On Friday, November 4 at 10:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall presents the New York premiere of The Great Flood by renowned jazz guitarist Bill Frisell and celebrated filmmaker Bill Morrison. The Great Flood—co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall—is an evening-length suite with live music written and performed by Frisell and a film by Morrison that explores The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, plus the effects that the epic natural disaster had on the Mississippi Delta and surrounding regions and the incredible impact that it ultimately had on future of American music. Performing with Frisell are band members Ron Miles (trumpet), Tony Scherr (bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums). The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was, according to National Geographic, the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States. It began when heavy rains struck Mississippi in the summer of 1926, leading the river’s tributaries in Kansas and Iowa to fill to their capacity. On New Year's Day, 1927, the Cumberland River at Nashville topped levees at over 56 feet, and the Mississippi River broke out of its levee system in 145 places, flooding about 27,000 square miles—over 50 miles wide, 100 miles long, and—in spots--up to a depth of 30 feet. The flood caused over $400 million in damages and killed 246 people in seven states. The flood’s enduring legacy is the mass exodus of thousands of people—including scores of Delta blues musicians—from the South to the North. As they headed north to large cities like Chicago, these musicians brought a new kind of music with them that, when met with the music of the north, transformed the sound of blues, influencing rhythm & blues, and the foundations of rock and roll in America."
To view footage about The Great Flood on the Carnegie Hall blog, please click here. Prior to The Great Flood, starting at 9:00 p.m., ticketholders are invited to enjoy Late Nights at Zankel Hall, a laid-back pre-concert experience in the Zankel Hall lounge with others who share their passion for music. The first 200 concert-goers to arrive will receive a complimentary drink courtesy of Carnegie Hall. For more information, please visit carnegiehall.org/latenights.
About The Artists In a career spanning more than 25 years and over 150 recordings—including 25 albums of his own—guitarist, composer, and bandleader Bill Frisell has established himself as a visionary presence in American music. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists, filmmakers, and legendary musicians. But it is his work as a leader that has garnered increasing attention and accolades. Frisell’s recordings over the last decades span a wide range of musical influences. His catalog, including 20 recordings for Nonesuch, has been cited by DownBeat as “the best recorded output of the decade.” It includes original Buster Keaton film scores to arrangements of music for extended ensemble with horns (This Land, Blues Dream); compositions originally written as soundtracks to Gary Larson cartoons (Quartet); interpretations of work by other classic and contemporary American composers (Have a Little Faith); and collaborations with the acclaimed rhythm section of bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Jim Keltner (Gone, Just Like a Train; Good Dog, Happy Man). Other releases include an album with Nashville musicians (Nashville), the solo album Ghost Town, an album of his arrangements of songs by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach (The Sweetest Punch), a trio album with jazz legends Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, and a collection of American traditional songs and original compositions inspired by them entitled The Willies. The Intercontinentals, nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004, combines Frisell’s own brand of American roots music and his unmistakable improvisational style with the influences of Brazilian, Greek, and Malian sounds. His 2004 release, Unspeakable, won a Grammy Award. His two-CD set East/West features his two working trios recorded in concert on both coasts. The Philadelphia Inquirer says, “Frisell is a revered figure among musicians—like Miles Davis and few others, his signature is built from pure sound and inflection; an anti-technique that is instantly identifiable.” Bill Morrison's films have been screened at festivals, museums, and concert halls worldwide, including the Sundance Film Festival, Tate Modern, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Museum of Modern Art has acquired eight of his titles. Morrison has been commissioned to create films for some of the most important composers of our time, including John Adams, Gavin Bryars, Bill Frisell, Michael Gordon, Henryk Gorecki, David Lang, Harry Partch, Steve Reich, and Julia Wolfe. Morrison is a Guggenheim fellow and has received the Alpert Award. His work with Ridge Theater—one of America’s premier creators of multimedia theater, opera, and new music performance, located in New York City—has been recognized with two Bessie awards and an Obie Award. Decasia, his feature length collaboration with composer Michael Gordon, is described by J. Hoberman of the Village Voice as "the most widely acclaimed American avant-garde film of the fin-de-siècle." Program InformationFriday, November 4 at 10:00 p.m. Zankel Hall BILL FRISELL/BILL MORRISON THE GREAT FLOOD Bill Frisell, Guitar Ron Miles, Trumpet Tony Scherr, Bass Kenny Wollesen, Drums The Great Flood(NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)Film by Bill MorrisonMusic by Bill Frisell The Great Flood was commissioned by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (World Premiere); Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University; Carnegie Hall; Symphony Center Presents, Chicago and Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College. The Great Flood was commissioned through Meet The Composer's Commissioning Music/USA program, which is made possible by generous support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Ford Foundation, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Helen F. Whitaker Fund.Additional support made possible by USA Projects, an online initiative of United States Artists.Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
Ticket Information Tickets, $39 and $50, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org For more information discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.
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