03.08.12The seasons...they are a changin'!
Greetings friends and colleagues! This time of year it seems you can pick from spring, summer, and winter (did that actually ever happen?) all at once. And so it goes with the whirlwind of music offerings in the coming months. Starting this Friday at Galapagos Art Space I will be appearing with Darcy James Argue's Grammy nominated Secret Society, playing music by Vijay Iyer and David T. Little as well as the conductor/composer. Then a quick jaunt to Germany for a performance with the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble at the Burghausen Jazz Festival Saturday March 17. Back to Brooklyn on Monday the 26th with Asuka Kakitani's Jazz Orchestra at the Tea Lounge. Next month I'll be traveling down to Washington D.C. with Secret Society to play at Atlas Art Space on April 4th and back to the Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village with Gary Morgan's Panamericana on the 11th. Also, look for more performances in the near future with Ed Palermo at Iridium, JC Sanford at Tea Lounge, and some new projects from the Ben Kono Group. Hope to see you soon!
12.19.11Nineteen-Eight Holiday Sale and end-of-year wrap-up
Hello friends, and seasons' greetings!
In the spirit of the season, the good folks over at Nineteen-Eight Records are offering a sweet deal on all of their records, including "Crossing" released this year by your's truly. For a limited time only, they are offering every single cd in their catalog for only $7 each. This special holiday pricing will last through the rest of December only and will end on January first. You can see the limited-time pricing adjusted on each artist page. This pricing only applies to physical CDs and is only available at Nineteen-Eight. If you already have "Crossing", perhaps you know some else who may enjoy it (…just saying'…!) or perhaps check out some of the other fantastic releases from this year. Either way, can't go wrong with great music!
"Crossing" has had some fine reviews over the year including some recent end-of-the-year press:
'CROSSING' TOP DEBUT ALBUM OF 2011--Jazz Journalists Association
BEST OF 2011
"The first time I listened to "Crossing" (Nineteen-Eight), the debut CD by multi-reed player Ben Kono, the music stopped me cold. Not only does Kono play a slew of instruments (oboe, english horn, flute, alto flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone and shakuhachi), his compositions and arrangements are strikingly good. Supported by the rhythm section of John Hollenbeck (drums) and John Hebert (bass) plus the fine keyboard work of Henry Hey and soaring electric guitar of Pete McCann (his acoustic work is also excellent), Kono creates an aural auto-biography that is as moving as it is musical. His wife, Heather Laws, adds vocals and french horn to several tracks. What a debut!"--Step Tempest
JAZZ: SEMI-TOP TEN FOR 2011
"Kono is one of the stalwart session men on the New York scene, from Broadway to the stellar big bands of Darcy James Argue and John Hollenbeck. His versatility as a player comes through on Crossing in a rich range of musical thinking; all the pieces are his own, and his writing makes excellent use of wordless voice, french horn, and his own terrific flute and double-reed playing. His writing makes the band, with Heather Laws the aforementioned singer/horn player, Henry Hey on piano, guitarist Pete McCann, John Hébert on bass and drummer Hollenbeck, sound enormous. The musical ideas come out of the contemporary legacy of sophisticated, internationally tinged jazz composition and orchestration, make use of the best lessons from the likes of Pat Metheny as well as his own colleagues. Kono places an emphasis on melody, and is a real craftsman, shifting his lovely lines through different textures and harmonies, combining sections that seem like bits of songs into larger forms and never losing track of where he has come from and where he is going."--The Big City Blog
Looking forward to some great things in 2012 and I hope to see you at some of them! Thanks for listening and for your continued support, I wish you all the best for the holidays and the new year.
04.12.11'CROSSING' now on iTunes!
Spring is here (at least for now--there are still piles of snow in my mom's backyard)! And some interesting musical events are happening this month I thought I would let you know about…
First: The Ben Kono Group CD 'CROSSING' has been getting some terrific press (check out reviews in NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD and JAZZ TIMES), and some nice airplay as well. If you would like to own a copy, download, or preview tracks you can check it out at Nineteeneight.com--and be sure to check out my label-mates' as well (Kermit Driscoll has an amazing record out now with legendary Bill Frisell, Vinnie Colaiuta, and newcomer Kris Davis).
Next: 'CROSSING' soon available on iTunes!
