07 November 2013

Secret Society News-Letter, 7 November 2013

Dear comrades,

Tonight (Nov. 7) my Secret Society co-conspirators and I will be making our debut at the new Jazz Gallery space at 1160 Broadway. We have had a long and fruitful association with The Jazz Gallery — some of our favorite concerts took place in their former home on Hudson Street — and we look forward to continuing the tradition.

The Jazz Gallery is a good spot to premiere new music — it’s where we first unveiled “Obsidian Flow” and “Jacobin Club,” both commissioned by the venue — and we’ll be doing the same tonight, giving the first Secret Society performances of a pair of new works. “All In” is a tribute to our beloved co-conspirator, the enormously influential trumpeter and educator Laurie Frink, who passed on in July. She is deeply missed by all of us. And “Codebreaker” is in honor of the heroic WW2 cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing.

We’ll also be performing music from our most recent recording, Brooklyn Babylon, which was recently voted among the top 10 Jazz Albums of the Year in the current Down Beat Reader’s Poll. We came in at#7, sandwiched between the Pat Metheny Unity Band and Kenny Garrett — heady company for certain! We’ve been humbled and amazed by the tremendous response to this record — here’s a new and thorough review courtesy of the New York Music Daily.

Following our Jazz Gallery engagement, my co-conspirators and I will be flying to Houston on Saturday (Nov. 10) for a performance hosted by the amazing Da Camera chamber music and jazz series. We are thrilled to be returning to The Lone Star State following our performance last year at the Tarleton Jazz Festival. Our Houston performance is previewed in the Houston Chronicle (subscription required) and Free Press Houston.  Afterwards, I will be heading up to Denton, TX, for an open rehearsal at the University of North Texas with their One O’Clock Lab Band.

Speaking of student ensembles, I’m just back from a two-week intensive residency at Cornish College in Seattle, where I led the Cornish Contemporary Big Band in a Halloween concert at the Earshot Jazz Festival — there’s a nice writeup by Paul de Barros in the Seattle Times. It’s always energizing to work with such dedicated, hard-working young musicians! I’m also honored to be the guest artist for Carnegie Hall Musical Exchange’s Arranging Ellington program, an online workshop for musicians ages 13-25, which is currently underway and runs until December 15. Here is my first blog post for this project, on the famous “Ellington Effect.”

Be seeing you,

— Darcy James Argue