The Grateful Dead between 1990 and 1995. Hornsby found a kindred spirit in the Dead, with their vibrant tradition of loosely blending folk, jazz, blues and improvisation.
Over the years, Hornsby has successfully ventured into jazz, classical, bluegrass and even electronica, reflected on acclaimed releases like the bluegrass project Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby (2007) and the jazz trio album Camp Meeting (2007), with Jack DeJohnette and Christian McBride. The prestigious list of Hornsby collaborators now includes diverse figures like Ornette Coleman, Bob Dylan, Bela Fleck, Elton John, Branford Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Robbie Robertson, Leon Russell, Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, Squeeze, Tupac Shakur, Eric Clapton, Stevie Nicks, Bob Seger and Sting.
A University of Miami alum, Hornsby has also partnered with The Frost School of Music to establish the Creative American Music Program, a curriculum designed to develop the creative skills of talented young artist/songwriters by immersing them in the diverse traditions that form the foundations of modern American songwriting.
In July of 2006, Bruce Hornsby released a four CD/DVD box set titled Intersections (1985-2005). A full third of the music was previously unreleased and most of the familiar tracks were presented as unreleased live versions. The set also featured “Song H,” a new composition that was nominated for a Best Pop Instrumental Grammy award in 2007.
Intersections is definitive in many ways, yet only tells part of the Virginia native’s musical story. His three Grammy wins typify the diversity of his first decade of recording: Best New Artist as leader of Bruce Hornsby and the Range, Best Bluegrass Recording for a version of “The Valley Road” that appeared on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will The Circle Be Unbroken Volume Two, and a shared award with Branford Marsalis in 1993 for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for “Barcelona Mona,” a song for the 1992 Olympic Games.
The sales stats and breadth of his superstar collaborations (including being sampled many times by rap/hip-hop artists) speak volumes about Hornsby’s unique fusion of mainstream appeal and wild musical diversity. His albums have sold over 11 million copies worldwide. Harbor Lights was the 1994 winner of the Downbeat Reader’s Poll Beyond Album of the Year (meaning all music other than Jazz and Blues). Tupac Shakur co-wrote a new song over “The Way It Is” music with Bruce, using new words, called “Changes”; it was a major worldwide hit, selling 14 million copies.
Throughout the years, Hornsby has participated in several memorable events: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opening concert in September 1995, Farm Aid IV and VI, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, New Orleans Heritage and Jazz Festival, Woodstock II (1994), Woodstock III (1999), and Bonnaroo in 2011. An avid sports fan, Hornsby, solo and with Branford Marsalis has performed the National Anthem for many major events including the NBA All-Star game, four NBA finals, the 1997 World Series Game 5, the night Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s all- time consecutive game streak, and the soundtrack to Baseball: A Film By Ken Burns.
Indeed, Bruce Hornsby’s restless musical spirit continues to spontaneously push him forward into exciting new musical pursuits. He’s currently working on a prospective Broadway musical titled SCKBSTD. He’s composed and recorded several projects for filmmaker Spike Lee including endtitle songs for two films, Clockers (1995) (with Chaka Khan) and Bamboozled (2001). Most recently, he has written and recorded the score to Kobe Doin’ Work, Lee’s 2009 ESPN documentary on Kobe Bryant, and Lee’s latest work, 2012’s Red Hook Summer. Hornsby is also featured onscreen in and contributed music to the Robin Williams/Bobcat Goldthwaite film World’s Greatest Dad (2009).
2011 brought the release of Bride Of The Noisemakers – an ambitious 25 track, double CD chronicling 2007-2009 live performances of some of the singer/songwriter and pianist’s handpicked songs of the past 23 years. The songs are recorded live capturing the playful, freewheeling spirit of his longtime band The Noisemakers.
Such projects are consistent with Hornsby’s lifelong pursuit of musical transcendence. “To me,” says Hornsby, “it’s always been about staying inspired, broadening my reach and moving into new areas. So it’s a fantastic situation to be able to do that, and to continue to pursue a wide-ranging musical life.”