And LIVE THIS MONTH: I am involved with some very special concerts in an effort to raise some money for the Japan Society, all proceeds going to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami that have devastated northern Japan.
at the Gershwin Hotel
Thursday, April 7th(Tomorrow!)
7:30p-10:00p Pottery Market
8:00p-10:00p Live Music
The Gershwin Hotel
(7 East 27th Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue)
Japanese-born composer Asuka Kakitani’s Jazz Orchestra will collaborate with the NY Togei Kyositsu pottery studio for a charity event for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The 18-piece Jazz Orchestra, AKJO, will play Asuka’s original compositions and arrangements of Japanese children songs. In addition, Togei Kyositsu members’ pottery works will also be available for purchase. All the profits from pottery sales and donations plus a majority of ticket sales will be donated to Japan through the Japan Society. Please come to hear great music and buy beautiful pottery to help Japan!
Reeds: Ben Kono, Alejandro Aviles, Mark Small, Jason Rigby, Kenny Berger
Trumpets: Jeff Wilfore, Dave Spier, John Bailey, Matt Holman
Trombones: Mark Patterson, Matt McDonald, JC Sanford, Max Seigel
Guitar: Nate Radley, Piano: Carmen Staaf, Bass: Dave Ambrosio, Drums: Chris Benham, Voice: Tammy Scheffer
FUNDRAISING CONCERT FOR JAPAN RELIEF
LOVE FOR JAPAN ! LOVE FOR EARTH!
DR.RANDY WESTON & AFRIKAN RYTHMS,FRANK WESS,HAROLD MABERN,PAUL WEST,JUNIOR MANCE,CHARLYPERSIP,BILLYHERPER,CHIP SHELTON,DAVID WONG,WINARD HARPER, MICHEAL WISE,TONY HEWITT,WAFUOO,TOMOKO OMURA VIOLIN GROUP, NABUKO KIRYU,ASUKA KAKITANI JAZZ ORCHESTRA, OKARU HOSHINO-LOVELACE,WBGO FM ROB CROCKER AND MORE TO SEND LOVE FROM NEW YORK.
$25 DONATION WILL BE DONATE TO RED+CROSS JAPAN L.E.A.F.MUSIC HEALS PROJECT WILL CONTINUE SUPPORT TO VICTIMS OF JAPANESE TSUNAMI-EARTHQUAKE THROGH ART AS HEALING CONCERT.
Undead Jazz presents:
Orchestre National de Jazz with Daniel Yvinec and John Hollenbeck's Large Ensemble
w/ special guests Theo Bleckmann , Kate McGarry and Uri Caine
Mon., April 25, 2011 / 6:30 PM
02.24.11Upcoming gigs and a big thanks!
Thanks to all who came out to Cornelia Street Cafe last Sunday for our CD release concert--we couldn't have asked for a more outstanding turnout, and my apologies to those who showed up and couldn't get in! Hopefully we will do another one in the near future. For those who couldn't make it, you can now purchase the CD at Nineteen-Eight Records, and soon we'll have it as a digital download both from there and itunes.
For those of you in the city, I will also be quite busy in the coming week with some stellar ensembles:
Thursday, Feb.24th (tonight!) at Merkin Hall: New Sounds Live: Newspeak & Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society with Iyer, Lizee, Little
This concert will be streamed live on WQXR’s Q2 and taped for future broadcast on WNYC.
Monday, Feb.28th at Tea Lounge in Brooklyn: Noriko Ueda Jazz Orchestra as part of 'Size Matters' series
Tuesday, March 1st at Jazz Standard : theJohn Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
And for those on the west coast, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble Tour March 3-7!
