Kripplekrunk, a Czech Folk Tale, and Joel Fan Gives Concert at the Music Academy of NC
1:25pm Nov 08, 2013
When David Ford thinks about recording an album these days, images of lots of headphones, and individual musicians recording in his/her own small isolation booth, spring to mind. There are usually lots of takes and overdubs to make for a nice, slick, “perfect” package. Well, that vision gets thrown out the window with our first guests today: Kripplekrunk.
Kripplekrunk is the band and the name of their new album recorded live in one room in a semi-circle to recreate the feel of a jam session. Like a jam session, there were no opportunities for overdubs and what you hear is what you get: great spontaneous music-making by some of the country’s finest fiddlers, pickers, and cajonists. That’s longtime drummer/percussionist Bobby Martin who plays the Peruvian percussion instrument on the album.
The recording project was led by Winston-Salem born banjo player Rex McGee who composed and arranged the music. Rex is a real musician’s musician whose reputation extends to fiddle and guitar as well. His playing and compositions were featured on mandolinist Tony Williamson's grammy nominated Sessions At McBane Mill and his tours with flatpicking guitarist legend Larry Keel and renowned newgrass vocalist John Cowan led to collaborations with Vassar Clements and Tony Rice among others.
The friends who form Kripplekrunk share a love for traditional Appalachian string band music, but they also share a passion for a huge variety of styles. Many of those styles find their way onto the 13 tracks that make up their remarkable debut recording. You can hear these self-described “extreme acoustic instrumentals” live in concert in the comfortable confines of the Community Arts Cafe on Friday night, November 8th at 8:00 PM. Rex joined David Ford recently along with bandmates guitarist John Garris, and cajon player Bobby Martin.
Kripplekrunk is Rex McGee on banjo, John Garris, guitar, Danny Knicely, mandolin, Nate Leath, fiddle, Dennis Lee, bass, and Bobby Martin on cajon. Thanks to Bobby, John and Rex who joined David Ford today.
Arts Based School
In 1938 Jewish Czek composer Hans Krása’s began writing an opera for a government competition, but due to political upheaval in Europe, the competition never happened, but the work Brundibar, was completed that year.
The first performance wasn’t until 1942, and by that time Krása had already been transported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. By July of the following year, nearly all of the children of the original chorus had been transported to the camp as well. The Arts Based School in Winston-Salem takes on Krasa’s remarkable opera based on a simple Czek folk tale with two performances on November 20th at 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM in Hanesbrands Theater. Artistic Director Mary Siebert and student actors Bella Hart Peck and Ellie Simpson Burdette joined me to talk about the performance.
Arts Based School Artistic Director Mary Siebert and student actors Bella Hart Peck and Ellie Simpson Burdette. They’ll be teaming up for two performances of Hans Krása’s Brundibar on November 20th at 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM in Hanesbrands Theater. Admission is free, but seating is limited and reservations must be made by calling the school office.
Pianist Joel Fan
Next up it’s time for piano and internationally acclaimed pianist Joel Fan. He's a true master of his instrument. The New York Times says Joel’s playing has a “…powerful touch and big sound with the sparkle and rhythmic suppleness of a jazz improviser”. Perhaps it should come as no surprise then that Joel’s programs encompass a huge variety of musical styles from Beethoven’s Triple Concerto performances alongside Yo-Yo Ma and Jonathan Gandelsman to Bermel’s Funk Studies.
New music is also at the core of much of Joel’s recorded work, with several commissions for piano in the works. Some of his appreciation for composition came from his longtime mentor, the late American composer/pianist Leon Kirchner. The Pulitzer Prize winning composer and his music were at the center of Joel’s recent CD Leon Kirchner Revelations on Verdant World Records. The Reference Recordings artist will share some of Kirchner’s music along with several other works in an evening recital and reception on Saturday night, November 9th at 7:30 PM at the Sloan Theatre of Greensboro Day School. It’s a fundraising concert for the Music Academy of NC in Greensboro. It’ll be there on the MANC campus Friday, November 8th at 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM at Performance Hall where Joel will be appearing throughout the day with master classes and outreach with the students and faculty. This will be followed by an evening concert and meet and greet.
Joel Fan spoke with David Ford by phone from his studio in New York.