Thursday, March 3, 2011 JOHN HOLLENBECK LARGE ENSEMBLE @ PONCHO Hall, Cornish College of the Arts
710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA
Set: 8:00 PM
Tickets: $18 in advance; $20 at the door; $10 for students, seniors, & Cornish alumni
Friday, March 4, 2011 JOHN HOLLENBECK LARGE ENSEMBLE @ Willamette Underground
Set: 8:00 PM
Saturday, March 5, 2011 JOHN HOLLENBECK LARGE ENSEMBLE at San Joaquin Valley Jazz Festival @ Clovis North High School
E. International Ave, Fresno, CA
Set: 7:30 PM
Sunday, March 6, 2011 JOHN HOLLENBECK LARGE ENSEMBLE @ Stanford University
471 LAGUNITA DRIVE, adjacent to Tresidder Union, Stanford, CA
Set: 2:30 PM
Monday, March 7, 2011 JOHN HOLLENBECK LARGE ENSEMBLE @ REDCAT
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA
213.237.2800 Set: 8:30 PM
Hope to see you somewhere soon! Peace, Ben
02.20.11BEN KONO GROUP CD RELEASE CONCERT, FEB.20 AT CORNELIA STREET CAFE, NYC
I am excited to announce that, in just a few weeks, the Ben Kono Group will release it's debut recording, Crossing on Nineteen-Eight Records! It's been a long time in coming, and we hope you will join us to celebrate this event with a live presentation at the historic and ever-cozy Cornelia Street Cafe in the West Village on Sunday, February 20th at 8:30pm. The band sounds incredible, and I can't wait for you to hear these guys (and gal)! So snuggle up with a nice glass of vino, and end the week with some great jazz in a sweet venue with some of the greatest musicians on the planet. It would be great to see you there!
…and, course, we will have CDs for sale…
Sunday, February 20, 8:30pm show
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street
Greenwich Village, NY 10014
Reservations strongly recommended
Ben Kono Group
Ben Kono: oboe, english horn, tenor sax, flutes, clarinet, compositions
Pete McCann: guitar
Henry Hey: piano
John Hébert: bass
John Hollenbeck: drums
Heather Laws: voice and french horn
"An overpoweringly great record!"---Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times
01.04.11BEN KONO GROUP at Brooklyn Lyceum this Sunday!!
Happy New Year! And now that the dust from the holidays has begun to settle, it's time to ring in 2011 with some music for the mind and soul. Please join the Ben Kono Group this Sunday, January 9th at the Brooklyn Lyceum for some cutting edge music, as played by some of my favorite musicians under the winter sun! We'll be performing music from our new CD CROSSING, soon to be released on Nineteen-Eight Records next month. I'm thrilled at how good it sounds, and excited to be presenting the music live for you at one of Brooklyn's most venerable performing art spaces with a killing band. (And, yes, we WILL have some CDs). Hope to see you there! Peace to you in the new year. Ben
Ben Kono: woodwinds
Pete McCann: guitar
Henry Hey: piano
John Hebert: bass
Satoshi Takeishi: percussion
Heather Laws: voice and french horn
Sunday, January 9
9pm and 10:30 sets
227 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
D,N,R train to Union St.
Hi. It's been a while since the last post so here's a quick last-minute update on some happenings this month.
Size Matters large ensemble series presents:
JC Sanford Orchestra
Monday, September 20
9:00 & 10:30pm
837 Union St.
$5 suggested donation
JC Sanford - composer/conductor/trombone
Dan Willis, Marc Phaneuf, Chris Bacas, Ben Kono, Kenny Berger
Jeff Wilfore, Bud Burridge, Colin Brigstocke, Nadje Noordhuis
Matt Haviland, Noah Bless, Mike Christianson, Jen Wharton
Andrew Green - guitar, Mike Eckroth - keys, Aidan Carroll - bass, Ted Poor - drums
Numinous performs Vipassana
Wednesday September 22nd, 2010 8 PM to 9 PM
227 4th Avenue
Take the M, R Train to Union Street
Ben Kono, Rob Mosher, Ed Xiques (woodwinds), Stephanie Richards (trumpet/flügelhorn), Deborah Weisz, (trombone), Tom Beckham (vibraphone), Megan Levin, (harp), Amanda Monaco, Mike Baggetta (electric guitars), Carmen Staaf, Aaron Kotler, (keyboards), Jared Soldiviero, Nicola Cannizzaro (percussion), Charenee Wade, Nicky Schrire, Sara Serpa, Jean Rohe, Becca Stevens (voices), Ana Milosavljevic, Scott Tixier (violins), Nick Revel, Brian Lindgren (violas), Will Martina, Lauren Riley-Rigby (violoncellos), Evan Gregor, (bass), Joseph C. Phillips Jr., (conductor, composer)
The two-time Grammy-Nominated
John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
Thursday, September 23
Iridium Jazz Club
8:30 & 10:30pm
1650 Broadway NYC
Ben Kono flute/sopranosaxophone/alto saxophone
Jeremy Viner clarinet
Ellery Eskelin tenor saxophone
Dan Willis tenor saxophone/soprano, english horn
Bohdan Hilash bass clarinet/contra-alto clarinet/clarinet
Mark Patterson, Mike Christianson, Jacob Garchik, Alan Ferber
Tony Kadleck, Jon Owens, Dave Ballou, Laurie Frink
The BEN KONO GROUP recording "CROSSING" is DONE! Artwork, liner-notes, publicity, record label, etc. are all in the works and hoping for a CD release in the near future. For now, you can check out some sneak audio previews and some video at www.benkono.com. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear your comments!
06.12.10BEN KONO GROUP JUNE 14th at MILES' CAFE, NYC
June 14th at Miles' Cafe, NYC
BEN KONO GROUP
212 E. 52nd St. 3Fl. (b/2nd & 3rd Ave.)
New York, NY 10022
E/V train to 53rd St./
Lexington, 6 train to 51st St.
Dear friends! Hope you're all having a wonderful spring/summer transition. Now that our early east coast heat wave appears to be over, I'm feeling particularly energized--and ready to play some soul-satisfyin' music! The Ben Kono Group will be playing selections from our upcoming CD project, recorded and ready to be mixed, mastered and released--hopefully at a venue near you in the near future…For now, I'm pleased and proud to be playing with these fantastic musicians at a new and unique performance space in Manhattan called Miles' Cafe. Jazz returns to 52nd St.! Be prepared for our mix of post-minimalist/post-rock/world jazz--whatever you want to call it--and hopefully there will be more than a few surprises along the way. Please check out the website if you would like to listen. BKG is:
Ben Kono: tenor sax, clarinets, flutes, oboe, english horn, electronica, compositions
Pete McCann: guitars
John Hebert: bass
Ted Poor: drums
Heather Laws: voice, french horn
and special guest Mike Holober: piano
door $10/$7 non-alcoholic minimum
but…BYOB if you like!
Hope to see you there!
05.20.10April showers bring...MUSIC IN MAY!
Greetings friends! I hope the spring finds you well and recovering from ash clouds, flash floods, stock market bungee jumping, freak snows…whew! Perhaps it's time for some soul-mending music in your life. Just a few upcoming activities I"m involved with this month if you're in the area (or in the mood!)…
Monday May 24th 9pm Numinous at Tea Lounge, 837 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY
Part of 'Size Matters' series, Numinous will perform original works by Joe Phillips. Performers are Ben Kono, Dan Willis, Ed Xiques (woodwinds); Stephanie Richards (trumpet); Ernest Stuart (trombone); Tom Beckham (vibraphone); Megan Levin (harp!); Jared Soldiviero (percussion); Ana Milosavljevic, Scott Tixier (violins); Will Martina, Lauren Riley-Rigby (cellos); Shawn Conley (bass). Admission is by donation.
Tuesday May 25th 9:30pm Gary Morgan's Panamericana! at Zinc Bar, 82 W 3rd St, New York, NY
A 20 piece latin jazz orchestra led by Gary Morgan
devoted to contemporary music from Brazil, Cuba
and the great musical melting pot of New York...
Wednesday May 26th 10pm Chris Tarry Group at 55 Bar, 55 Christopher St., New York, NY
I'm very excited to be playing with this great bass player/composer at one of my favorite hangs in the city! Chris has won three Juno awards (Canadian Grammy) and garnered high praise for his CD "Almost Certainly Dreaming". If you get a chance check out this great band: Ben Kono (saxophone); Henry Hey (keys); Pete McCann (guitar); Jordan Perlson (drums); Chris Tarry (bass/composition).
Thursday May 27th 8pm CD release with Jamie Begian Big Band at El TALLER LATINO AMERICANO
2710 Broadway (at 104th street) New York, NY
Monday June 14th 8pm the return of the BEN KONO GROUP at Miles Cafe, 212 E. 52nd St. 3Fl. (b/2nd & 3rd Ave). New York, NY 10022 E/V train to 53rd St./Lexington, or 6 train to 51st St.
with Pete McCann (guitar), Mike Holober (piano), Ted Poor (drums), John Hebert (bass), Heather Laws (vocals, french horn), and Ben Kono (sax,clarinets, flutes, oboe, english horn, compositions)
Hope to see you soon!
The Ben Kono Group recording is getting closer to a final mix--looking forward to getting it out there! Meanwhile, March is looking quite busy, presenting a myriad of oeuvres--something for everybody!
PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA OF THE AMERICAS
Sunday March 14, 3pm
Teatro Heckscher at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Please join us for the annual public celebration of our Niños education program in New York City schools, featuring world premiere performances of compositions developed in classrooms by Niños students during a five-month teaching residency by POA artists. Conducted by Alondra de la Parra and featuring the POA with student composers from New York City schools.
Toussaint Danzas de la Ciudad
Piazzolla Otono and Invierno Porteno
Revueltas Homenaje a Gracia Lorca
Marquez Danzon No. 4
TBA World Premiere Niños Composition/s
This is a fairly new organization I'm very excited to be performing with. Look for an upcoming CD release of this group on Sony Classical. Come by and check it out--admission is donation only, so pay what you wish!
ANDREW RATHBUN LARGE ENSEMBLE
Monday March 15, 9pm
837 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215-1308
Reeds: Ben Kono, Craig Yaremko, Adam Kolker, Dan Pratt, Carl Maraghi
Tpts: Taylor Haskins, John Carlson, Dave Smith, Russ Johnson
Tbns: Alan Ferber, Isrea Butler, JC Sanford, Chris Olness
Rhy: Nate Radley, Ben Waltzer, David Ambrosio, Owen Howard
Voice: Julie Hardy
Part of the "Size Matters" series at Tea Lounge, Andrew's original works include extended suites utilizing texts by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.
GARY MORGAN AND PANAMERICANA!
Tuesday March 16, 8, 9:30 and 11pm sets
82 West 3rd Street
(btw Thompson & Sullivan)
New York NY 10012
tel. 212-477-ZINC (9462)
A 20 piece latin jazz orchestra led by Gary Morgan devoted to contemporary music from Brazil, Cuba and the great musical melting pot of New York...Come by for a great hang!
Darcy James Argue's SECRET SOCIETY
March 23, 7:30 and 9:30pm
116 East 27 Street
New York, NY 10016-8942
Steampunk big band! One of my favorite new composers on the New York scene and gaining recognition fast for his large ensemble.
JOHN FEDCHOCK NEW YORK BIG BAND
Tuesday April 6, 8:30pm
@IRIDIUM jazz club
1650 Broadway and 51st, New York, NY
The acclaimed trombonist/composer of Woody Herman's 'thundering herd' is back at the Iridium!
Hope to see you around town--BK
01.19.10BEN KONO GROUP at I-Beam Music Studio, Brooklyn Jan.23rd
Come check out our second installment of genre-bending music at this cutting-edge performance space in Brooklyn Jan.23rd at 8:30. We'll be playing the second set after the Knuffke and Drye brass duo (Www.myspace.com/knuffkeanddrye).
I-Beam Music Studio
8:30 PM (following Knuffke and Drye brass duo--check 'em out!)
168 7th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Take the F or R trains to 4th Ave & 9th Street. Walk down 4th ave to 7th street. Make a left on 7th and walk past 3rd ave. We are located on the ground floor, the grey doors to the right of the stairs of #168.
The BEN KONO GROUP:
Ben Kono: clarinet, bass clarinet, flutes, oboe, english horn, tenor sax, laptop, composition
Heather Laws: vocals, french horn
Henry Hey: piano
Pete McCann: guitars
John Hebert: bass
Owen Howard: drums
01.17.10Ben Kono Group recording in the can!
Just finished two days recording our first CD at Charlestown Road Studios, Paul Wickliffe engineering. The band sounds so good, the session went smoother than I ever could have imagined! Thanks to Paul, who is a dream to work with, and the most killing band I could ever hope to play with: Henry Hey, Pete McCann, John Hebert, John Hollenbeck--thanks for your energy and thorough preparation for this difficult project.
We also had a great gig the night before (Jan.13) at the Brooklyn Lyceum where, due to a double booking, they had set up a black box theater for us up in the gym annex, complete with tables, tea lamps, and space heaters. A great turnout, even considering the 'intimate' confines of the space.
Hope to see you at our next gig, this Sat. Jan.23rd at Ibeam Music Studios in Brooklyn!